This week, a recently freed from Harvey Weinstein “Wind River” leads the charge of Blu-Ray and DVD releases, hoping to score for Jeremy Renner. Plus, here’s also a ton of documentaries hitting shelves, as well as a must own Criterion release. With so much to talk about, let us get started ASAP!
PICK OF THE WEEK
Jeremy Renner probably saw his Best Actor chances evaporate due to everything surrounding The Weinstein Company, but that takes nothing away from this terrific film. Taylor Sheridan‘s directorial debut is engrossing and as well written as his previous gems “Sicario” and “Hell or High Water“. Without question though, the standout is Renner, who has rarely been better. Intense, soulful, and three dimensional, it’s among the best turns of the year so far. Clayton loved his work too, feting it in his review:
One of the luring points to Sheridan’s mysterious tale is the impeccable and moving work of Jeremy Renner, who delivers his finest performance since “The Town.” Skillfully executed, Renner’s bitter and mournful turn stands firmly as one of the best delivered in 2017.
“Wind River” is another strong Sheridan script, though Renner is really what puts this above and beyond. If you’re a fan of his, it’s a treat to watch. Renner is best in show, but everything about this movie works. Plus, if you’re worried about giving money to TWC, fear not. Sheridan had the company’s name and affiliation removed, and profits are instead going to a charity for woman who have been abused. So, perhaps that will be another selling point to you as well.
Special Features: Deleted Scenes
Total Box Office: $33,752,102 (and counting)
Major Awards: Un Certain Regard – Best Director for Taylor Sheridan at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival
One of 2017’s best action movies is this kick ass Charlize Theron joint. She does some tremendous stunts in the service of a stylized spy flick. High art, this Cold War set spy flick is not, but it really works. If well choreographed violence is your thing, this is really effectively done. Time Out sums it up well:
While it’s not a perfect female-centric spy thriller (let’s keep trying), Atomic Blonde winks to the future with exciting possibilities.
“Atomic Blonde” is a showcase for Theron in much the same way that “Wind River” is one for Renner. In addition, this allows her a chance to continue the impressive work she did in “Mad Max: Fury Road”. Give it a shot!
Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted/Extended Scenes, and more
Total Box Office: $51,573,925
Major Awards: None yet
In honor of this week’s release of “Justice League,” the pick today is going to be obvious. Yes, it’s “The Avengers,” which is the reason that this upcoming film exists (as a bonus, it also stars Renner). Marvel’s first team up showed that cinematic world building could work. Furthermore, it spawned a whole new way of doing business in the industry. Here’s a bit of what we said about it back in our review at the time:
Rarely does an action film work as well as ‘The Avengers’ does.
We’ll have our thoughts on “Justice League” revealed soon enough, so in the meantime, pop in the one that started it all!
Other Films Being Released
Here’s a look at what else is hitting shelves today, besides the recommended duo of Theron’s “Atomic Blonde” and Renner’s “Wind River”:
“All These Sleepless Nights”
A documentary that seems to have fallen through the cracks, it’s still one that had its fans. Mainly, it has been in the critical community, with one such fan being found over at indieWIRE. Their review made an interesting comparison:
Michal Marczak’s unclassifiable wonder is the movie that Terrence Malick was trying to manufacture with Song to Song.
Perhaps one to seek out?
Box Office: $20,762
“Amityville: The Awakening”
For some reason, this horror flick played for free on a television VOD service before a very brief theatrical run. That odd decision helps to explain why yours truly has more in his checking account than this title grossed at the box office. Long delayed in the first place, it was panned by critics, including this take from The AV Club:
The script is just as lazy as the acting, leaning on a fitfully applied, Scream-esque meta subplot to justify why the hell we’re all here in the first place.
Box Office: $742
This foreign language flick from Brazil was rather beloved last year. Much of the praise surrounded leading lady Sonia Braga, but some reviews went all in on the film itself. One such take was from the Los Angeles Times, which wrote the following:
A film with an almost Proustian understanding of how a favorite song – or, for that matter, a sacred space or a cherished piece of furniture – can become a repository of personal meaning.
Give it a shot if that sounds good to you.
Box Office: $285,930
One of the better-received films at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival was this comedy/dramedy hybrid. Kyle Mooney was praised for his project, even if much of the positivity was couched by qualifiers. Here’s what the New York Times had to say:
Mostly it’s a sweet and sometimes delightful melancholic story of a lonely man saved by imagination and love.
Make of it what you will.
Box Office: $532,669
This documentary, about a handful of free-roaming cats in Istanbul, will delight feline lovers. In addition, so far, it’s also proving to be a Best Documentary Feature contender. The Hollywood Reporter was tickled by the project, writing up the following take on it:
A collective portrait that’s as elegant as its light-footed subjects, it’s guaranteed to soothe a weary mind, and just might lower blood pressure too.
If you love cats, this is a perfect doc to pick up!
Box Office: $2,833,336
More so than ever before, we seem to be getting a lot of B movie outings with really great casts. They can be fun, but often they’re a little sad to witness. After all, in this case, why wasn’t Michael Douglas (a supporting player) able to shoot something a little more prestigious? Anyway, Variety had this to say:
Michael Apted’s efficient but unstylish film has only a prestigious cast of supporting slummers – Michael Douglas, Toni Collette, John Malkovich – to distinguish it from a “Spooks”-style TV outing.
This week, you can do better, but you can also do worse. If you like this sort of thing, pick it up and enjoy!
Box Office: N/A
“Wasted: The Story of Food Waste”
Here’s another documentary, this one the latest in a runabout food in modern society. The doc is advocating for change, something that the Village Voice hits on in their review. Here is a taste (no pun intended) of what they had to say on the matter:
As with many recent environmental documentaries, the filmmakers’ call to action is simple and upbeat: This isn’t so hard, people, we can do it if we try!
Could this be for you? That’s up to you, my friends.
Box Office: $33,211 (and counting)
Guess what? Another doc! This one looks at the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight for justice going on right now in the United States. We had our own review here at the site that went into great detail about the film. This is just a small sample of what was delved into about a very important and far from the simple topic:
“Whose Streets?” charges right to the front lines of a civil uprising.
It’s one of many non fiction options this week vying for your attention, so choose wisely!
Box Office: $182,799
Special Criterion Collection Section
The first release getting the Criterion treatment today is a landmark independent film. Notable in part for it being about women, made by women, had it stand out from the pack in the 1980’s. The Collection has this to say about it:
Donna Deitch’s swooning and sensual first narrative feature, Desert Hearts, was groundbreaking upon its release in 1985: a love story about two women, made entirely independently, on a shoestring budget, by a woman.
Definitely, one to pick up!
The other title joining the Collection this week is an absolute classic. Full disclosure, it’s this writer’s all-time favorite foreign language film. Alain Delon‘s turn as a hitman with a samurai like instincts is completely iconic. Let Criterion help to sell you on it:
An elegantly stylized masterpiece of cool by maverick director Jean‑Pierre Melville, Le samouraï is a razor-sharp cocktail of 1940s American gangster cinema and 1960s French pop culture—with a liberal dose of Japanese lone-warrior mythology.
It’s a must own!
“24: Legacy – Season One”
“Doctor Who: The Complete Tenth Series”
“Preacher: Season 2”
“Simon & Simon: Season 7”
“The Wayans Bros.: The Complete Third Season”