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 easily made my pick, but since this was the Best Picture winner, it seems like the easiest choice. But really, start counting your pennies because there is a lot of cool stuff coming out this week.
I, Tonya: Craig Gillespie directs Margot Robbie in this biopic that attempts to un-tarnish Tonya Harding’s bad-girl reputation stemming from the infamous moment around the 1994 Olympics when Harding’s boyfriend tried to break Nancy Kerrigan’s legs. Buzz is that it's a fun retelling of the story from conflicting points of view. Allison Janney won the Oscar for her portrayal as Harding’s abusive mother. Spencer Coile has our full review.
Call Me by Your Name: Armie Hammer stars in this romantic drama about two young men who fall in love in Italy over the course of one summer in 1983. James Ivory won his very first Oscar for the screenplay.
The Disaster Artist: In 2003, Tommy Wiseau self-financed, wrote, directed, and starred in a very personal film entitled The Room. By all accounts, it is a terrible film. Much like Plan 9 From Outer Space, it has become a cult favorite due to that terribleness. Years later, costar Greg Sestero wrote a book about his experiences making the film and his relationship to Wiseau. Now, James Franco has made a film based on the book. It looks fantastic.
The Age of Innocence (Criterion Collection): At first glance, Martin Scorsese adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel seems out of the director’s usual depth. There is no physical violence, no drugs, no Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter”. But if you pay attention, you’ll see a violence of another kind. The people who populate Wharton’s novel and Scorsese’s film may not kill each other with blades or bullets but they are out for blood just the same. Their violence comes from the classes and they use both words and party invitations to dole out their damage. Scorsese films it with his usual panache and it's just as exciting as any gangster film.
Birdboy: The Forgotten Children: Animated film that is very much for adults only. It's about a couple of mice creatures living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland trying to escape through a creepy dump. Or it's about Birdboy, a child addicted to happy pills running from the police and haunted by demons. Or maybe it's about something else. I’m about halfway through and am confused as I am mesmerized by its stylish animation and heavy symbolism.
The Handmaid’s Tale: Season One: I’ve previously written about how much I love this series so I won’t gush about it anymore here. No word on if there are any extras in this set, but for those without Hulu, this should be a nice way to finally watch it.
Ferdinand: Fun-looking animated film about a mild-mannered litle bull chosen to be a champion bull fighter.
Justice League: I’ve enjoyed the DC movies more than most, but they are certainly very flawed films. Critics were pretty brutal with this one, but I’m sure I’ll be seeing it sooner than later.
Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season: I gave up on The Walking Dead ages ago, unlike Shawn and Kim, and have never bothered with this spin-off, but these zombies seem to be unstoppable.