Recently in Pick of the Week

Criterion's Release of My Man Godfrey is the Pick of the Week

Superheroes, dinosaurs, aliens and more are all in this week's new Blu-ray releases.
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I cut the cord many years ago. For the most part, I haven’t missed cable at all. I don’t watch sports or any live events really. I’m happy to wait for whatever movie or TV show I want to watch comes to one streaming service or another. The one thing I do miss is Turner Classic Movies. They show all sorts of great movies, many of which would not have been on my radar otherwise. They put together interesting line-ups featuring particular directors or actors, or any other number of themes. Their hosts are informative and interesting. It was always

Ocean's 8 is the Pick of the Week

Here's what's interesting in the new Blu-ray releases this week.
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With reboots, re-imaginings, remakes, sequels, prequels, etc. and so forth, it's hard to keep up with all the ways Hollywood takes an existing property and changes it just enough to get us back into theaters (or at least attempt to do that). I get why they do it. You’ve got an established property with a built in fan base, but it's a few years (or decades) past its expiration date so you bring in fresh faces and start over. But it's hard not to be cynical about these things. Ocean’s 8 is an interesting twist in this ever-expanding and changing

Won't You Be My Neighbor? is the Pick of the Week

Here's all that you need to know about this week's new Blu-ray releases.
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I loved watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood growing up. I have only the vaguest memories of actually watching the show, but what is there is very warm. Later in life, my mother used to be bewildered by this fact. She always figured kids should prefer the more lively kids shows like Sesame Street and didn’t get the appeal of Mr. Rogers who seemed, well, kind of boring. But millions of kids like me completely get that his gentle demeanor and warm kindness wasn’t boring, it was comforting. In the years since, I’ve come to see Fred Rogers a radical cultural rebel.

RBG is the Pick of the Week

It's a big week full of interesting releases. We've got your details.
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The Supreme Court of the United State is shrouded in mystery. The decisions they make have far-reaching and long-running impacts on all aspects of our society. Yet cameras are not allowed into their proceedings, and rarely do they give open interviews or stand for intimate profile pieces. In recent years, this has begun to change and we now see some Justices having a more public profile but much of what goes on inside the court remains a mystery. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second woman to be appointed to the court. RBG profiles her rise to that position and her

The Terror is the Pick of the Week

It's a week full of big movies, big TV, shows and big reviews from our staff.
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The question we are faced with, dear reader, is whether to go with the new release that we have seen and loved, or the one we have not watched but really want to. The answer, it seems is to go with what we know. At least for this week. The Terror is a new anthology series from AMC. Season One fictionalizes the true story of the crew members of two British ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror, that set sail in the 1800s to find the fabled Northwest Passage to Asia and were never seen alive again. Based

Avengers: Infinity War is the Pick of the Week

Here's all that's worth buying in this week's new Blu-ray releases.
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Oh snap, Avengers: Infinity War comes out this week. It's been twenty years since Iron Man began the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In that time, Marvel has changed the landscape of film, television, and how far reaching franchises can get. These days, everybody is trying to get into the cinematic-universe game and pretty much everybody else is failing at it. Marvel has made billions of dollars from their films, television series, and other tie-ins. They’ve proven you can make individual films that maintain their own style and yet are able to be brought into a larger cinematic fold. In some ways,

The Death of Superman is the Pick of the Week

It's a full week of new releases, and I've got the details.
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Superman died in 1993. Or at least DC Comics briefly killed him in Superman #75. It was a huge media event. I wasn’t much for comic books in 1993 but I totally remember the hype. Of course, they brought him back to life sometime later but the idea that the indestructible Man of Steel could be killed was a pretty big deal back then. It was also one of the earliest major cross-over events. DC chose this story for their first DC Universe Animated Original Movie back in 2007. They’ve now remade it with Jerry O’Connell starring as Superman with

