New DVDs: February 2021

Let Him Go

MetascoreFollowing the loss of their son, retired sheriff George Blackledge (Kevin Costner) and his wife Margaret (Diane Lane) leave their Montana ranch to rescue their young grandson. When they discover that he is in the clutches of a dangerous family living off the grid in the Dakotas, George and Margaret must fight for the survival of their family.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“With uncommon stealth, Let Him Go morphs from a drama about loss and grief into a terrifying thriller.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“With its handsome, and expensive, period recreation, a wide rural American canvas and an audience-provoking last act, it’s a shame that more of us won’t get to enjoy Let Him Go on the big screen, where it truly belongs. But for those who will, they’re in for a wild ride.” – Benjamin Lee, The Guardian

Let Him Go wastes no time pulling you into an emotional grasp so compelling you can’t believe what happens as the narrative moves from one shocking scene to the next in a pandemic of violence.” – Rex Reed, Observer

Available Formats [2/2]:

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


Tesla

MetascoreBrilliant, visionary Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) fights an uphill battle to bring his revolutionary electrical system to fruition, then faces thornier challenges with his new system for worldwide wireless energy. The film tracks Tesla’s uneasy interactions with his fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and his patron George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan). Another thread traces Tesla’s sidewinding courtship of financial titan J.P. Morgan (Donnie Keshawarz), whose daughter Anne (Eve Hewson) takes a more than casual interest in the inventor. Anne analyzes and presents the story as it unfolds, offering a distinctly modern voice to this scientific period drama which, like its subject, defies convention.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Both here and in the real world, Tesla is more legend than man, and we can only ever really comprehend him through that warped lens. Almereyda understands this fundamental hurdle in the biopic formula, and leans into it with refreshing candor.” – Clint Worthington, Consequence of Sound

“I found it to be a fantastically creative, fourth-wall-breaking, pop-art waking dream.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

“A profound sense of restlessness and loneliness haunts Michael Almereyda’s film, which reinvigorates the biopic genre.” – Chuck Bowen, Slant

Available Formats [2/2]:

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


Wild Mountain Thyme

MetascoreRosemary (Emily Blunt) has her heart set on winning Anthony’s (Jamie Dornan) affections. Having been stung by his father’s (Christopher Walken) plan to sell his farm in Ireland to his American nephew (Jon Hamm), Anthony is jolted into pursuing his dreams.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“While Wild Mountain Thyme might be far from a perfect depiction of the intricacies of central Ireland, it is, at its core, the fabled and beautifully shot love story of two witty and eccentric childhood sweethearts that will have the ability to warm the coldest of hearts this holiday season.” – Max Gao, Observer

“The gentle spirit of Wild Mountain Thyme envelops us early, to the extent that, midway through, even though there is very little left to resolve, we are in its spell.” – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

“Whether or not the word ‘whimsy’ makes you flinch is probably a fair indicator of whether Wild Mountain Thyme is for you, but if you’re looking for the cinematic equivalent of a hot cup of tea on a blustery day, you might find yourself developing a taste for its particular brand of quirky romance.” – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

Available Formats [2/2]:

DVD


Host

MetascoreSix friends get together during lockdown for their weekly Zoom call. It’s Haley’s turn to organize an activity and instead of a quiz, she’s arranged for a Medium to conduct a séance. Bored and feeling mischievous, Jemma decides to have some fun and invents a story about a boy in her school who hanged himself. However, her prank gives license for a demonic presence to cross over, taking on the guise of the boy in Jemma’s made-up story. The friends begin noticing strange occurrences in their homes as the evil presence begins to make itself known, and they soon realize that they might not survive the night.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“One of the most brutally innovative horrors of the last few years, and all done through windows on a computer screen.” – Richard Whittaker, Austin Chronicle

“Conceived, written, shot and released all in the early months of the Covid crisis and taking place entirely on a Zoom call, Host is about as contemporary – and chilling – as it gets.” – Christopher Machell, Cinevue

