I’ve been accused, on an occasion or two, of using these Highlights posts to shit all over the new movies being released on home video each week. I don’t think that’s entirely fair. However, when the Blu-ray gods give us a week like this one, what’s a guy to do?
‘The Boss‘ – With all the brouhaha surrounding the ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot, everyone would be forgiven for forgetting that Melissa McCarthy had another comedy in theaters earlier this year. It’s a pretty forgettable movie regardless. Allowing her husband Ben Falcone to direct and co-write once again (which didn’t work out too well with 2014’s ‘Tammy’), McCarthy plays a power-mad businesswoman who loses her empire when she’s convicted of insider trading. After her release from prison, she tries to build her way back up by taking over a Girl Scout troop and selling brownies. Much R-rated cursing and vulgarity ensue. The movie was the weakest-performing of McCarthy’s star vehicles to date, but still opened at the top of the box office in its first week and went on to gross double its production budget. If nothing else, that’s enough to validate her continued star power to the haters who insist that she shouldn’t make movies anymore.
‘Criminal‘ – Ryan Reynolds has got to stop making body-swapping movies! Seriously, this is his fourth one and they’ve all flopped. In a perverse twist, the character in this one swaps out of Reynolds’ hunky body and into 61-year-old Kevin Costner’s, which seems like a downgrade. In addition to those two, the movie has an inexplicably strong cast also including Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman and Gal Gadot. And yet Nicolas Cage turned down the lead role, which should tell you something about the quality of the script and should have given everyone else pause. With a nondescript title, dull trailers and terrible reviews, the movie was a major box office bomb. I doubt it will appeal much even to viewers desperate for new 4k Ultra HD content to watch.
‘Hardcore Henry‘ – This low-budget action flick was shot entirely in first-person perspective, emulating FPS videogames. It’s a neat gimmick that I’m sure was a bitch to pull off, but I also imagine must wear thin quickly. Most reviews and word-of-mouth suggest as much, complaining about bad acting and a dumb plot. I feel like watching the trailer is as much of this as I need.
‘Barbershop: The Next Cut‘ – Hey, Ice Cube fans, did you enjoy ‘Barbershop’, ‘Barbershop 2: Back in Business’ and/or ‘Beauty Shop’? Guess what, it’s been 12 years and Cube needs a little easy money, so here’s another one. Enjoy.
‘I Am Wrath‘ – John Travolta’s career has fallen so far that his new movies have to go direct-to-video? Yeah, that sounds about right. Aww, this one comes from Chuck Russell, the director of ‘The Mask’ and ‘Eraser’. Poor guy.
‘Sing Street‘ – Look, I’m not going to mock every movie this week. In fact, I’ve heard pretty good things about the latest musical from ‘Once’ director John Carney, a coming-of-age story set in the early 1980s. Our Phil mostly liked it, aside from the music, which is kind of a problem for a musical. However, other reviews have praised the songs, so I wonder if this is just a generational thing.
The Criterion Collection continues to build its relationship with Terrence Malick, bringing the director’s Pocahontas-and-John-Smith period epic ‘The New World‘ into the fold. The film was previously released on Blu-ray as a 172-minute Extended Cut. Criterion has not only remastered that version of the movie for improved picture quality (according to our reviewer Michael), but also includes the 135-minute Theatrical Cut and a 150-minute “First Cut” that was shown to preview audiences. This is, generally speaking, one of Malick’s least popular and least acclaimed works, so I’ll be interested to see if Criterion can rehabilitate its image any.
Most of the week’s other notable titles are schlock. Shout! Factory gives ‘Death Wish II‘ a Collector’s Edition reissue, while Scream Factory howls in support of ‘The Boy Who Cried Werewolf‘. Film Detective goes crazy for ‘Dementia 13‘, an early horror picture that Francis Ford Coppola made while working for the Roger Corman factory.
This is a pretty bleak week for me. I might rent ‘Sing Street’. I also feel obligated to put ‘The New World’ on my wish list for later, but I should just be honest that I’ll never actually buy it.
Beyond that, I suppose it’s for the best that I save a little money right now.
Am I missing something that excites you more?