October has arrived and theatres everywhere are starting to fill with worthwhile options such as Gone Girl and this weekend's newcomer, Kill the Messenger. But if you've already muscled through all of September's exceptional DVD selections, this month also has plenty of stellar titles to choose from. Here are a few films definitely worth checking out on DVD throughout October.
Million Dollar Arm - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)
I know what you're thinking. Here's another hokey and overly sentimental sports story from the Disney collection, but you couldn't be further from the truth. Million Dollar Arm tells an interesting true story of a financially strapped sports agent (played by Jon Hamm) who takes one last shot at tapping into the Indian market for the next wave of MLB pitching prospects. While there, he discovers two talented young men desperate to try anything in order to turn their fortunes around. Outside of a remarkable true tale, Million Dollar Arm boasts a plethora of fun and lovable characters that add an enormous amount of charm to the feature. It's in no way one of the greatest sports movies of all-time, but the film does stand out as a worthy viewing option. (October 7th)
Begin Again - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my condensed review here)
Best known for his 2006 romantic Irish movie musical, Once, director John Carney continues to embrace the music theme in this year's film, Begin Again. Mark Ruffalo stars as Dan, a binge-drinking record executive who's fired from the same company he helped build. Across the city Keira Knightley plays Gretta, a talented musician whose boyfriend (played by Maroon 5's Adam Levine) is becoming a huge star. After he breaks off their relationship, Gretta performs an original song at a small bar in the city where Dan catches the performance and it ignites a desire to make a record. Together they embark on a journey of rediscovery and musical passion. Begin Again is full of laughs, emotion and redemption. Begin Again tells a simple, yet tender, story that's delivered well thanks to strong performances from its leading duo. (October 28th)
The Grand Seduction - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (No review available)
One of the finest goofball comedies of the year was Don McKellar's, The Grand Seduction. A personal favorite of mine, the underrated Brendan Gleeson, stars as Murray French, an aging and unemployed resident of a tiny fishing village called Tickle Cove. When Murray discovers that his village needs a doctor in order to secure a local contract for a factory that will help save Tickle Cove from financial disaster, the community bands together to lure a young physician (Taylor Kitsch) into sticking around. The Grand Seduction is full of legitimate laughs that help ease an otherwise long-winded affair. Gleeson, Kitsch and company all play their parts very well and help elevate The Grand Seduction into a well-made crowd-pleaser. (October 7th)
Honorable Mention: Two major titles I haven't seen but keep hearing rave reviews about are X-Men: Days of Future Past (10/14) and the sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer (10/21). At Sundance I enjoyed the George Takei documentary To Be Takei (10/7) and the indie comedy Obvious Child (10/7) proved to be a breakout for its female lead, Jenny Slate. Mediocre efforts like Tom Cruise's Edge of Tomorrow (10/7) and the horror sequel The Purge: Anarchy (10/21) find their way to DVD this month as well. And finally, I recommend staying away from the new Seth MacFarlane comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West (10/7) and the indie zombie comedy Life After Beth (10/21) but both films are also available in October.