This week, a treasure trove of Oscar-nominated films come to Blu-ray and DVD. Quality trumps quantity on a day like this, but you’ll never hear complaints about that. As such, let us dive right in and see what’s hitting shelves!
PICK OF THE WEEK
“Manchester by the Sea”
One of 2016’s most emotional endeavors, Kenneth Lonergan‘s third directorial outing just might be his best. One of the more top heavy Oscar nominees this time around, it deserved every single citation. Casey Affleck is especially wonderful, giving the performance of the year as damaged Lee Chandler. It’s just heartbreaking. Out of the Telluride Film Festival, our own Mark Johnson praised it quite a bit in his review, stating:
Lonergan’s tale is devastating and heavy, and is full of emotionally rich performances from Affleck, Michelle Williams – who plays Lee’s ex-wife – and newcomer Hedges.
We also had Clayton chime in during the New York Film Festival with a review, writing:
One thing that no one can deny about Lonergan’s abilities as a director is in the way he chooses to direct his actors. He gets them to believe every ounce of the word that is spoken.
This is one of 2016’s crowning achievements, and Oscar agreed. Make sure you pick it up!
Special Features: Deleted Scenes and more
Total Box Office: $46,122,115 (and counting)
Major Awards: Won Best Actor (Drama) for Casey Affleck at the Golden Globes, and nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture
In honor of this week’s release of “Get Out,” the citation will be a fellow horror film with social commentary galore. It’s “Hostel,” which you might not immediately see as having much below the surface. In reality though, it’s essentially a retelling of the Pleasure Island aspect of “Pinocchio,” though much gorier. Eli Roth knows how to make a fright flick, as this take in Entertainment Weekly states:
Roth, by presenting his characters as victims of the same world of flesh-for-fantasy they were grooving on in the first place, digs deep into the nightmare of a society ruled by the profit of illicit desire.
Look for a review of “Get Out” in a few days!
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides “Manchester by the Sea”:
“Bad Santa 2”
This sequel to “Bad Santa” probably came along a little too late in the game to make the same mark as the first one. The results were rather disappointing, as Rolling Stone pointed out in their review:
We have long hoped that there might one day be a sequel. We need to be careful what we wish for.
What a shame.
Box Office: $17,782,178
The latest Mel Gibson comeback seems complete now that his war film has been embraced by the Academy in such a hearty way. Oscar-nominated in Best Picture, among other places, it looks and often feels like something Oscar would fall over themselves to love. Not everyone dug the overt nature of the message within, but many were able to overlook it. Clayton had this to say in his review of the film:
While far from perfect, with a script that is as heavy-handed as anything you’d see in Sunday school church, Gibson ultimately extracts the human spirit and the fortitude that people are capable of.
Provided that subtlety is not a prerequisite for you, this is a nominee to make sure you see before the ceremony this weekend.
Box Office: $66,723,703 (and counting)
Tom Ford‘s sophomore feature wound up being a bit more divisive than one would have expected. Oscar didn’t shut out this noir, but the last minute precursor surge didn’t lead to a full embracement. Those who love it, love it a great deal. Clayton was one of those big fans, writing the following in his review:
It’s a slick and sexy endeavor, assembling veteran craftsmen from all over the industry.
Without question, it’s worth watching. Just temper your expectations.
Box Office: $10,663,357
Special Criterion Collection Section
This classic melodrama joins the collection today. Time Out had this to say about the movie at one point:
The film is a chilling demonstration of the fact that, in a patriarchal society, when a woman steps outside the home the end result may be disastrous.
Especially if you enjoy the HBO remake, definitely check out this original version.
“Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”
A classic Pedro Almodóvar film also gets the Criterion treatment. The New York Times was a fan, writing:
In ‘Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,’ Mr. Almodóvar sets out to charm rather than shock. That he succeeds should not come as a surprise.
If you love Almodóvar, this is one to certainly pick up.
“Doctor Who: The Return of Doctor Mysterio”
“Grace and Frankie: The Complete Second Season”
“Lou Grant: The Complete Fourth Season”
“Nashville: The Complete Fourth Season”