Now Available to Own: SPECTRE, Crimson Peak, The Leftovers, and More

SPECTRE Blu-ray Release

Now available to own titles for the week of February 9, 2016 are SPECTRE, Crimson Peak, The Leftovers Season 2, Grandma, and more. Continue reading

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2016 Academy Award Nominees Predictions

2016 Academy Award Nominees Predictions

The 2016 Academy Award nominees will be announced on Thursday, January 14, and we have our own predictions of who will earn a nomination for the Oscars Continue reading

Coming Soon to Blu-Ray and DVD: Steve Jobs, Fargo Season 2, Burnt, 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 December 19, 2015 we have the Steve Jobs, Fargo Season 2, Burnt, Our Brand is Crisis, and more. Find out when they’ll be out and what special features movie fans can expect below.

Steve Jobs Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD February 16, 2016

Steve Jobs (Danny Boyle) Rated R [122 min] – Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. Starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Katherine Waterston

Special features include:

  • Inside Jobs: The Making of Steve Jobs
  • Feature Commentary with Director Danny Boyle
  • Feature Commentary with Writer Aaron Sorkin and Editor Elliot Graham

Fargo Season 2 Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD February 23, 2016

Fargo Season 2 (Noah Hawley) A drifter named Lorne Malvo arrives in small-town Minnesota and influences the population with his malice and violence, including put-upon insurance salesman Lester Nygaard. Starring Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson, Ted Danson, Jeffrey Donovan, Kieran Culkin, and Brad Garrett

Special features include:

  • Lou on Lou: A Conversation with Patrick Wilson, Keith Carradine and Noah Hawley
  • Waffles and Bullet Holes: A Return to Sioux Falls
  • The Films of Ronald Reagan: Extended Fargo cut
  • The True History of Crime in the Midwest
  • Skip Sprang TV Commercial

Burnt Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD January 26, 2016

Burnt (John Wells) Rated R [101 min] – Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a Chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars. Starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Daniel Brühl, and Riccardo Scamarcio [Watch the Trailer]

Special features include:

  • Burnt: In the Kitchen with Bradley Cooper
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Q&A highlights with the Director and cast
  • Feature Commentary with Director John Wells and Executive Chef Consultant Marcus Wareing

Our Brand is Crisis Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray and DVD February 2, 2016; and Digital HD January 19, 2016

Our Brand Is Crisis (David Gordon Green) Rated R [107 min] – An American woman, well-versed in political campaigns, is sent to the war-torn lands of South America to help install a new leader but is threatened to be thwarted by a long-term rival. Starring Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, and Joaquim de Almeida [Watch the Trailer]

Special features include:

  • Sandra Bullock: A Role Like No Other featurette.

Paranormal Activity The Marked Ones Blu-ray and DVD

Available on Blu-ray and DVD January 12, 2016; and Digital HD December 18

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (Gregory Plotkin) Rated R [88 min] – Using a special camera that can see spirits, a family must protect their daughter from an evil entity with a sinister plan.Director: Stars: Chris J. Murray, Brit Shaw, Ivy George, and Dan Gill

  • Special features not yet announced

Grandma Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD February 9, 2016

Grandma (Paul Weitz) Rated R [79 min] – Self-described misanthrope Elle Reid has her protective bubble burst when her 18-year-old granddaughter, Sage, shows up needing help. The two of them go on a day-long journey that causes Elle to come to terms with her past and Sage to confront her future. Starring Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, and Judy Greer

Special features include:

  • A Family Portrait: The Making of Grandma
  • Q&A with Lily Tomlin, Sam Elliott, and director Paul Weitz
  • Commentary with Lily Tomlin, Sam Elliott, Julia Garner and Paul Weitz

Meadowland DVD Box Cover Art

Available on DVD February 2, 2016

Meadowland (Reed Morano) Rated R [105 min] – In the hazy aftermath of an unimaginable loss, Sarah and Phil come unhinged, recklessly ignoring the repercussions. Phil starts to lose sight of his morals; Sarah takes off on a potentially disastrous journey, falling deeper into her own fever dream. Starring Olivia Wilde, Luke Wilson, John Leguizamo, Ty Simpkins, Giovanni Ribisi, Juno Temple, and Elisabeth Moss [Watch the Trailer]

