Box Office Buz: DVD and Blu-ray releases for March 14, 2017
Welcome to March Break! Oddly enough not many titles for kids this week but lots for the grown ups to watch after they go to bed including a couple of big screen heavy hitters. These are your new releases for March 14, 2017.
First up this week is Passengers, the new blockbuster sci fi flick starring two of the biggest stars of today. The Starship Avalon is on a 120 year voyage to a colony planet transporting over 5,000 people to their new home away from Earth. Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) was one of those passengers until a malfunction wakes him 90 years early. Stranded alone on the massive ship with no future, Preston tries desperately to make contact with anyone who can help him, but when another passenger, Aurora Lane (Jennifer Lawrence) is also wakened, together they must figure out how to remedy their situation…or learn to live with it.
Passengers got a fair amount of flack when it played in theatres due to an element of the plot that some people thought was misogynistic, but it turns out the majority of that negative feedback was from people who heard about the plot twist but didn’t actually see the movie. But I can tell you the plot point is handled deftly and in a very realistic human way. And aside from that, Passengers is still a fantastically beautiful sci fi epic that is wonderfully acted by the two leads. It was fascinating future tech, amazing special effects and an interesting human nature storyline that is very well executed.
Next up is Elle, the new Paul Verhoeven directed thriller featuring stunning lead performance by French actress Isabelle Huppert that won her a Golden Globe for Best Actress as well as an Oscar Nomination. Huppert plays Michèle Leblanc, the founder of a successful video game company who is attacked in her own home by a masked assailant. After the attack Michèle vows to not let the attack derail her life, but her obsession with finding the man and the effects it has on her become undeniable.
Elle is a challenging and altogether unique film, and in a career as controversial as Paul Verhoeven’s, it stands out as one of his best. Huppert, who may not be all that familiar to North American audiences but is an incredibly accomplished actor in her native France with well over 100 roles to her name, is just incredible here with a performance so powerful and authentic, it’s hard to believe Michèle is just a character and not a real person. The story is horrifying, tense, mysterious, funny, disturbing and dramatic, often switching gears between these mid scene. Elle is a film that must be seen even if only for Huppert’s wonderful performance.
Lastly this week is another Oscar flick, Denzel Washington’s Fences. Washington directs and plays Troy Maxson, a sanitation worker in 1950’s Pittsburgh. Maxson lost his dreams of being a big league baseball player and now lives a bitter existence with his wife Rose (Viola Davis) and teenage son Corey (Jovan Adepo). When Corey gets news of a College Football scholarship and Troy sabotages it, the family erupts in a series of confrontations and revealed secrets.
Fences is based on the stage play revival by August Wilson that featured practically the same cast. You know Washington knows the material well because the movie bristles with authenticity and is an amazing journey into one family’s private life. You literally feel as if you live beside these people and are hearing their lives unravel from behind your fence. And Viola Davis once again proves she is far and away one of our best actors working today. Fences is a powerful, funny, intimate and emotional tale of life, relationships and dreams and what it is to just be another human being trying to get by.
Also of note this week is a couple treats for fans of the 80s. Firestarter: Collectors Edition which has a great new transfer and new special features for King fans, Red Dawn: Collectors Edition which features a new and amazing feature length documentary on the making of the cult classic film, and to add a touch of 70s to the mix, the Blu-ray debut of Julie Christie in another cult classic, Demon Seed.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday March 14, 2017
Amka and the Three Golden Rules
Canoa: A Shameful Memory* - Criterion Collection
Drunk History: Season Four
Easter Bunny Adventure
Firestarter: Collector’s Edition
For the Love of Spock
K Missing Kings
Lovers on a Bridge*
Necrophiliac: The Lustful Dead
Newhart: The Final Season
Power Rangers S.P.D.: The Complete Series
Red Dawn: Collector’s Edition
Six: Season 1
Space: The Final Frontier
Spacepop: Princess Power
Story of Sin*
Takashi Miike’s Dead or Alive Trilogy*
The Bible Stories: Ester
The Bible Stories: Solomon
The Creeping Garden*
The Love Witch
The Man Who Could Cheat Death*
The Valley of Gwangi*
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season Two
Z Nation: Season 3
*Catalog Blu-ray debut