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New Blu-ray/DVD Releases (01/03/17) – 2017 Begins

This week, we begin 2017 with a pretty small slate of titles coming to Blu-ray/DVD. Honestly, the best bet is actually a television release, namely the box set of HBO’s “The Newsroom.” That being said, the new year won’t begin with a TV pick, so fear not. The top pick today is actually a solid little flick. The week just suffers because of a high-profile disappointment. Anyway, the PICK OF THE WEEK could have been an awards contender in other years, it just wasn’t meant to be in 2016. You’ll see the movie in question shortly, but before that…the first Vintage pick of 2017!

Vintage Viewing

In honor of this week’s release of “Between Us” (which was one of the highlights of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival), the pick is going to be thematically similar. It’s “Take This Waltz,” an absolutely devastating drama. Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams are heartbreaking in Sarah Polley‘s sophomore feature. Here’s a bit from our review at the time:

Actress-turned-filmmaker Sarah Polley continues to explore love in a very unique way with the romantic drama ‘Take This Waltz,’ a tremendously acted and emotionally wrenching film that’s about much more than initially meets the eye.

These two works have a lot in common. Revisit this one before hopefully giving a shot to “Between Us” this weekend!

Other Films Being Released

With only one thing to honor today, here now is just a simple list of what else is hitting shelves:

Ace The Case: Manhattan Mystery

A kid-friendly mystery that apparently wasn’t especially friendly for kids. The AV Club suggests as much in their review, stating:

Too violent and dark for kids but too juvenile and bland for grown-ups.

Sounds like an easy pass.

Box Office: N/A

Blair Witch

Mostly effective yet mildly disappointing. That sums up this sequel to “The Blair Witch Project.” A few years too late and too indebted to the original, one can only imagine what Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett could have done with an unrelated found footage horror idea. If only they would have actually made “The Woods.” Rolling Stone sums it up well:

Belated “official” sequel to 1999 hit updates technology but repeats the original’s shocks – only much louder and lamer.

You could do worse this week, but you certainly can do better as well.

Box Office: $20,777,061

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

Another film aimed at younger audiences, this comedy was apparently a bit of a misfire. The Wrap said the following:

Throw in some tacked-on anti-standardized-tests speeches and a late-in-the-game reveal about a death in the family, and you’ve got a movie that’s constantly zigging and zagging emotionally without a skilled hand at the wheel.

On to the next one, I suppose.

Box Office: $20,007,149

Operation Avalanche

Low budget found footage got an underseen gem a few years back in “The Dirties.” The minds behind that one return with this conspiracy tale. Variety was a fan of it, writing the following:

‘Operation Avalanche’ demonstrates there’s still plenty of room left within the found-footage format to craft fresh, high-concept projects, regardless of the fact that no one’s falling for their alleged authenticity any longer.

Seems like a solid second choice this week.

Box Office: N/A

TV Releases

“Bones: Season Eleven”
“Girls: The Complete Fifth Season”
“The Librarians: The Complete Second Season”
“Newsroom: The Complete Series” *(Joey’s Pick)*
“Red Skelton Hour in Color: Unreleased Seasons”
“Sleepy Hollow: The Complete Third Season”

PICK OF THE WEEK

Denial

An historical drama that has some very modern parallels, this is the epitome of a solid film. A decade ago, it would have been total Oscar bait. In 2016, it was mostly ignored, and in 2017, it hits Blu-ray and DVD. One character will likely remind you of Donald Trump, though the outcome is quite different. All in all, an easy to appreciate flick. The Hollywood Reporter sums it up pretty well:

A compelling, true courtroom drama touches on the lingering pain of the Holocaust.

In a slightly weak grouping this week to start 2017, “Denial” stands out. Pick it up and you’ll be able to see why.

Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $4,073,489
Major Award: None yet

Thoughts on what to watch this week on Blu-ray or DVD? Share it in the comments below!

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What do you think?

72 points
Film Lover

Written by Joey Magidson

When he’s not obsessing over new Oscar predictions on a weekly basis, Joey is seeing between 300 and 350 movies a year. He views the best in order to properly analyze the awards race/season each year, but he also watches the worst for reasons he mostly sums up as "so you all don't have to". In his spare time, you can usually find him complaining about the Jets or the Mets. Still, he lives and dies by film. Joey's a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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