  • Special features not yet announced

Don Verdean Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD March 1, 2016

 Don Verdean (Jared Hess) Rated PG-13 [90 min] – A self-professed biblical archaeologist who has fallen on hard times starts to bend the truth in order to continue inspiring the faithful. Starring Sam Rockwell, Amy Ryan, and Jemaine Clement

Special features include:

  • “Digging In: Behind the Scenes of Don Verdean” Featurette
  • “Behind the Sounds” Featurette
  • Audio Commentary with Director Jared Hess

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

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD 21st Critics’ Choice Awards Nominees

After last week’s nominations were revealed for the 22nd Annual SAG Awards and 73rd Golden Globes, it feels like it could be anyone’s game at this point. This morning the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) announced their 21st Critics’ Choice Awards nominees with George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road leading the charge with 13 nods. Hosted by T.J. Miller, the winners will be revealed during a live broadcast from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on A&E, Lifetime, and LMN on Sunday, January 17, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. EST/5:00 p.m. PST.

Mad Max: Fury Road has undoubtedly become the underdog favorite of this awards season, as it has become one of the most revered features of the year by critics, myself included – my review. The big topic of conversation, aside from gaining Best Picture recognition, is Charlize Theron’s nods for both Best Actress and Best Actress In An Action Movie. Tom Hardy, of course, is nominated for Best Actor In An Action Movie, but it’s George Miller for Best Director that has really invested my interest into whether he could be a contender come Oscars. The film has also garnered nominations for Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Costume Design, Best Hair and Makeup, Best Visual Effects, Best Action Movie, and Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie.

Trailing behind the whirlwind, critically acclaimed hit is Carol, The Martian, and The Revenant with nine nominations each. While this year’s big favorite, Spotlight, has earned itself eight nominations from critics, followed by The Big Short and The Hateful Eight with six each. Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, The Danish Girl, Jurassic World, and Sicario each earned five nominations and Room obtained four. Charlize Theron isn’t the only actress up for multiple Best Actress categories, as Jennifer Lawrence is up for three for her work in Joy and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, while Rachel McAdams is up for two awards for Spotlight and True Detective.

And while the film categories are all up in the air, the television categories prove that the increasing output of excellent programming continued this year with FX, ABC, and HBO both gaining 14 nominations each; FOX is close on their heels with 12 nods. The big standout series this year, as determined by critics, is FX’s Fargo with eight nominations. The Leftovers (HBO) and Transparent (Amazon) are not far behind with five nominations each; Black-ish (ABC), Mr. Robot (USA), and Penny Dreadful (Showtime) each earned four.

So what can we takeaway from this year’s 21st Critics’ Choice Awards nominees? For starters, no other awards group has seen more movies this year than the critics, assumably. It’s their jobs to assess the year in film. Who better has a sound voice of reasoning than those who sit in dark rooms and watch movies multiple times per week? In the long run, sure, all awards are practically meaningless gold statues, and the varying award categories the BFCA and BTJA have set have little influence when it comes to the Oscars, but if these voices of reason can help sway voters to at least make an earnest decision at the polls we can be safe in knowing we won’t have another year where a Shakespeare in Love wins against a Saving Private Ryan.

21st CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARDS NOMINEES – THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES

BEST PICTURE

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Sicario
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

BEST ACTOR

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Johnny Depp – Black Mass
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

BEST ACTRESS

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
  • Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
  • Tom Hardy – The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
  • Sylvester Stallone – Creed

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
  • Helen Mirren – Trumbo
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

  • Abraham Attah – Beasts of No Nation
  • RJ Cyler – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  • Shameik Moore – Dope
  • Milo Parker – Mr. Holmes
  • Jacob Tremblay – Room

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

  • The Big Short
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Trumbo

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Todd Haynes – Carol
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ridley Scott – The Martian
  • Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen – Bridge of Spies
  • Alex Garland – Ex Machina
  • Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
  • Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley – Inside Out
  • Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Charles Randolph and Adam McKay – The Big Short
  • Nick Hornby – Brooklyn
  • Drew Goddard – The Martian
  • Emma Donoghue – Room
  • Aaron Sorkin – Steve Jobs

