This week, Kathryn Bigelow‘s “Detroit” leads the charge of films coming to Blu-Ray and DVD. That movie highlights the slate today, though it’s hardly the only title of note. Here we go!
PICK OF THE WEEK
Director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal go even darker than ever with “Detroit,” a tension filled period drama. Tackling the Detroit Riots and racial injustice during the 1960’s, it’s an ambitious movie that has Bigelow and Boal going all in on intensity. Clayton was a big fan, putting forth the following review at the time here on the site:
Intense, respectful, and impeccably urgent, Kathryn Bigelow‘s newest and most vibrant directorial effort exists in the powerfully relevant “Detroit.” The film’s volatile subject, echoing against the backdrop of the Detroit riots that began in July 1967, is superbly executed.
“Detroit” has one of the best sequences of 2017 contained within it. If the whole project is never quite on the level of the hotel sequence, it’s still a top notch drama. It’s the best of the week, bar none, so pick it up!
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $16,790,139
Major Awards: Nominated for Best Original Song at the Satellite Awards
“Kingsman: The Golden Circle”
This sequel to “Kingsman: The Secret Service” managed to satisfy its intended audience. The movie is fun, still paying homage to James Bond and other such spy flicks. This one isn’t quite on the level of the first one, but there’s plenty of enjoyment to be had still. Our review here on the site more or less said as much:
“Kingsmen: Golden Circle” adheres to everything popular convention defines as a sequel. It expands the universe. It opts for bigger stunts and more special effects. Everything’s bigger, louder, longer and a callback to the original.
If you liked “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” you’ll like “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” as well. It’s not in the same universe as “Detroit” is, but it’s a solid second option today for sure.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $100,130,193 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet
“The Unknown Girl”
A foreign drama from noted filmmakers Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, this made the film festival circuit about a year ago. We had a review out of the 2016 New York Film Festival that was pretty positive. Here is just a taste from it:
If you’re familiar at all with the work of filmmakers Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, you should know exactly what you’re getting here.
“The Unknown Girl” is a heavy drama, though not quite as overwhelmingly intense as “Detroit” is. The latter is the better option, but both are well worth your consideration.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $150,549
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the pick today is going to be pretty obvious. Yes, it’s the last episode in the franchise, so it’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” in all its glory. This is what Clayton had to say here at the site when it debuted two years ago:
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” is a smart, keen, and dynamic installation of a brand new saga in the franchise.
You know what to do here folks.
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended trio of “Detroit,” “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” and “The Unknown Girl”:
Another in a long line of faith based films. This one, perhaps a bit surprisingly, wasn’t panned by critics. Most even liked it, with one such review coming from the Los Angeles Times:
All Saints is rather fascinating in its relationship to faith and religion. It’s a film not so much about scripture as it is about community.
If religious fare is your thing, this outing seems to be one of the better ones available.
Box Office: $5,802,208
Reese Witherspoon went back to the romantic comedy route with this work, though audiences and critics didn’t go with her. This was quite the flop, at least with reviews. Our site had the rare positive take on it, writing the following:
“Home Again” feels like comfort food, specifically low fat vanilla bean ice cream from Whole Foods. Yes, the film is that white, frothy and delightful.
Box Office: $27,020,284
“The Trip to Spain”
This road trip sequel now makes it a trilogy for Steve Coogan and company. That’s rather impressive. Reviews were pretty strong, though many were basically saying the same thing. Variety put it rather simply:
If you’re a fan of the first two movies, it’s hard to imagine that you won’t like this one.
To reiterate, fans of the franchise will dig this.
Box Office: $1,157,604
“Wolf Warrior 2”
Another sequel to take in this week, with this particular one being a Chinese action epic. This is another one that was surprisingly well received, with this review from The Hollywood Reporter as an example:
Wolf Warrior 2 is even bigger and bolder than its predecessor, which doesn’t always work in its favor. But genre fans will definitely relish the near constant barrage of elaborate set pieces that are choreographed and filmed for maximum impact.
Make of this one what you will.
Box Office: $2,721,100
Special Criterion Collection Section
The first release getting the Criterion treatment today is a new-ish classic from Alexander Payne. The aforementioned Witherspoon broke through here, while Matthew Broderick has never been better. The Collection sells it as such:
In Alexander Payne’s satire Election, the teacher becomes unhealthily obsessed with cutting his student down to size, covertly backing a spoiler candidate to stop her from steamrolling to victory, and putting in motion a series of dirty tricks and reckless promises with uncanny real-world political parallels.
“Election” is one of Payne’s best, so definitely pick this one up!
“General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait”
The next title joining the Collection this week is an unusual documentary. Directed by Barbet Schroeder, it’s an up close and personal look at a brutal dictator. Here’s a taste from Criterion:
In 1974, Barbet Schroeder went to Uganda to make a film about Idi Amin, the country’s ruthless, charismatic dictator. Three years into a murderous regime that would be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ugandans, Amin prepared a triumphal greeting for the filmmakers, staging rallies, military maneuvers, and cheery displays of national pride, and envisioning the film as an official portrait to adorn his cult of personality.
If you’re fascinated, give it a shot.
Finally, the Criterion Collection also gets a very different sort of documentary. This one is a concert film of sorts, set in the 1970’s. Here’s a quite description from their site, including this bit:
On a beautiful June weekend in 1967, at the beginning of the Summer of Love, the Monterey International Pop Festival roared forward, capturing a decade’s spirit and ushering in a new era of rock and roll.
Another musical title to add to the collection!
“Fuller House: The Complete Second Season”
“Game of Thrones: Seasons 1-7”
“Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season”
“Simon & Simon: The Final Season”
“The Strain: The Complete Fourth Season”
“The Strain: The Complete Series”
“Zoo: Season Three”