Now Available to Own: Halo 5: Guardians, Southpaw, The Gift, and More

Brace your bank accounts, it’s time to see what’s Now Available to Own for the week of October 27, 2015. Every Tuesday we run down new movie, television, and video game 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 Halo 5: Guardians, Southpaw, The Gift, and more.

Southpaw Jake Gyllenhaal

Source: Project Casting

Movies on Blu-ray

Pixels (Chris Columbus) Rated PG-13 [105 min] – When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games. Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, and Brian Cox

This movie is a load of garbage that houses great potential and squanders it to present little entertainment value. Pixels is far better than a lot of the flops Adam Sandler has dished out recently, but that’s like saying one episode of The Walking Dead is more upbeat and chipper than the others. The characters are horrendous to root for and the women are given nothing to do and written terribly. This movie was DOA as soon as they announced Adam Sandler’s name.

Special features include:

  • Two Featurettes
    • Q*Bert – The adorable digital bit hopper comes to life in PIXELS!
    • Dojo Quest – A look at the new classic arcade game that gave life to the unstoppable Lady Lisa.
  • Game On Music Video by Waka Flocka Flame ft. Good Charlotte
  • Six Featurettes (Blu-ray Exclusive):
    • The Creator of the Machine
    • The Space Invader
    • PAC-MAN
    • Donkey Kong
    • Centipede
    • Galaga

Southpaw (Antoine Fuqua) Rated R [123 min] – Boxer Billy Hope turns to trainer Tick Willis to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence, Forest Whitaker, Naomi Harris, and 50 Cent

If you’ve seen one boxing movie you’ve seen Southpaw. Jake Gyllenhaal is a physical powerhouse and a big presence on screen, but there’s hardly any depth to him or his characters to really care or set him apart from any other boxing story we’ve seen before. There’s also very little energy, which is surprisingly with how electrifying and tense boxing can be.

Special features include:

  • Deleted scenes
  • Southpaw: Inside the Ring
  • Q&A with Cast
  • Extended Training Montage

The Gift (Joel Edgerton) Rated R [108 min] – A young married couple’s lives are thrown into a harrowing tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband’s past brings mysterious gifts and a horrifying secret to light after more than 20 years. Starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, and Allison Tolman

One of the more surprising films of the year, The Gift delivers many twists and turns that lead up to a very rewarding climax. There haven’t been too many revelatory films quite like The Gift that really shake things up right to the very end and make you think about the actions and the consequences of the characters. Joel Edgerton did a fantastic job as a first time director, while also performing quite well.

Special features include:

  • Alternate Ending [with Optional Introduction by Writer/Director Joel Edgerton]
  • Deleted Scenes [with Optional Introduction by Writer/Director Joel Edgerton]
  • Karma for Bullies
  • The Darker Side of Jason Bateman
  • Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Joel Edgerton

Max (Boaz Yakin) Rated PG [111 min] – A dog that helped US Marines in Afghanistan returns to the U.S. and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience. Starring Thomas Haden Church, Josh Wiggins, Luke Kleintank, and Lauren Graham

There seems to be two different movies here: a family-friendly romp about coping with loss and a dark, underground story about cartels and weapons. Max has weird tonal shifts that can’t find an acceptable middle to find enjoyable. It leans far on one side or the other. The film has all the best intentions but because of its mishandled direction it isn’t quite the compelling film it seeks out to be.

Special features include:

  • Working with Max: Meet the dogs that play “Max” and see inside tricks of the trade!
  • Hero Dogs: A Journey – Get a behind-the-scenes look at amazing military trained K9s.

Other Titles Now Available

  • Sailor Moon R: Season 2 Part 2
  • My Fair Lady (50th Anniversary Edition)
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (40th Anniversary Edition)
  • The Human Centipede [The Final Sequence]
  • Downton Abbey: Seasons 1-5
Halo 5: Guardians Master Chief

Source: Comic Book Movie

Video Games

Halo 5: Guardians (343 Industries) [Available only for Xbox One] – A mysterious and unstoppable force threatens the galaxy, the Master Chief is missing and his loyalty questioned. Experience the most dramatic Halo story to date in a 4-player cooperative epic that spans three worlds.