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Carol – Ed Lachman
  • The Hateful Eight – Robert Richardson
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – John Seale
  • The Martian – Dariusz Wolski
  • The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki
  • Sicario – Roger Deakins

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Bridge of Spies – Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo
  • Brooklyn – François Séguin, Jennifer Oman and Louise Tremblay
  • Carol – Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
  • The Danish Girl – Eve Stewart, Michael Standish
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – Colin Gibson
  • The Martian – Arthur Max, Celia Bobak

BEST EDITING

  • The Big Short – Hank Corwin
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel
  • The Martian – Pietro Scalia
  • The Revenant – Stephen Mirrione
  • Spotlight – Tom McArdle

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Brooklyn – Odile Dicks-Mireaux
  • Carol – Sandy Powell
  • Cinderella – Sandy Powell
  • The Danish Girl – Paco Delgado
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beavan

BEST HAIR & MAKEUP

  • Black Mass
  • Carol
  • The Danish Girl
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Ex Machina
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • The Walk

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • Anomalisa
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Inside Out
  • The Peanuts Movie
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie

BEST ACTION MOVIE

  • Furious 7
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  • Sicario

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE

  • Daniel Craig – Spectre
  • Tom Cruise – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  • Tom Hardy – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Chris Pratt – Jurassic World
  • Paul Rudd – Ant-Man

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE

  • Emily Blunt – Sicario
  • Rebecca Ferguson – Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  • Bryce Dallas Howard – Jurassic World
  • Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
  • Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST COMEDY

  • The Big Short
  • Inside Out
  • Joy
  • Sisters
  • Spy
  • Trainwreck

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Steve Carell – The Big Short
  • Robert De Niro – The Intern
  • Bill Hader – Trainwreck
  • Jason Statham – Spy

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

  • Tina Fey – Sisters
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Melissa McCarthy – Spy
  • Amy Schumer – Trainwreck
  • Lily Tomlin – Grandma

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE

  • Ex Machina
  • It Follows
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • The Assassin
  • Goodnight Mommy
  • Mustang
  • The Second Mother
  • Son of Saul

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
  • He Named Me Malala
  • The Look of Silence
  • Where to Invade Next

BEST SONG

  • Fifty Shades of Grey – Love Me Like You Do
  • Furious 7 – See You Again
  • The Hunting Ground – Til It Happens To You
  • Love & Mercy – One Kind of Love
  • Spectre – Writing’s on the Wall
  • Youth – Simple Song #3

BEST SCORE

  • Carol – Carter Burwell
  • The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
  • The Revenant – Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto
  • Sicario – Johann Johannsson
  • Spotlight – Howard Shore

Continue Reading to see the the Television Category Nominees–>>

73rd Golden Globes Nominations Favor CAROL

Following the unpredictable 22nd Annual SAG Awards nominees yesterday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has now revealed their nominees for the Golden Globes. HFPA president Lorenzo Soria was joined by actors America Ferrera, Angela Bassett, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Dennis Quaid this morning to announce the 73rd Golden Globes nominations for both film and television categories. The Golden Globes will be presented live on NBC with host Ricky Gervais on January 10, 2016.

Unlike the SAG Awards where Trumbo gained the most nods, the HFPA favored Carol, a top contender among the chatter I’ve been in tune with. Carol has earned itself five nods, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actress for Cate Blanchett, Best Actress for Rooney Mara, Best Director for Todd Haynes, and Best Score. The Revenant, Steve Jobs, and The Big Short lead behind Carol with four nods each. The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, The Martian, Room, and Spotlight each have three.

Regardless, this year’s Golden Globes nominees seem to be more in line with what has been predicted. There are typically a few oddball choices every year with the Golden Globes – The Tourist for Best Picture – Comedy or Musical, anyone? – but I honestly don’t see any I would strongly disagree with. The Martian, The Big Short, and Joy aren’t really comedies or musicals, but they do have some great humor in them.

