Now Available to Own: Amy, Mississippi Grind, The Walking Dead, and More

Brace your bank accounts, it’s time to see what’s Now Available to Own for the week of December 1, 2015. Every Tuesday we run down new movie and television releases that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home, as well as some slick deals that can help save you some coin. New on shelves this week are The Walking Dead, Amy, Mississippi Grind, Mistress America, and more.

Amy Winehouse Documentary

Source: Huffington Post

Movies on Blu-ray

Amy (Asif Kapadia) Rated R [128 min] – The story of Amy Winehouse in her own words, featuring unseen archival footage and unheard tracks. Starring Amy Winehouse, Mitch Winehouse, Mark Ronson, and Russell Brand

To preface my review, I’ve never listened to any of Amy Winehouse’s music, aside from “Rehab,” because I’m not a fan of the style. And the media circus surrounding her life didn’t help encourage me to listen either. BUT with all that said, Amy is a truly raw and heartbreaking look at the late performer’s life. It captures Winehouse in a very intimate spotlight, behind the scenes with interviews and footage of herself and those closest to her. While Amy focuses on Winehouse’s struggles with addiction with a fly on the wall approach and an unbiased attitude, the documentary doesn’t have much to say. The Blu-ray is packed with some solid extra features that bring even more depth, though, and makes it worth while for those who were touched by her music.

Special features include:

  • Previously Unseen Performances by Amy Winehouse
  • Previously Unseen Scenes (Deleted Scenes)
  • Audio Commentary with Director Asif Kapadia
  • Interviews with Friends and musicians

Mississippi Grind (Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck) Rated R [108 min] – Down on his luck and facing financial hardship, Gerry teams up with younger charismatic poker player, Curtis, in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what’s been lost. Starring Ben Mendelsohn, Ryan Reynolds, Yvonne Landry, and Anthony Howard

Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn have been killing it this year, and bringing the two together makes for one powerhouse duo. The chemistry between the actors is oozing, which helps fill the semi-lull story with life. Although this is Gerry’s (Mendelsohn) story, it’s Curtis (Reynolds) who really walks away as the more memorable character.

Special features include:

  • Two of a Kind: On the Road with Mississippi Grind” Featurette

Cooties (Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion) Rated R [88 min] – A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives. Starring Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, and Alison Pill

I was hoping that Cooties would have a little more depth than your typical zombie movie. The screenplay comes from Glee and Scream Queens writer Ian Brennan along with Saw scribe Leigh Whannell; both star in the film as well. Although it has its fun moments, Cooties doesn’t really have the pizazz to differentiate itself from any other zom com. Rainn Wilson is a bit too much to handle, while Elijah Wood and Whannell both bring a certain spark to revitalize any hope of what could be a funny zombie movie.

Special features include:

  • “Circle, Circle. Dot, Dot…Catching Cooties” Featurette
  • Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Alternate Ending with Optional Audio Commentary
  • “Talking Cooties” Featurette
  • The Cootietary – Audio Commentary with the Cast & Crew

Goodnight Mommy (Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz) Rated R [99 min] – Twin boys move to a new home with their mother after she has face changing cosmetic surgery, but under her bandages is someone the children don’t recognize. Starring Susanne Wuest, Lukas Schwarz, Elias Schwarz, and Hans Escher

There was so much buzz earlier in this year about Goodnight Mommy that I was afraid the hype would oversell the film. Luckily, that was not the case when I finally saw it. This movie is brutal, entrancing, and absolutely terrifying. Despite my anticipation, I had really no sense of how the narrative would play out. It’s a wonderful movie to take a chance on without knowing anything about it. Patience is highly rewarded.

Special features include:

  • “A Conversation with Filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala”

Mistress America (Noah Baumbach) Rated R [84 min] – A lonely college freshman’s life is turned upside down by her impetuous, adventurous soon-to-be stepsister. Starring Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke, Seth Barrish, and Juliet Brett

I’ve come to the decision that Mistress America is the Noah Baumbach film that has helped me come to the realization that I don’t like the writer/director’s work. The movie is far more reaching than his previous few  – Greenberg, While We’re Young, and Frances Ha are the ones I’ve seen – and I do not care for any of them. I really like Fantastic Mr. Fox, but that film had the pleasure of Wes Anderson directing and only Baumbach helping out in the screenplay. His characters are very difficult to connect with and sometimes they can be overly pretentious – this is more so the case in Mistress America. If his his style could be personified as a breathing human it would be a snobby hipster wearing flannel while smoking a pipe who hasn’t showered in three weeks.