Is it weird that I haven’t played a Halo game in earnest since Halo 3? I played Halo 4 once, but the controls felt foreign to me with the introduction of the new armor abilities. I’ve always loved playing multiplayer for Halo and the single-player campaign have intrigued me for the most part, which Halo 5: Guardians definitely tickles my fancy. But the fact that I don’t own an Xbox One kind of prohibits my ability to try this game out.

Key game features include:

  • Challenge friends and rivals in new multiplayer modes: Warzone, massive 24-player battles, and Arena, pure 4-vs-4 competitive combat.
  • Choose how to achieve objectives while playing solo with AI teammates or with friends in a 4-player cooperative experience using your Xbox Live 14-day Gold trial.
  • New, massive-scale multiplayer mode that supports 24-player battles with both friendly and enemy AI dropping in. It’s nonstop action when you confront Spartans, Covenant, and Forerunners while trying to complete a variety of objectives.

WWE 2K16 (Yuke’s and Visual Concepts) [Available for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3] – Get in the ring and Raise Some Hell with WWE 2K16! The undisputed champion of wrestling games returns with the biggest roster in WWE games history and the ‘Texas Rattlesnake’ Stone Cold Steve Austin as its Cover Superstar! Play as your favorite Superstars from the past, present and future and experience the most authentic, comprehensive, in-your-face WWE video game of all-time!

It’s amazing what game developers can squeeze out of these sports properties to make them feel different each year. WWE 2K16 looks as entertaining as any other WWE game, and I’m glad to see they continue to provide variety. If you smell what I’m cooking.

Key game features include:

  • Biggest Roster in WWE Video Game History: Play as over 120 unique characters
  • Improved and Refined Gameplay:
  • 2K Showcase
  • New Creation Suite Features:
  • MyCAREER Mode
  • 3-Man Commentary Team
  • WWE Universe

Blu-Ray Deals and Steals

  • The Incredibles – $18.99
  • Mad Max: Fury Road – $14.99
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas – $9.99
  • Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Black Maria – $39.99
  • Sweeney Todd – $4.99
  • My Neighbor Totoro – $12.99
  • Ponyo – $12.99
  • Edge of Tomorrow – $9.99
  • Howl’s Moving Castle – $12.99
  • Castle in the Sky – $12.99
  • Beyond the Lights – $9.99
  • Stoker – $4.99
  • A Christmas Story – $7.99
  • The Hills have Eyes Unrated – $7.99
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – $9.99

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

Title Image Source: GameSpot

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Coming Soon to Blu-Ray and DVD: Trainwreck, South Park, Empire, 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 September 12, 2015 we have Trainwreck, South Park, The Gift, Amy, and more. Find out when they’ll be out and what special features movie fans can expect below.

Trainwreck Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray and DVD November 10; Digital HD October 20

Trainwreck (Judd Apatow) Rated R [125 min] – Having thought that monogamy was never possible, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy. Starring Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Lebron James, Tilda Swinton, and Colin Quinn

Special features include:

  • UNRATED Version
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Line-O-Rama

Exclusive Blu-ray Special Features:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Extended Scenes
  • Behind-The-Scenes
  • Directing Athletes: A Blood Sport – The athletes of Trainwreck talk about their experiences under the direction of Judd Apatow
  • The Dogwalker – Daniel Radcliffe plays the dogwalker in this film that Amy and Steven go see at the theater
  • Trainwreck Comedy Tour Featurette – Take a peek backstage at the Trainwreck Comedy Tour featuring comedy all-stars Amy Schumer, Mike Birbiglia, Colin Quinn, Dave Atell, Vanessa Bayer and Judd Apatow.

Empire Season 1 Gold Record Edition Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray and DVD November 10; Digital HD October 20

Empire: The Complete First Season (Lee Daniels, Danny Strong) Rated TV-14 [42 min] – A father, who runs a successful music business, is diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease and has to choose one of his three sons to take over when he dies. Starring Terrence Howard, Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett, Trai Byers, Grace Gealey, Kaitlin Doubleday, and Bryshere Y. Gray

Premium Blu-ray special features include:

