Recently in Pick of the Week

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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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?
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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.
  |   Comments
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

The Florida Project is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us a couple of foreign language films from the Criterion Collection, a silly horror from Arrow Video, Doctor Who, an Oscar-buzzing indie, and more.
  |   Comments
Sean Baker has been making movies for nearly twenty years, but only recently has been given the kind of buzz that moves out of the festival circuit and to places like Oklahoma (where I live). In 2015. he made Tangerine, a movie about a couple of transgendered sex workers that was shot on iPhones and garnered a lot of critical attention. Last year. he made The Florida Project which has garnered some significant Oscar buzz. It's about life in and around a run-down motel somewhere near the vicinity of Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It shows the kids running around,

The Deuce: The Complete First Season Is the Pick of the Week

This week's new releases include some great and not-so-great horror films, Dan Gilroy's follow-up to Nightcrawler, Julia Roberts trying to make a comeback, and more.
  |   Comments
David Simon started out as a reporter for The Baltimore Sun where he worked the crime beat. In 1991, he took a year off to follow the Baltimore Homicide squad around and wrote the excellent Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets about it. A few years later he took another year-long sabbatical with former cop Ed Burns to spend time on an inner-city street corner and wrote about the lives of the junkies, dealers, and helpers who live, work, and play there in the book The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. Homicide was turned

Suburbicon is the Pick of the Week

George Clooney's take on a Coen Brothers' script leads this week's new releases.
  |   Comments
The Coen Brothers have been some of my favorite filmmakers for a long time. I first saw their work with Raising Arizona but it wasn’t until Fargo that I actually knew who they were. That film blew me away. It remains a favorite. I love the Coens' directorial style and their quirky, dark sense of humor. George Clooney is one of my favorite actors. He is incredibly handsome and utterly charming. He’s a movie star in the old Hollywood sense. He isn’t the greatest of actors, in fact he has a pretty limited range, but he seems to understand this

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us a biopic about the creator of Wonder Woman, some Pink Panther cartoons, a new Richard Linklater flick and more.
  |   Comments
After watching Wonder Woman last year, I became a little obsessed with the character. I read loads of articles online about her and eventually picked up Jill Lepore’s excellent book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman. It details the characters birth in 1941 in Action Comics and the many changes made to her throughout the years. It also serves as a fascinating biography of Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston. He graduated from Harvard, became a psychiatrist, a professor at various universities, invented the lie-detector test, worked as an advisor to Hollywood studios, was a bondage fetishist, and secretly lived

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is the Pick of the Week

It is a light week for new releases, but there's a few titles coming out I think you might like.
  |   Comments
It;s been a weird couple of weeks. Usually, the week after Christmas sees a huge drop off in the number and quality of new releases. This lull typically lasts until sometime in mid-February when things slowly start to pick up again. But this year thus far we’ve seen a pretty good collection of stuff coming out in this normally dry period. This week is pretty weak in terms of overall numbers, but there’s still some interesting selections to choose from. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, it's just weird. The Killing of a Sacred Deer, reviewed by Matt St. Clair,

Blade Runner 2049 is the Pick of the Week

The sequel to a sci-fi classic leads this week's new Blu-ray releases.
  |   Comments
One of my pop-culture admissions is that I’ve never been a huge fan of Blade Runner. I’ve only seen the director’s cut, but it's generally considered the best version of the film, and I’ve seen it twice, but it's never really done it for me. I like Ridley Scott, I love sci-fi, and I appreciate a lot of the things the film does, but for whatever reason, I’ve just never particularly cared for it. All the same, I was pretty excited to hear they were finally making a sequel. I really do think the concept of Blade Runner is interesting

It (2017) is the Pick of the Week

This week's new releases include a killer clown, a Deep Throat, a Supreme Court Justice, and more.
  |   Comments
Miniseries have been around since the birth of television but it was the 1980s that really defined what they are and cemented them in our collective consciousness. Or at least that’s how I remember it. As a kid, I can remember grabbing the television guide from the Sunday paper and very carefully mapping out my primetime viewing for the week. I had certain shows on most nights that I watched every week, but some times there was a special - the Olympics, an awards show, or Circus of the Stars - that would take precedence over my normal TV watching.

The Breakfast Club Criterion Collection is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us John Hughes getting his first Criterion plus a tennis match, an Italian murder, Tom Cruise running drugs, and more.
  |   Comments
If you are a child of the '80s, if you are a movie fan of a certain age, then John Hughes films have a special place in your heart. Throughout the 1980s, he made movies about teenagers that felt real. His characters spoke like real teenagers spoke, they cared about things real teenagers cared about. They were funny and sad, romantic and heartbroken. They felt like they were made for…well, me. And a million other me’s. It is hard to pick a favorite John Hughes film because so many of them are so good. As a teenager, I likely would

Brawl in Cell Block 99 is the Pick of the Week

This post-Christmas week brings us a surprising amount of interesting new releases.
  |   Comments
I love it when an actor is able to reinvent himself. I love it when you think you’ve seen everything you’re gonna see with an artist and then they create something so totally new, so completely beyond what they did before that you can only just stand and gape. I haven’t seen Brawl in Cell Block 99 so I can’t say whether or not I’ll be gaping at Vince Vaughn’s performance or not, but from the early reviews that’s exactly what I’ll be doing. I’ve never exactly been a fan of Vaughn’s work. I don’t dislike him, but I’ve never

Follow Us