This week, an heroic dog and his human companion may bring you to tears in the highlighted Blu-Ray/DVD title. That’s of course the under-seen “Megan Leavey,” and luckily it’s not the only quality film hitting shelves today. It’s one of the better slates in a bit, so that’s something to celebrate. In addition, as an added bonus for some of you, one of 2017’s very worst movies is being released as well. Time to dive in!
PICK OF THE WEEK
Kate Mara gives the performance of her career so far in this coming of age military/animal drama. This movie really sneaks up on you, with a third act that really hammers the emotions home. In addition, it’s the best dog film in years. Under the radar, this is one of 2017’s best so far. Rolling Stone was fond of it, writing up the following take:
Kate Mara is raw and riveting in the title role, a marine who ends up in combat in Iraq with a bomb-sniffing German shepherd. It’s a true story that earns your tears.
If you enjoy animal centric films that threaten to make you cry, “Megan Leavey” is right up your alley. Plus, it’s just a quality flick.
Special Features: Featurette
Total Box Office: $13,179,238 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet
One of 2017’s strangest movies is this French body horror tale. Mixing highbrow and lowbrow in a rather unique way, it won’t be for everyone. The gore doesn’t come too early, but once it hits, it’s pretty intense. Additionally, the film is very arty, so mainstream horror fans likely won’t be into it. Your mileage may vary with “Raw“. Rolling Stone fell in love with this one too, with a rave such as this:
In terms of the female-body politic, it’s an art-horror dirty bomb.
Body horror fans will get a kick out of it. If you’re one of them, pick it up!
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $514,870
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “It,” the pick today is the best Stephen King cinematic adaptation to date. It’s “The Shawshank Redemption,” arguably the greatest film of all time. Though not one of King’s horror outings, it’s a perfect movie. Everything about it works. Gene Siskel once summed up this masterpiece perfectly with one short sentence:
Simply marvelous entertainment.
“It” reviews should be hitting tomorrow, but all this week, celebrate with King works. “The Shawshank Redemption” just happens to be the best of the bunch. Additionally, you just can’t go wrong with this one!
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended duo of “Megan Leavey” and “Raw”:
“All Eyez on Me”
This biopic of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur had hoped to capitalize on the success of “Straight Outta Compton” a few years ago. That wasn’t the case though, and reviews were fairly poor. Time Out was unimpressed:
This Wikipedia-page biopic races through the rapper’s Major Life Events without ever getting to grips with the real questions.
Seems like one for fans only.
Box Office: $44,922,302
Zoe Lister-Jones makes her directorial debut with this musically tinged dramedy. Lister-Jones stars and charms her way to a nice little independent success. The box office didn’t match the affectionate reviews. The Hollywood Reporter dug it:
An exuberantly low-key charmer that uses a light, wry touch to tackle such weighty matters as artistic drive and inertia and the male-female divide, while offering new fuel for drummer jokes.
This could be another option to consider this week. After “Megan Leavey” and “Raw,” it’s probably the best bet!
Box Office: $248,370
Another week, another throwaway Bruce Willis action flick. This one happens to be one of his more forgettable ones, which is saying something. Something of this sort seems to hit once a month at this point. Alas. Variety dismissed it thusly:
Bruce Willis goes bad in a movie that could hardly be mistaken for good, playing a corrupt police chief mixed up in a bank robbery.
Box Office: N/A
“The Last Face”
Few films have gotten savaged like this Sean Penn directing endeavor got savaged at the Cannes Film Festival. Seriously. Look them up. You’ll be stunned that this actually got made, and by a talented A-lister, filled with stars, no less. The Wrap panned it thoroughly, writing:
Rarely has a movie felt so simultaneously inane, stultifying and offensive.
There’s almost a morbid curiosity about this one. Plus, train wrecks are fun. Still, resist the urge.
Box Office: N/A
A drama about the Los Angeles car culture? That’s different at least. Reviews for this one were decent enough, though the Los Angeles Times was ultimately underwhelmed by the final product:
It’s dispiriting to watch “Lowriders” make every predictable move. It clutters an otherwise well-meaning snapshot of a vibrant community underserved by mainstream filmmaking.
Sounds like a bit of a disappointment.
Box Office: $6,179,955
“Paris Can Wait”
This romantic dramedy paired Alec Baldwin and Diane Lane together, though the food depicted was the real star. The New York Times, for one, wanted more on their plate from this cinematic meal:
Little more than an indulgent wallow in gustatory privilege. By the time the final meal is devoured, you’ll be wanting nothing so much as an antacid.
Food porn it is, but a satisfying film, it is not.
Box Office: $5,610,712 (and counting)
Raunchy comedies are almost always male centric. So, whenever one comes out and focuses on the ladies, there’s hope for something special. Plus, it had Scarlett Johansson and Kate McKinnon leading the cast. Alas, this wasn’t the case. Rolling Stone shrugged when it came to this one:
The women in Rough Night are terrific company. They never wear out their welcome. Too bad you can’t say the same for the movie.
Box Office: $22,092,592 (and counting)
“The Wedding Plan”
Back at the Tribeca Film Festival, this foreign dramedy continued its mostly successful festival run, though not everyone was thrilled by it. Here’s a bit from our mixed festival review at the time:
There’s a decent amount to like here with “The Wedding Plan,” but just shy of enough to warrant a recommendation.
Make of that what you will.
Box Office: $1,412,404
Special Criterion Collection Section
The only release getting the Criterion treatment today is this absolute classic from Alfred Hitchcock. Additionally, this one stands out from the pack for the master filmmaker in a very special way. The Collection goes into a bit of detail here:
Romance becomes psychodrama in the elegantly crafted Rebecca, Alfred Hitchcock’s first foray into Hollywood filmmaking.
Give it a look. Plus, Hitchcock fans can add a Criterion title to their collection!
“Criminal Minds: Season 12”
“Doctor Who: Series Ten, Part Two”
“The Flash: The Complete Third Season”
“Hawaii Five-O (2010): The Seventh Season”
“Just Shoot Me: The Complete Series”
“Kevin Can Wait: Season One”
“Narcos: Season 2”
“Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In: The Complete First Season”
“South Park: The Complete Twentieth Season”
“Supernatural: The Complete Twelfth Season”