  • Pilot Episode – Director’s Cut
  • Exclusive Soundtrack Including Never-Before-Released Songs
    • What Is Love (feat. V. Bozeman)*
    • Live in the Moment (feat. Jussie Smollett & Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray)
    • Good Enough (feat. Jussie Smollett)*
    • What the DJ Spins (feat. Terrence Howard)
    • Tell The Truth (feat. Jussie Smollett)
    • No Apologies (feat. Jussie Smollett & Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray)*
    • Keep It Movin’ (feat. Serayah and Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray)*
    • Drip Drop (feat. Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray and Serayah)*
    • Keep Your Money (feat. Jussie Smollett)*
    • I Wanna Love You (feat. Jussie Smollett)*
    • Money For Nothing (feat. Jussie Smollett & Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray)*
    • You’re So Beautiful (Jussie Smollett & Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray)*
    • Conqueror (feat. Estelle and Jussie Smollett)*
    • Power of the EMPIRE (feat. Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray)*
    • Nothing To Lose (feat. Jussie Smollett & Terrence Howard)
    • Whatever Makes You Happy (feat. Jennifer Hudson and Juicy J)*
    • Nothing But A Number (feat. Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray & Naomi Campbell)
  • Collectible Packaging for the Ultimate “EMPIRE” Fan!
  • Featurette: EMPIRE: It’s in the Music
  • Featurette: The EMPIRE of Style
  • Special Feature: Commentary* on the “Pilot”
  • Uncut Music Performances:
    • No Apologies – Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon)
    • I Wanna Love You –Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon)
    • Come Away With Me – Video Medley – Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon)
    • Whatever Makes You Happy (feat. Jennifer Hudson & Juicy J)
    • Keep it Movin – Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray (Hakeem Lyon) and Serayah (Tiana)
    • Tell the Truth – Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon)
    • Nothing to Lose – Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon)
    • Power of The EMPIRE Video Medley – Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray (Hakeem Lyon)
    • For My God – Jennifer Hudson (Michelle)
    • Good Enough – Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon)
    • You’re So Beautiful – Estelle, Terrence Howard (Lucious Lyon), Taraji P. Henson (Cookie Lyon), Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon), Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray (Hakeem Lyon) feat. Serayah (Tiana)
    • You’re So Beautiful – Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon)
    • Drip Drop (DIRTY i-Tunes) – Bryshere Y. “Yazz” Gray (Hakeem Lyon) feat. Serayah (Tiana)
    • What is Love Video Medley – feat. Veronika Bozeman

The End of the Tour Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD November 3

The End of the Tour (James Ponsoldt) [Limited] Rated R [106 min] – The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, ‘Infinite Jest.’ Starring Jason Segel, Jesse Eisenberg, Anna Chlumsky, and Mamie Gummer

Special features include:

  • Audio Commentary by Director James Ponsoldt, Screenwriter Donald Margulies, and Actor Jason Segel
  • “Behind the Tour” Featurette
  • A Conversation with Composer Danny Elfman
  • Deleted Scenes

The Gift 2015 Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD October 27

The Gift (Joel Edgerton) Rated R [108 min] – A young married couple’s lives are thrown into a harrowing tailspin when an acquaintance from the husband’s past brings mysterious gifts and a horrifying secret to light after more than 20 years. Starring Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, and Allison Tolman

Special features include:

  • Alternate Ending [with Optional Introduction by Writer/Director Joel Edgerton]
  • Deleted Scenes [with Optional Introduction by Writer/Director Joel Edgerton]
  • Karma for Bullies
  • The Darker Side of Jason Bateman
  • Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Joel Edgerton

South Pakr Season 18 Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray and DVD October 6

South Park (Trey Parker and Matt Stone) Rated TV-MA [22 min] – Follows the misadventures of four irreverent grade-schoolers in the quiet, dysfunctional town of South Park, Colorado. Starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone

Special features include:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • #SocialCommentary on all episodes
  • Mini Commentaries by the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, on all episodes

Southpaw Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD October 27

Southpaw (Antoine Fuqua) Rated R [123 min] – Boxer Billy Hope turns to trainer Tick Willis to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence, Forest Whitaker, Naomi Harris, and 50 Cent

Special features include:

  • Deleted scenes
  • Southpaw: Inside the Ring
  • Q&A with Cast
  • Extended Training Montage

Pixels 3D Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on 3D Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD October 27

Pixels (Chris Columbus) Rated PG-13 [105 min] – When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games. Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, and Brian Cox

Special features include:

  • Two Featurettes
    • Q*Bert – The adorable digital bit hopper comes to life in PIXELS!
    • Dojo Quest – A look at the new classic arcade game that gave life to the unstoppable Lady Lisa.
  • Game On Music Video by Waka Flocka Flame ft. Good Charlotte

