This week, some large friendly Disney characters hit Blu-ray/DVD, along with a rather dastardly blind man. It all makes for an eclectic crop of titles hitting shelves today. Last week offered some great gift ideas in advance of Black Friday, like “Hell or High Water,” for example. This time around, there’s some potential as well. The top pick is a bit of a niche item, but it’s one that genre fans will dig on. Yes, the PICK OF THE WEEK is a horror title, and a fairly intense one at that. Furthermore, it’s likely the start of a franchise. You’ll see more shortly, but first, a Vintage pick to start things off!
In honor of this week’s release of “Jackie” (which is just magnificent), there’s an obvious pick to be made. It’s “Black Swan,” which teamed up Natalie Portman with Darren Aronofsky. Portman stars in this new one for Pablo Larrain. Aronofsky just produces, but his impact is felt. Just look at this initial pairing, which won her an Oscar. Roger Ebert had this to say in his review at the time:
Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Black Swan’ is a full-bore melodrama, told with passionate intensity, gloriously and darkly absurd.
Aronofsky’s flick is a modern horror classic, while “Jackie” is one of the best films of 2016. Make it your business to watch both this week!
Other Films Being Released
With only one thing to honor today, here now is just a simple list of what else is hitting shelves:
“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie”
This big screen adaptation of the small screen comedy came years too late. Reviews were pretty decent though. Variety had this to say:
It’s not great cinema, or even peak ‘Fabulous,’ but for a post-Brexit Britain in dire need of some cheering up, it more than does the job.
If you were a fan of the show, pick it up and enjoy.
Box Office: $4,761,241
A rare bomb for Steven Spielberg. This fantasy adaptation of a classic kid’s book just didn’t connect with audiences. Maybe friendly giants are too retro? Whatever the case, it simply was ignored by many. Alan French here at Awards Circuit was quite impressed with it, however. He wrote a rave review which concluded as such:
With ‘The BFG’ Spielberg reminds us that the pursuit of dreams will come with heartache, laughter, and truly marvelous adventures.
Make of this Big Friendly Giant what you will.
Box Office: $55,483,770
Actress Clea Duvall made her directorial debut with this ensemble indie. Pundits were kind to it, including one from Entertainment Weekly, which gave it a passing grade and stated the following:
The script wobbles between heavy-handed and touching, but the result is a pleasantly nostalgic throwback that’s saved from its copy-cat tendencies by charismatic actors.
For fans of Duvall or ensemble flicks, it’s a must-see.
Box Office: $32,919
Disney has had good luck with their remakes, and the streak continues here with “Pete’s Dragon.” Furthermore, it seemed to be a throwback in all the right ways. Our own Joseph Braverman had a positive take on it here, writing:
David Lowery has crafted a truly heartwarming children’s adventure with Disney’s latest iteration of ‘Pete’s Dragon.’ While it lacks ‘The Jungle Book’s’ visual innovation from earlier this year, it’s impossible to deny how refreshing it is to watch a tentpole summer movie that simplifies conflict to core human values rather than incredulous global stakes.
Sounds like a solid second option this week, after the top pick.
Box Office: $76,040,941 (and counting)
“Death Parade: The Complete Series”
“Doctor Who: Monsters Collection”
“House of Lies: The Final Season”
“Martin: Seasons 1-5”
“’Til Death: The Complete First Season”
PICK OF THE WEEK
A horror outing that features a less than friendly blind man terrorizing those who break into his house. The premise of “Don’t Breathe” is really solid, with the execution just as good. Notably, Stephen Lang goes all in with his villainous turn. In addition, the attention to detail is easy to praise. Here’s a bit from the review we posted on the site back in the summer:
Two feature length horror outings in, director Fede Alvarez is establishing himself as a genre filmmaker to watch out for. Now, both his ‘Evil Dead’ remake as well as this movie, the home invasion fright flick ‘Don’t Breathe,’ are flawed to one degree or another, but he has quite a feel for how to torture his audiences in a good way. While I don’t agree with the praise calling it the best horror film of the last 20 years, it’s certainly one of the better ones of 2016 so far, at least.
“Don’t Breathe” is the best option this week, so pick it up and feel the tension!
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $89,071,222 (and counting)
Major Award: None yet