Box Office Buz: DVD and Blu-ray releases for June 6, 2017
Welcome to June! A nice pickup in quantity as well as quality this week. First up we have Disney's newest live action adaptation of one of their biggest animated films, Beauty and the Beast. Belle (Emma Watson) is a young woman living in a small French town. When her father goes missing on a trip, Belle finds him in the castle of a cantankerous beast (Dan Stevens) and offers to trade places with her father to free him. Now a captive in the castle, Belle slowly starts to realize the Beast may not be as horrible as he seems and actually has a dark secret that may endanger all of their lives.
The animated Beauty and the Beast film from 1991 is one of Disney's most beloved films ever. After the recent success of their live action adaptations for Cinderella, Maleficent, and The Jungle Book, it was inevitable that they would get around to the more modern classics and the decision to do Beauty and the Beast seems to have been the right one. The film is lush and beautifully filmed, perfectly cast, especially in the case of Emma Watson as the perfect Belle, Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as a scene stealing LeFou. The songs are wonderful, the production design top notch, and the overall result true to the animated classic in every sense. This one might become just as much of a classic as the original.
Next up is a new Arnold Schwarzenegger film, but a very different one, Aftermath. Arnold plays Roman, a construction foreman who loses his wife and daughter in an airline accident. The air traffic controller that was on duty (Scoot McNairy) made an error that resulted in the accident and both men's lives are forever changed by the event and are destined to intersect, but to what end?
Aftermath is a very well done drama and features one of Arnold's very best and most subtle and emotional performances, right up there with the also excellent Maggie. The story is loosely based on a real incident that happened in 2002 and the resulting screenplay by Javier Gull'n is a powerful one that audiences will easily identify with. To write the story not only as Roman's struggle to deal with the greatest loss he could image but to also examine the grief of the man responsible was smart and makes for an emotionally charged story that will make it very hard to pick a side, which is kind of the point. Highly recommended.
Lastly this week is a new film from Gore Verbinski, A Cure for Wellness. Dane DeHaan plays Lockhart, an ambitious young executive sent on a bizarre task to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic wellness centre in the Swiss Alps. After an accident, Lockhart finds himself injured and under the care of the facility himself where he starts to unravel a mysterious secret hidden within the walls of the centre that may endanger every patient there.
Gore Verbinski is a versatile and underappreciate director capable of handling any type of movie from Mousehunt and The Ring to Pirates of the Caribbean to The Lone Ranger. With A Cure for Wellness he ventures into a bizarre blend of horror, thriller, drama and even a little sci-fi thrown in for good measure. And as usual, he does it well. A Cure for Wellness is one of the most gorgeous movies in recent memory and puts forth a very interesting mystery story reminiscent of a sort of jacked up Shutter Island. And DeHaan is excellent proving he can handle a leading man role with ease. If you are looking for something a little different out of the recent crop of Hollywood flicks, give A Cure for Wellness a try, it's a fun and visually stunning ride.
Also of note this week is the new horror film Don't Knock Twice starring Katee Sackhoff, The Assignment with Michelle Rodriguez and Sigourney Weaver and The Belko Experiment from director Greg McLean (Wolf Creek) and writer James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Slither).
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday June 6, 2017
1492: Conquest of Paradise*
A Cure for Wellness
A United Kingdom
Bambi: Anniversary Edition
Beauty and the Beast
Becker: The Complete Series
Cheech & Chong's Next Movie*
Child of Satan
Curious George: Fun with Friends
Don't Knock Twice
Enter the Warrior's Gate
Fahrenheit 451: 50th Anniversary Edition*
Father Dowling: The Complete Series
Hell in the Pacific*
Joan of Arcadia: The Complete Series
Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back
Juice: 25th Anniversary Edition*
Kill Em All
Major Crimes: The Complete Fifth Season
Numb3rs: The Complete Series
Seijun Suzuki's The Taisho Trilogy*
Sky on Fire
The Axe Murders of Villisca
The Belko Experiment
The Bourne Ultimate Collection 4K
The Last Word
The Sense of an Ending
The Young Pope
Ugetsu* - Criterion Collection
Van Helsing: Season One
When Calls the Heart: The Heart of the Community
Where the Buffalo Roam*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut