New DVD’s: December 2019

It’s the time of year for families to get together, which also means that sometimes you need something to keep houseguests distracted. Luckily, many of the year’s most anticipated movies are arriving at the library to keep everyone entertained!


READY OR NOT

MetascoreA young bride (Samara Weaving) joins her new husband’s (Mark O’Brien) rich, eccentric family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell) in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Ready Or Not is an exquisite horror comedy heavy on familial dysfunction, heavier on gameplaying brutality, and always a reminder that Samara Weaving deserves to be the biggest of megastars.” – Matt Donato, We Got This Covered

“The tone management in this film is remarkable, and the blur of the absurd and the real is such that both the horror, the drama, and the comedy is kept on a dizzying high wire.” – Brian Roan, The Film Stage

“The violence here is so over-the-top that it can lapse into comedy, prompting shocked laughter when certain characters are unexpectedly killed, and again when it comes time to dispose of their bodies, none of which can adequately prepare you for the film’s explosively funny finale.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

Available Formats (12/3):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 8

MetascoreThe eighth and final season sees Daenerys Targaryen arrive at Winterfell as Jon, Sansa and Arya are together once again.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The most dynamic and eventful season opener in the HBO drama’s nine-year history… Dots were connected at a brisk pace… but not at the expense of eloquently cut dialogue, ongoing character development, stunning scenery and an often wicked sense of humor.” – Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times

Thrones is doing absolutely stellar work within the bounds set around its current era: Highly burnished entertainment that lingers on no story point a beat more than strictly necessary to communicate the idea. Dwelling on the shows it once was and no longer is seems perhaps beyond the point.” – Daniel D’Addario, Variety

“More of a fan-pleaser than crowd pleaser… So yes — absolutely — well worth the wait.” – Verne Gay, Newsday

Available Formats (12/3):

Blu-ray | DVD


THE GOLDFINCH

MetascoreTheodore “Theo” Decker (Ansel Elgort) was 13 years old when his mother was killed in a bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The tragedy changes the course of his life, sending him on a stirring odyssey of grief and guilt, reinvention and redemption, and even love. Through it all, he holds on to one tangible piece of hope from that terrible day… a painting of a tiny bird chained to its perch. The Goldfinch.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“While the result is not flawless, this is a polished, impressive attempt that pays off in the end. It may take awhile to get there, but its themes of loss, longing, heartache and betrayal, not to mention the nature and value of beautiful objects, do ultimately move us.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“Theo is an engaging character – for the most part well played – and his journey is both entertaining and heartbreaking. Meaning much like the painting at the centre of this tale, Theo’s story both survives, and endures, despite the fragmented film’s shortcomings.” – Chris Tilly, IGN

The Goldfinch feels like more than the sum of its disparate parts; a painting in the wrong frame, maybe, but one whose imperfect beauty still draws you in.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

Available Formats (12/3):

Blu-ray


LOW TIDE

MetascoreAlan, Red, and Smitty spend high summer on the Jersey Shore roving the boardwalk and getting into trouble. But the discovery of good old fashioned treasure sets the friends on an escalating course of suspicion and violence in this atmospheric thriller.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Kevin McMullin displays a piercing awareness of the tensions that drive the dynamics of adolescent outsiders.” – Chuck Bowen, Slant

Low Tide is mostly a genre exercise. But it’s a disciplined, rigorously entertaining one.” – Jesse Hassenger, The A.V. Club

“In addition to establishing a tangible sense of place, McMullin impresses by putting together such a strong ensemble and eliciting from them the performances he does. He’s a very visual director, jump-starting scenes with an unexpected extreme-closeup of some kind before allowing audiences to get their bearings — a strategy that subconsciously reinforces the notion that we can never get too comfortable in this otherwise familiar genre.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

Available Formats (12/3):