“An adrenaline-spiking fresh take on a well-worn horror format, Host transcends its high-concept premise to deliver original ideas — and scream-worthy surprises.” – Al Horner, Empire

Available Formats [2/2]:

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


Random Acts of Violence

MetascoreComic book creator Todd Walkley, his wife, assistant and best friend, are heading to NYC Comic Con when bad things start to happen—people start getting killed. It soon becomes clear that a crazed fan is using his Slashman comic as inspiration for the killings. And as the bodies pile up, and Todd’s friends become victims themselves, he is forced to face the killer and put an end to his notorious comic once and for all.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Random Acts of Violence has something to say about the proliferation of torture porn and horror that glorifies violence. Baruchel does it in a smart, sometimes funny, and sometimes utterly devastating way. It’s absolutely worth checking out if you love horror, and maybe even if you don’t.” – Lorry Kikta, Film Threat

“If it thematically bites off more than it can chew, Random Acts Of Violence is a full-on, visually arresting horror. What it lacks in chills, it makes up for in ambition and style.” – Ian Freer, Empire

“A great slasher that is able to stir feelings of discomfort in its discourse alone.” – Víctor López G., Espinof

Available Formats [2/2]:

DVD


Archenemy

MetascoreMax Fist (Joe Manganiello) claims to be a hero from another dimension who fell through time and space to Earth, where he has no powers. No one believes his stories except for a local teen named Hamster. Together, they take to the streets to wipe out the local drug syndicate and its vicious crime boss known as The Manager.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Archenemy is an absolute must-watch.” – Lorry Kikta, Film Threat

“The movie’s superhero-laden backbone is meant to support a deeper message. Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Archenemy is a painful reminder of how society fails people, and bleeds colorful nuance and thematic messaging in every frame.” – Jack Wilhelmi, Screen Rant

“What’s really great about Archenemy is that Mortimer never shies away from that darkness. By toeing the line of mental illness, he can expose the cost of comic book heroics and the evil being fought against.” – Jared Mobarak, The Film Stage

Available Formats [2/2]:

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


Love, Weddings & Other Disasters

MetascoreWith a couple’s impending wedding as the backdrop, Love, Weddings & Other Disasters weaves multiple storylines as it follows the search for love by a colorful group of characters including: an inexperienced wedding planner (Maggie Grace) nicknamed “The Wedding Trasher”; a fussy celebrity caterer (Jeremy Irons); his blind date (Diane Keaton); and a tour-bus guide (Andrew Bachelor) looking for his Cinderella.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“A terrific surprise and exactly the kind of feel good movie needed to close out this year.” – Jeffrey Lyles, Lyles’ Movie Files

Available Formats [2/2]:

DVD


Breach

MetascoreFleeing a devastating plague on Earth, an interstellar ark comes under attack from a new threat; a shape-shifting alien force intent on slaughtering what is left of humanity.

Description provided by Metacritic.

Breach has its moments of B-movie fun, stemming more from utterly ridiculous execution than a sincere effort to create a gripping space horror.” – Debopriyaa Dutta, Screen Rant

Breach owes a huge debt to Ridley Scott’s Alien and John Carpenter’s The Thing and while it’s nowhere near as good as those classics, this genre flick embraces its B-movie roots and makes for the most enjoyable Bruce Willis movie for a long time.” – Niall Browne, Movies In Focus

“…does a decent job keeping the fun quotient on par with other Bruce Willis movies.” – Edward Douglas, The Weekend Warrior

Available Formats [2/2]:

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


Greenland

metascoreA family fights for survival as a planet-killing comet races to Earth. John Garrity (Gerard Butler), his estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin), and young son Nathan make a perilous journey to their only hope for sanctuary. Amid terrifying news accounts of cities around the world being leveled by the comet’s fragments, the Garrity’s experience the best and worst in humanity while they battle the increasing panic and lawlessness surrounding them. As the countdown to global apocalypse approaches zero, their incredible trek culminates in a desperate and last-minute flight to a possible safe haven.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Gerard Butler’s latest effort reveals a dramatic depth beneath the action man veneer. Brooding, bold and effortlessly engaging, Greenland breaks the mould.” – Martin Carr, We Got This Covered

