The second week of April offers some intriguing movie picks. From drama to fantasy, there is something for your movie taste. These are the must see releases for Blu-ray/DVD, VOD and special theatrical releases of the week:
Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba light up the screen with their superb performances. Chastain plays Molly Bloom. A premiere skier turned high-stakes poker game runner. It’s based on a true story. Aaron Sorkin crafts a compelling and fascinating story that exposes the dangers and excitement of the highly exclusive world of underground poker. I loved the guessing game of who were some of the celebrities involved in these poker games. It’s fun, because Sorkin gives some hints, but it’s up to you to figure out who some of these characters are.
It’s a shame this movie didn’t get Oscar nominations, it was that good. Bloom is a difficult character to play. She has this inner conflict she’s battling, but also projects outward strength and establishes authority in a male dominated activity. Chastain plays Bloom in a way that makes you feel for her. All around great presentation and strong acting that supports a highly intriguing plot.
MOLLY’S GAME is out now on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital and On Demand
The start of April kicks things into high gear. This weeks home movie releases offer a hilarious comedy, a chilling horror and a compelling Netflix series. Don’t miss this weeks top picks:
Owen Wilson and Ed Helms are looking for their father. Now that’s a premise that’s sure to entertain, and it does. Wilson and Helms play two adult brothers that are searching for their father after being mislead all their lives. Among the choices, Terry Bradshaw (playing himself), Ving Rhames, J.K. Simmons and Christopher Walken. Come on, you can’t assemble a better daddy list than that, that’s quality. Fortunately it all comes together great, this great mix of actors really let loose and have fun on-screen.
This is an over-the-top, outrageous, raunchy comedy that you’d expect from Helms and Wilson coming together. There is a bunch of funny antics and one-liners that will keep you engaged and laughing. I found it to be ridiculously fun. It’s one of these underrated comedies that flew under-the-radar. Look out for the beach scene where Bradshaw, Helms and Wilson toss around a football and get Rhymes gives them the lowdown on their mother, it’s hilarious. Great cast, timely comedy and outlandishly entertaining plot and characters make Father Figures one of the prime must see films of the week.
BLU-RAY AND DVD FEATURES:
“Father Figures” Blu-ray Combo Pack contain the following special features:
· Deleted Scenes
· Hilarious Gag Reel
FATHER FIGURES is out now on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital
The last week of March offers a variety of movie choices for various genres and interests. A big name headliner film and some smaller lesser known solid movies.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI:
We all asked for more Luke Skywalker and in The Last Jedi we get him! Where The Force Awakens focused on Rey and Fin, we only got a brief glimpse of Luke, but not this time around. The Last Jedi leaves off the events of Force Awakens and we see the fallout of Rey’s encounter with Luke. He’s living a peaceful existence but Rey wants to bring him back to the fold and reunite him with Princess Leia. There are multiple interesting storylines taking place in the film and relationships explored. The most intriguing one being that between Rey and Kylo Ren.
The same great special effects and action is in the film that you’ve gotten used to from Star Wars. It’s surreal to see the past, present and future characters of the franchise uniting in The Last Jedi. It’s almost like an all-star squad of Star Wars greats. Last Jedi is fun, exciting and satisfactory. It’s a must-see, especially to see Luke’s fate decided.
- The Director and the Jedi – Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie—and experience what it’s like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.
- Balance of the Force – Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.
- Scene Breakdowns
- Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle – Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.
- Snoke and Mirrors – Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie’s malevolent master villain.
- Showdown on Crait – Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie’s final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.
- Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis’ riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.
- Deleted Scenes – With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
- Audio Commentary – View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD and Movies Anywhere
This new version of must see movies now will include a Friday that focuses on limited theatrical and VOD releases. Here are the picks for the week of March 23:
WELCOME THE STRANGER:
This is not a movie that will appeal to everyone. It’s a bizarre sexually charged movie that’s methodically paced. There is a strong incest driven theme that tends to be uncomfortable to watch. It’s a slow paced, confusing film with a brother and sister with a ton of sexual tension between them, so why would this be a recommendation? All these oddities make it actually a compelling movie. I constantly wondered where it’s headed next. What’s the turning point? What will be the payoff? Half the time I was unsure what was going on, but there I was watching it and trying to figure it all out.