Special features include:

  • Featurettes
    • Story
    • Brooke
    • Tracy

Zoolander: Special Edition Steel Book (Ben Stiller) Rated PG-13 [89 min] – At the end of his career, a clueless fashion model is brainwashed to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Christine Taylor

True story: I recently saw Zoolander in its entirety for the first time last Christmas. I never was attracted to the hype when it first released and I’m not a big fan of man-child characters i.e. most Will Ferrell roles. But I decided to finally check Zoolander out because I had free time and was bored. I dislike it. Maybe it will be like Step Brothers and I’ll have to watch it a few more times to appreciate it, but at this point in my life it’s not for me. I do think that this special Blu-ray release has a lot of awesome features for fans of the film, jam-packed with goodies that will be worth the buy, especially since you get a Derek Zoolander bandanna.

Special features include:

  • Audio Commentary by Ben Stiller and writers Drake Sather & John Hamburg
  • A Really, Really, Really Cool Teaser for Zoolander No. 2
  • Breakdance Fight Rehearsal—NEW!
  • Alternate Brainwashing Sequence Storyboards—NEW!
  • Walkoff Rehearsal Footage with Ben Stiller commentary
  • Deleted Scenes with Ben Stiller commentary
  • Extended Scenes with Ben Stiller commentary
  • Outtakes
  • VH1 Fashion Awards Skits
  • Music Video “Start the Commotion” by The Wiseguys
  • Public Service Announcements
  • MTV Cribs
  • Interstitials
  • Photo Galleries

Some Kind Of Beautiful (Tom Vaughan) Rated R [100 min] – A drama about a Cambridge poetry professor who begins to re-evaluate his life of Byronic excess. Starring Pierce Brosnan, Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba, and Malcolm McDowell

This movie is the worst. It’s on Netflix now, but don’t even bother wasting your time. The cast may be a selling point, but don’t be fooled. All the characters are dislikable and the story is below a trashy soap.

Special features include:

  • “Inside the Heart of a Romantic” Featurette

War Pigs (Ryan Little) Rated R [91 min] – A rag tag unit of misfits known as the War Pigs must go behind enemy lines to exterminate Nazis by any means necessary. Starring Luke Goss, Dolph Lundgren, and Chuck Liddell [Watch the Trailer]

If you could take the second squad rejects from The Expendables and pack them into a direct-to-DVD spin-off, that would be War Pigs. The only difference is that War Pigs isn’t as self-aware that it’s a goofy action flick nor does it have the big, bold over the top action to justify its existence. All of the actors are vapid, portraying stock characters that are more empty than your uncle’s flask on Thanksgiving.

  • No special features included

DVD Only

The Guardsman (Jiao Xiao-Yu) – When the Emperor travels in disguise to understand the problems that his people face, his enemies discover his identity and team up with Japanese pirates to assassinate him. Now, it is up to a group of loyal warriors to protect their Emperor and bring peace to the kingdom. Starring Yan Jie, Zheng Peipei, Wu Ma, and Yuan Biao [Watch the Trailer]

If you’re looking for a kung-fu flick just for the action you’ll find it here in The Guardsman. These wannabe Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon knockoff wuxia films are all one in the same. They all have very similar fight choreography, their imbued with the same messages and themes, and they want you to leave more enlightened when you came in.

  • No special features included

Zero Tolerance (Wych Kaosayananda) Rated R [Time N/A] – Two former para-military operatives, Johnny and his police detective friend Peter, search Bangkok to find the killers of Johnny’s beautiful daughter Angel – Leaving carnage and retribution throughout city. Starring Dustin Nguyen, Scott Adkins, and Sahajak Boonthanakit [Watch the Trailer]

Here’s a movie that takes itself too seriously in a genre that should be more fun than dower. These underground, neo-noir type movies are also becoming very familiar. There’s nothing nuanced or special about a man on a mission seeking revenge anymore. This movie reeks of straight-to-DVD craftsmanship and the proof is in the quality of the storytelling, acting, and the action.

  • No special features included

Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos (Gabriel Riva Palacio Alatriste and Rodolfo Riva-Palacio Alatriste) Rated PG-13 [98 min] – Toto, a young chick born the run of the litter, rises to the occasion when a rancher threatens his home and his family. Starring Bruno Bichir, Carlos Espejel, and Angélica Vale

If you’re looking for a really messed up children’s movie that promotes violence, sex, and gambling then Un Gallo con Muchos Huevos, or Huevos: Little Rooster’s Egg-cellent Adventure, it’s English language title, is right for you. Aside from the crude animation style, Huevos is a grating, head pounding experience to endure. Kids will even see past it’s stupidity.

