Mary and the Witch's Flower is the Pick of the Week

Here's the best of this week's Blu-ray releases.
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There are a number of directors whose work I follow closely.  I watch all of their films even if the story doesn’t look that interesting.  There are some actors who I like a lot and whose work I’ll usually check out regardless of whether the film looks good.  There's maybe a handful of screenwriters whose name I know and whose films I’ll usually see. For all other films, it depends on the story, the trailer, and the buzz.  I don’t really follow studios at all.  

Except for Pixar and Studio Ghibli.  Two animation studios that consistently put out great movies.  I couldn’t tell you what studios put out the vast majority of the movies that I love but I know exactly what films Ghibli and Pixar have made.

After watching (and reviewing) Mary and the Witch’s Flower, I may be adding Studio Ponoc to that list. Ponoc is made up of a bunch of Ghibli alums and it was formed after Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki announced his retirement, which basically meant Ghibli was going to close shop.

There’s a lot of Miyazaki’s enchanting charm in Mary and the Witch’s Flower and I’m really looking forward to see what they do next.

Also coming out this week that looks interesting:

Nostalgia:  Mark Wellington directs Jon Hamm, Catherine Keener, John Ortiz, Nick Offerman, and Bruce Dern in this drama that follows the lives of an ensemble group of characters connected through loss, love, solace, and artifacts that bring back memories.

Peter Rabbit:  A really silly-looking adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s beloved rabbit stories. Stars Rose Byrne, James Corden, Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, Domhnall Gleeson, and Elizabeth Debicki.

12 Strong:  Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, and Michael Pena star in this action drama about a team of CIA agents and Special Forces as they head into Afghanistan in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

Winchester:  Horror flick about the eccentric Winchester firearms heroes who thinks she’s being haunted by all the souls killed by the Winchester rifle.  Stars Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke.

Please Stand By: Dakota Fanning and Toni Collette star in this comedy/drama about an autistic woman who leaves her supervised group home and embarks on a journey to Paramount Studios where she is determined to submit her manuscript for a Star Trek competition.  David Wangberg has our review.

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