Welcome The Stranger has a mix of elements that ultimately make it a compelling watch. It’s very mysterious, disturbing, fantastical and unbalanced to the point that it’s thrilling. Abbey Lee and Caleb Landry Jones have subtly deliver fantastic performances. As I said at the start, this is not a movie that will appeal to everyone. If you can handle the wild mixture of elements and lots of tomato cutting (you’ll see what I mean), you should give this film a look.
WELCOME THE STRANGER is out now on Digital
We are changing things up a bit. Usually you can expect the must-see movies of the week listed on Friday’s, comprising of Blu-ray and theatrical and VOD releases. Why not make it more exclusive and have the Blu-ray/DVD releases get their own shine on Tuesdays, while the theatrical sleepers and VOD releases get their glow on Friday’s. Here are the must-see Blu-ray and DVD releases for the week of March 20.
Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor keep things small on-screen, but they deliver a big idea. Matt Damon plays a man who wants to live a lavish life, but he can’t live that life in his current situation. What does he do to change his situation? He undergoes a procedure to shirk him to a size of an action figure. As he experiences life one inch at a time (promise that’s my last pun), he deals with the struggles of his new life while coping with his past one. Will he discover the treasures and meaning of life in his new state of identity? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out.
While from the trailers and promotion the movie is depicted as a comedy, it is, but it’s also a lot more than silly humor. There is a real emotional journey that the characters partake in learning about themselves and what their purpose in life is. Damon, Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz give terrific performances, as usual, but it’s Hong Chau who steals the show. This is a clever movie with an intriguing concept that works and becomes more that it sets out to be. On the surface it might seem like it was ripped-off from Honey I Shrunk the Kids, but it’s a lot different, more imaginative and mature.
Blu-ray Bonus Features:
- Feature film in high definition
- Bonus Content:
- working with Alexander
- the cast
- a visual journey
- a matter of perspective
- that smile
- a global concern
DOWNSIZING is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital
The second week of March delivers an Oscar darling and a crime thriller. Two very differently enjoyable films. It’s a slower week for impact releases, but these are two very solid options.
One of the most talked about an endearing movies during awards season, is finally available for home viewing. Greta Gerwig delivers on this story of a teenage girl coming to terms with becoming a women and taking the next steps in life. Saoirse Ronan plays the self-proclaimed Lady Bird phenomenally. She captures the spirit of a girl trying to become a women in suburban Sacramento, California. The film explores dating, family dynamics and coming to terms with everyday life’s nuances and roadblocks.
The most significantly portrayed relationship is between mother and daughter. Laurie Metcalf does a wonderful job playing a flawed parent trying to instill tough love to her daughter, while also trying to connect with her. The on-screen depicted relationship between Metcalf and Ronan burst with authenticity. It’s not pretty at times to watch the dysfunction, but it’s honest and feels real. This is one of these films that many teenage girls and their mothers will be able to relate to. In fact even young men can relate to the subject matter and the situations the film’s characters are navigating through.
Top-level acting performances from Ronan and Metcalf (deservingly both were nominated for Oscars for their roles) and a clever and relatable plot that’s well written and directed by Gerwig. This is an absolute must-see movie. One of the true gems of 2017.
BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
- Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Greta Gerwig and Cinematographer Sam Levy
- “Realizing Lady Bird” Featurette
‘LADY BIRD’ is out now on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital
The end of February finishes off with a long and strong slate of movie releases. This weeks Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and select theatrical releases offer a nice variety for everyone. Catch up on these releases before Oscar Sunday.
If you didn’t know much about the Day of the Dead, you’ll get a full experience with Coco. The story is about a boy named Miguel who heads into the Land of the Dead in search of his musician great-grand-father in order to restore the ban on music. There are so many things this movie has to offer. First and foremost it’s a great portrayal of the Mexican culture. It’s rich with traditions and characters that bring the Mexican culture to life. It deals with love, loss and cultural and inner discovery.
It’s one of these rare special films that should be seen by everyone and leaves a lasting impact. Don’t sleep on the music, it’s one of the highlights of this highlight filled film. There is no doubt this film is a leading contender for the Oscar for Best Animated Film. One of the more vibrant, colorful and culturally rich animated movies you’ll see.
COCO is out now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital, Movies Anywhere and On Demand
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