“It’s just escapist enough to fill our disaster-flick needs, but don’t be surprised if Ric Roman Waugh’s film sometimes feels like too much, especially in the middle of an ongoing real-life calamity. To put it a simpler way: Greenland is not just effective; sometimes it’s too effective.” – Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

“…what makes Greenland stand out is how, at certain times, what we’re watching doesn’t seem so spectacular, but very much like the real thing — albeit with a fair amount of VFX and Butler’s own brand of sweaty, stress-bucket bravado.” – Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

Available Formats [2/9]:

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


Freaky

MetascoreSeventeen-year-old Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton) is just trying to survive the bloodthirsty halls of Blissfield High and the cruelty of the popular crowd. But when she becomes the newest target of The Butcher (Vince Vaughn), her town’s infamous serial killer, her senior year becomes the least of her worries. When The Butcher’s mystical ancient dagger causes him and Millie to wake up in each other’s bodies, Millie learns that she has just 24 hours to get her body back before the switch becomes permanent and she’s trapped in the form of a middle-aged maniac forever. The only problem is she now looks like a towering psychopath who’s the target of a city-wide manhunt while The Butcher looks like her and has brought his appetite for carnage to Homecoming. With some help from her friends—ultra-woke Nyla (Celeste O’Connor), ultra-fabulous Joshua (Misha Osherovich) and her crush Booker (Uriah Shelton)—Millie races against the clock to reverse the curse while The Butcher discovers that having a female teen body is the perfect cover for a little Homecoming killing spree.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It’s a love letter to the genre without ever aping or mimicking it. With an incredible supporting cast and two engaging leads, it’s an out and out blast that finds Landon inching closer and closer to slasher masters like Craven and Carpenter.” – Ryan Larson, Consequence of Sound

Freaky is a pure pleasure, an absurd thriller that cuts through descending autumn gloom with a surprisingly bespoke prop knife.” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

“Director Christopher Landon’s Freaky effortlessly weaves together the conventions of Freaky Friday and Friday the 13th, eschewing the confines of ‘remake,’ instead creating a unique genre hybrid that’s slick and endlessly entertaining—all the while maintaining a clever self-awareness which enlivens the film’s jump-scares and punchlines without descending into the horror-comedy pitfall of self-referential metaness.” – Natalia Keogan, Paste

Available Formats [2/9]:

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


Wander Darkly

MetascoreA traumatic accident leaves a couple, Adrienne (Sienna Miller) and Matteo (Diego Luna), in a surreal state of being that takes them on a disorienting journey through the duality of their shared moments. By reliving fond recollections from the beginning of their romance while also navigating the overwhelming truths of their present, they must rediscover the love that truly binds them together.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Life, like love is messy. The beauty of the film is the way Miele, through the dilemma of Adrienne and Matteo, asks us to look at our own messy lives and see it through fresh eyes.” – Karen Gordon, Original Cin

“Chemistry wise, Miller and Luna work wonders together. Miller’s intense dynamic range: from impassioned to ebullient and afraid, plays well off of Luna’s boyish charm. They imbue these characters with troves of insecurities and mountains of love.” – Robert Daniels, The Playlist

“Wander Darkly is a hard watch that is worth it, as the movie will pull a few tears from your eyes at the end.” – Alan Ng, Film Threat

Available Formats [2/9]:

DVD


The Little Prince

MetascoreAt the heart of this adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s masterpiece is The Little Girl (Mackenzie Foy), who’s being prepared by her mother (Rachel McAdams) for the very grown-up world in which they live – only to be interrupted by her eccentric, kind-hearted neighbor, The Aviator (Jeff Bridges). The Aviator introduces his new friend to an extraordinary world where anything is possible. A world that he himself was initiated into long ago by The Little Prince (Riley Osborne). It’s here that The Little Girl’s magical and emotional journey into the universe of The Little Prince begins. And it’s where The Little Girl rediscovers her childhood and learns that ultimately, it’s human connections that matter most, and that it is only with heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

