Wednesday, June 4, 2014

DVD Outlook: June 2014

As we cross over from the Spring to Summer season, we're given a stellar crop of DVD releases this month. Normally, once May rolls around, no distribution company is looking to compete for money with the big blockbusters that arrive in theatres every weekend. However, this June we're given  some fine titles to choose from, including my number one choice from 2013's Top Ten Films.

Lone Survivor - 4 stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

As a college instructor and a movie critic, people who know me are aware that I'm far from an "easy A". While many moviegoers and cinephiles labeled 2013 as an amazing year for movies, I'll agree that there were an enormous amount of strong titles, but very few moved me and stirred my passion. Enter the late-year release, Lone Survivor, from director Peter Berg. Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch star as members of a Navy Seal team sent into the mountains of Afghanistan on a mission to kill a high ranking Taliban leader. While doing their reconnaissance work the mission becomes compromised and the choices the soldiers make will effect whether they live or die, in this retelling of the true story behind Operation Red Wings. Lone Survivor is more than just a shoot-em-up war movie, it tells a truly amazing story that goes well beyond the battlefields. You definitely shouldn't pass up on 2013's most inspiring film. (June 3rd)

The Grand Budapest Hotel - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

Wes Anderson, the acclaimed director of hits such as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom, returned in 2014 with the early-year release, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Ralph Fiennes gives his finest performance in years as hotel concierge M. Gustave, a charasmatic fellow who takes a young lobby boy named Zero Moustafa under his wing. Their relationship takes a unique turn after one of the hotel's most wealthy guests passes away and leaves a priceless painting to Gustave. The concierge becomes the focus of the old woman's murder and hilarity ensues. Flooded with high-profile cameos and the typical stylistic approach we've grown to love and admire from director, Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel is yet another winning effort from the filmmaker. (June 17th)

Alan Partridge - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (No Review Available)

Although actor/writer Steve Coogan broke onto the scene in a big way throughout 2013, thanks to his writing and supporting turn in the Best Picture Nominee, Philomena, the comedy performer's return to a regularly assumed role as radio host, Alan Partridge, generated laughter world-wide. Named for its title character, Alan Partridge finally made its way to the states in late February. However, I had the pleasure of catching this little British comedy gem at the Philadelphia Film Festival back in October. Partridge stars as a egotistical disc jockey who learns that new management is coming to the radio station and planning to make some changes. Rather than risk his own job, Partridge desperately lobbies for upper management to terminate his colleague, Pat Farrell. The higher-ups follow Partridge's suggestion and a disgruntled Farrell takes matters into his own hands by holding the entire radio station at gunpoint. Leaving only the dim-witted Partridge to save the day. Alan Partridge is an "out-there" British comedy filled with plenty of humor and outlandishness. If you have a sweet tooth for such films, it's worth giving Alan Partridge a try. (June 10th)

Honorable Mention: My secondary choices are mostly filled with titles I haven't seen myself, but ones that I've heard mixed-reviews about from friends of mine. The Robocop reboot (6/3) finds its way to DVD this month as well as other action titles such as Non-Stop (6/10) starring Liam Neeson and Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (6/10) starring Chris Pine. The raved about family film The Lego Movie (6/17) also arrives this month, as well as the festival darling Joe (6/17) starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan. Fans of premium channel shows may also want to check out Showtime's Ray Donovan (6/10) and HBO's True Detective (6/10) which are both new to DVD this month as well.

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