October is actually a really strong month for theatrical releases and lots of television shows have returned to the air, so getting new movies on DVD and Blu-Ray is probably not everyone’s top priority. However, there are plenty of films from earlier this year that people may have missed coming to video and streaming services, so it’s time to do some catch-up.
Top 5 New Releases This Week
5) An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2012)
This amazingly titled film got people’s attention last year when it won the Gotham Award for Best Film Not Playing at a Theatre Near You. The trailer for the film came out earlier this year and it looked bizarre, but fascinating and definitely piqued my interest. It uses animation, montage, and other devices to reveal an artist’s reaction to losing his girlfriend. As the Gotham Award category suggested, the film never did come to a theatre near me, so I am looking forward to the opportunity to see it now.
4) The Croods (2013)
This DreamWorks feature might be the only decent offering in this disappointing year for animation we are in. I have not yet caught up to this story about a cave family overcoming the odds, but Duncan said that it features a great combination of beautiful animation, clever wit, and heart. Sounds like a worthy option to change my spirits about American animation this year.
3) The Wizard of Oz: 75th Anniversary Edition (1939)
Technically the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz is next year because the film premiered in August of 1939, but that won’t stop the Warner Bros. marketers from churning it out early to coincide with the theatrical 3D conversion. I love The Wizard of Oz, and I would love to see it on the big screen, but I have no desire to see it in 3D. It doesn’t look like any new special features are added since the last edition, so if you own the 2009 release, no need to upgrade.
2) This is the End (2013)
This seemed to be the annual summer comedy that starts with moderate success and then picks up steam due to word of mouth. It ended up making over $100 million and received relatively good nods from the critics. I have recently been watching the Judd Appatow/Paul Feig series “Freaks and Geeks” featuring many of the stars of this movie, so I’m looking forward to this one.
1) Anything Criterion
The Criterion Collection is currently having a flash sale and all in-stock DVDs and Blu-Rays are 50% off. This is only good for the next 22 hours as of this post, so don’t miss out! It’s never too early to start buying Christmas presents for your film-loving friends.
Other New Releases
If you just can’t wait for The Fifth Estate and aren’t interested in Alex Gibney’s documentary, We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks, you can always check out Underground: The Julian Assange Story, a straight-to-DVD dramatization of the controversial website. The Frozen Ground is an unheard of film about an Alaskan State Trooper teaming up with a young woman to bring her attempted killer to justice. It stars John Cusack, Vanessa Hudgens, and The Cage.
With new television series premiering on air, we now get their previous seasons on DVD. Among this week’s new television releases are “Glee: The 4th Season,” “How I Met Your Mother: The 8th Season,” and ” New Girl: The 2nd Season.” I will not be watching any of them.
Streaming Pick of the Week
Room 237 (2013)
Halloween month is a great time to re-watch horror classics like Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining and this is the perfect year to do it with the companion documentary Room 237 now available. The documentary examines several different fan theories about Kubrick’s film and interviews the individuals that hold them. Unfortunately, The Shining is not available for free streaming (it is on iTunes or Amazon), but I guarantee you can get it at your local library. I don’t know about you, but a double feature of The Shining and Room 237 sounds like a great night to me.
What new releases are you planning to watch this week?