This week, the last week of 2015 I might add we once again have a pretty small amount of 2015 releases that are hitting Blu-Ray and DVD, though this final week of the year also happens to be one that’s low-ish on quality, in addition to low on quantity. Today is another one of the weaker slates of titles coming to store shelves, but it happens, and with 2016 almost upon us, better groups are ahead, I can assure you of that much. My top pick was easy this week, as it’s the only one in the group that I liked at all. For me, my PICK OF THE WEEK is a bit of an undiscovered gem, so that’s a plus at least. You’ll see what I mean by that in a few moments, but for now, it’s Vintage time again folks!
In honor of this week’s release of Anomalisa (which I absolutely love, as you might have noticed if you frequent my social media accounts), I wanted to cite a previous Charlie Kaufman film. It’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, one of my all time favorite movies. In fact, here is what I wrote when I cited it as sixth greatest ever here at the site a few years back: “Getting at the root of what love is is maybe the hardest task on the planet. We choose to bond ourselves to another person, accepting their flaws as we hope they accept ours. More often than not, this ends in failure, but we’ve all retained memories and longing for the love of the past. Michel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman are tackling the idea that you might be able to get someone out of your head, but getting them out of your heart is perhaps impossible. A sci-fi romance about what happens when Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) decide to heal their broken hearts after a break-up by undergoing a process that erases their memories of each other. The thing is, Joel is doing it in haste after seeing Clementine after the process, and he finds that he’d rather keep the memories, leading to him hiding those remaining bits deep within his brain. The set design is brilliant and imaginative, the cinematography beautiful, and the emotions deeply honest. I’ll confess that it took me a few times to really warm up to this film, but once I did, it’s gotten better and better with each viewing. I respond to it in a way that I only do with a select few other movies. It’s a film that brings me to tears almost every time I watch it.” It remains a masterpiece to this day, and with Kaufman having something new and nearly as brilliant to share this week, it’s a perfect viewing option…
Other Films Being Released
With just one thing to honor today, here now is a simple list of what else is hitting shelves on this particular day, sans my recommendation. Behold:
I didn’t see this crime flick, but what little I heard about it wasn’t particularly inspiring, to say the least. There’s a solid cast in place, but it seems like they were thoroughly left out to dry. That kind of waste is always a bummer, but in low level genre outings like this, it’s perhaps slightly less of a cinematic blunder.
Box Office: $50,136
Hitman: Agent 47
Considering how little I cared about the prior attempt at turning this admittedly fun video game franchise into a movie, I wasn’t in any hurry to give this one another shot. No one seemed to like this one either, so I suspect the film version of the franchise is dead. I have a feeling that no one will mind either. Alas.
Box Office: $22,467,450
A decent enough but mostly unspectacular dramedy that wastes a quality cast and a pretty solid premise. Far more comedy than genre, it really never finds its footing in any notable way, but all things considered, it could be a lot worse. If you need a second option today, you could see some appeal in this…
Box Office: $3,504
The Perfect Guy
Another film that didn’t see, this genre effort appears like a B movie through and through. It made good money, so it caught on with audiences, but I don’t know if the critical word was particularly good. Regardless, this wasn’t designed to appeal to critics, so if you already had an interest in this one, I won’t stop you from checking it out.
Box Office: $57,017,904
A Walk in the Woods
At one point early on in its development, this mid range title (initially found on the Black List, I believe) was going to be a Richard Linklater outing. Of course, it didn’t wind up that way in terms of a director, but with Nick Nolte and Robert Redford in the cast (the latter helping to shepherd it to the most recent Sundance Film Festival), it still seemed really interesting. I actually missed it during its surprisingly successful theatrical run, but I’ll be getting to it before the year is out, in all likelihood. If you’re in that same boat, this week is a solid opportunity to give it a look. It probably won’t blow you away, but it seems like something you won’t regret checking out…
Box Office: $29,499,394 (and counting)
Ray Donovan: Season Three
Rome: The Complete First Season
Rome: The Complete Second Season
Shameless: The Complete Fifth Season
The Sopranos: The Complete Series
PICK OF THE WEEK
This horror western hybrid seemed to really sneak up on people, myself included. In fact, more folks know about one of the more brutal kills in the film than anything else. Destined probably to be the “other” Kurt Russell with a fantastic mustache film of 2015, this is still really compelling and worthy of its own acclaim. The supporting cast, specifically including Richard Jenkins, is quite good, while filmmaker S. Craig Zahler establishes himself as someone very much worth watching out for. It’s not for the weak stomached, but if you don’t mind some gore (there’s cannibals, just saying), this is easily the best bet this week. It’s probably a cult classic in the making so there’s that as well.
Special Features: Deleted Scene, Making Of, and more…
Total Box Office: N/A
Major Award: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Richard Jenkins) and Best Screenplay (S. Craig Zahler) at the Independent Spirit Awards
–What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!