This time around I’m going to break up the home video releases from the theatrical releases and touch on things headed to the big screen later in the week. So I figured I would take a quick moment to address some of what’s finding its way to the DVD aisle and your home streaming service this week.
First lets tackle the DVD releases. The four major flicks hitting shelves this week in physical media are “Spies in Disguise”, “Uncut Gems”, “Bombshell” and “Charlie’s Angels”. To be perfectly honest, none of these make me want to jump off the couch and run to Best Buy to snatch a copy before they sell out. Because honestly, none of these will sell out. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if two or three of them are deeply discounted after just a couple months on the rack.
“Spies in Disguise” probably has the most appeal of the four films. I’m currently in a bit of a moral quandary as I’ve found myself on the outs with Will Smith so I don’t want to purchase this film out of spite. It also features the delightful Tom Holland in a starring voice capacity and backed up by the accompanying talents of Rashida Jones, Karen Gillan and Ben Mendelsohn. I’m on the verge of breaking down as my children would very much like to see this movie. It honestly did look fun and if I’m able to put my Will Smith issues aside, it does have a standard appeal. There’s nothing about it that screams it’s going to be the next animated classic but fun is fun when it comes to a kid’s flick that you may have to watch on some level of repeat.
I saw “Uncut Gems” in theaters and frankly I never want to see this movie again. I know it received all sorts of critical acclaim from people who hailed it as some kind of masterpiece but with a 40% discrepancy between critic love and audience malaise, I find erring on the side of caution is best advised. I love Adam Sandler and was happy to see him push himself to a kind of character that he would never have been pegged for in the past. Its a complete departure from his standard repertoire of roles and he plays the character to a T perfectly. The problem is you hate the character. Or at least that’s what myself and many of the people who shared their thoughts on Rotten Tomatoes felt like. If you have to watch this film because you’re just that curious, please rent it. I spent 30 minutes in my car after watching it in theaters trying to figure out what I had just done. Like I said, once was more than enough for me.
“Bombshell” garnered a couple of Oscar nods but didn’t fare particularly well in theaters. Its a film centered around #MeToo related improprieties stemming out of real life Fox News from a few years ago. While I can enjoy the political theater in my own life from time to time and share in spirited conversations with those around me, I don’t much enjoy the divisiveness of political anything when it comes to the public forum. When it comes to this flick I feel like the people who want to own it already knew they did and weren’t going to rely on anything I had to say in the first place. Having not seen it and not really caring to, my opinion is relatively moot as it stands.
That leaves “Charlie’s Angels”. The reboot/remake that nobody asked for and nobody went and saw. Elizabeth Banks is a wildly talented actress and has even directed a few films with a deft hand, namely her entry in the Pitch Perfect franchise of which she also acted in as well. I’ve enjoyed her in many of her outings both comedic and otherwise. However, this film seemed a trainwreck from every angle and totally bombed at the box office. I’m sure there is an audience for it somewhere out there but I know that I am not it and that doesn’t make me a bad supporter of strong female cast movies. It makes me somebody who doesn’t want to watch a crappy movie that never should have been made. Even having not seen it, I think I know enough about this movie to recommend staying away from adding it to the collection or even paying to rent it currently. If your curiosity is piqued to the point that you have to see it, give it a couple more months and it will be streaming somewhere.
That takes us into the Digital media coming out this week. The big three on that front are “1917”, “Little Women” and a distant third would be “The Grudge”.
“1917” was a film I viewed twice in theaters and greatly enjoyed both instances. I felt like this was definitely a film that saw its greatest benefit from being experienced on the biggest screen possible. With interesting camera work and Sam Mendes’s personal entanglement in the storytelling, it was a particularly moving film from that vantage point. There are elements that don’t hit entirely but its a very powerful film on a number of fronts. I’m not rushing out to own the digital simply because it’s not a film I feel like has a lot of re-watchability. It’s almost as though the intensity of the film doesn’t lend itself to casual viewings in the future and my home screen will never do justice what I saw on the big screen. That being said, I’d still recommend a rent if you couldn’t see it in theaters as it is a worthwhile film to have seen.
“Little Women” is another retelling of the classic book by Louisa May Alcott. I know there have been other iterations of this same story and I did not see them either. So I’m clearly flying blind on this film, even on the general story. I feel like there’s a fairly straightforward demographic for this film and others like it. Within that crowd I’m sure there are plenty who can speak more to the viability of this particular film. I do think the cast of this one is rather well assembled which usually speaks well of a film. So while I can’t necessarily recommend viewing or not, I feel like the crowd that’s looking forward to “Little Women” made their decision long before I fumbled through my paragraph of nothingness regarding it. So lets just move along then, shall we?
Lastly we have “The Grudge”. I did get the chance to see this one in theaters back in January. There were two original Japanese movies, followed by 3 American reboots/sequels and then this 2020 remake of the 2004 vehicle with Sarah Michelle Gellar. I felt like this movie hit on exactly the note it was going for which is standard creepy. This, to me, was middle of the road horror which is honestly on the good side of things. Horror movies have an easy way of finding their path into nearly unwatchable quite quickly. Some horror flicks are done really well and are truly inspired. But a movie like this is reliable in it’s mediocrity. That’s not to criticize it because reliability of scary means this movie is, well, scary. There’s just enough of your typical horror trope in jump scares and eerie audio to keep you engaged. It never crosses that upper boundary into well done but it also stays a decent distance away from just plain crappy. It might be worth a rent if you’re looking for fresh scary. It will probably make it’s way into your collection if you were a fan of the franchise. But outside of those groupings I’d say you’re fine to wait on this one for a streaming service as well.
So that’s my take on all things available on home entertainment this week. Hopefully this little review is worthwhile for all you kids out there in internet-land. I’m happy to keep churning these out regardless but I’m always hopeful that I can be of some service when it comes to owning/renting flicks that are new to DVD. So until next time, I’ve been your Cinemaster to the North, Adam Peterson. I’ll catch you on the flip side.