Tully is the Pick of the Week

Here's all that's interesting coming to Blu-ray this week.
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Last week, I complained that there wasn’t much of interest coming out. At least it had a big Steven Spielberg movie hitting the shelves. This week doesn’t even have that. It's the sort of week that I’d skip if I were just a regular schlub looking for something to buy at my local Blu-ray store. Instead, I’m just a schlub who writes a weekly column about new home-video releases so I’d better say something. Tully is a dramatic comedy from Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman. It stars Charlize Theron as a soon-to-be mother of three struggling with the craziness that

Ready Player One is the Pick of the Week

The long, hot summer may never end, but at least there are still a few movies to watch.
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We are officially into the Dog Days of Summer. Actually, that may not be true. Is there an official start to the Dog Days of Summer? Do they put that on calendars? Maybe it's in August, I don’t know. What I do know is that it feels like summer has been here forever and it feels like it will never end. I’ve grown really tired of having nothing but blockbusters at the movie theater. I’m ready for cooler weather, leaves changing colors, the end of mowing my yard, and some new Oscar contenders to watch. There is no relief coming

Isle of Dogs is the Pick of the Week

It's a big week for new releases. Come inside to see the best of the bunch.
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One of the hardest things to do with Wes Anderson films is waiting for the eventual Criterion release. Every film of his up to The Grand Budapest Hotel has gotten one (and Anderson has promised it will get a Criterion release eventually). Too impatient to wait on that one, I already have a Blu-ray copy sitting on my shelf. This will no doubt get replaced once the Criterion comes out. There has been no announcement that Anderson’s latest film, Isle of Dogs will get a Criterion release, but safe money is that it will. Eventually. The difficulty will be waiting

Mosaic is the Pick of the Week

Stephen Soderbergh getting experimental with television leads off a pretty cool week in new releases.
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I’m on record as being a recovering Steven Soderbergh fan. Or maybe I was a recovering fan who has fallen off the wagon. This metaphor has already gotten out of hand and I just started. I loved Soderbergh early in his career then drifted away for awhile but I’m now very much back into finding him to be a very interesting director. He briefly quit filmmaking a few years back and kept himself busy with TV work on shows like The Knick, then came back to film with Logan Lucky, and now he seems to be splitting his time between

Arrow Video's The Last House on the Left is the Pick of the Week

This week is packed full of interesting releases I've never heard of.
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I write a weekly column discussing all the cool things I’ve discovered in a given week. I typically spend time on IMDB in preparation for that column watching new trailers, looking at new posters, and generally trying to stay abreast of what new movies are coming out. Even so, nearly every week I am surprised when writing this column over various new Blu-ray releases that I’ve never heard of, especially ones with big names attached to them. This week includes several releases star people like Shia LaBeouf, Rosamund Pike, Ellen Page, Jon Hamm, and others that somehow slipped right past

Terminal (2018) is the Pick of the Week

Bad reviews be damned, Terminal sounds like fun to me.
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Do you ever find yourself really liking an actor or actress even though there isn’t a film of theirs that really thrills you? Margot Robbie is like that to me. I’ve liked her ever since I first saw her in Wolf of Wall Street (even though she wasn’t much more than a pretty face in that one). I’ve only only seen her in a few other things and most of those have been bad (I’m looking straight at you, Suicide Squad) and the things I haven’t seen have not been well reviewed. I did really enjoy her performance in I,

Tom Baker's Complete First Season of Doctor Who is the Pick of the Week

See what's new in the world of Blu-rays.
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In 1978, the first four seasons of Tom Baker’s Doctor Who episodes were sold to PBS stations across the United States. This was not the first time The Doctor had come to America. Several years prior, Time Life bought up some of Jon Pertwee’s episodes and syndicated it to commercial stations in the U.S. However, none of the stations seemed to understand the nature of the serialized show and were constantly shuffling it about in their schedule keeping audiences from getting it. PBS hired Howard Da Silva to read voiceover recaps before each episode and teasers at the end, allowing

