Box Office Buz: DVD and Blu-ray releases for April 18, 2017
A little more sun, a little more warmth and a lot more rain. It must be spring. This week we have a few big screen gems and some killer catalog, another quality over quantity week. These are your new releases for April 18, 2017.
First up this week is the new film from director M. Night Shyamalan, Split. Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Morgan) plays Casey, a high school outcast kidnapped from her reluctant attendance at a schoolmates birthday party along with two other girls. The kidnapper is a man with multiple personalities (James McAvoy) who keep the girls locked away for a mysterious purpose. While the girls meet many of the personalities, Casey tries to find a way to manipulate the different personas in an effort to find a way out.
I am a huge fan of Shyamalan but I know he is one of the most hotly debated directors out there. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of his films but I am glad to see Split has won many audiences back and put him back on the radar for Hollywood. Split is an outrageously entertaining thriller topped off with a utterly brilliant performance by McAvoy. He does such a brilliant job of conveying the multiple personalities and coupled with another fantastic performance by Taylor-Joy, makes for an intense character thriller that keeps you guessing. Shyamalan is a genius at story construction and Split may be one of his best yet. Even if you are one of the detractors who hasn’t been impressed with him since The Sixth Sense, do yourself a favor and check out Split, it is winning people over in droves and rightfully so. A wickedly fun thrill ride.
Next up is a pretty damn crazy true story, The Founder. Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) is a salesman in the mid 50s who has never really been able to find that one product that makes him a success. More of a hustler than a salesman, Kroc discovers a new restaurant run by the McDonald brothers (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch) that could revolutionize the drive in experience. Kroc forcefully inserts himself into the McDonald brothers business with promises of franchising but an inflated ego and an insatiable appetite for success and acceptance proves to be much more than the McDonald brothers anticipated.
The Founder is a really fascinating story. On one hand you feel bad for Kroc, a passionate guy who just can’t seem to get a break but on the other hand you have the McDonald brothers who have used innovation and smarts to make something special only to have it taken over and exploited by Kroc. Director John Lee Hancock does a fantastic job of keeping the story entertaining and funny while still sticking to the story of how Kroc took McDonalds from a smart entrepreneurial idea to one of the biggest success stories in history. And it doesn’t shy away from the darker elements of the story and the story of who Kroc had to step on to find his success. The Founder is fascinating, entertaining and quite shocking.
Lastly this month is a cult horror gem that seems to be hitting Blu-ray at a very apt time, Tales from the Hood. The anthology story opens with three black youths picking up a drug shipment from a mysterious funeral parlour run by the strange Mr. Simms (Clarence Williams III). Simms tells the boys four moralistic stories all featuring racially charged tales of horror.
One of the biggest hits of 2017 so far is Jordan Peele’s timely and socially relevant horror flick Get Out, which it turns out would make a perfect companion piece to this 1995 horror anthology. Both films feature horror stories from an African-American point of view and tell socially significant tales that, for a change, are poised from the black person’s point of view. The stories in Tales from the Hood all seem to be silly, gore filled horror yarns at first glance but quickly you will find yourself quite uncomfortable at its depictions of racism. Taking on stereotypes like gang members, crooked cops, abusive fathers and more, Tales from the Hood handles the fears of the black community in a smart, rightfully disturbing, and well constructed way. It is fun, funny, controversial, intelligent, over the top but true to life, and topical. If you haven’t seen Tales from the Hood or just haven’t seen it in a long time, now is a great opportunity to revisit this great gem and perhaps get more out of it in today’s social climate than you maybe even could have got out of it in 1995.
Also of note this week is the new thriller Sleepless starring Jamie Foxx as well as the Blu-ray debuts of A League of Their Own, The Crucible and The Handmaid’s Tale.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday April 18, 2017
A Cowgirl’s Story
A League of Their Own – 25th Anniversary Edition*
Arctic Adventure: On Frozen Pond
Assassin, The (L'Assassino)*
Bigger Fatter Liar
Buena Vista Social Club* - Criterion Collection
Chrisley Knows Best: Season One
Contamination .7 aka The Crawlers*
Donnie Darko Limited Edition
Hawaii Five-O: The Complete Original Series
In the Dog House
Killjoys: Season 2
Pound Puppies: Lucky Time
Sailor Moon R
Sunset in the West
Tales from the Hood – Collector’s Edition*
Teen Titans: The Judas Contract
The Handmaid’s Tale*
The Mephisto Waltz*
The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave*
The Red Queen Kills Seven Times*
Woman of the Year* - Criterion Collection
*Catalog Blu-ray debut