Box Office Buz: DVD and Blu-ray releases for January 30, 2018
Things are looking up with a solid lineup to round out January. First up is the new Denzel Washington film, Roman J. Israel, Esq. Roman Israel is an idealistic defense attorney who has been the brains behind a partnership firm for decades. But when the face of his firm passes away, Roman is faced with having to find new work. He is recruited by George Pierce (Colin Farrell). a friend of his former partner, but finds that trying to apply his style to a modern and overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system very difficult and ultimately may lead him to question the very core of his belief system.
Roman J. Israel, Esq. is written and directed by Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler, Kong: Skull Island) and is a very different movie for him. The film is definitely anchored by Washington’s brilliant and transformative performance. Roman is a little overweight, awkward, and perhaps slightly on the autism scale. But he is a man who believes in justice and truth and fights hard to keep his values alive. The story revolves around a few cases of Roman’s but mainly concentrates on his transition from a comfortable man-behind-the-scenes to a lawyer who has to show up and play the game. Well written, engaging and featuring fantastic performances by Washington and Farrell, Roman J. Israel, Esq. is not typical but worth seeking out. (PLEASE NOTE: THIS TITLE HAS BEEN MOVED TO FEBRUARY 13, 2018)
Next up for drama week is Last Flag Flying. Steve Carell stars as former Navy Hospital Corpsman Richard "Doc" Shepherd, who young son has been killed in the Iraq War in 2003. Doc is troubled trying to balance his dedication to the military and reconciling the loss of his son, so he decides to forego his son’s burial at Arlington cemetery and take him home to be buried in New Hampshire. He calls upon 2 old ex-Marine buddies to help him make the trip, Sal (Bryan Cranston) and Richard (Laurence Fishburne). But during the long road trip all three men must deal with decisions from their pasts while trying to figure out what their futures may hold.
Last Flag Flying is a touching and very funny story about loss, friendship and trying to live with the consequences of your decisions. Carell, Cranston and Fishburne have and easy and natural chemistry, it isn’t hard to believe these guys have known each other forever. But they each portray their characters with a lot of emotional baggage and you can read the burden of their lives on their faces even when no dialogue is being spoken. The story is very funny throughout but co-writer and director Richard Linklater is no stranger to humor or dialogue. Last Flag Flying is a beautiful story with three authentic and touching lead performances.
Lastly this week is Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Dr. William Marston (Luke Evans) is a Harvard psychologist and inventor from the 1940’s. Marston was fascinated with human behaviour and had unconventional ideas of personal relationships leading to his polyamorous relationship involving his wife Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall), also a brilliant psychologist and inventor, and Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote), a former student of Marston who became an academic. Their lives became the inspiration for Marston to create the comic book icon Wonder Woman.
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is a true story and delves deeply into William and Elizabeth’s personal lives and how they were changed once Olive became part of it for both of them. It follows their experimentation in submissive and dominant roles and in bringing feminism to the forefront of society at the same time. The performances are very strong across the board and the story compelling, not only in their non-traditional beliefs but in the amazing story of how their lifestyle led to the creation of one of the most iconic comic book characters of all time.
Also of note this week is the new Ethan Hawke thriller 24 Hours to Live, the bizarre but intriguing lost Italian anthology The Witches starring a very young Clint Eastwood, and the Blu-ray debut of the 1990 cult classic Class of 1999.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday January 30, 2018
24 Hours to Live
Blair Witch – 2 Movie Collection
Boo2! A Madea Halloween
Class of 1999: Vestron Video Series*
Death Race: Beyond Anarchy
Gothic: Vestron Video Series*
Last Flag Flying
Legend of the Naga Pearls
Littlest Pet Shop: Best Pet Friends
Nella The Princess Knight
Piranha II: The Spawning: Collector’s Edition*
Professor Marston & the Wonder Women
Ray Donovan: The Fifth Season
Rendel: Dark Vengeance
Roman J. Israel, Esq.
The Hills Have Eyes
The Hunger Games – Complete 4 Film Collection
The Moment After / The Moment After II: The Awakening
The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 1*
The Projected Man*
The Real Animals of Peter Rabbit
The Red Squirrel*
The Witches Special Edition*
Transformers Rescue Bots: Outdoor Adventures
Westfront 1918* - Criterion Collection
*Catalog Blu-ray debut