George Carlin Commemorative Collection is the Pick of the Week

Here are a few titles worth picking up this week.
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Mat continues his family road trip, so I am picking up the reins to write about what looks interesting. It feels like we've been living in Hans Christian Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes" for the past few years as the public discourse gets increasingly less trustworthy due to certain players reveling in and profiting from the chaos of misinformation. It makes one wish for more people in the public square, like the child of Andersen's story, to call out the nonsense on display in society. I enjoy those rabble-rousers, firebrands, and troublemakers who don't go along with the status quo,

Thoroughbreds is the Pick of the Week

Here's all that's interesting in the world of new Blu-ray releases this week.
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Thoroughbreds is about two upper-class teenage girls (Olivia Cooke and Anya Taylor-Joy) who rekindle a friendship after growing apart over many years. One of them is completely aloof, feeling virtually nothing for anybody. The other is over emotional. They hatch a plan to murder the oppressive step-father and hire Anton Yelchin to do the deed. The trailer looks hilarious. They had me the moment they called it a cross between Heathers and American Psycho. I cannot wait to see it. Also out this week that looks interesting: A Wrinkle In Time: Madeline L’Engle’s classic book gets a big-budget adaptation starring

Annihilation is the Pick of the Week

See what's new in the world of Blu-ray this week.
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One of my favorite podcasts is The Next Picture Show. On it, four film critics discuss a classic movie and how it has inspired and informed a new film. They have a deep discussion about both films and talk about how they are interrelated. It's informative and fun. They do two episodes per pairing. In the first, they discuss the classic film and then in the second they bring in the new one and discuss how the two match up. Awhile back they paired Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker with Alex Garland’s latest film Annihilation. After listening to the first episode, I

I Kill Giants is the Pick of the Week

See what's coming out on Blu-ray this week.
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I have to start this week with an apology. Last week, somehow or another I completely and utterly missed talking about Black Panther. For some reason I thought that it was coming out this week. It wasn’t until I had already posted my pick of the week and actually had gone to the store on Tuesday that I realized Black Panther was out. Obviously, I would have mentioned, if not outright picked, one of the biggest releases of the year were I not a complete idiot and missed the release date. Hopefully I’m not missing something quite as colossal as

The Sacrifice is the Pick of the Week

Here's what's coming to Blu-ray this week.
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There are so many different options in terms of what one can watch these days that I often feel overwhelmed. My wife makes fun of me because I’ll often spend half my evening scanning through the various streaming services trying to make a decision on what to watch. What I choose often seems random but whenever I step back and analyze my choices, patterns tend to arise. Over the course of several weeks and months, I tend to watch movies from specific genres or that deal with certain themes, or more often than not, ones by the same director or

The Sinner: Season One Is the Pick of the Week

If you are looking for sex and nudity in your new releases, then this week is for you.
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Sex sells, or so they say. I suppose they are right as sexy things seem to abound in advertisements and the media. Lord knows I am not immune. This week’s new releases are filled with sex in a variety of forms, but not my pick of the week. Well not as far as I can tell anyways. I haven't seen any of it so maybe it's filled with sex and I'm just not aware. The Sinner stars Jessica Biel (who also executive produced) as a young mother who, in an inexplicable fit of rage, commits a great act of very

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.

Paddington 2 is the Pick of the Week

Never underestimate the power of a bear.
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Truly great family films are hard to come by. They are either too sappy or silly or both to be enjoyed by adults or otherwise too busy trying to be clever to keep a kid’s attention. Every once in awhile, the balance comes out just right and the whole family finds themselves enthralled. From the sound of it, Paddington 2 is one such movie. Based on the children’s series by Michael Bond, the film follows the adventures of a Peruvian bear who has been adopted by a family in London. It stars Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Hugh Grant,

The Post is the Pick of the Week

Didn't I write this already?
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Do you ever have one of those days where you thought you did something, are absolutely sure of it, are so sure there really isn’t any need of double checking that you did it, only to later realize you didn’t do it at all? Yea, that was me, today, with my Pick of the Week. This weekend I think I must have looked through this week’s new releases thought about what I would pick, what I would say about that pick, and then promptly killed my web browser without actually writing anything. Somewhere in the fogginess of my brain I

