Empty your wallets and check your bank accounts, it’s time to see what’s Now Available To Own for the week of January 14, 2014. Each week we run down new releases in movies, television series, and video games that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home. Not only that, we provide insights on some of the best deals on the Internets to keep your credit card from crying. On shelves this week, you can find titles such as Short Term 12, You’re Next, The Spectacular Now, The Butler, Enough Said, and more. Check out the complete list of new releases after the jump.
Short Term 12 (Desttin Cretton) A 20-something supervising staff member of a foster care facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.
A TTRC Top 10 of 2013 – One of the most highly praised, underlooked, honestly fantastic movies of 2013, Short Term 12 is the movie to own. It has incredible performances by Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Keith Stanfield. All of their emotions feel genuine and true to the characters. The amazing world building within the foster care facility makes you feel close to the story. Not a moment feels out of place as Destin Cretton keeps the direction on a tight leash. Cretton has a bright future ahead of him if he keeps his level of work to this standard.
There are a slew of goodies on this Blu-ray release. It’s hard to believe there are deleted scenes with such a neatly compact film. I can see why they were cut, but still enjoyable to see where Cretton was going with them. The featurettes are great and to see the original short that won Sundance in 2008 is a wonderful treat. The special features included are:
- Deleted scenes
- Behind-the-scenes featurette
- Making the music featurette
- Cast and crew screening featuring The Shivers
- Short Term 12: the original short film
You’re Next (Adam Wingard) A lively reunion is abruptly brought to an end when a gang of mysterious killers, disguised in animal masks, wage an all-out assault on the Davison’s secluded home.
A TTRC Top 10 of 2013 – Just when you think the horror genre is all but tapped out of ideas, Adam Wingard and friends come together to create this little gem. You’re Next is an exciting revitalization of the home invasion thriller. Never a dull moment, You’re Next takes all expectations and throws them out a window. Not only is this a refreshing take on a tired genre, but also a killer take on the final girl trope as well. Sharni Vinson is a sight to behold, a gal you can cheer for and remember for years to come in the horror game. The special features included are:
- “No ordinary home invasion: the making of You’re Next” featurette
- Audio commentary with director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett
- Audio commentary with director Adam Wingard, writer Simon Barrett and actors Sharni Vinson and Barbara Crampton
Enough Said (Nicole Holofcener) A divorced and single parent, Eva spends her days enjoying work as a masseuse but dreading her daughter’s impending departure for college. She meets Albert – a sweet, funny and like-minded man also facing an empty nest.
A TTRC Top 10 of 2013 – I ask you to find a better modern, more heartfelt romance than between Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini. This blossoming story of love, heartache, trust, and growing up is an all too real take on relationships this day and age and how communication can affect each other. What Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini have together is beautiful, fun, and endearing and there comes a point where you feel for them through the good and the bad. A clever and authentic story for many to resonate with. Special features included are:
- Second takes (Blu-ray exclusive)
- Promotional featurettes: cast, story, meet eva and albert, Nicole Holofcener, Julia
The Spectacular Now (James Ponsoldt) A hard-partying high school senior’s philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical “nice girl.”
A TTRC Honorable Mention of 2013 – Shailene Woodly and Miles Teller. Two of the most charismatic and enthusiastic young actors of our time. These two ooze out chemistry by the buckets full and convey a truly touching and horrifying depiction of young love you could ever witness. The Spectacular Now has some problems at the end with Shailene’s character, but Kyle Chandler makes up for it with a jarring cameo that rids himself of the good dad or FBI agent persona he has been known for. If you’re thinking about this as a date movie, DON’T. Special features included are:
- Deleted scenes
- “Then to now: making The Spectacular Now” 4-part featurette:
- “Inception” – defying Hollywood
- “Cast” – finding the voice
- “Aesthetic” – authenticity counts
- “Real” – bringing it all to life
- Audio commentary with director James Ponsoldt
Plus One (DVD only) (Dennis Iliadis) Three college friends hit the biggest party of the year, where a mysterious phenomenon disrupts the night, quickly descending into a chaos that challenges their friendships — and whether they can stay alive.
If you’re looking for something original, a movie that will have you chomping at the bit to figure out how it ends, I present to you Plus One, or +1. From the director of the gritty The Last House on the Left remake comes an entirely different spin on the “party that takes place over one night” films (Can’t Hardly Wait; Superbad; Project X). If you think you have it all mapped out in your head how it will end, think again. Plus One will keep you on your toes with its fun twists and turns. I wasn’t too keen on the ending, it could have been tied up differently, but I’ll leave that up to you to decide. All of the young actors (Rhys Wakefield, Logan Miller, Ashley Hinshaw, and Natalie Hall) performs admirably for a small, budget indie thriller.
What’s nice about this disc is the fact that it is jam packed full of bonus materials. The commentaries and interviews are insightful, the behind the scenes are interesting to learn about, and the auditions are pretty cool to see how the actors mold themselves into the characters and the situations. Here’s the complete list of special features:
- Commentary with director Dennis Iliadis & cinematographer Mihai Malaimare, Jr.