What really stands out to me, and what fills me with hope for this awards season, is that Mad Max: Fury Road has earned two nods, including Best Picture – Drama and Best Director for George Miller. These nominations alone are a win in my mind and also well deserved – read my review of Mad Max: Fury Road. Also sticking out to me is the fact that Alicia Vikander, who came out of nowhere this year and starred in five big movies, is nominated in two separate categories: Best Actress in a Drama for The Danish Girl and Best Supporting Actress for Ex Machina. Everyone is saying Brie Larson is the new “It’ girl while Vikander seems to be skating by undetected. This woman is an incredible actress and deserves every bit of attention she is earning for her roles.

As far as television categories go, Netflix is the top dog among networks and streaming platforms with eight nominations – the exact same outcome as yesterday’s SAG Awards nominees announcement. American Crime, Fargo, Mr. Robot, Outlander, Transparent, and Wolf Hall all tied with three nominations each. Like Alicia Vikander, Lily Tomlin also scored two nominations herself, but in two separate mediums: one for Best Actress – Musical/Comedy for Grandma and Best Actress – Comedy for Grace and Frankie.

What scares me the most about this year’s Golden Globe Awards is the fact that I agree with a lot of their choices. Even more so in the television comedy categories. Specifically because The Big Bang Theory and Modern Family were not recognized as Best Series – Comedy and Jim Parsons was not nominated for Best Actor. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Without further ado, here are your nominees:

73rd GOLDEN GLOBES NOMINATIONS THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES       

Best Motion Picture – Drama

  • Carol
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
  • Will Smith – Concussion

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

  • The Big Short
  • Joy
  • The Martian
  • Spy
  • Trainwreck

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Melissa McCarthy – Spy
  • Amy Schumer – Trainwreck
  • Maggie Smith – Lady in the Van
  • Lily Tomlin – Grandma

Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Steve Carell – The Big Short
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Al Pacino – Danny Collins
  • Mark Ruffalo – Infinitely Polar Bear

Best Animated Feature Film

  • Anomalisa
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Inside Out
  • The Peanuts Movie
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

  • The Brand New Testament (Belgium / France / Luxembourg)
  • The Club (Chile)
  • The Fencer (Finland / Germany / Estonia)
  • Mustang (France)
  • Son of Saul (Hungary)

Best Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

  • Jane Fonda – Youth
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
  • Helen Mirren – Trumbo
  • Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

  • Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
  • Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
  • Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Best Director – Motion Picture

  • Todd Haynes – Carol
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ridley Scott – The Martian

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

  • Emma Donoghue – Room
  • Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer – Spotlight
  • Charles Randolph and Adam McKay – The Big Short
  • Aaron Sorkin – Steve Jobs
  • Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

  • Carter Burwell – Carol
  • Alexandre Desplat – The Danish Girl
  • Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight
  • Daniel Pemberton – Steve Jobs
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto – The Revenant

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

  • “Love Me Like You Do” from Fifty Shades of Grey
  • “One Kind of Love” from Love & Mercy
  • “See You Again” from Furious 7
  • “Simple Song #3” from Youth
  • “Writing’s On the Wall” from Spectre

Continue Reading to see the the Television Category Nominees–>>

Box Office Battlefield: American Ultra, Sinister 2, and Hitman: Agent 47

Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars. The weekend warriors of August 21, 2015 includes American Ultra, Sinister 2, and Hitman: Agent 47, along with a batch 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, Straight Outta Compton brought gangster rap back into the forefront of the pop culture conversation. Its debut earned a lot of attention and is quite the reigning champ to dethrone. With three wide releases vying for the top spot, can the boys from NWA keep rolling on their high? This is the Box Office Battlefield:

American Ultra Movie Title Logo

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

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 47% • Audience – 56%

My Review:

Ultimately, American Ultra will be a weird throwaway film at the end of the day that no one will remember. It has a solid concept that both Eisenberg and Stewart execute well with great chemistry, but there’s hardly anything memorable about the film. It’s mostly boring, all of the other characters involved are asinine aside from Britton, and the Topher Grace is the most horribly cartoonish villain I’ve seen in a long time. The action is engaging and fun, and the relationship between Eisenberg and Stewart has a refreshing dynamic, but American Ultra doesn’t quite work as well as it thinks it does. NETFLIX IT!

