Skip to main content

DVD Outlook: December 2016

Once the calendar switches to December it becomes difficult to convince me to see anything other than the weekly Oscar contending releases that swarm theaters nationwide. Yet, for movie watchers trying to avoid venturing to the big screen and who prefer relaxing and enjoying a new flick in the comfort of their homes, December has some worthwhile options arriving this month (November's suggestions). Here's what's on tap for the upcoming month:

Don't Think Twice - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

Mike Birbiglia writes, directs and co-stars in this brilliantly handled indie comedy. It's so rare for a comedic endeavor to combine legitimate laughs with a soulful story, yet Don't Think Twice achieves this and so much more. The film follows a popular New York City improv group called The Commune who aren't just talented performers, they've become so close that they're basically a family. But when scouts from a major sketch comedy show called "Weekend Live" set their focus on the group, bitter competition begins to tear apart the fabric of this on-stage family. Don't Think Twice is emboldened by phenomenal performances that build multi-layered characters. Each member of the improv group becomes developed enough to earn a vested interest from the audience. While an emotional supporting turn is offered by Gillian Jacobs, the rest of the cast also pull you into their competitive world of comedy where not everyone can make it big. (December 6th)

Sully - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read full review here)

It's no easy task releasing a film before all of the other labeled Oscar contenders and remaining in contention as the year comes to a close, but Clint Eastwood has achieved just that with his latest biopic, Sully. Tom Hanks stars as Chelsey Sullenberger, a pilot who became an overnight American hero after successfully executing and emergency landing on the Hudson River and saving the lives of all crew and passengers on board the plane. However, upon an investigation of the flight by the NTSB, Sully is forced to ponder whether or not he responded correctly and if he put all of these lives in an unnecessary danger. The inner turmoil of the title character is captured magnificently by acting legend Tom Hanks. Both he and co-star Aaron Eckhart provide exceptional performances that may (and probably should) be recognized by the Academy Awards. My only issue with Sully, however, is the narrow scope of the film's story. There isn't much meat to it and, consequently, Eastwood consumes his running time with countless perspectives of that fateful plane landing. But either way, the film is an entertaining awards season contender that you should catch if you haven't already. (December 20th)

The Magnificent Seven - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

Admittedly, I have a soft spot for Westerns. And while Antoine Fuqua's remake, The Magnificent Seven, has its fair share of blemishes, it also entertains the audience with an unfettered ease. Industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) overruns the small town of Rose Creek with deadly force and it prompts a widow (Haley Bennett) and other townsfolk to summon the assistant of a bounty hunter (Denzel Washington) who recruits a team of misfits to take on Bogue's militant army. This modern interpretation of a classic story is paced extremely well considering its running time pushes towards 135 minutes. Vincent D'Onofrio and Denzel Washington provide the most notable work, while co-star Chris Pratt feels awfully out of place. Nothing groundbreaking resides in The Magnificent Seven but it's compelling enough to enjoy on a more superficial level. (December 20th)

Honorable Mention: Also arriving to DVD and Blu-Ray this month are action films Suicide Squad (12/13) and the latest franchise installment, Jason Bourne (12/6). Oscar rumblings still follow Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant for their work in the overrated film Florence Foster Jenkins (12/13), and Oliver Stone's long-winded biopic Snowden (12/27) also finds a release this month. Animated films The Secret Life of Pets (12/6) and Storks (12/20) are available, as well as Tim Burton's imaginative new work Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (12/13) and rom-com Bridget Jones's Baby (12/13).


Popular posts from this blog

The Glass Castle

Destin Cretton is anything but a household name. Yet, the gifted filmmaker turned heads with his massively overlooked 2013 drama, Short Term 12. The effort bridged together Cretton's singular story and vision with the remarkable acting talents of Brie Larson. Since then Larson has gone on to win an Academy Award (Room), but her career comes full circle in her latest collaboration with Destin Cretton in the adapted film The Glass Castle.

Told non-chronologically through various flashbacks, The Glass Castle follows the unconventional childhood of gossip columnist and eventual Best-Selling author Jeannette Walls (Larson). Prior to her career as a writer, Walls grows up under the dysfunctional supervision of her alcoholic father (Woody Harrelson) and her amateur artist mother (Naomi Watts). But as Jeannette and her siblings begin to mature and fully comprehend their squatter-lifestyle and impoverished upbringing, they must work together to escape the clutches of their deadbeat parents.

ATHIRAH (2016) REVIEW : Urgensi, Relevansi, dan Intimasi dalam Film Biografi

Urgensi, kata yang tepat dan selalu menjadi poin menarik di setiap film-film tentang seseorang atau biografi. Menilik tujuan seperti apa yang ingin diwujudkan lewat beberapa sineas setelah menyelesaikan proyek film biografi. Beberapa poin ini memang terkadang masih terkesan bias, karena masih ada kepentingan politik yang berusaha ingin disampaikan. Memang, film sejatinya bisa digunakan sebagai alternatif penyampaian pesan, film memiliki misi dari pembuatnya. Sehingga, metode ini kerap digunakan sebagai medium untuk membangun atau mengembalikan sebuah citra.
Juga ada Relevansi, kata yang tepat setelah menonton sebuah film biografi. Apa yang berusaha dibangun dan ingin disampaikan oleh menonton akan berdampak pada bagaimana seseorang memiliki paradigma dengan sosok tersebut. Dua poin itu juga yang membuat Riri Riza ingin mengabadikan secara visual tentang sosok Ibu Jusuf Kalla bernama Athirah. Memoir tentang Athirah telah pertama kali dituliskan ke dalam bentuk buku oleh Albethiene En…

The Best Performances in Christopher Nolan Films

Like a writer pushing his deadline, guest-writer Greg Rouleau has stepped in to deliver the first of a three-part Movie List of the Month featuring the magnificent Christopher Nolan just before the calendar changed to August (June's list). To begin the upcoming movie list series Greg begins by highlighting the Top 10 performances featured in Nolan's film catalog. Here's a look at the selections:

#10. Matthew McConaughey - Interstellar (2014)

The apex of the “McConaissance” came when McConaughey, fresh off an Academy Award win for Best Actor, signed on to star in Nolan’s big-budget sci-fi epic, with an ensemble that included its fair share of Oscar winners and nominees.  Heading this cast in impressive fashion, McConaughey’s Cooper perfectly embodies the rural American family man who can’t deny his dormant thrill for exploration when he’s chosen to lead a team through a wormhole in hopes of discovering a new home for Earth’s inhabitants.  Coop’s great balance of heart, herois…