The Little Prince is heartbreaking, beautiful and irresistible.” – David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

“Like a Pixar movie shorn of the cutesy and manipulative aspects that marred Inside Out, the animated remake of The Little Prince, hitting theaters and Netflix, is as fragile and beautiful as the beloved rose guarded by the wee fellow of the title.” – Kyle Smith, New York Post

“At its inventive best—like the creation of a little cloth fox who never speaks but steals almost every scene he’s in—it does capture the odd, tender wonder of his world.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

Available Formats [2/9]:

DVD


Lovecraft Country: Season 1

MetascoreThe adaptation of Matt Ruff’s book follows Atticus Black (Jonathan Majors) as he goes on a roadtrip through segregated 1950s America with his friend Letitia (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) and uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) to find his missing father (Michael K. Williams).

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Freedom allows Green and her collaborators to show their stunning command of the energy and spirit the story’s blending of science fiction and horror requires. It means that every slice of the audience, from monster movie lovers to Dan Brown-style conspiracy thriller nuts and Indiana Jones fans, will find something to enjoy here.” – Melanie McFarland, Salon

“The creativity on display is phenomenal, with writing that’s layered with meanings and allusions, acting that brings the kind of emotional grounding you don’t always find in genre stories, and visual realizations that are stunning as they pinball among influences including David Cronenberg, Guillermo del Toro, and, of course, Peele.” – Matthew Gilbert, Boston Globe

“Green’s characters are not perfect. Bolstered by fantastic performances across the board, they are living breathing humans who often struggle to do the right thing. Because when power is reclaimed, there’s a temptation to become the oppressor rather than to reset (or finally achieve) balance. Lovecraft Country expertly lets its characters wrestle with this complexity, exploring competing narratives and balancing justice with the understandable desire for revenge and need for catharsis.” – Jenn Adams, Consequence of Sound

Available Formats [2/16]:

DVD


The Informer

metascoreHonorably discharged Special Ops soldier Pete Koslow’s (Joel Kinnaman) world is turned upside-down when he is jailed after a fight to protect his wife (Ana de Armas). He’s given a chance for early release by becoming an informant for the FBI (Rosamund Pike and Clive Owen) and using his covert skills in an operation to take down The General, the most powerful crime boss in New York. But when the FBI sting meant to finally earn Koslow his freedom results in the death of an undercover NYPD cop, Koslow finds himself caught in the crossfire between the mob and the FBI. The General insists Koslow takes the heat and sends him back to prison to spearhead a drug operation from inside, and the FBI affirms that going back to jail to do The General’s bidding is the only way for Koslow to keep his deal with them alive. Caught in a world of impossible choices, Koslow must return to prison, where he formulates a plan to escape the clutches of three of New York City’s most powerful organizations – the mob, the NYPD and the FBI – in order to save himself and his family.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

The Informer is one of the year’s more pleasant genre surprises: a clenched fist of a crime thriller in the mode of The Departed or The Town, in which every element is just a notch smarter than you’d expect. Generic though the film may look, it holds together absorbingly, thanks to a sturdy script which ups stakes and adds characters with cunning and intelligence.” – Tim Robey, The Telegraph

“The climactic scenes when all hell breaks loose are gripping and enthralling, and in the midst of all the blood, sweat and tears, Joel Kinnaman is kicking ass and taking names in true action movie-star fashion.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

“The movie has a surfeit of the sudden reversals and interlocking loyalties that can make for an absorbing time killer.” – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times

Available Formats [2/16]:

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


A Call to Spy

MetascoreAs Great Britain’s forces were stretched thin during World War II, Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive (SOE) began to enlist women as spies. Their daunting mission: conduct sabotage and build a resistance. Spymistress Vera Atkins, later the inspiration for Ian Fleming’s Miss Moneypenny in the James Bond franchise, was the chief recruiter for this secret army. Atkins selected two unusual candidates: Virginia Hall, an American journalist from Baltimore hampered by a wooden leg, and Noor Inayat Khan, a wireless officer of Indian descent and an avowed pacifist. Together, they worked to undermine the Nazi regime in France. The courage, sacrifices and grit of these three women helped quell the Nazi occupation – and ultimately turned the tide of the war.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“An engrossing and often thrilling spy drama, and a tribute to this courageous and diverse group of women.” – Shiela O’Malley, RogerEbert.com

“True stories about brave, everyday people fighting evil powers never go out of fashion, and A Call to Spy joins their ranks with ease.” – Kate Erbland, IndieWire

“An important, compelling story that had to be told.” – Andy Howell, Film Threat

Available Formats [2/16]:

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee

MetascorePaul Hogan is reluctantly thrust back into the spotlight as he desperately attempts to restore his sullied reputation on the eve of being knighted.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It takes a surprisingly effective, self-aware approach to legacyquels by basically arguing that it doesn’t need to exist and there’s a dozen more reasons why it won’t work, even if Hogan and a team of creative geniuses can figure out a reason to try.” – Todd Gilchrist, What To Watch

Available Formats [2/16]:

DVD


The Croods: A New Age

MetascoreThe Croods need a new place to live. So, the first prehistoric family sets off into the world in search of a safer place to call home. When they discover an idyllic walled-in paradise that meets all their needs, they think their problems are solved… except for one thing. Another family already lives there: the Bettermans. The Bettermans (emphasis on the “better”)—with their elaborate tree house, amazing inventions and irrigated acres of fresh produce—are a couple of steps above the Croods on the evolutionary ladder. When they take the Croods in as the world’s first houseguests, it isn’t long before tensions escalate between the cave family and the modern family. Just when all seems lost, a new threat will propel both families on an epic adventure outside the safety of the wall, one that will force them to embrace their differences, draw strength from each other and forge a future together.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“You may never have thought you needed or even wanted a sequel to The Croods, but you may find it a pleasant surprise in a year where most of the surprises have been anything but.” – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

“Although it’s clearly tailored for kids to enjoy as its first priority, A New Age leans into the physical comedy and, for lack of a better phrase, crude humor of its predecessor with success, creating a lighthearted, low-ambition romp that kids will love and adults will enjoy.” – Joseph Stanichar, Paste

“So there’s a lot going on here, and director Joel Crawford and his teams efficiently keep the story moving along. There’s a wonderful ‘Flintstones’ versus ‘Jetsons’ vibe, the characters are, as usual, appealing.” – G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

Available Formats [2/23]:

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


The Last Vermeer

MetascoreWhile Joseph Piller (Claes Bang), a Dutch Jew, was fighting in the Resistance during the Second World War, the witty, debonair aesthete, Han van Meegeren (Guy Pearce) was hosting hedonistic soirées and selling Dutch art treasures to Hermann Goring and other top Nazis. Following the war, Piller becomes an investigator assigned the task of identifying and redistributing stolen art, resulting in the flamboyant van Meegeren being accused of collaboration — a crime punishable by death. But, despite mounting evidence, Piller, with the aid of his assistant (Vicky Krieps), becomes increasingly convinced of Han’s innocence and finds himself in the unlikely position of fighting to save his life.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The film moves from detective story to courtroom drama with nicely sketched character studies as a bonus.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“This isn’t the kind of storytelling that flatters the audience’s intelligence, and yet, spelling things out ensures that viewers who don’t like to work too hard can follow along easily and focus on the film’s other pleasures — namely, Pearce’s performance and the twisty case of the missing ‘Vermeer.'” – Peter Debruge, Variety

“The courtroom finale, eating up much of the third act, is a corker. And Pearce holds our focus, still or animated, chewing up a scene or so underplaying it he’s still the center of attention. Like the Great Master he is, he knows how to grab the eye and hold its focus, with or without a menacing mustache.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

Available Formats [2/23]:

DVD

Leave a Reply