- Visual effects behind the scenes
- Deleted scenes
- ZAP Entertainment/screenslam.com interview with director Dennis Iliadis
- Interview with Dennis Iliadis & cast at SXSW by Perri Nemiroff, ShockYa.com
- Poster gallery
- Cast auditions
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) The purportedly true story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008.
If you blinked you missed it. This little indie darling found much praise early on in 2013 and disappeared like a whisper. Michael B. Jordan’s has a powerful performance recreating the last moments of Oscar Grant III’s last moments. It’s a heartbreaking and emotionally profound biopic that will stick with you down the road. The special features included are:
- Fruitvale Station: the story of Oscar Grant
- Q&A with cast & filmmakers
The Butler (Lee Daniels) As Cecil Gaines serves eight presidents during his tenure as a butler at the White House, the civil rights movement, Vietnam, and other major events affect this man’s life, family, and American society.
In all honesty I don’t see what was so special about The Butler. A very Forrest Gump-esque story, you never get the sense of exactly how he truly impacted the White House other than asking for a raise. Important moments fly by without a second to catch your breath and there are other times certain scenes feel unnecessary or take away from the story. Special features included are:
- Lee Daniels’ The Butler: an American story
- The original Freedom Riders
- Deleted scenes
- “You and I Ain’t Nothin’ No More” performed by Gladys Knight and Lenny Kravitz
- Gag reel
A.C.O.D. (Stu Zicherman) A grown man caught in the crossfire of his parents’ 15-year divorce discovers he was unknowingly part of a study on divorced children and is enlisted in a follow-up years later, which wreaks new havoc on his family.
A comedy that definitely flew under the radar in 2013. This hilarious dark comedy stars Adam Scott, Clark Duke, Richard Jenkins, Amy Poehler, Catherine O’Hara, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jane Lynch, and Jessica Alba – yeah what a cast, how did you miss this? With so much divorce these days, A.C.O.D. brings an interesting look at a generation of adults facing this norm and its consequences. A.C.O.D. never pulls any punches and speaks truths through laughter and harsh realities. The film can feel a bit meandering at times, but it’s definitely a good flick for a quick laugh. Special features included are:
- Cast and crew discussions about A.C.O.D.
- “Coping with A.C.O.D.” and other hilarious public service announcements
- Amy Poehler outtakes
Carrie (Kimberly Peirce) A reimagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White, a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.
Aside from bringing cyberbullying to the table and showing us two great performances by Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore, this remake of Carrie is unnecessary and wasteful. This is a perfect example of how out of tune big Hollywood execs are. No one wants remakes of classics. Remakes of lesser known films is one thing, but Carrie didn’t need to be brought into the 2010s. This film made peanuts ($35 million domestic) compared to an original horror like The Conjuring ($137 million). Carrie brought nothing exciting enough for people to talk about and it’s a shame it tried to outshine a classic. Special features included are:
- Alternate ending not shown in theaters
- Deleted/alternate scenes
- Creating Carrie
- The power of telekenesis
- Commentary by director Kimberly Peirce
- Telekinetic coffee shop surprise
Riddick (David Twohy) Left for dead on a sun-scorched planet, Riddick finds himself up against an alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon alerts two ships: one carrying a new breed of mercenary, the other captained by a man from Riddick’s past.
Meh. This new Riddick is a nice return to form and reboot from the disastrous Chronicles of Riddick. There is too much build up of weak tension and not enough action. Riddick doesn’t tarnish the franchise, but it isn’t going to have people coming out to demand another one. However, there are a lot of special features for those who are fans:
- Unrated director’s cut
- The world of Riddick
- Riddickian tech
- The twohy touch
- Additional features:
- Vin’s Riddick
- Meet the mercs
- Riddick: blindsided
20 Feet from Stardom (Morgan Neville) Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we’ve had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.
A very great doc from 2013. It’s surprising how many big names they got to talk in this picture (David Bowie, Sheryl Crow, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Bette Midler, Sting, Stevie Wonder, and Bruce Springsteen). For only 91 minutes, it does feel long and feels a bit repetitive, but everything that’s said has value. There are some incredible performances and stories told in 20 Feet from Stardom and it’s worthwhile checking out. Special features included are:
- Deleted scenes
- Short film: The Buddy System
- Q&A with Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer & director Morgan Neville
Television on Blu-Ray
Blu-Ray Deals and Steals
- Upstream Color – $9.99
- The Spectacular Now – $14.99
- She’s Out of My League – $4.99
- Short Term 12 – $14.99
- The Walking Dead (The Complete 2nd Season) – $19.99
- Looper – $9.99
- Inception – $7.99
- Pitch Perfect – $11.49
All prices come from Amazon.com. Best Buy, Frys, and Target all price match with Amazon now.
What will you be taking home this week, tell us in the comments section below?
Check out previous installments of Now Available To Own to see what you’ve been missing.
Find me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus
All plot synopses courtesy of IMDb.com sans You’re Next and Enough Said because they spoil the fun.