10 NEW TO NETFLIX
8 NEW TO BLU-RAY/DVD
There was a surprising bit of buzz around this summer sequel that proclaimed it one of the shockingly few movies like this to actually be better than the original. By some metrics, this is even the most critically acclaimed film based on a video game of all time! This is what happens when the bar is incredibly low. Sure, this movie is a mild diversion that works well at times, but it’s still nowhere near the caliber of most Pixar or recent Disney. If your kids were big fans of the original, they’ll enjoy this one too. That’s about all the acclaim I’m willing to give it.
ALL NEW MINI MOVIE! – “Live Stream”
6 Classic Hatchling Mini Movies
DIY Family Fun!:
“Hangry Birds: Popcorn Balls”
“Smarty Birds: Crafty Volcano”
“Crafty Birds: Pig Snot!”
“Meet The New Birds & Pigs”
“Hatching the Hatchlings”
“Flocking Together: Making The Angry Birds Movie 2”
“Jingle Birds: A Holiday Song From The Cast of Angry Birds 2”
“The Daytrippers” (Criterion)
How cool is it that Criterion follows their massive “Godzilla” box set at spine #1000 with one of the smaller indie films in their catalog to start the next thousand movies in the collection? I remember when Greg Mottola‘s debut landed on the fest circuit back in the mid-’90s, and I never felt like it got the attention it deserved when so much of the indie story of that era was dominated by people like Kevin Smith and Steven Soderbergh. Mottola, who would go on to direct wonderful ensembles in films like “Superbad” and “Adventureland,” had a gift for working with actors from the very beginning. Look at this awesome cast, including young turns from Parker Posey, Liev Schreiber, Campbell Scott, and Hope Davis, along with legends like Anne Meara and Stanley Tucci. This is a fun, smart movie. And the commentary track featuring Mottola and producer Soderbergh is a gem.
New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Greg Mottola, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New audio commentary featuring Mottola, editor Anne McCabe, and producer Steven Soderbergh
New interviews with Mottola and actors Hope Davis, Parker Posey, Liev Schreiber, and Campbell Scott
The Hatbox, a 1985 short film by Mottola, with audio commentary by the director
PLUS: An essay by critic Emily Nussbaum
As some readers know, I produce a film festival every May called the Chicago Critics Film Festival. In its seven years of existence, I have never seen a film get quite the response as Lulu Wang‘s “The Farewell,” a movie that sold out on a Monday night. People LOVE this movie. They see themselves in it, or at least someone they know. And that’s why it became a surprise smash hit for A24, making almost $20 million for the company. Still, while that number is insane for a movie like this, it still means most of you haven’t seen it yet. Correct that. This is one of the most essential films of 2019, a movie that really affirms Roger’s statement about film being an empathy machine. It’s a movie you don’t just watch, you feel.
Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Lulu Wang and Cinematographer Anna Franquesa-Solano
“Nothing but the Truth: Confessions of a Writer-Director” Featurette
“Going Home: A Conversation with Awkwafina” Featurette
“Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw”
Why does it feel like the latest “Fast and Furious” movie was kind of a disappointment? Did we really miss Vin Diesel that much? Tyrese Gibson? Ludacris?!?! Whatever the case, “Hobbs and Shaw” was kind of met with a “yeah, sure, it’s fine, I guess,” while the last few “FF” movies still have passionate defenders (and it made notably less than the last few sequels in this franchise, even if it’s still a massive hit worldwide). I think people saw this one as too calculated, lacking some of the heart of the original series. They’re not wrong. It’s definitely not something Marty would call cinema. But it is fun, and it will play well on your 4K HD set-up at home. At least until we get another proper “Fast” movie.
JOHNSON & STATHAM: HOBBS & SHAW
PROGRESS OF A FIGHT SCENE WITH DIRECTOR DAVID LEITCH
THE BAD GUY
HOBBS’ FAMILY TREE
STUNT SHOW AND TELL
KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY: A CONVERSATION WITH ROMAN AND DWAYNE
DWAYNE AND HOBBS: LOVE AT FIRST BITE
FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR DAVID LEITCH
The SXSW premiere of this raunchy comedy is still one of my favorite movie memories of 2019. Let’s just say, it killed. People were loving the adventure of three foul-mouthed kids old enough to Google porn but not old enough to get the childproof cap off the vitamins. While the main draw of the film is its exaggerated humor, this movie doesn’t work without the likable performances from the three leads, particularly Keith L. Williams’ pitch-perfect comic timing and Jacob Tremblay’s remarkable likability. These kids are going to be stars, which will make this early film in their career even more fun in hindsight.
UNRATED ALTERNATE ENDING
UNRATED DELETED AND EXTENDED SCENES
BOYS FOR REAL
WELCOME TO VANCOUVER
A FINE LINE
ASK YOUR PARENTS
FEATURE COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR & CO-WRITER GENE STUPNITSKY AND PRODUCER & CO-WRITER LEE EISENBERG
When I heard about the premise of this SXSW hit, I was very reticent to seek it out, even with so many people I respect telling me it was worth a look. I’ve just seen way too many indie road dramedies for anyone’s lifetime. I was wrong. While there are some beats that are a bit too manipulative and the narrative often feels forced, this is best appreciated as a hang-out movie with some excellent actors, particularly Shia LaBeouf, who again affirms his status as one of the most interesting performers of his generation. He has such a natural, fluid sense of himself in front of the camera, knowing how to play to his strengths but never in a way that feels forced. This is a funny, sweet little movie that’s worth a look, even if the commercials and premise would have you thinking otherwise.
“Zack’s Story: The Making of Peanut Butter Falcon” Featurette
When asked the funniest movie of the ’10s, I often name this amazing Lonely Island comedy, now available from Shout in a fantastic steelbook collector’s edition with a cover that will be hysterical to anyone who’s seen it. The special features are all the same as the standard version, as is the transfer, so this is an upgrade for packaging alone, although it’s now the best way to own it if you don’t already. As for the movie, it’s one of those rare modern comedies that gets funnier every time I see it. It’s so smart and daring from front to back that something different hits your funny bone with each viewing. It’s a movie that more and more people are watching with each passing year. In a decade, an entire generation will be shocked it wasn’t a hit when it first came out.
I don’t understand why this wasn’t released to rental in time for Halloween, but I’ve given up trying to figure out the mysteries of studio decisions. I know that next Halloween, my kids will be watching this smart horror movie, a perfect gateway drug for young people interested in the genre that goes bump in the night. Much smarter than most movies like this, Andre Ovredal’s film respects its young audience, unafraid of presenting them with actual threats and genuine nightmare fuel. Well-made and smart, this is a movie I expect people to take to over the years and turn into a holiday staple.
“The Bellows Construct”
“Creatures from the Shadows”
Behind the Scenes Trailers: Set Visits