Blu-ray


SEMPER FI

MetascoreCal (Jai Courtney) is a by-the-book police officer who, along with his close-knit group of childhood friends, makes ends meet as a Marine Corps reservist. When Cal’s reckless younger half-brother, Oyster, is arrested after a bar fight and given an unfair prison sentence, Cal – driven by his loyalty to family and fierce code of honor – fights for Oyster (Nat Wolff) in this gripping tale of brotherhood and sacrifice.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Semper Fi is best when it sticks with the journeys of the individual characters, each with their own backstory and struggles. These men have always known each other.” – Sheila O’Malley, RogerEbert.com

“The movie’s most memorable material is also more grounded.” – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

“Though professionally smooth in execution, Semper Fi has the frustrating sum impact of a movie at fundamental conflict with itself.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

Available Formats (12/3):

Blu-ray


IT CHAPTER TWO

MetascoreTwenty-seven years after the Losers Club defeated Pennywise, he has returned to terrorize the town of Derry once more. Now adults, the Losers have long since gone their separate ways. However, people are disappearing again, so Mike, the only one of the group to remain in their hometown, calls the others home. Damaged by the experiences of their past, they must each conquer their deepest fears to destroy Pennywise once and for all… putting them directly in the path of the shape-shifting clown that has become deadlier than ever.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“A psychologically merciless sequel, everything here is as it should be: deeper, scarier, funnier. Muschietti in particular has stepped up, skilfully guiding us through a rollicking funhouse. It is obscenely entertaining.” – Alex Godfrey, Empire

“You’ve got to hand it to director Andy Muschietti. Adapting any Stephen King novel – or, for that matter, shorter material – is always a hit-or-miss gig, but It Chapter Two manages to pull out all the stops and in several areas actually tops the first film.” – Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

“A very fine follow-up to the most successful horror film ever.” – Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post

Available Formats (12/10):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD

Metascore

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Wistful, funny and complicated in interesting ways, Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, may be his warmest film since Jackie Brown – which may not be what you expected to hear about a movie set against the background of the 1969 Manson murders.” – Liam Lacey, Original Cin

“The byplay between DiCaprio and Pitt is delicious and finely drawn — you’d better believe Tarantino knows he’s dealing with two of our last old-school movie stars and sneakiest actors.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe

“The film is Quentin Tarantino’s magnum opus—a sweeping statement on an entire generation of American popular culture and an almost expressionistic rendering of the counterculture forming at its margins, gradually growing in influence.” – Sam C. Mac, Slant

Available Formats (12/10):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


HUSTLERS

MetascoreInspired by the viral New York Magazine article, Hustlers follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“An immediate entrant into the pantheon of female friendship movies, Hustlers — a pretty much perfect film — makes plain the hollowness of so many other iterations of girl power in studio projects. You can feel its heart beat.” – Inkoo Kang, Slate

“A giddily entertaining homage to female power that illuminates bold ambition in its stars and director alike, Hustlers is the kind of era-defining film that Hollywood didn’t know it needed.” – Beth Webb, Empire

“Exceptional performances, an unbelievable story, and a soundtrack for the ages make for a viewing experience worth revisiting again and again.” – Joelle Monique, Paste

Available Formats (12/10):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


FREAKS

MetascoreKept locked inside the house by her father (Emile Hirsch), 7-year-old Chloe (Lexy Kolker) lives in fear and fascination of the outside world, where Abnormals create a constant threat – or so she believes. When a mysterious stranger (Bruce Dern) offers her a glimpse of what’s really happening outside, Chloe soon finds that while the truth isn’t so simple, the danger is very real.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Freaks is a mind-bending thriller that is subversive enough to be rebellious, and in this era of CGI superhero cinema, the revolution is welcomed.” – Thom Ernst, Original Cin

“In a world packed with information, it’s outright exciting to know so little about where a story is going, or how far it’s willing to go to get there.” – Tasha Robinson, The Verge

“Every little detail — straight down to a smiling child holding out a melting ice cream without caring that it’s pooling atop her hand — carries weight. Not a second is wasted.” – Jared Mobarak, The Film Stage

Available Formats (12/10):

