This week, Danny Boyle returns to the “Trainspotting” universe as the highlight of the Blu-Ray/DVD slate. Furthermore, it’s the best regarded title hitting shelves today, which isn’t saying too much. The week overall is fair. Nothing more, nothing less. It is what it is. Anyway, let us dive in!
PICK OF THE WEEK
Trendy 90’s indie movies don’t usually spawn decades later sequels. “Trainspotting,” however, was a unique film. As such, “T2: Trainspotting” never felt unnecessary. In fact, it made perfect sense. Would less time having passed between films have mattered? Would it have been an improvement? Possibly, but this sequel from Danny Boyle and company still works. Rolling Stone had similar concerns about the project, which were addressed in their overall positive review:
The passing of two decades can take the piss out of these era-defining Nineties rebels. Still, there’s a hard-won wisdom at work here, as well as an aching sense of loss.
“Trainspotting” is a classic. “T2: Trainspotting” won’t be, but it’s still worth checking out. Additionally, it features strong work from the original cast, notably Ewan McGregor.
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, and more
Total Box Office: $2,402,004
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Baby Driver” (our review can be found here), the pick today is pretty obvious. It’s “Drive,” the modern art house action classic. We’ve raved about that movie for years now, so all that’s necessary is a small reminder of how great it is. From the direction by Nicolas Winding Refn to Ryan Gosling‘s performance. It all works iconically. This is some of what we wrote here on the site back when it hit theaters:
Many of the best characters in movie history lived (and sometimes died) by a code. The idea of the character driven by a moral standing is an old one in Hollywood, but one that maybe hasn’t received the attention of late that it deserves. Director Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling have changed that with the incredible film that is ‘Drive’.
If you’re not opting for a second helping of “Transpotting,” maybe this is the way to go? Plus, “Drive” is perfect for any occasion. In addition to that, it’s a great pairing with “Baby Driver”.
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides “T2: Trainspotting”:
A barely released satire from Terry Jones, this film apparently is a waste of its talent. Variety sure thought so, writing:
Decades in the making, Monty Python vet Terry Jones’ lame sci-fi satire squanders the contributions of top comic talents – including the late Robin Williams.
Sounds like a misfire.
Box Office: N/A
“The Autopsy of Jane Doe”
What initially seems to just be a ghost story turns out to be a lot more in this unique genre tale. With a compelling lead pairing of Brian Cox and Emilie Hirsch, this slow burn of a film flew under the radar as one of the better reviewed recent horror flicks. Additionally, it’s always nice to see Hirsch get a solid role to dig into. The Wrap agreed in their review, putting forth the following:
A cut above most horror flicks, especially the jump-scare-heavy fare that tends to be dumped into multiplexes this time of year.
If you’re looking for a second option this week, you might want to consider this one.
Box Office: N/A
“The Belko Experiment”
Something between torture porn and satire, this hybrid divided critics in a big way. Some loved it. Others despised it. One of the more positive takes came from The A.V. Club, which wrote:
You may think of Dilbert one minute, the Nuremberg defense the next. No, really.
If you think you’d like this one, you probably will.
Box Office: $10,166,820
This little film has a strong little pocket of support out there. One such booster is found at NPR, which spoke of the movie in the following way:
Berlin Syndrome might look on the surface like a polished B-movie, a crafty and violent tale of a woman in captivity; but it’s also the rare psychological thriller that feels not just taut and gripping, but genuinely exploratory.
Give it a shot if that compels you.
Box Office: $28,660
This remake of the television show wanted to be “21 Jump Street” in the worst way but utterly failed. Entertainment Weekly went easy on it when it wrote the following:
While CHIPS sure is goofy, it falls flat compared to other buddy-cop comedies in its genre, relying too heavily on unpleasant sex jokes (often revolving around gay panic) and a nonsensical crime plot.
Box Office: $18,600,152
Another big screen adaptation of a TV show (as well as a bit of a reboot), this wannabe blockbuster forgot its roots. That was a fatal flaw, according to indieWIRE:
A mega-budget reboot that’s embarrassed of the TV show it’s bringing to the big screen.
What a shame. This could have been a bit of fun, but it wasn’t to be. Alas.
Box Office: $85,364,450
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog”
First up among new Criterion entires this week is an Alfred Hitchcock title that you may not be familiar with. Let the good folks at the Collection illuminate you:
With his third feature film, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, Alfred Hitchcock took a major step toward greatness and made what he would come to consider his true directorial debut.
If you dig Hitchcock, give it a shot!
The other release getting the Criterion treatment today is this genre classic from Sam Peckinpah. The Collection has this to say about it:
Working outside the U.S. for the first time, the filmmaker airlifts the ruthlessness of the western frontier into Cornwall in Straw Dogs
Peckinpah fans should grab this one. In addition, genre fans overall should treat themselves.
“It’s About Time: The Complete Series”
“The Jamie Foxx Show: The Complete Second Season”
“Prison Break: The Complete Series”
“Prison Break: The Event Series”
“The Strain: The Complete Third Season”