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Please note that some studios have black-out rental window moratoriums for Redbox and Netflix, so for you – you’ll have to wait a month or so on a few of these before you see them in your rental queue.
And don’t forget – you can order any of these titles from Amazon.com by clicking on either the title name or the cover artwork. Doing so helps support our work at The Bits.
New Releases (across the board):
+1 (Plus One) – a SXSW darling this last year, +1 looks to be a worthy concept film to watch alongside Spring Breakers and Bling Ring. I haven’t seen it, but based on the reviews the film has received – I’ll be checking it out.
A.C.O.D. – You have to love Adam Scott. When he’s good, he’s great. When he’s “eh,” he’s still good. A(dult). C(hildren). O(f). D(ivorce). is more “eh” than great, but it’s still good.
Blue Caprice – Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond star in this fascinating character study that looks at how the Beltway Snipers John Muhammad and Lee Malvo (who, in 2002, drove around the Washington, D.C., area conducting random shootings in public places with a sniper rifle fired from the trunk of a blue Chevy Caprice) met and formed the twisted relationship that led to this brutal American tragedy.
Carrie (2013) – Proving that sometimes a closer adaptation doesn’t make for a better film, Carrie ‘13 is still a fun adaptation of the Stephen King classic. At the very least, Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore make for inspired choices for Carrie and her hyper-religious Mother. At times this is an almost shot-for-shot, line-for-line remake of DePalma’s 1976 tour de force (which explains Carrie ‘76 scripter Lawrence D. Cohen’s writing credit), but the add-ons and changes make for an interesting comparison. Worth a rental at least.
Enough Said – Walking and Talking/Please Give writer-director Nicole Holofcener gives us one of James Gandolfini’s last performances (writing that makes me cry inside). Here he stars with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in a funny and touching look at middle-age dating and the unseen complications relationships can bring. Also stars Holofcener’s company player, indie superstar Catherine Keener.
Fruitvale Station – If you’re looking to have an American tragedy double feature, pair this one up with Blue Caprice. Michael B. Jordan stars as Oscar Grant III, the young man who was fatally shot by BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) in Oakland, CA on New Year’s Day 2009. The film offers a humanizing look at his day leading up to the terrible event.
Lee Daniel’s The Butler – From the director of Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire and whatever the hell The Paperboy was, comes a fictional look at a 34 year life (spanning seven presidents) in the White House through the eyes of a long serving WH butler (based on real figure Eugene Allen and played by Forest Whitaker sans the cornrows from Ghost Dog, sadly).
Riddick – Part Three (four if you count the anime, five – the canonical videogame) in the Riddick story, finds the former Necromonger ruler living an isolated life on a planet being hunted by bounty hunters. Cut to Pitch Black, Part 2 happening because it was way better than Chronicles. You know you’re going to rent it. Heck, I’ll probably buy it. Sue me, it’s stupid fun, good for repeat watchings.
Run – A Step Up love story with Parkour instead of dancing. Co-starring Eric Roberts and Adrian Pasdar – gotta make time for it, even if it’s promising to suck.
Short Term 12 – For me, Brie Larson can do no wrong. I’ve had this on my list for a while and can’t wait to see it so I’ve stayed away from too much info. What I know: a group of social workers dealing with life and love in a foster care facility and boatloads of fawning critic reviews.
A Single Shot – Sam Rockwell. Ted Levine. William H. Macy. Jason Isaacs. I don’t care what it’s about.
The Spectacular Now – Another film I’ve been waiting for based on word of mouth. Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley star as teens finding themselves in a world they don’t understand. Not original in any way, but based on the booky-book by Tim Tharp and also starring Bob Odenkirk and Brie Larson!
20 Feet From Stardom – A documentary that looks at the lives, dreams and talents of back-up singers. If you love docs, it’s a no-brainer. Directed by music-centric documentarian Morgan Neville (Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock ‘n Roll, American Masters, Pearl Jam Twenty).
Blu-Ray Library Reissues:
These are some worthy reissues coming to Blu.
Blind Date – Barebones, special features free; but remastered video and audio. If you’re a fan of Blake Edwards or funny Bruce, here’s your replacement disc.
Buffalo ‘66: 15th Anniversary Edition – What an awesome film that just gets better with age. Definitely worth picking up if you haven’t seen it.
Chance Are: 25th Anniversary Edition – Robert Downey, Jr. has always been a good actor, but there was rawness to his performances back in the day before becoming an action star (and getting clean). Here he stars as a reincarnated soul caught in a creepy love triangle that actually works.
A Chorus Line – Fosse on Blu! ‘nuff said. Now where are Star 80 and Lenny!?!
In The Heat of the Night: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition – Mr. Tibbs on Blu... Classic.
Pride and Prejudice: Keepsake Edition – This is the A&E/BBC Colin Firth version, considered to be a landmark TV adaptation.
That’s it for this week. As I said, if this is helpful, let Bill know and if it’s well received we’ll keep it going.
Keeping spinnin’ those discs,