This week, Quentin Tarantino has a fairy tale to tell us. Yes, “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” leads the charge of new Blu-ray titles. Today also features some very solid genre options as well. Read on for more.
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood”
Quentin Tarantino brings his version of 1960s Los Angeles to vivid life here with one of his biggest successes. Oscar will take notice of this one, but regardless of that, this is just major fun. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are having the times of their lives playing once again in Tarantino’s crazy sandbox. From our review here on the site:
“Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” encompasses fun and a whole lot to admire for the cinephile who appreciates the origins and evolution of the medium.
“Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” is pure Tarantino, through and through. It’s one of the best films of the year and a major Academy Award contender. It’s a great option to pick up, especially in 4K, where all of the details really pop!
Special Features: Additional Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $141,010,297 (and counting)
Major Awards: Won Best Director (for Quentin Tarantino) at the National Board of Review
This small scale science fiction tale is the best version of the “X-Men” we’ve seen in some time. Going indie with mutants was a great choice here, especially buoyed by excellent turns from Bruce Dern and Emile Hirsch. On the site, we had this to say in a review:
“Freaks” hardly breaks new ground from a narrative perspective, but it’s told in such a thoughtful, tightly-focused way that it feels entirely new.
“Freaks” succeeds due to the execution of its concept, as well as a breakthrough turn from young Lexy Kolker. Anyone looking for a more grounded look at mutants and sci-fi will find plenty to dig into here.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $276,591
Major Awards: None yet
Jennifer Lopez is getting most of the buzz here, but filmmaker Lorene Scafaria deserves a ton of credit as well. She found a creative and engaging way to tell this true life crime story. Karen made sure to cite her in this highly positive review on the site:
Hollywood has long told stories of women who sell their bodies to the eyes of lustful businessmen flaunting their dollars on their lunch breaks. Until now, those stories have been told almost exclusively by men. Along comes “Hustlers,” a new film from Lorene Scafaria, which tells this story exclusively from the female point of view.
“Hustlers” was a huge hit, and rightly so. It’s well made and Lopez is memorably compelling. Give it a shot if you missed it!
Special Features: Audio Commentary
Total Box Office: $104,927,415
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Richard Jewell,” the pick today is going to be a previous quality effort from Clint Eastwood. It’s “Sully,” the Tom Hanks led biopic of hero pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Simple yet always compelling, it’s one of Eastwood’s most underrated. Mark was a fan back at the Telluride Film Festival, as you can see below:
Eastwood and Hanks take us beyond the incredible feat of aviation, and into the investigation that followed which threatened to end the pilot’s career.
Revisit this movie before Eastwood’s latest opens up.
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the trio of recommended titles in “Freaks,” “Hustlers,” and “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood.”
For some reason, John Travolta is getting an awards push for this awful thriller. Fred Durst‘s latest directorial outing is misguided in just about every way possible. Travolta goes all in on a quirky role, but there’s nothing to appreciate whatsoever. Entertainment Weekly sums it up well:
The Fanatic has contempt for both its characters and audience.
Avoid this one, plain and simple.
Box Office: N/A
“It: Chapter Two”
This sequel to “It” had an epic length, yet still managed to leave some fans wanting more. There’s just no pleasing lovers of Pennywise, is there? Clayton was one such individual, liking this one after loving the last. A bit from his review can be seen here:
Hoping for better, perhaps this was the best version we were ever going to receive.
If you loved the first one, picking up the second chapter is a no-brainer.
Box Office: $211,593,228
“Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice”
A documentary about singer Linda Ronstadt doesn’t necessarily sound engaging on paper. In execution, however, it’s one of the more highly regarded docs of 2019. The Hollywood Reporter chimed in with the following take:
Astutely chronicling an amazing musical career that ended prematurely due to Parkinson’s disease, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice will delight the singer’s old fans and likely make her many new ones as well.
Her fans will eat this one up.
Box Office: $4,211,473
Special Criterion Collection Section
The first option coming to Criterion today is this Kelly Reichardt drama. “Old Joy” first put the filmmaker on the map, showcasing her particular brand of independent storytelling, told with a minuscule budget, one that continues unabated to this day. The Collection pitches it to you like so:
Adapted from a short story by Jonathan Raymond and accompanied by an atmospheric Yo La Tengo score, Old Joy is a contemplative, wryly observed triumph whose modest scale belies the richness of its insight.
Reichardt fans are in for a treat!
“Until the End of the World”
Also joining the collection this week is Wim Wenders‘ epic. Featuring William Hurt, it’s a hybrid of science fiction and the road trip genre, making for something rather one of a kind. Criterion claims it to be a crowning achievement for Wenders, as you can see next:
Presented here in its triumphant 287-minute director’s cut, Until the End of the World assumes its rightful place as Wenders’ magnum opus, a cosmic ode to the pleasures and perils of the image and a prescient meditation on cinema’s digital future.
Another strong option for Wenders aficionados.
“Family Guy: Season 17”
“The Orville: The Complete Second Season”
“Suits: The Complete Series”
“Suits: Season Nine”