Special features include:

  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette (English-language cast)
  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette (Spanish-language cast)

Get Santa (Christopher Smith) Rated PG [102 min] – A father and son who team up to save Christmas once they discover Santa Claus sleeping in their garage after crashing his sleigh and finding himself on the run from the police. Starring Jim Broadbent, Rafe Spall, and Kit Connor [Watch the trailer]

I never realized there was a trending theme in Christmas movies until now. Get Santa is the story of a Scrooge-like dad, down on his luck who has to overcome his pessimism and non-beliefs in order to cheer up his son while reviving the world with a sense of holiday spirit i.e. Elf, The Santa Clause, and Jingle All the Way. Get Santa is a lot more heartfelt than most derivative holiday movies in the same vein, but also very cliche and predictable.

Special features include:

  • Behind the Scenes Featurette
Fear the Walking Dead Season 1

Source: MTV

TV Show Releases

Fear the Walking Dead: Season 1 (Dave Erickson and Robert Kirkman) Rated TV-MA [43 min] – What did the world look like as it was transforming into the horrifying apocalypse depicted in “The Walking Dead”? This spin-off set in Los Angeles, following new characters as they face the beginning of the end of the world, will answer that question. Starring Kim Dickens, Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Mercedes Mason, Lorenzo James Henrie, and Rubén Blades

The concept behind Fear the Walking Dead is something all fans are intrigued by and the creator’s hearts are all in the right place, but the characters and the story that follows them is utterly unbearable. You watch it because it’s part of The Walking Dead canon, it’s hip and now. However, after it’s all said and done, you feel more empty than the zombies in the series because at least they’re filled with something that nourishes their need to feed.

Special features include:

  • A Look at the Series
  • Character Bios

Additional Releases this Week

  • Fairy Tail: Part 18
  • Halo: The Fall of Reach
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 Volume XXXIV
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 9: Revenge
  • Zoo: Season 1

Blu-Ray Deals and Steals

  • American Sniper – $9.99
  • Spider-Man Trilogy – $9.49
  • Interstellar – $9.49
  • Trainwreck – $15
  • World War Z – $3.96
  • Pitch Perfect 2 – $11
  • Shaun of the Dead – $5
  • Paper Towns – $14.49
  • Kick-Ass 2 – $5
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: The Complete Series – $31.49
  • Arrow (Season 2) – $14.99
  • Side Effects – $5
  • It Follows – $9.99
  • Spirited Away – $19.49
  • Gone Girl – $10.99
  • Sin City: A Dame to Kill For – $12.49
  • Mad Men (Season 5) – $7.99

All prices from Amazon.com. Best Buy, Frys, and Target all price match online prices.

What will you be taking home this week? Tell us in the comments section below!


new movie tv video game releases on dvd and-blu-ray

All plot synopses come courtesy of IMDb.com

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Coming Soon to Blu-Ray and DVD: Hannibal, Aladdin, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and More

While we provide you with a list of available new releases Now Available to Own every Tuesday, Coming Soon to Blu-ray and DVD looks at all of the recent home video announcements. For the week of October 3, 2015 we have Aladdin: Diamond Edition, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, and Hannibal (Season 3). Find out when they’ll be out and what special features movie fans can expect below.

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation Blu-Ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD December 15

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (Christopher McQuarrie) Rated PG-13 [131 min] – Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF. Starring Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, and Simon Pegg

Special features include:

  • Audio Commentary by Tom Cruise and director/screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie
  • Lighting the Fuse
  • Cruise Control
  • Heroes
  • Cruising Altitude
  • Mission: Immersible
  • Sand Theft Auto
  • The Missions Continue

Aladdin Diamond Edition Blu-Ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD October 13

Aladdin (Ron Clements and John Musker) Rated G [90 min] – When a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, he uses a genie’s magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her. Starring Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin

Special features include:

  • The Genie Outtakes – Robin Williams’ Genie outtakes are magically brought to life.
  • Genie 101 – Our host, Scott Weinger (the voice of Aladdin), takes us through the various transformattions of the famous (and formerly famous) celebrity references of the Genie.
  • Ron & John: You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me – Directors John Musker & Ron Clements sit down and discuss the experiences of their long-running partnership together at Disney.
  • Aladdin: Creating Broadway Magic – Join host Darren Criss as we take “a new fantastic point of view” at the story of how Aladdin went from a classic Disney animated film to become Broadway’s smash hit with Composer Alan Menken and others.
  • Unboxing Aladdin – Our host, Joey Bragg from Disney Channel’s Liv & Maddy, explore the Easter eggs and hidden secrets of Aladdin in this unboxing video.
  • Classic Bonus – ALL classic bonus from the original DVD release, including:
    • Deleted Song / “Proud Of Your Boy” (Original Demo Recording)
    • Deleted Song / “You Can Count On Me”
    • Deleted Song / “Humiliate The Boy”
    • Deleted Song / “Why Me”
    • Deleted Scene / “Aladdin & Jasmine’s First Meeting”
    • Deleted Scene / “Aladdin in the Lap of Luxury”
    • And more!

American Ultra Blu-Ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD November 24

American Ultra (Nima Nourizadeh) Rated R [95 min] – A stoner – who is in fact a government agent – is marked as a liability and targeted for extermination. But he’s too well-trained and too high for them to handle. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Connie Britton, Topher Grace and John Leguizamo

Special features include:

  • “Activating American Ultra” Documentary
  • “Assassinating on a Budget” Featurette
  • Gag Reel
  • Audio Commentary with Director Nima Nourizadeh

Ricki and the Flash Blu-Ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD November 24

Ricki and the Flash (Jonathan Demme) Rated PG-13 [101 min] – A musician who gave up everything for her dream of rock-and-roll stardom returns home, looking to make things right with her family. Starring Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, and Sebastian Stan

Special features include:

  • Getting Ready for Ricki: The Making of Ricki and the Flash — Cast and Crew Walk Through Creating a Rock Goddess and Finding the Heart of the Story
  • Deleted Scenes (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Featurette: Rediscovering Rick Springfield(Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Cast Photo Gallery(Blu-ray exclusive)

Cooties Blu-Ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD December 1

Cooties (Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion4) Rated R [88 min] – A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives. Starring Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, and Alison Pill

Special features include:

  • “Circle, Circle. Dot, Dot…Catching Cooties” Featurette
  • Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Alternate Ending with Optional Audio Commentary
  • “Talking Cooties” Featurette
  • The Cootietary – Audio Commentary with the Cast & Crew

Hannibal Season 3 Blu-Ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD December 8

Hannibal: The Complete Third Season (Bryan Fuller) Explores the early relationship between the renowned psychiatrist and his patient, a young FBI criminal profiler, who is haunted by his ability to empathize with serial killers. Starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, and Caroline Dhavernas

Special features include:

  • Audio Commentaries with Cast and Crew
  • “Getting the Old Scent Again: Reimagining Red Dragon” Featurette
  • “Beyond the Mind Palace” Featurette
  • “Hannibal on the Run” Featurette
  • Avid Fannibals
  • “Hannibal: Season 3: Killer Intentions” Featurette
  • Post Mortem with Scott Thompson (Webisodes)
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes

Family Guy Season 13 DVD Box Cover Art

Available on DVD December 8

Family Guy (Seth MacFarlane) Rated TV-14 [22 min] – In a wacky Rhode Island town, a dysfunctional family strive to cope with everyday life as they are thrown from one crazy scenario to another. Starring Seth MacFarlane, Alex Borstein, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, and Mike Henry

Special features include:

  • On the Road to Springfield Featurette: The Making of “The Simpsons Guy
  • Commentary on “The Simpsons Guy
  • Commentary on “Turkey Guys”
  • Commentary on “The 2000 Year-Old Virgin”
  • Commentary on “Stewie, Chris, & Brian’s Excellent Adventure”
  • Commentary on “Once Bitten”
  • Commentary on “Roasted Guy
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Baby Ways
  • Who Let the Dog Out

And that’s it for this week. What are you looking forward to picking up when they release?

Stay tuned for more Blu-Ray and DVD announcements every Saturday.


All plot synopses courtesy of IMDb.com

Coming Soon to Blu-ray and DVD

Click here for more home video announcements

Box Office Battlefield: The Scorch Trials, Black Mass, and Everest

Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars. The weekend warriors of September 18, 2015 includes The Scorch Trials, Black Mass, and Everest, as well as a handful of limited releases. Box Office Battlefield is here to help you decide which movie(s) will take priority over the others and determine who will be victorious. Should you see ’em, skip ’em, or rent ’em? Find out below!

