January may be a dumping ground for castoff bad movies in theaters, but it actually hits a sweet spot where some of last fall’s biggest films hit home video. This week’s Blu-rays include a smash hit and potential Oscar candidate. And some crap too, no doubt. There’s always plenty of crap to go around.
‘Gone Girl‘ – Ben Affleck’s career has officially come full-circle. He got people to like him as a director, and now he’s finally convinced everyone to like him as an actor again too. Here, he stars in David Fincher’s adaptation of the bestselling potboiler novel about a man that everybody assumes probably murdered his missing wife. The more he insists that he didn’t kill her, the less anybody believes him. With a twisty plot, great reviews and big box office, this is definitely going to be the hottest Blu-ray of the week.
‘A Walk Among the Tombstones‘ – Can’t get out to theaters to see a grizzled old Liam Neeson beat up people in the latest ‘Taken’ sequel? Watch him do it in this 1990s-set detective thriller. Or just re-watch one of his older movies and lament how much Neeson has giving up caring about acting anymore.
‘Jessabelle‘ – Not to be confused with the ‘Conjuring’ prequel called ‘Annabelle’, here’s another generic low-budget horror flick about ghosts and possession and all that jazz.
‘Men, Women & Children‘ – Poor Jason Reitman couldn’t catch a break in 2014. His ridiculous melodrama ‘Labor Day’ bombed at the beginning of the year, and this Oscar-baiting misery-porn drama about how the awful internet is ruining all of our lives was likewise scoffed at by critics and ignored by everyone else.
As I explained in my review of the Blu-ray, the lame sci-fi thriller ‘Supernova‘ is a pretty crappy movie. It remains notable, however, for being directed by Walter Hill, who walked away and took his name off it. During post-production, the studio brought in Francis Ford Coppola to try to salvage something out of Hill’s footage. Those are both respectable filmmakers you wouldn’t associate with a cheesy space flick. It’s still a bad movie, unfortunately, but I find the story behind it interesting.
Kevin Costner’s Oscar winner ‘Dances with Wolves‘ gets a 25th Anniversary Edition re-release. This makes me feel very old. Longtime readers of this blog probably already know that I’m not a fan of the movie, though the 16-year-old me who saw it during the original run thought it was the most amazingly profound thing ever. That opinion did not hold up when I rewatched it as an adult.
In the span of just 16 years, Rainer Werner Fassbinder directed over 40 movies until stopped by a fatal drug overdose at only age 37. Most of his works are fascinating. The Criterion Collection continues its love affair with the filmmaker by bringing his 1972 melodrama ‘The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant‘ to Blu-ray this week.
Speaking of German iconoclasts, Shout! Factory has begun the process of breaking apart last year’s mammoth Werner Herzog box set. This week you can get his masterpiece ‘Fitzcarraldo‘ on its own.
Unrelated but also from Shout! is Peter Hyams’ sci-fi conspiracy thriller ‘Capricorn One‘.
Daniel Day-Lewis won the first of his three Oscars for the heart-wrenching bio-pic drama ‘My Left Foot‘, which comes to Blu-ray from Lionsgate. Along with that, the studio also has Jim Jarmusch’s cult Western ‘Dead Man‘.
Kino travels back to the ’80s for the powerful murder drama ‘River’s Edge‘ and the espionage thriller ‘The Falcon and the Snowman‘.
If you just can’t get enough of the ‘Twilight Saga‘, odds are that you stumbled across this blog by accident. I doubt that many of our readers fit that description. Anyway, Summit is reissuing the first three movies in a triple feature of new extended editions.
HBO shutters the windows on ‘Boardwalk Empire‘ with the fifth and final season.
Honestly, there are a number of good titles this week. I definitely need to catch up with ‘Gone Girl’. ‘Petra Von Kant’ and ‘Fitzcarraldo’ are going on my wish list for purchase later. If I had enough disposable income to buy anything that interested me, I’d also grab ‘Capricorn One’, ‘Dead Man’, ‘The Falcon and the Snowman’, ‘My Left Foot’ and ‘River’s Edge’.
Will you spend any money this week?