Phantom Thread is the Pick of the Week

It's a big week full of interesting new releases.
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The first words out of my mouth--er, keyboard, this week was going to be that I’m a huge Paul Thomas Anderson fan. Then I looked at his filmography and realize I’ve not seen his last three films. I am very much a fan of his first five films (Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love, and There Will Be Blood). But somewhere along the way I seem to have stopped watching him. It started with The Master, his sort-of take on Scientology with Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing the charismatic leader of a crazy cult. When it came out, it

Insidious: The Last Key is the Pick of the Week

What can I say? It is a slow week.
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I’ve been writing this column for several years now and I still have no idea how the people who make decisions on when Blu-rays are going to be released decide on when a Blu-ray is going to be released. Last week, we had loads of great stuff coming out. This week we’ve a bunch of junk. Well, that’s not quite true; there are several semi-interesting things coming out just nothing really big and exciting. I have no idea why that is. Do people buy a lot of movies for Easter? Are chocolate bunnies out and Blu-rays in? Next week finds

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the Pick of the Week

See what's new in Blu-ray this week.
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It's a great time to be a Star Wars fan. I’m not quite old enough to have seen either A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back in the theaters but I have distinct memories of seeing Return of the Jedi at least three times at the local cinema. I used to rent the entire trilogy over and over on VHS as a youngster and my mother says I saw them on HBO dozens of times in those early years. The space between the original trilogy and the prequels were filled with countless hours discussing what was then only rumors

Criterion Collection's The Passion of Joan of Arc is the Pick of the Week

This week's new releases include a couple of Criterions, Matt Damon getting shrunk, a Robert Altman horror film, and more.
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The biggest gap in my cinematic education has to be silent films. I’ve only seen a few of them and they were mostly a struggle. With no audible dialogue, my attention tends to wane. I start thinking about my day or things I need to do. I look outside or at the messiness of my room. I watch the cat and inevitably reach for my phone, and *poof* the movie slips by without hardly a thought from me. The one silent film I’ve ever loved was The Passion of Joan of Arc. Carl Theodor Dreyer’s telling of the trial and

The Shape of Water is the Pick of the Week

Hope you have some leftover Christmas money because there is a lot of interesting stuff coming out this week.
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I hope you have some leftover Christmas money because it's gonna be an expensive week, Blu-ray fans. We’ve got blockbusters, Oscar winners, cult classics and more. Guillermo del Toro’s other-wordly, weird fantasy film The Shape of Water took home four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. It's about a girl kissing an underwater sea monster during the Cold War. Or something. I really haven’t been paying attention and his films are best seen without having preconceived notions. Luckily, Matthew St. Clair wrote us a review. Honestly, there are at least four other releases this week that I could have

Thor: Ragnarok is the Pick of the Week

Two movies battled it out for this week's pick, but ultimately, the superhero won.
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The 90th Academy Awards aired last night. I have to admit I wasn’t all that excited about it this year. No idea why. I’d actually seen more of the films this year than I usually have at this point and it's the one awards ceremony I usually love to sit through. I skipped all the pre-awards stuff but did turn the TV on for the actual show. As per usual, I clicked on Twitter to see what the people were saying about it. Usually, Twitter is a pretty fun place to hang out while watching the Oscars with plenty of

Coco is the Pick of the Week

Just in time for the Oscars, this week's releases include a lot of films that will no doubt win awards.
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Watching Mary and the Witch’s Flower this weekend made me reflect on animated films and the studios that create them. Mary was made by Studio Ponoc, which was formed when Studio Ghibli looked like it was going to stop making films after the “retirement” of founder Hayao Miyazaki (scare quotes get added as Miyazaki has once again announced his un-retirement to make one more film). Ghibli, of course, has been one of the great animated studios of the last few decades. I’d argue their closest rival is Pixar and that’s not really a rivalry at all since Pixar’s John Lasseter

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