Last weekend, two low-budget films, The Visit and The Perfect Guy, battled it out in a close match up to gain supremacy. In a surprising turn of events, Perfect Guy beat out Visit by about $400 thousand. Do they have what it takes to fend off some heavy hitters this weekend? UNLEASH THE POWER OF APPLES! This is the Box Office Battlefield:

Maze Runner The Scorch Trials 2015 Movie Title Logo

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (Wes Ball) Rated PG-13 [131 min] – After having escaped the Maze, the Gladers now face a new set of challenges on the open roads of a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.Director: Wes BallStars: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Giancarlo Esposito, Ki Hong Lee, Dexter Darden, Jacob Lofland, Rosa Salazar, Aidan Gillen, and Patricia Clarkson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 49% • Audience – 69%

My review:

I’m highly impressed with director Wes Ball. For only being his second feature length film, his first being The Maze Runner, the man has an eye for adventure. Which is what predominately The Scorch Trials consists of. The plot of the movie is pretty thin, exhibiting little depth to build the post-apocalyptic world the story inhabits. But what it lacks in plot The Scorch Trials makes up for in action.

The biggest downfall of the series thus far is how they’re handling the lead character, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien). He’s a strong, emotive character, but the story isn’t giving us enough to completely understand his motivations. He has a very one track mind that isn’t very compelling, and it hurts the credibility of his sidekicks as they go along with him just because. We’ve gained more backstory from his gal pal Teresa (Kaya Scodelario) than anyone else in the entirety of both films.

With only one movie left in the trilogy – which is great because I’m sick of studios splitting up the last book of YA franchises just to make a quick buck– there needs to be more in order for us to root for Thomas, otherwise this will be a very disappointing trilogy because its premise has a lot of promise. MATINEE IT!

Black Mass 2015 Movie Title Logo

Black Mass (Scott Cooper) Rated R [122 min] – The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. Starring Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Jesse Plemons, Dakota Johnson, Adam Scott, Kevin Bacon, Peter Sarsgaard, Corey Stoll, David Harbour, and Julianne Nicholson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 76% • Audience – 80%

My review:

Full disclosure: if you put Johnny Depp in anything I’m going to be very unenthusiastic going in to a movie. His recent stints in makeup (The Lone Ranger; Alice in Wonderland; Into the Woods) and without (Transcendence; Tusk; Mortdecai) have been quite indigestible. With that said, I found Depp to be quite satisfactory as Whitey Bulger. I am happy to see the actor take a more grounded role that doesn’t call for any of his Depp-isms or any quirky behavior traits. Bulger is a straight up thug who played the system very well. And the rest of the cast are excellent too; although I couldn’t comprehend Benedict Cumberbatch’s Boston accent.

Be that as it may, I can’t help but find Black Mass to be your ordinary gangster film. There isn’t much to say about Bulger, what drives him, or anyone really. Black Mass has a very linear plot that recalls events from A to B rather than putting any kind of effort to provide perspective or depth to Bulger. This bland representation, and maybe that’s who he was, doesn’t make for an entertaining piece of cinema. RENT IT!

Everest 2015 Movie Title Logo

Everest (Baltasar Kormákur) [IMAX Only] Rated PG-13 ]121 min] – A climbing expedition on Mt. Everest is devastated by a severe snow storm. Starring Jason Clarke, Ang Phula Sherpa, Thomas M. Wright, and Martin Henderson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 72% • Audience – 76%

Their reviews:

“Everest is a sobering character story packed with bravery, horror, and humility – as well as thrilling tension.” – Ben Kendrick (ScreenRant)

“Film has two big issues, one dramatic, one having to do with awful and stupid 3D conversion.” – James Verniere (Boston Herald)

My take:

Everest looks like a thrilling sit. It’s sad that the trailer had to explain the entire situation and leave no surprise for moviegoers. But the fact that the only way to see Everest is in a 3D IMAX theater makes me shudder to think what was going on in the minds of the studio execs who green-lit that decision. Is the gimmick of a 3D IMAX experience worth the trip to the theaters? I don’t personally think so. If Everest was presented in regular IMAX I would be more accepting, but 3D? Come on. MATINEE IT IF YOU TRULY HAVE TO SEE IT!