Sinster 2 Movie Title Logo

Sinister 2 (Ciarán Foy) Rated R [97 min] – A young mother and her twin sons move into a rural house that’s marked for death. Starring James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, Robert Daniel Sloan, and Dartanian Sloan

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 12% • Audience – 37%

My review:

To be completely honest, I kept nodding off and took a few power naps while watching this film. I would say I digested at least 85% of the film, and from what I saw it wasn’t hard to guess where the movie was going or how it would end. Sinister 2 is boring. The characters are underwritten, their motivations and personalities are terribly weak. Being a sequel, I expected the home movies to be far more creative and disturbing, but they were really subpar and hardly imaginative. Sinister 2 continues the odd tonal balance of humor and horror that kept me from liking the original, which didn’t need a sequel to begin with. The first 15 seconds of the first film is all you need to see. SKIP IT!

Hitman Agent 47 Movie Title Logo

Hitman: Agent 47 (Aleksander Bach) Rated R [96 min] – An assassin teams up with a woman to help her find her father and uncover the mysteries of her ancestry. Starring Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto, and Ciarán Hinds

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 8% • Audience – 52%

Their reviews:

“Comes to life during the action scenes, if only slightly.” – Scott Weinberg (Nerdist)

“Hitman: Agent 47 is a second missed opportunity to translate one of the more adaptable video games into a satisfying movie experience.” – Kofi Outlaw (ScreenRant)

My take:

I picture a goblin named Franklin held captive in a cage at 20th Century Fox that the execs call on for when nothing original has sparked their interest. And Franklin has been beaten down so much, it mustered up its last bit of energy to softly whisper the idea of a Hitman sequel before his untimely demise. Because honestly, who asked for a Hitman sequel? There aren’t even enough gamers in the world who keep up with the series to even justify the creation of another flop of a movie. The action may be choreographed by the folks who helped on John Wick, but that looks like all Hitman: Agent 47 has going for it. Coming from screenwriter Skip Woods, who brought us X-Men: Origins – Wolverine, I expect a similar outcome. RIP Franklin. SKIP IT!

Grandma 2015 Movie Title Logo

Grandma (Paul Weitz) [Limited] Rated R [79 min] – Self-described misanthrope Elle Reid has her protective bubble burst when her 18-year-old granddaughter, Sage, shows up needing help. The two of them go on a day-long journey that causes Elle to come to terms with her past and Sage to confront her future. Starring Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Marcia Gay Harden, and Judy Greer

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 93% • Audience – 80%

Their reviews:

“This is Tomlin’s first leading role in a film in 27 years, and even though she is sharing the screen with multiple generations of fine actors, nearly every moment in this movie is all hers.” – Richard Roeper (Chicago Sun-Times)

“Weitz strips everything down for efficiency in “Grandma.” The writing is relentlessly on point, and often lacks breathing room, but some films settle for being workable showcases for their interpreters.” – Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune)

My take:

Grandma looks like a quirky romp of a film that wants to be hip and cool, but checks off all the indie tropes you could possibly imagine. Critics have positively lauded this film, and I’ll give it a chance, but there isn’t anything within the trailer that stands out to me as something fresh or original. RENT IT!

6 Years Movie Title Logo

6 Years (Hannah Fidell) [Limited] Unrated [85 min] – A young couple bound by a seemingly ideal love, begins to unravel as unexpected opportunities spin them down a volatile and violent path and threaten the future they had always imagined. Starring Taissa Farmiga, Ben Rosenfield, Lindsay Burdge, and Joshua Leonard

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 50% • Audience – 38%

Their reviews:

“[The two leads’] heartbreaking performances imbue this familiar Austin-set narrative with a fiery edge.” – Eric Kohn (indieWIRE)

“[6 Years] too often veers toward melodramatic overstatement, inspiring little empathy or understanding despite the committed performances of promising young leads Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfield.” – Justin Chang (Variety)

My take:

While watching the trailer for 6 Years I felt a few similarities to Like Crazy. I like that film to a certain extent, but it didn’t have a strong voice or opinion to get behind. And when the credits roll, you’re sitting there in a melancholy state feeling empty. I have an itch that’s telling me this is how 6 Years will end up making me feel. NETFLIX IT!

