This week, an underrated war drama, “The Kill Team,” leads the charge of new Blu-ray titles. Joining it are a small but interesting crop of titles, including the big Oscar player “Judy.” Read on for more.
PICK OF THE WEEK
“The Kill Team”
Modern war dramas are at their best when they focus on the psychology of soldiers. This dramatization of Dan Krauss‘ documentary (he also helms this one) really digs in to what’s going on inside of our young men and women in harm’s way. Krauss really makes every element of being in a war zone seem horribly dangerous, as we said in our rave Tribeca Film Festival review:
Intense and raw, danger lurks around every corner in “The Kill Team.” In an unusual turn, it’s not just enemy combatants that traumatize our soldier protagonist, but his fellow brothers in arms.
“The Kill Team” features two tremendous performances from Alexander Skarsgård and Nat Wolff, in addition to its psychological focus. Make sure to pick this one up!
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, and more
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “1917,” the pick today is going to be a previous outing by filmmaker Sam Mendes. It’s “American Beauty,” which burst Mendes on to the cinematic scene. This was a huge critical favorite and eventual Best Picture winner at the Academy Awards. Plenty of pundits raved about the movie, including Roger Ebert:
American Beauty is a comedy because we laugh at the absurdity of the hero’s problems. And a tragedy because we can identify with his failure.
Mendes’ latest is tremendous, so prep with his debut today!
OTHER FILMS BEING RELEASED
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves, besides the recommended title in “The Kill Team.”
“Adopt a Highway”
Ethan Hawke is amazing in this small scale character study. As low-key as we’ve ever seen him, it’s truly one of his best turns. The fact that almost no one has seen this flick is a real shame. The Hollywood Reporter loved Hawke in it:
In an ensemble cast of small roles where his character is the only one with a film-length arc, Hawke’s performance quite literally carries the movie.
Box Office: N/A
There’s an excellent chance that Renee Zellweger is close to winning an Academy Award for her performance as Judy Garland here. Best Actress is in her sights and it would be a deserved win, as she inhabits the legend. The movie itself is hit or miss though, as Mark detailed in his Telluride Film Festival review:
“Judy” is not short on problematic moments and is at times overly melodramatic. The flashbacks play like a broken record that skip and repeat up until the penultimate scene. This made for a sometimes choppy, sometimes brilliant movie.
Give it a look to see what all the fuss is about.
Box Office: $23,979,662
A clever crime dramedy, this independent feature provides some really nice roles for the quartet of Jeffrey Donovan, Maika Monroe, Kyra Sedgwick, and Bill Skarsgård. Constantly able to mess with your expectations, it’s quite well done. The Wrap had this to say about it:
Violence breaks out, mind games are played, and it’s all so adorably eccentric that you don’t ever want it to stop.
Box Office: N/A
“Medabots: Complete First Season”