Saturday, August 9, 2014

DVD Outlook: August 2014

As we steadily make our way through the final summer month and into the fall Oscar season, August appears to take a hit with the quality of its DVD releases. July proved to be a "down" month and August unfortunately follows suit. Here are my top 3 selections for the month as well as a brief list of other titles arriving to DVD and Video-On-Demand, but remember that none of these picks are of the "must-see" variety.

Oculus - 3 stars out of 4 - (No review available)

My most recommended title of the month was an early-year horror release that actually hit the festival circuit in late 2013 to what were mostly positive reviews, and I definitely agree. Oculus tells the original story of two children who survive a traumatic event and reconnect years later to prove that a supernatural force living inside of a mirror is responsible for the past tragedy. With an impressively clever script and minimal key horror elements such as gore and staged scares, Oculus plays more like a mind-bending thriller that makes you question what is real and what isn't. Fans of horror should certainly give the film a try and if gore is the reason you avoid scary movies, then Oculus is the one you'll want to see. (August 5th)

Filth - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (No review available)

Based on a novel by Irvine Welsh, author of Trainspotting, director Jon S. Baird offers Filth, a Scottish dark comedy about a corrupt police officer willing to do whatever it takes for a promotion. James McAvoy gives a whole-hearted performance as Bruce, a sex-crazed and drug-fueled cop who attempts to mask his crumbling personal life with the false perception that everything will be better if he moves up in rank. The laughs are constant and a shaky mid-section is resurrected by a strong finale. If you can tolerate the heavy accents, Filth is a solid feature that's entertaining to say the least. (August 12th)

Muppets Most Wanted - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

I mean, come on! Who didn't love Jason Segel's meticulously crafted 2011 re-introduction to The Muppets? And with a respectable 3 year gap until its follow-up, Muppets Most Wanted, expectations were understandably elevated. However, this sequel didn't come close to the genius of its predecessor and ultimately left a sour taste in many viewers' mouths. But on the flip side, I still felt that Muppets Most Wanted had a reasonable amount of laughs, a few catchy tunes and enough spark to ease me through the finish line. If you allow yourself to accept the fact that there isn't the same magic from Segel's effort, perhaps you'll find a little room in your heart for Muppets Most Wanted. (August 12th)

Honorable Mention: Although I haven't seen either of them, action lovers will be pleased to hear that the teen-novel turned blockbuster, Divergent (8/5), reaches DVD this month as well as the video-game adaptation Need For Speed (8/5). Also, the sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (8/19) reaches shelves as well. Furthermore, August delivers a few lauded Sundance selections such as The Double (8/26), Locke (8/12) and the vampire drama Only Lovers Left Alive (8/19). And finally, the Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman drama The Railway Man (8/12) closes out the bunch.

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