Ending February with a strong week indeed! First up is one of the most acclaimed movies of the year, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Frances McDormand stars as Mildred, a mother frustrated with the local authorities handling of her daughter’s murder case months previous. She decides to get their attention by renting out three large billboards leading into her town and painting them with a controversial message directed at the chief of police William Willoughby (Woody Harrelson). Her statement causes a massive rift in town between people siding with her and with the sheriff leading to unexpected results.
Director Martin McDonagh (In Bruges) crafts a wonderfully funny and addictive drama full of complex and unexpected characters. Both McDormand and Sam Rockwell put in some of their best work here and although the story is relatively simply, it becomes a layered character work that is mesmerizing to watch. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is an Oscar contender fully worthy of its nominations.
Next up is a fascinating new documentary, 78/52. The title refers to the 78 shots and 52 cuts tha comprise the infamous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece Psycho. The film dissects the influence, importance and influence of Hitchcock’s film and its unforgettable shower scene in particular. Featuring interviews with Jamie Lee Curtis, Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Bogdanovich, Oz Perkins and many more.
78/52 is a must see for cinephiles and horror fanatics alike and tells some incredible behind the scenes stories from many of the people involved to weave a tale of how Hitchcock turned the thriller genre on its head and inspired generations of filmmakers. To dig deep into Hitchcock’s techniques and game changing ideas is a thrilling journey presenting in the most entertaining way.
Lastly this week is the new film from Pixar, Coco. Miguel dreams of becoming a musician, just like his hero, the late Ernesto de la Cruz. But for some reason his family has a generations-old ban on music. Desperate to follow his dreams, Miguel gets into trouble and inadvertently ends up in the mysterious other world of the Land of the Dead. There he not only gets a chance to meet his hero in the afterlife but he meets his own ancestors and starts to unravel the mysteries of his family history.
When I saw the trailers for Coco I feared a carbon copy of 2014’s The Book of Life, but Coco stood on its own and even surpassed that film in its storytelling, characters and wonderful music and message. Not only is the representation of Mexican culture a unique and fascinating part of the story, but the message Miguel’s journey sends to young audiences is to be applauded with genuinely touching themes of family, passion, music and following one’s dreams. Coco is another gem from the brilliant minds of Pixar.
Also of note this week is the Blu-ray debut (FINALLY) of Jim McBride’s infectiously fun musical biopic Great Balls of Fire! Starring Dennis Quaid as The Killer himself, Jerry Lee Lewis. Also check out the Oscar nominated Call Me by Your Name with Armie Hammer, Darkest Hour with Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, and the Kevin Sorbo spiritual drama Let There Be Light.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday February 27, 2018
78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene
Basket Case: Limited Edition
Birdman of Alcatraz*
Black Eagle: Special Edition*
Call Me by Your Name
Colossus: The Forbin Project*
Crossing the Bridge/Indian Summer Double Feature
Day of the Dead: Bloodline
Diff’rent Strokes: The Complete Seventh Season
Five on the Black Hand Side*
Gate II: Return to the Nightmare*
Great Balls of Fire! *
Green Acres: The Complete Fifth Season
Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971*
Lady and the Tramp - Signature Collection*
Lara Croft Tomb Raider 4K
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life 4K
Let There Be Light
MacGyver: Season One
Murder on the Orient Express
Nowhere in Africa
Prey aka Alien Prey*
Racy Reels from the Something Weird Vault Vol 1*
Racy Reels from the Something Weird Vault Vol 2*
Sessions of Love Therapy/101 Acts of Love
Sniper: Ultimate Kill
The Apartment: Limited Edition*
The Hallelujah Trail*
The Man from Earth: Holocene
The Oldest Profession A.k.a. Le plus vieux métier du monde*
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Tom Jones* - Criterion Collection
Warriors of the Wasteland
*Catalog Blu-ray debut