This week, one of the most criminally under-seen films of 2019 comes to Blu-ray and DVD. “Blinded by the Light” is the delightful coming-of-age story leading the charge today, along with some strong documentary options. Plus, the Criterion Collection has a new/recent release that should be very interesting to many of you. Read on for more!
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Blinded by the Light”
For my money, this is the most enjoyable movie of the year. Whether you’re a devotee of Bruce Springsteen or couldn’t care less about his music, this coming of age tale evokes his personal impact on fans brilliantly. It makes for an experience that’s truly one of a kind. Our four star rave review right here on the site waxes poetic about the film:
There’s a great misconception about the music of Bruce Springsteen. Here, in 2019, as well as back in 1987 – when “Blinded by the Light” takes place – people have looked at Springsteen’s work as hymns aimed at those who toil in factories, punch a clock, and do the dirty jobs that keep society functioning. However, while the anthems resonate with that group, without question, the songs were always designed, from his very start in 1973 on, to appeal to the youth. The tunes were about middle-class people in their experiences and struggles with life, the trials, and tribulations of working-class America. Concepts of love, getting out of town, making a place in the world, Springsteen waxed poetic on them all with enduring melodies. “Blinded by the Light” understands this perfectly and is one of the best films of 2019 due in no small part to that very idea.
“Blinded by the Light” is crowd pleasing perfection. Many of you missed it in theaters, so here on Blu-ray, it’s an absolute must own!
Special Features: Deleted Scenes and Featurettes
Total Box Office: $11,901,145
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” the pick today is going to be another Fred Rogers-related film. It’s the brilliant documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” which wonderfully explains just why Mr. Rogers is so vital. Not only does it bring out consistent tears, it just reminds you how important decent human beings are in the world. From our rave review last year:
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor” is one of the most moving films you will see…For anyone who grew up with any connection to Rogers, nostalgia will push you over the edge time and time again.
Prep for another dose of Mr. Rogers with this doc!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the sole recommended title in “Blinded by the Light.”
This documentary is a truly unsettling look at what happens when you begin trying to solve a long disregarded crime. What begins as a simple look at the death of Dag Hammarskjöld quickly evolves into something even darker. The less you know going in, the better. Variety raved about it like so:
“Cold Case Hammarskjöld” is a singular experience that counts as one of the most honestly disturbing and provocative nonfiction films in years.
Box Office: $104,965
“Dora and the Lost City of Gold”
Dora the Explorer gets the big screen treatment here in this decidedly family friendly adventure. If “Tomb Raider” is a little too mature, this hit a lot of similar notes. Our review here on the site was charmed by the movie:
The film, unapologetically aimed at children, teenagers, and their parents, portrays a quirky girl with amusing wit.
Box Office: $60,477,943
“Memory: The Origins of Alien”
Another doc offering, this one looks at the making, as well as the cultural significance, of “Alien.” Director Alexandre O. Philippe, who previously tackled the shower scene in “Psycho,” turns his attention to Ridley Scott‘s classic. It’s another successful deep dive, as we stated in our review here:
Philippe’s message is clear: “Alien” belongs in the discussion with “Star Wars” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” as the greatest sci-fi film ever made.
Any fan of “Alien” needs to check this one out.
Box Office: $31,378
Special Criterion Collection Section
Our first option coming to Criterion today is this French romance from 1986. A huge hit in France, “Betty Blue” is an independent title that likely has not been seen by nearly enough folk. The Collection does its best to change that with this take below:
Adapted from the hit novel 37°2 le matin by Philippe Djian, Jean-Jacques Beineix’s art-house smash—presented here in its extended director’s cut—is a sexy, crazy, careening joyride of a romance that burns with the passion and beyond-reason fervor of all-consuming love.
Definitely something to consider this week!
The other choice joining the Collection this week is last year’s Oscar-nominated foreign flick, “Cold War.” Filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski received a Best Director nomination for this luminous work. Achingly strong work from Tomasz Kot and especially Joanna Kulig, mixes with his directing for something truly special. Criterion sells it to you like so:
Photographed in luscious monochrome and suffused with the melancholy of the simple folk song that provides a motif for the couple’s fateful affair, Pawlikowski’s timeless story—inspired by that of his own parents—is a heart-stoppingly grand vision of star-crossed love caught up in the tide of history.
It’s a must own!
“The Handmaid’s Tale: Season Three”
“The Kominsky Method: The Complete First Season”