Blu-ray Exclusive Special Features:

  • Dolby Atmos Audio (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible)
  • Six Featurettes:
    • The Creator of the Machine – PAC-MAN creator Toru Iwatani was on-set and had a cameo, we hear from him about his experience and his take on PIXELS.
    • The Space Invader – The winner of an arcade contest had a walk on role in the film.
    • PAC-MAN – A detailed look at the PAC-MAN action sequence. From Mini Coopers and stunts to visual effects, see how PAC-MAN chomps his way into real life.
    • Donkey Kong – See the cast perform stunts on a giant reconstruction of the classic platform game and watch as Donkey Kong goes from bits to BIG.
    • Centipede – The giant insect attack was the creation of visual and special effect planning as well as the patience of countless performers.
    • Galaga – This 80’s arcade favorite leads the alien invasion, take an inside look at the attack on Guam.

Self:Less Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD November 10

Self/less (Tarsem Singh) Rated PG-13 [117 min] – A dying real estate mogul transfers his consciousness into a healthy young body, but soon finds that neither the procedure nor the company that performed it are quite what they seem.Director:Writers: David Pastor (screenplay), Àlex Pastor (screenplay)Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Natalie Martinez, Matthew Goode, Ben Kingsley, Victor Garber, and Derek Luke

No special features listed

The Vatican Tapes Blu-ray Box Cover Art

Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD October 20

The Vatican Tapes (Mark Neveldine) Rated PG-13 [91 min] – A priest and two Vatican exorcists must do battle with an ancient satanic force to save the soul of a young woman. Starring Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michael Peña, Dougray Scott, and Djimon Hounsou

Special features include:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Mark Neveldine, Cinematographer Gerardo Madrazo and Actress Olivia Taylor Dudley
  • “Tale of the Tapes” Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Extended Scenes

Amy 2015 Blu-ray Box Cover Art

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

Amy (Asif Kapadia) [Limited – 7/3] 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

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

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 15th Anniversary 4K Release

Available on Blu-ray April 16

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee)  Two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a notorious fugitive are led to an impetuous, physically skilled, adolescent nobleman’s daughter, who is at a crossroads in her life.  Starring Yun-Fat Chow, Michelle Yeoh, and Ziyi Zhang

Limited Edition Rerelease Details:

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has revealed that it plans to celebrate the 15th anniversary of acclaimed director Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon with a brand new Blu-ray release. Advertised as Mastered in 4K, the release will be available for purchase on April 5, 2016.

In addition to the standard release, Sony will have available for sale a Limited Edition Blu-ray which will street on the same date.

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: Pixels, Southpaw, Paper Towns, and The Vatican Tapes

Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars. The weekend warriors of July 24, 2015 includes Pixels, Southpaw, Paper Towns, and The Vatican Tapes. 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, Marvel’s Ant-Man walked away big with the studio’s second smallest weekend gross in its plethora of superhero flicks. Second only to The Incredible Hulk. Although a respectable haul, it was nowhere near Iron Man or Avengers numbers. This weekend, four contenders are vying for the top spot. Can the incredibly shrinking superhero stop the likes of Adam Sandler, tweens, boxing fans, and horror enthusiasts? Game Over. This is the Box Office Battlefield:

Pixels 2015 Movie Title Logo

Pixels (Chris Columbus) Rated PG-13 [105 min] – When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games. Starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, and Brian Cox

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 19% • Audience – 58%

My review:

As far as Adam Sandler movies are concerned, Happy Madison Productions has churned out far worse. But this particular style of comedy is becoming old hat very fast. In fact, this type of childish poop humor needs to be eradicated. It’s as if Sandler and his crew have never evolved past Billy Madison. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up on and enjoy Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, but Sandler’s brand has not progressed. There’s very little to resonate with and he’s become irrelevant. Granted, director Chris Columbus (Home Alone; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) does a fair job at creating fun action in the style of ’80s arcade games, but the characters, the jokes, and the story are very elementary. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!