Sicario 2015 Movie Title Logo

Sicario (Denis Villeneuve) [Limited] Rated R [121 min] – An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, and Jon Bernthal

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 88% • Audience – 91%

Their reviews:

“Directed by Denis Villeneuve from a script by Taylor Sheridan, the film manages to somehow be sleek and sprawling, focused and cagey at the same time, often in the same scene.” – Mark Olsen (Los Angeles Times)

“Villeneuve, cinematographer Roger Deakins and composer Jóhann Jóhannsson combine to make the action scenes gorgeous, scary and exciting, while the script by Taylor Sheridan is mordant and smart, with not a wasted word.” – Kyle Smith (New York Post)

My take:

Emily Blunt is unstoppable. There’s no other way in saying it. She is a Jill of all trades going from hardcore action to musicals and thrillers to dramas. What can’t she do? Sicario looks great and absolutely suspenseful with all the right tension. I have been avoiding the marketing as much as possible because I’ve heard really positive things. So when it comes to your town be prepared. SEE IT!

Cooties 2015 Movie Title Logo

Cooties (Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion4) Rated R [88 min] – A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives. Starring Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, and Alison Pill

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 36% • Audience – 60%

Their reviews:

“If Cooties subscribes slavishly to the conventions of teacher movies, it at least has fun with them.” – Nathan Rabin (AV Club)

“The engaging opening third of “Cooties” is enough to make the rest of the 96-minute film a mildly amusing diversion, but as the minutes roll by, you’ll wish the brains of the film had remained intact.” – Kevin Jagernauth (The Playlsit)

My take:

Cooties looks cute. A silly romp that you laugh at and with. Elijah Wood has been doing a lot of great work in the horror realm, and throwing him into the horror comedy genre makes me anticipate its release. However, the reviews are pretty negative, which doesn’t bode well and lessens my expectations, but I am still looking forward to seeing it regardless. RENT IT! 

Captive 2015 Movie Title Logo

Captive (Jerry Jameson) [Limited] Rated PG-13 [97 min] – A single mother struggling with drug addiction is taken hostage in her own apartment by a man on the run after breaking out of jail and murdering the judge assigned to his case. Starring Kate Mara, David Oyelowo, Mimi Rogers, and Michael Kenneth Williams

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 35% • Audience – 69%

Their reviews:

“A Lifetime movie shoved into a cage and fattened with sermons and platitudes until it is ready to be served up cold and bland.” – James Rocchi (The Wrap)

“A credit-sequence television clip of Mr. Warren and the real Ms. Smith with Oprah Winfrey makes the entire movie feel like the strangest book infomercial in memory.” – Nicolas Rapold (New York Times)

My take:

Faith-based films have been running rampant lately. There was a huge surge last year, and the trend has only continued with each new success. Now equipped with A-list stars, Captive looks like it has the best intentions, but from what I’ve seen from the trailers the themes look inherently forced. I can’t get past it. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!

Pawn Sacrifice 2015 Movie Title Logo

Pawn Sacrifice (Edward Zwick) [Limited] Rated PG-13 [114 min] – Set during the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers and his own struggles as he challenges the Soviet Empire. Starring Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Peter Sarsgaard, and Michael Stuhlbarg

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 80% • Audience – 76%

Their reviews:

“Edward Zwick’s “Pawn Sacrifice” is an enthralling piece of mainstream entertainment that captures the essence of Fischer’s mad genius, perfectly re-creates the tenor of the times AND works as a legit sports movie about the great game of chess.” – Richard Roeper (Chicago Sun-Times)

“There’s much to recommend it… thanks to some sharp lines from screenwriter Steven Knight and first-rate performances.” – Keith Phipps (Uproxx)

My take:

Where has Tobey Maguire been? I feel like he’s been running around in the shadows trying to get the taste of Spider-Man out of his mouth. Pawn Sacrifice seems like a well-crafted biopic that has a dark edge to it, something that brings a little more color into the genre. It doesn’t look like it is playing it safe or straight forward, so I’m intrigued. MATINEE IT!

First off, as exciting as Everest appears to be, I can only imagine it will make very little money because of the gimmick and the limited amount of IMAX screens to begin with. They go up the mountain, they go down the mountain. Not much to it. Although Johnny Depp’s performance is grand and at a high caliber we haven’t seen him at in years, Black Mass is nothing to run home about. Plus it’s rated R so you’re losing a lot of moviegoers there. And then we have The Scorch Trials, which is a PG-13 action flick based on a young adult book series starring a Teen Wolf hunk. There haven’t been a lot of big movies geared toward that tween/young adult genre in about a month since Ant-Man. With school back in session, The Scorch Trials seems like the perfect hangout movie for youths to enjoy. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend will be:

Winner: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

What will you be watching this weekend? What did you think of the current releases? Tell us in the comment section below.


Movie synopses courtesy of IMDb.com and Tomatometer Scores from Rotten Tomatoes