This week, the dramatic version of the Miracle on the Hudson hits Blu-ray/DVD, along with a few other things of note. The Tom Hanks-starring biopic is obviously today’s big ticket item, to say the least. There are other things hitting shelves, but there’s no comparison. Furthermore, it’s worth stating that “Sully” is just a high quality film on its own, which is a plus. Obviously, that makes the top pick something of a no-brainer. For the PICK OF THE WEEK, it’s Hanks as a hero, with everything else coming up short. You’ll see more on that shortly, though first, it’s Vintage pick time once again!
In honor of this week’s release of “Patriots Day” (which is just terrific), the choice is again clear. Let us revisit a previous collaboration between Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg. It’s “Lone Survivor,” which was until now Berg’s best work. Here’s a bit from our review on the site at the time:
This movie is actually a tear-jerker, and an earned one at that. Yes, Berg is manipulating a bit in adapting former SEAL Marcus Luttrell‘s memoir, but after what you’ve gone through, it just works.
Prep for one by revisiting the other this week!
A tough film to watch, this character study, co-written by David Gordon Green, really puts you right there for some fraternity hazing rituals. It’s pretty dark stuff, though compelling all the same. In addition, it’s unlike most other college movies of late, which is always a plus. Rolling Stone describes it in its review in a rather interesting way:
A fact-based fratboy movie it might be helpful to think of as Animal House minus the laughs.
The film is hard to sit through at times, just know that. If you have the fortitude, give it a look.
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $23,020
Major Awards: None
Other Films Being Released
Here now is just a simple list of what else is hitting shelves today, before we get to Hanks in the Hudson:
Rob Zombie‘s latest horror outing wasn’t well received. That’s par for his course. However, at least one notable critic liked it. Over at Rogerebert.com, this positive take was put forward:
Zombie may not be working outside of his comfort zone, but ’31’ is one of his most impressive films to date.
By and large, Zombie is an imperfect but fascinating filmmaker, so consider this a curiosity. Furthermore, fans of his might want to support this, as it was crowdfunded at the start.
Box Office: $779,820
“The Disappointments Room”
A barely released horror/thriller movie, it has the rare dishonor of having a zero percent on Rotten Tomatoes. A sample review from the Los Angeles Times suggests how bad it is:
This spooky house flick would be better off locked up in the attic and forgotten for good.
Seems like an easy one to pass on.
Box Office: $2,423,468
This sports flick is another religious flick disguised within genre trappings. Variety said as much in their review, writing:
The life and untimely death of Arkansas football player Brandon Burlsworth is turned into a one-note sermon in David Hunt’s leaden biopic.
Box Office: $2,000,093 (and counting)
This is the sort of documentary that serious film fans will discover and flock to eventually. TIME Magazine says as much in their review:
This is a jewel box of a movie for anyone who loves either Hitchcock or Truffaut – or better yet, both.
Future film school students…expect to see this one on a syllabus.
Box Office: $260,430
“The Magnificent Seven”
A disappointing remake, Denzel Washington and company (including Chris Pratt) just go through the motions here. There are moments of small scale fun, that much is fair to say. That being said, mediocrity abounds. The original (or original remake, that is), this is decidedly not. In addition, here’s a bit from our review of the film:
There’s occasional fun to be had, but the cliches come hot and heavy, choking the good times.
That really does sum it up. This should have been better, plain and simple.
Box Office: $93,361,211 (and counting)
Musical docs have been getting a resurgence of late, with this one getting some strong notices. Variety had this to say:
A riotously enjoyable, appropriately deafening flashback to one of the last moments in music history when a bunch of knuckleheads with guitars could conquer the world on chutzpah alone.
Fans of “Oasis” should definitely check this one out.
Box Office: $242,867
“Roseanne for President!”
Another doc, this one probably doesn’t play as fun as it might have before the election. Variety chimed in with this take:
It will likely stoke curiosity among those who followed (or weren’t aware of) Barr’s candidacy, but its flippant approach makes it more of a specialty item for fans than a heavyweight issue doc.
This could be something to check out. Your mileage may vary.
Box Office: $4,734
A second-tier animated film that never really caught on, despite decent numbers at the box office. Time Out sums it up like this:
‘Storks’ isn’t terrible…it’s just too generic for a marketplace that’s often a site of genius.
You can do better.
Box Office: $71,741,218 (and counting)
“Doctor Who: Series Eight, Part Two”
PICK OF THE WEEK
Clint Eastwood and the aforementioned Hanks team up to tell the story of the Miracle on the Hudson. They do so in terrific fashion too. In addition, the centerpiece Hudson landing sequence is amazingly well done. Here’s a bit from our Telluride review:
With “Sully,” Eastwood delivers his best film since 2004’s Best Picture winner, “Million Dollar Baby.” His balance of storytelling between the “miracle” and the NTSB investigation are handled handsomely. The initial emergency landing sequence is expertly done, as we transition back and forth between the cockpit, departure control and the experience of the passengers on board. Hanks is spectacular, as always, playing the character with a genuine mix of vulnerability and fortitude.
This is meat and potatoes Eastwood and Hanks, depicting the Miracle on the Hudson, but that’s a good thing. “Sully” is an easy pick for the week’s best option, so pick it up and enjoy!
Special Features: N/A
Total Box Office: $124,789,011 (and counting)
Major Award: Won a Top Ten Film slot with the National Board of Review