Blu-ray


DOWNTON ABBEY

MetascoreThe Crawleys and their intrepid staff prepare for the most important moment of their lives. A royal visit from the King and Queen of England will unleash scandal, romance and intrigue that will leave the future of Downton hanging in the balance.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“There are some incredibly funny sequences, a few genuinely heartwarming ones, and so many plots it will nearly make your head spin. But that’s the Downton we know and love, and seeing so many familiar faces and dynamics is like visiting old friends for one more jolly reunion; you will smile throughout the whole thing.” – Allison Keene, Paste

“It works. It really works. It’s goodhearted and clever, and it knows when to end.” – Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

“The strengths of the series are the strengths of the film. It looks great. It sounds great. If it could, it certainly would smell great (like rain, Earl Grey, green grass, and freshly baked bread.) And above all, it’s beautifully acted by a cast able to land both the punchlines and the punches.” – Allison Shoemaker, Consequence of Sound

Available Formats (12/17):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


AD ASTRA

MetascoreAstronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“This is rare, nuanced storytelling, anchored by one of Brad Pitt’s career-best performances and remarkable technical elements on every level. It’s a special film.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“The canniness of Gray’s procedure is matched by the boldness, even the recklessness, of the extremes to which he pushes it—along with his characters, his story, his emotions, and his techniques. The result is to turn Ad Astra into an instant classic of intimate cinema—one that requires massive machinery and complex methods to create a cinematic simplicity that, for all the greatness of his earlier films, had eluded him until now.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Emotionally, the film operates in a classic Gray area, with barely perceptible eddies that build to a mighty existential wrench. All of which, it should be said, rests on Pitt’s shoulders – which feel like very different shoulders, somehow, to the ones that slouched so appealingly through Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. His performance here is as grippingly inward and tamped down as his work for Tarantino was witty and expansive – it’s true movie stardom, and it fills a star-system-sized canvas.” – Robbie Collin, The Telegraph

Available Formats (12/17):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


ABOMINABLE

metascoreWhen teenage Yi (Chloe Bennet) encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in Shanghai, she and her mischievous friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), name him “Everest” and embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth. But the trio of friends will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to help Everest get home.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It can be a rare occurrence to find a kid-friendly animated film these days that actually surprises and delights. Dreamworks’ Abominable, written and co-directed by Jill Culton, does indeed surprise and delight, all while following a familiar hero’s journey tale that borrows from favorite friendly creature films.” – Katie Walsh, Chicago Tribune

“The animated film takes a standard story and adds so much visual beauty that it exceeds expectations.” – Kristen Page-Kirby, Washington Post

“The story is strong, the music is appealing. Abominable is delightful.” – Soren Andersen, Seattle Times

Available Formats (12/17):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


RAMBO: LAST BLOOD

MetascoreAlmost four decades after he drew first blood, Sylvester Stallone is back as one of the greatest action heroes of all time, John Rambo. Now, Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The Looney Tunes nature of Rambo’s murder spree tempers much of the script’s ideological offense.” – Keith Uhlich, Slant

“This movie is the product of truly deranged minds. It’s a must-see.” – Vince Mancini, Uproxx

“While part of the film offers the expected, unsparingly violent action tropes typical of the series, there’s another aspect to the story, a surprisingly brooding examination of a warrior in winter, a dark story of a berserker who can’t let go, that’s in its own way bleaker and more despairing than we may be expecting.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Available Formats (12/17):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


JUDY

MetascoreWinter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown. As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“If there was ever a film that screamed Best Actress Oscar-bait, it’s Judy. But damn, Renée Zellweger is absolutely fantastic in this role, and absolutely deserves Best Actress honors. Yes, I know the year’s not over yet, but the bar is set high.” – Alan Ng, Film Threat

“Zellweger’s poise and presence make the entire affair more than worthwhile.” – Tomris Laffly, The Playlist

“Zellweger knocks it out of the park, lighting up this punchy and moving late-life biopic with big-hearted, big-voiced panache.” – Kate Stables, Total Film

Available Formats (12/24):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack

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