This week, two very different types of films lead the fray hitting Blu-Ray and DVD. One is a classy remake in “The Beguiled,” while the other is a surprise hit from filmmaker Edgar Wright. The both represent very solid options today, so let us dive right in and discuss!
PICK OF THE WEEK
Filmmaker Sofia Coppola shows that all remakes are not inherently terrible with this reimagining of the 1971 Clint Eastwood title. Here, she leans into some very gothic imagery to showcase something very unique. Among early year releases, it’s one of the best, with an outstanding ensemble cast. Clayton fell head over heels in love with this film, raving about it in his rave review thusly:
“The Beguiled” is just about perfect in every cinematic way.
While “The Beguiled” may only be perfect in the eyes of the boss, it’s still a terrific movie well worth your time and money. Pick it up and enjoy!
Special Features: Featurettes
Total Box Office: $10,576,669
Major Awards: Won Best Director for Sofia Coppola at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival
Edgar Wright managed to both reinvent himself and also dig into his roots with this one. “Baby Driver” is less quirky than Wright normally attempts, though it also ends up as a nice antidote to what mainstream action films end up being. It’s fun, no doubt about that, even if it’s somewhat slight. Here’s what we said in our review on the site at the time of release:
Essentially, “Baby Driver” offers up something with the DNA of “Drive” as well as the style of Wright.
If you like Wright’s work, “Baby Driver” will undoubtedly appeal to you. “The Beguiled” is the better film, though both are easy to recommend.
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted and Extended Scenes, Featurettes, and more
Total Box Office: $107,770,367 (and counting)
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene,” the pick today is going to be a fellow film-centric documentary. This time, however, it’s a film critic. Yes, it’s “Life Itself,” the doc biopic of Roger Ebert. The legendary film critic and writer is a giant in the industry, fully deserving of this treatment. This is what Clayton said in his review at the time:
“Life Itself” by director Steve James is an intimate and respectful look into the life of a man who too many people didn’t get the chance to know.
Ebert would have loved this new doc, so revisit his in the meantime!
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended duo of “The Beguiled” and “Baby Driver”:
“Brave New Jersey”
This little comedy has a pretty interesting hook. Furthermore, it should appeal to cinephiles. Plus, it has “Veep” secret weapon Tony Hale in the cast. Yet, no one saw it. Variety found something to like about it though, writing this in their take on the movie:
[An] uneven but ultimately winning comedy …
If you’re curious, give it a shot. It’s not “The Beguiled,” but few things are.
Box Office: $16,544
A rare misfire from Will Ferrell, this comedy was roundly dismissed by audiences and pundits alike. The Los Angeles Times disliked it rather intensely, putting the following in their review:
Instead of writing actual characters, they’ve hired a gaggle of beloved comedians to do bits based on stereotype and persona, and have concocted a cockamamie suburban crime story that manages to be both bizarre and incredibly thin.
Box Office: $25,584,504
The other potential contender this year for Sally Hawkins, this one co-stars Ethan Hawke in another fine turn. Time Out raved about Hawkins’ turn, stating this in their review:
As unassuming and gentle as its subject, Maudie breaks your heart with its infectious positivity and an outstanding Sally Hawkins, who can always be relied on for an emotionally sturdy, big-hearted performance.
Another strong option to consider, in addition to “Baby Driver” and “The Beguiled” this week.
Box Office: $6,152,646 (and counting)
A sword and sandals tale that features an oddly good cast, despite the obviously limited budget. It’s decent enough, though nothing spectacular. Reviews were mixed, and rightly so, though The Wrap had something nice to say:
As a bloody spectacle, the feature steadily builds in novelty and suspense to a queasily rousing final fight. As a meditation on the possible merits of such brutality, however, it’s facile and self-satisfied.
Make of this one what you will. You can do better this week, but you can definitely do worse as well.
Box Office: N/A
“The Poughkeepsie Tapes”
After an incredibly long delay, this found footage horror movie finally sees the light of day. This was originally scheduled for release literally a decade ago. Wow. It had a reputation for being incredibly disturbing, and while that’s accurate, it never adds up to enough. Blu-Ray.com expands on that:
With every revelation that could give the Dowdles something to play with, they head right back into the basement, convinced audiences would rather watch close-ups of throat-slittings and teary yelps of pain.
Morbid curiosity may lead you to this one. Proceed with caution. Additionally, remember that it’s a decade old at this point.
Box Office: N/A
Yet another throwaway fright flick that had little to offer besides a quick little cash grab. It came and went quickly, with almost no fanfare. Entertainment Weekly dismissed it as such:
This is forgettable stuff.
Moving right along.
Box Office: $14,301,001 (and counting)
Special Criterion Collection Section
The first release getting the Criterion treatment today is a rare recent title. It’s a Polish hybrid horror tale that really seems to elude easy description. The Collection tries in this way:
This genre-defying horror-musical mash-up—the bold debut of Polish director Agnieszka Smoczyńska—follows a pair of carnivorous mermaid sisters drawn ashore to explore life on land in an alternate 1980s Poland.
Take a dive on this odd duck!
The other title joining the Collection this week is a doozie. It’s an Orson Welles take on Shakespeare, which is really two juggernauts going head to head. Criterion has this to say about it:
Gloriously cinematic despite its tiny budget, Orson Welles’s Othello is a testament to the filmmaker’s stubborn willingness to pursue his vision to the ends of the earth.
“Othello” is a must have for Welles fans. Furthermore, it represents another strong option after “Baby Driver” and “The Beguiled”!
“Duck Dynasty: The Complete Series”
“Dynasty: The Complete Series”
“Impractical Jokers: The Complete Fifth Season”
“Ip Man: Season 1”
“The Last Kingdom: Season One”
“The Leftovers: The Complete Third Season”
“Reign: The Complete Fourth and Final Season”
“Reign: The Complete Series”
“Sharpe: Season 2”
“Spongebob Squarepants: The Complete Ninth Season”