This week, Amy Schumer heads out on vacation in the top pick coming to Blu-Ray/DVD. She’s doing what many wish they could in early August. Frankly, with some of the other offerings hitting shelves today, you’d be smart to get out of dodge. The slate isn’t anything to write home about. As always though, folks, we press on.
PICK OF THE WEEK
Amy Schumer goes the action comedy route for her follow-up to the wild success of “Trainwreck.” The result is far less successful, but the film is funny. As such, it warrants a recommendation. Furthermore, Schumer has Goldie Hawn along for the ride. Their chemistry is a real plus. Here’s a bit from our review on the site:
There’s always an internal debate to be had with a comedy like “Snatched.” On the one hand, if a film seeks to make you laugh and actually makes you laugh, it’s successful. On the other hand, however, what if you’re often laughing in spite of your better judgement? With “Snatched,” both occur in equal measure.
Schumer is a divisive figure, to say the least. Fans of hers will enjoy this. Others likely need not apply. Still, “Snatched” is the best bet this week.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $45,852,178
Major Awards: None yet
This dark drama from Oren Moverman is really meant as an acting showcase. Whenever you place a quartet of talented people around a table, sparks fly. Here we have Steve Coogan, Richard Gere, Rebecca Hall, and Laura Linney dueling over the fate of their children. Rolling Stone summed this one up well in their review:
There are bumps along the way, but Moverman and his top-tier cast (Gere, Coogan, Hall and Linney) take a piece out of you. It’s a gripping psychological thriller with a sting in its tail.
If Schumer isn’t your thing, give this one a shot. “The Dinner” doesn’t stick the landing, but until then, it’s compelling stuff.
Special Features: Audio Commentary
Total Box Office: $1,323,312 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “The Glass Castle,” the pick today is the prior collaboration between filmmaker Destin Daniel Cretton and star Brie Larson. It’s “Short Term 12,” which launched Larson towards her current Oscar winning ways. In addition, it introduced us to Kaitlyn Dever, currently doing strong work in “Detroit.” This is a bit of what we had to say in our initial rave review:
…the real highlight of the picture is the lead performance of Brie Larson, who’s downright awards worthy in the lead role.
Fans of this one should look forward to “The Glass Castle.” In the meantime, revisit it and remember why we all fell for Larson in the first place!
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended duo of “The Dinner” and “Snatched”:
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul”
The latest installment of the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” franchise continues to show that there’s a lack of originality in Hollywood. How these books keep getting adapted is beyond any logic. The Los Angeles Times panned it thusly:
A dirge of unfunny scatological material, techno-anxiety and child endangerment masquerading as familial bonding.
Box Office: $20,722,606 (and counting)
A thriller set during World War II? That sounds like it has a ton of potential. Unfortunately, this one came and pretty much went with very little notice. In addition, it’s one of the rare misses for A24. Solid reviews couldn’t save it, even this one from Variety:
Elegant, well-acted and a good deal sexier than the material might suggest.
Seems like a missed opportunity on the part of A24.
Box Office: $690,455 (and counting)
“King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”
Did we really need an origin story for King Arthur? Furthermore, was Guy Ritchie the filmmaker to do it? Studio heads thought yes, though audiences felt otherwise. One of the year’s bigger flops, it proves that not everything needs to be endlessly recycled. Salon had a review that placed it alongside numerous other large-scale bombs:
To that hallowed list of great expensive follies – “John Carter,” “Ishtar,” “Heaven’s Gate” – let us ceremonially add another name: “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.”
Box Office: $39,175,066
This drama features Michael Shannon at his most intense, which is saying something. The plot gets too ridiculous to work, but Shannon pulls his weight. For a while though, this is an interesting little flick, cliches aside. The Hollywood Reporter has a take that explains how it’s just too flawed to succeed:
Excellent performances from Michael Shannon, Carla Gugino and young newcomer Taylor John Smith aren’t enough to offset the narrative clichés of Bart Freundlich’s drama about a high school basketball star struggling with family dysfunction.
If you see it, see it for Shannon.
Box Office: N/A
Special Criterion Collection Section
“The Breaking Point”
Our only release getting the Criterion treatment today is this Michael Curtiz film, which happens to be an early remake. See, it wasn’t always hacks revisiting previously filmed material. The Collection has this to say about it:
Michael Curtiz brings a master skipper’s hand to the helm of this thriller, Hollywood’s second crack at Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not.
Be sure to give this one a look!
“Blindspot: The Complete Second Season”