Southpaw 2015 Movie Title Logo

Southpaw (Antoine Fuqua) Rated R [123 min] – Boxer Billy Hope turns to trainer Tick Willis to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Oona Laurence, Forest Whitaker, Naomi Harris, and 50 Cent

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 57% • Audience – 80%

My review:

If you’ve seen any boxing movie before, you’ve seen Southpaw. Sure Jake Gyllenhaal puts in quite the physical performance, but every beat of this movie is as generic as it gets. The ending left me with the only surprise because you never do know whether or not they’ll come out on top or if they lose and learn something out of their defeat. So, I was enthusiastic to see where director Antoine Fuqua would take the character. It turned out to be lackluster, with mediocre action as well as performances. Even Forest Whitaker dialed in a stereotypical broken-down coach performance. RENT IT!

Paper Towns 2015 Movie Title Logo

Paper Towns (Jake Schreier) Rated PG-13 [109 min] – A young man and his friends embark upon the road trip of their lives to find the missing girl next door. Starring Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Austin Abrams, Justice Smith

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 60% • Audience – 71%

Their reviews:

“In its considered, neatly packaged way, the film occupies a safe and solid middle-class middle ground in teen storyland, between crass gross-out comedies and mawkish romance on one side and edgy, exploratory indie fare on the other.” – Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter)

“Paper Towns is a movie that I really liked, but I probably would have loved if I’d seen it when I was 13.” – Christy Lemire (ChristyLemire.com)

My take:

Have high schoolers become this pretentious? I was a teen once, and I’m sure I would have loved this film at that age, but from my perspective now, Paper Towns is trying to be too intellectual for its own good. And its obvious pandering toward angsty teenagers or hopeless romantics is numbing. Based on the trailer, it tells me everything I need to know about what the main character will learn from his manic pixie dream girl. Paper Towns comes across too vanilla for me to care whether or not it matters. RENT IT!

The Vatican Tapes 2015 Movie Title Logo

The Vatican Tapes (Mark Neveldine) Rated PG-13 [91 min] – A priest and two Vatican exorcists must do battle with an ancient satanic force to save the soul of a young woman. Starring Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michael Peña, Dougray Scott, and Djimon Hounsou

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 18% • Audience – 54%

Their reviews:

“The film from director Mark Neveldine is so over the top that one can’t help but imagine how the Wayans brothers might lampoon it, then embarrassingly recall them doing exactly so in ‘A Haunted House.'” – Martin Tsai (LA Times)

“It’s the rote B-movie that Neveldine up to now has tried so hard not to make.” – Noel Murray (AV Club)

My take:

Was The Vatican Tapes even marketed to the general public? I never saw a trailer in theaters nor have I read any headlines about the film. I, for one, have had enough exorcism movies for the next ten years. They haven’t said or done anything different than the last, and in no way do they provide any kind of entertainment value. The fact that they bring in the Vatican as some kind of religious conspiracy does absolutely nothing for me too. Based on the reviews, I would say this was meant for a direct to home video release. Or maybe someone could have spent their money else where. SKIP IT!

Unexpected 2015 Movie Title Logo

Unexpected (Kris Swanberg) [Limited] Rated R [90 min] – An inner-city high school teacher discovers she is pregnant at the same time as one of her most promising students and the two develop an unlikely friendship while struggling to navigate their unexpected pregnancies. Starring Cobie Smulders, Anders Holm, Gail Bean, and Elizabeth McGovern

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 71% • Audience – 70%

Their reviews:

” It’s a little diagrammatic in its plotting. But there’s an easy fluency in the way Swanberg empathizes with everybody on screen.” – Michael Phillips (Chicago Tribune)

“Unexpected is sweet and the portrait of the friendship is lovely, but it also feels too slight.” – Katie Walsh (The Playlist)

My take:

Looking past the believability that Anders Holm from Workaholics could impregnate a woman, Unexpected looks like your run of the mill, uplifting story where a student and a teacher must learn from each other. Only this time they’re both pregnant and must deal with the life choices they inevitably choose. Unexpected doesn’t feel as derivative as it could be, which gives it some heart to work with. I’m not terribly enthusiastic about its premise, but there’s definitely an audience out there for this kind of film. RENT IT!

I hope, and believe, that audiences have wised up to Adam Sandler’s shenanigans, and in doing so stop it from becoming the number one movie of the weekend. Ant-Man is a pretty fun movie, and had good word of mouth and positive reviews, so it should have some decent legs coming into its second weekend. The other releases are fairly steeped in niche markets and only attract its target demos. And The Vatican Tapes released in no more than 427 theaters. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend will be:

Winner: Ant-Man

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