Digging For Fire Movie Title Logo

Digging for Fire (Joe Swanberg) [Limited] Rated R [85 min] – The discovery of a bone and a gun send a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend. Starring Jake Johnson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Orlando Bloom, Anna Kendrick, Jenny Slate, and Brie Larson

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 67% • Audience – 52%

Their reviews:

“A happy couple’s submerged tensions come to the surface in Joe Swanberg’s tender, wildly imaginative comic drama.” – Richard Brody (The New Yorker)

“With all the pretty, vapid Los Angeles navel-gazers lounging by swimming pools and engaging in pointless (and seemingly endless) conversations, the results feel like a sub-par Henry Jaglom movie, conceived on the quick after a location became available.” – Alonso Duralde (TheWrap)

My take:

Swanberg has been on a hot streak for me lately, from the works I have seen. Drinking Buddies and Happy Christmas I quite enjoyed – I haven’t seen 24 Exposures – but Digging for Fire seems a little more aimless than his typical mumblecore films. It has a stellar cast that I’d love to see in this kind of setting, but again DFF it looks a little too loose to keep my attention. And from those who have seen it seem to be a bit iffy. NETFLIX IT!

She's Funny that Way Movie Title Logo

She’s Funny That Way (Peter Bogdanovich) [Limited] Rated R [93 min] – On the set of a playwright’s new project, a love triangle forms between his wife, her ex-lover, and the call girl-turned-actress cast in the production. Starring Imogen Poots, Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, and Kathryn Hahn

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 38% • Audience – 40%

Their reviews:

“Broad, occasionally clunky, sometimes funny, scattered with poignant grace notes, and, in its own peculiar way, endearing.” – Ignatiy Vishnevetsky (AV Club)

“Even the cinematography is ill-advised, since it’s literally off-color; warm tones meant to evoke romantic feelings come off as a jaundiced homage to Woody Allen, from whom many of this film’s tropes have been not-so-piquantly purloined.” – Joe Morgenstern (Wall Street Journal)

My take:

I’m not the biggest fan when it comes to interconnected stories, but when executed well the tool can really heighten the experience and enjoyment of a film. She’s Funny That Way looks like it is trying too hard. Everything in the trailer looks uncomfortably forced and as if the actors are just phoning this one in for the paycheck. SKIP IT!

Learning to Drive Movie Title Logo

Learning to Drive (Isabel Coixet) [Limited] Rated R [90 min] – As her marriage dissolves, a Manhattan writer takes driving lessons from a Sikh instructor with marriage troubles of his own. In each other’s company they find the courage to get back on the road and the strength to take the wheel. Starring Patricia Clarkson, Ben Kingsley, Grace Gummer, and Samantha Bee

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics –64% • Audience – 64%

Their reviews:

“Learning to Drive is a richly observed, crosscultural character study that coasts along pleasurably on the strengths of its virtuoso leads.” – Michael Rechtshaffen (Los Angeles Time)

“The film seems to take its method entirely from Darwan’s quiet, methodical patter about how to move safely across lanes and through intersections. It’s good advice for driving, but less helpful for drama.” – Mark Jenkins (NPR)

My take:

I think Learning to Drive looks like a paint by numbers Oscar film that would have been recognized as an indie darling 30 years ago. NETFLIX IT!

Some Kind of Beautiful Movie Title Logo

Some Kind Of Beautiful (Tom Vaughan) [Limited] 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

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 0% • Audience – 39%

Their reviews:

“The problem, however, is that the script by Matthew Newman doesn’t do enough to make [Richard] either lovable or reprehensible.” Chris Knight (National Post)

“Hayek swings for the fences, but none of the gags she’s tasked with delivering are funny, not even when she desperately pantomimes various breathless expressions men make when they orgasm.” – Simon Abrams (Village Voice)

My take:

LOL

The three new options this weekend are so niche and poorly reviewed that I would find it hard to believe that anyone is going to go see them. They each have such a small targeted demographic that movie goers will be spread out all over the place this weekend. Straight Outta Compton had such rave reviews and positive word of mouth that it makes a strong case to keep its competition at bay. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend will be:

Winner: Straight Outta Compton

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