This week, one of the best films of the year, “A Ghost Story,” comes to Blu-Ray and DVD. There are other titles hitting shelves today, but that one clearly stands tall. With that said, let’s talk about it!
PICK OF THE WEEK
“A Ghost Story”
This second collaboration between Casey Affleck, David Lowery, and Rooney Mara is a near masterpiece. Equal parts heartbreaking, hypnotic, and mysterious, it’s something very special. The film is not just about the melancholy of mourning, but also about the nature of loss and time itself–my eyes are tearing up just thinking about it. There’s a moment in this one that’s among the saddest things I’ve seen onscreen in a very long time. The film isn’t easy to explain, but it’s impossible to forget. “A Ghost Story” is quite literally haunting. This take from NPR sums it up well:
A meditation on loss but also on legacy – on our enduring need to endure.
“A Ghost Story” (read our review here) is a special experience. Additionally, if you haven’t seen it, know that it’s nothing like you’d expect. Furthermore, it’s one of 2017’s best. Don’t miss it!
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, and more
Total Box Office: $1,596,371 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of both “Blade Runner 2049” and “The Florida Project,” the pick today is going to be a two-for-one deal. For the former, I’m going with a previous Ryan Gosling turn. It’s “Half Nelson,” the film that got him his first Academy Award nomination. It remains his best performance to date, a masterclass of acting. USA Today raved at the time, writing:
A compelling drama that establishes Ryan Gosling as one of the finest actors of his generation.
As for the latter, the pick is Sean Baker‘s prior film, “Starlet,” which helped put Baker on the map and led to his breakthrough “Tangerine.” This is another character study, one with a surprise you won’t see coming. Roger Ebert was a fan, putting forward the following:
The film itself deserves praise for its portraits of these two women and the different worlds they inhabit.
“Blade Runner 2049” lives up to the hype and actually improves on the original. “The Florida Project” is one of the year’s best. Both are must sees, so check them out this weekend and whet your appetite with these recommendations first!
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, beside the highly recommended “A Ghost Story”:
“The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography”
A documentary centered on photography is about as old school as it gets. This one has been a critical favorite, with more than a few raves. One very positive take came from RogerEbert.com, which stated:
A fine-grained (no photography pun intended) look at the way that the development of an artist’s style is usually intertwined with the technology and materials that she chooses to embrace.
Doc fans might find this one compelling.
Box Office: $125,227
“The Book of Henry”
This disastrous film is part of the reason why Colin Trevorrow is no longer making the next “Star Wars” movie. The reception to this one was positively poisonous. The flick wasted talent and puzzled pundits. Entertainment Weekly had a creative way of smacking it down, writing:
Sometimes a movie comes along to remind us that Hollywood hasn’t run out of ideas – even if they’re crass, baffling, and ludicrous ones.
A morbid curiosity, perhaps?
Box Office: $4,288,104
No, not “Darkest Hour.” This biopic got to Winston Churchill first, though with lesser results. Brian Cox is up to the task, while the production lets him down. The Hollywood Reporter sums it up like so:
Cox aside, this pedestrian drama is hobbled by too many monodimensional characters and too much overly explanatory dialogue that feels like a dry high school history lesson.
Make what you will of this one.
Box Office: $1,281,258
“City of Ghosts”
A really well regarded documentary, this could be an Academy Award contender. It will at least be in the hunt for Best Documentary Feature. Our own take here on the site explains what makes it so compelling:
Two years after examining the violence of the Mexican drug trade in “Cartel Land,” Matthew Heineman is back with another bracingly intimate account of an ongoing state of terror.
As a potential Oscar nominee, this one is worth looking for. After “A Ghost Story,” this is the title to grab today.
Box Office: $128,015
“Goon: Last of the Enforcers”
Making a sequel to a cult film is a risky proposition. Sometimes it pays off with something that builds on the original and connects fans. Other times, it turns out to be a misfire. This one falls somewhere in between. Variety was let down by the final product, writing:
“Goon” was a keeper. The perhaps prophetically named “Last” isn’t exactly 101 minutes in the penalty box, but it’s a disappointing throwaway.
Fans of the first one will dig it.
Box Office: N/A
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”
Another franchise that refuses to roll over and die. The “Pirates of the Caribbean” series has always been overrated, so the downturn in enthusiasm and quality is to be expected. Johnny Depp can’t even save these anymore. Rolling Stone panned the latest sequel, writing the following:
Is this really only the fifth entry in the Pirates film franchise? It feels like the 50th. Except for Javier Bardem, who brings a dollop of fresh mischief to this paycheck party, Dead Men has all the flavor of rotting leftovers.
Box Office: $172,558,876
Special Criterion Collection Section
The only Criterion release today is this Danish pseudo horror film. This is what the Collection has to say about it, aside from calling it nearly unclassifiable. Keep in mind, that’s a compliment:
With “Vampyr,” Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer channeled his genius for creating mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, unsettling imagery into the horror genre.
Give it a shot! This could pair very well with “A Ghost Story.”
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