Welcome to February and a whole new crop of movies fighting for your attention. Great week with some Oscar flicks and a strong catalog selection. These are your new releases for February 7, 2017.
First up this week is the film that snagged Ruth Negga her Oscar Nomination, Loving. Mildred Loving (Negga) and her husband Richard (Joel Edgerton) are a couple very much in love in 1958 Virginia. But being an interracial couple they have no option but to travel to Washington, D.C. to get married. Upon their return to Virginia they are arrested under the anti-miscegenation law. When their sentence is suspended they must agree to leave the state for 25 years, until they decide to fight in a supreme court case that would change history.
Loving is a wonderfully intimate and touching film detailing one couple’s relentless battle to be accepted by their country. Edgerton and Negga have wonderful chemistry and Negga in particular proves she is a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. I have a feeling her small supporting roles will become a thing of the past. The case is fascinating, the court decision historic and the film beautifully executed. This one isn’t just Oscar hype, it is fully deserving of the praise heaped on it.
Next up is another film drama with a lot of buzz and it is also the directorial debut of Ewan McGregor, American Pastoral. McGregor plays Seymour ‘Swede’ Levov, a former high school football star married to a former beauty queen named Dawn (Jennifer Connolly) who is dealing with their increasingly difficult daughter Meredith (Dakota Fanning) who is becoming radicalized against the Vietnam War and has been frequenting New York City to take part in antiwar protests. When a bomb destroys the local post office and claims the life of a family friend, Meredith disappears when she is suspected of the bombing leaving Seymour to spend years trying to figure out what became of her.
American Pastoral is a unique, sometimes disturbing yet wholly engaging drama. McGregor has a wonderful eye behind the camera and crafts a beautiful looking period piece that is nostalgic and very dark at the same time. McGregor and Connolly are both excellent as the couple who are torn in completely separate directions after the actions of their daughter and Fanning is stunning as Meredith in a powerful, unique and bizarre character performance.
Lastly this week is a film that has already been on Blu-ray for some time but is finally being released in a full blown special edition in light of the new Kong film opening next month. Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake follows actress Ann Darrow (Naomi Watts), writer Jack Driscoll (Adrien Brody) and director Carl Denham (Jack Black) as they journey to the mythical Skull Island to make an adventure film only to discover countless real dangers from giant insects, actual dinosaurs and Kong, a gigantic silverback gorilla. While Darrow forms a bond with the giant ape, Denham has other plans to get rich off the discovery, plans that will end in tragedy.
King Kong is one of my favorite remakes of all time and is a wondrous return to epic fantasy storytelling of yesteryear. Jackson’s direction is fluid and fun, all the performances are slightly campy and also a ton of fun, and Kong, perfectly performed by Andy Serkis, is one of the most incredible creations ever committed to the screen. This new Ultimate Edition contains both the theatrical cut and the extended (and superior) cut of the film plus the hours and hours of special features featured on previous versions of the film. And at a budget price this one is a no brainer for fans of the epic tale.
Also of note this week is the Idris Elba action flick The Take, the stoner horror movie Antibirth with Natasha Lyonne and the 50th Anniversary edition of the classic Sidney Poitier film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday February 7, 2017
Arnold Schwarzenegger 6 Film Collection
Baby Baby Baby
Bruce Willis 6 Film Collection
Cameraperson* – Criterion Collection
Come What May
Dirty Dancing 30th Anniversary Edition
Dynasty: The First Season
Frank & Lola
Frankenstein: The Real Story/The Real Wolfman Double Feature
From Dusk Til Dawn: Season Three
Graves: Season 1
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: 50th Anniversary Edition
Jason Statham 6 Film Collection
John Wick 4K
Justice League Dark
King Kong: Ultimate Edition
LEGO Ninjago: Day of the Departed
Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man
Life on the Line
Mrs. Bradley Mysteries: The Complete Series
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic – Exploring the Crystal Empire
Nerdland – Unrated
Nicolas Cage 6 Film Collection
Penny Dreadful: The Complete Series
Postcards from the Edge*
Power Rangers Samurai: The Complete Season
Quantum Leap: The Complete Series
Sabrina Down Under
Sesame Street: Singing with the Stars 2
Shaun the Sheep: Seasons 3 & 4
Shimmer and Shine Friendship Divine
Spirit of the Game
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Complete Series
The 9th Life of Louis Drax
The Eagle Huntress
The Passion of the Christ
The Sicilian Clan*
The Twilight Zone: The Complete 80s Series
Vice Principals: The Complete First Season
*Catalog Blu-ray debut