This week, Robert De Niro returns to the world of comedy decades after “The King of Comedy” with “The Comedian.” That’s just one title hitting Blu-ray and DVD today, so let’s dive right in and see what else is being offered up.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Here’s a film that benefits by no longer being looked at as a potential awards contender. This dramedy features a more engaged than usual Robert De Niro and a strong Leslie Mann, plus De Niro again shares the screen with Harvey Keitel. The movie is imperfect, but has a shaggy charm to it. Plus, you get to hear De Niro tell dirty jokes and sing a song about trouble using the bathroom. Entertainment Weekly actually fell for this one’s odd charms, writing:
They say misery loves company, but if the unseemly characters in Taylor Hackford’s latest feature are any indication, it also breeds comedy.
Keep your expectations in check, but if you long for quality De Niro, this might do the trick. In addition, fans of “The King of Comedy” will enjoy the actor hurling questionable jokes once again.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $1,659,002
Major Awards: None
In honor of this week’s release of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” today’s pick is of course the previous one in the franchise. Yes, it’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” one of Marvel’s most purely enjoyable outings in their cinematic universe. A welcome right turn for the MCU, it was just an absolute riot. At the time, it was a huge risk. Now, it’s a slam dunk hit franchise. In addition, it’s moving things closer and closer to the end of Phase Three for Marvel. Here is Clayton’s rave review from a few summers ago:
‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ is the ultimate summer flick. Something that’s just plain stupid fun for you and the whole family. Geeks will bow, audiences will cheer, and the film will secure itself as a new and enlightened franchise for years to come.
The sequel is solid though not quite as good. Still, to prepare for it, definitely pop this one in!
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended De Niro offering “The Comedian”:
“A Dog’s Purpose”
Take away the controversy and this just seems like a standard animal tearjerker. The AV Club shrugged it off in their review, stating the following:
So what is a dog’s purpose? To provide gentle, forgettable entertainment for moviegoers who lament that “they” don’t make “nice” movies anymore, apparently.
Seems like nothing to make a fuss over. Plus, if you have a dog, why would you subject yourself to this?
Box Office: $64,224,775
One of the smaller titles at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival, this comedic horror/thriller left a lot to be desired. Bloody Disgusting wasn’t impressed, as you can see:
Ultimately, the irony here is that ‘Fear, Inc.’ is about a horror fan wanting to feel something, anything, yet doesn’t offer this courtesy to its viewers.
It’s just not worth your time.
Box Office: N/A
A would-be awards player, this Matthew McConaughey vehicle ultimately came up pretty short. This review from indieWIRE sums things up fairly well:
Directed without distinction by Stephen Gaghan, the film unfolds like a chintzy ripoff of David O. Russell ripping off Martin Scorsese ripping off real life.
A definite disappointment. In addition, it seems to have put a temporary halt to the McConaissance.
Box Office: $7,227,038
“I Am Not Your Negro”
One of last year’s most highly acclaimed documentaries, this very nearly pulled off the Oscar upset. Clayton was very high on this one out of the Middleburg Film Festival, filing a review that included the following:
Narrated by a restrained and unrecognizable Samuel L. Jackson, the film presents a compelling case of history that is still just as relevant and prudent today.
This is another one to definitely check out!
Box Office: $7,033,803 (and counting)
“The Red Turtle”
Many folks consider this to be among 2016’s best animated tales. Variety sure loved it, writing this rave:
A fable so simple, so pure, it feels as if it has existed for hundreds of years, like a brilliant shard of sea glass rendered smooth and elegant through generations of retelling.
Animation fans would do well to pick this one up.
Box Office: $909,588
This horror franchise is now dead on arrival. Furthermore, it probably shouldn’t have been continued in the first place. Rolling Stone panned this one, stating:
If crap movies carried penalties for inflicting torture on audiences, then ‘Rings’ would merit a death sentence.
Ouch. No thanks.
Box Office: $27,793,018
The winner of the Academy Award in Best Foreign Language Feature, this new work by filmmaker Asghar Farhadi was very warmly received. Politics aside, it was a deserving winner. Furthermore, its win tweaked a certain orange man, which is just an added bonus. Our own review out of AFI Fest had this to say:
Asghar Farhadi’s ‘The Salesman’ is another turbulent familial drama that’s among the very best in the auteur’s oeuvre.
Oscar completists will certainly be adding this one to their collection ASAP. Also, it makes a terrific double feature with previous Farhadi winner “A Separation,” for what that’s worth.
Box Office: $2,402,067
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