Top-Five-PosterThis week, we rebound from last week where we had a situations in which the Blu-Ray and DVD offerings were severely lacking. While the slate today isn’t especially great, it’s a real step up, so it looks better by comparison. Luckily, that make this an easier column to write today than it might otherwise have been. Essentially, there’s once again only a handful of things hitting shelves, but the level of quality is higher. I had an easy choice for my top pick, which is always plus. As you all know, that’s not always the case. For my PICK OF THE WEEK, I opted to go with one of the funnier movies from all of last year. You’ll see the film that I’m talking about rather shortly, but for now, let’s have a Vintage pick to truly start the column off!

Vintage Viewing

any-given-sunday-1172358688In honor of this week’s release of Danny Collins (which I have yet to see and as such can’t vouch for), I wanted to cite a strong Al Pacino performance that might be a bit under the radar for some of you. Which one did I go with? Well, I chose Any Given Sunday. Yes, Oliver Stone’s football flick perfectly casts Pacino as a head coach, letting his screaming tendencies have a sensible outlet. The film itself is a bit all over the place, but Pacino does turn in some better than you remember work. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is super watchable, but it’s hardly realistic, so Pacino’s performance is needed to keep things from becoming too silly at times. This isn’t Stone’s best movie, but it might be his best in some time, so there’s that as well. With the NFL draft coming in a month or so and free agency in fully swing, this is a real solid option to pop in…

Other Films Being Released

With only thae one aforementioned film to recommend today, here now is a simple list of what else is hitting shelves on this day, sans my own recommendation or anything of the sort. Take a look:

Annie

This remake of the some might say…overrated musical of the same name isn’t good at all, but at the same time it’s inherently watchable. It’s a mess, but the songs still work and there’s a vibe that sometimes pulls you in. The movie is bad, but it undeniably has its moments, all the same. It works as a curiosity, but I can’t advise you to actually pick it up.

Box Office: $85,911,262 (and counting)

Exodus: Gods and Kings

exodus-gods-kings-red-seaAside from an IMAX showcase I attended last year, I didn’t get around to this biblical epic, though by the reviews, I made the right choice in picking Noah as my bible film of 2014. Ridley Scott’s misfires are stacking up, so I really hope that The Martian moves him back in the right direction. This one should have played to all of his strengths, but apparently it just did not work at all. If you disagreed, feel free to pick it up and enjoy. I’m going to watch it later on this week for myself in order to fill in the blanks from the aforementioned showcase, but I’m honestly not expecting much at all.

Box Office: $65,014,513

Low Down

I wanted to see this musical biopic of sorts, especially because I’m a fan of both John Hawkes and Elle Fanning, but it just never worked out for me. Hopefully I’ll get to see this one in the next couple of weeks, but if you want to take a shot in the dark first, go for it and report back!

Box Office: $54,051

Penguins of Madagascar

Believe it or not, I’ve still never seen any of the films in the Madagascar franchise, so this one was of no real interest to me. I heard decent things, so I’m sure I missed out on a cute enough family flick, but I’ll survive. Don’t let me stop you though, if you enjoyed…

Box Office: $83,033,005 (and counting)

Son of a Gun

This crime drama basically skipped theaters, and while it’s hardly bad, I can’t say that I’m surprised it’s been almost unseen by audiences. There’s nothing particularly terrible about it, but nothing that will get you excited either. Essentially, it just is what it is.

Box Office: N/A

Song of the Sea

Probably the least seen of all the nominees for Best Animated Feature, I’ve yet to see it, but have heard pretty strong things. It was an Oscar blindspot for me, so while it didn’t win, I still plan on rectifying that. If you feel the same way, you can now give it a look.

Box Office: $732,156 (and counting)

Vice

Another in a seemingly endless string of barely released Bruce Willis vehicle that would have gone straight to video back in the day. It seems that Willis either is involved in blockbusters or films without any box office haul of note like this one. I haven’t seen, but I don’t expect it to be some sort of a hidden gem.

Box Office: N/A

TV Releases

Bewitched: The Complete Fifth Season
Bewitched: The Complete Sixth Season
Dexter: Most Shocking Episodes
Ghost Whisperer: The Complete Series
Maude: The Complete Series
Star Trek The Original Series: Captain Kirk’s Boldest Missions
TURN: Washington’s Spies – The Complete First Season
WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete First Season
WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete Second Season

PICK OF THE WEEK

Top Five

maxresdefaultAfter the surprisingly strong word of mouth at the Toronto Film Festival, this passion project from Chris Rock became a buzz worthy title almost out of nowhere. Thankfully, when I saw it a few weeks later, I completely understood all of the positive notices. In my review (found here), I had this to say: “The third time was certainly the charm for Chris Rock as a filmmaker. After making somewhat entertaining yet more than slightly unfulfilling movies like the political comedy Head of State and the romantic dramedy I Think I Love My Wife (which actually was a loose remake of Eric Rohmer‘s Chloe in the Afternoon), Rock takes his noticeable skills as a writer/director and crafts a real winner with Top Five. Very much Rock’s tribute to Woody Allen, notably Annie Hall and Stardust Memories, this is not only one of the funniest films of the year, it’s a comedy with a lot on its mind about celebrity. Though not every element of his screenplay works, it’s still very clever and a great vehicle for his able bodied direction. There’s also some rather nice acting on display in Top Five, not just from Rock but from Rosario Dawson as well, doing her funniest work since Clerks II. Rock showcases his skills both in front of and behind the camera in a way that we’ve never quite seen from him before, resulting in a film that’s easy to recommend. The movie isn’t perfect by any stretch, but it’s funny, smart, and a good time.” Not nearly enough of you saw this one, so be sure to check it out now…you won’t regret it.

Special Features: Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes, and more…
Total Box Office: $25,317,291
Major Award: None

What will you be watching this week? Discuss in the comments!