Tuesday, March 3, 2015

DVD Outlook: March 2015

After February's DVD selections included a pair from my Top 10 Films of 2014, it was reassuring to see March follow suit with some of last year's finest offerings. And since the weather hasn't seemed to warm up yet in many part of the U.S., this time of year may be perfect for you to catch up on some hot titles!

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

While I recommend my top film of 2014, Bennett Miller's true crime drama, Foxcatcher, I do so with many reservations. Anyone with local ties to the story of American's most wealthy murderer, John E. du Pont, or any fans of the freestyle wrestling community are sure to find plenty to enjoy with the film. Channing Tatum gives an overlooked and magnificent turn as Olympic Gold Medalist, Mark Schultz, a shy and quiet athletic star who could never escape the enormous shadow of his more outspoken and beloved older brother, David (Mark Ruffalo). Yet, when a multi-millionaire named John du Pont (Oscar Nominated Steve Carell) pinpoints Mark as the perfect candidate to run his lavish training facility in hopes of restoring America's standing in the world's wrestling community, the impressionable athlete graciously accepts the opportunity to pave his own path. What transpires between this trio of men is creepy, disturbing and utterly devastating. Although Foxcatcher refuses to spell out every detail and requires the audience to make their own connections, Bennett Miller conjures up a gripping story with slowly mounting tension that explodes in an unforgettable finale. (March 3rd)

Interstellar - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

While my top recommendation, Foxcatcher, is a polarizing film that some will love and many will hate, Christopher Nolan's Interstellar is an epic sci-fi journey that's more appropriate for general audiences. Matthew McConaughey stars as Cooper, a former pilot-turned-corn farmer raising his children in a resource-ridden America set in the near future. And after Cooper stumbles across a secret NASA-like experiment designed to thrust a group of explorer's into the depths of space in order to find a new home for humanity, he agrees to leave his children and pilot the mission. Nolan manages to bend and shape everything we understand about time and space in this Oscar-winning feature filled with breath-taking special effects and a superb score from Hans Zimmer. Interstellar is a mightily ambitious film that sports an occasional plot hole, but they become easy to overlook in a story of this magnitude. (March 31st)

The Imitation Game - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

My third main suggestion of the month is another Oscar-winning film (Best Adapted Screenplay), that's ironically still out in select theatres nationwide. However, if you're looking to avoid those lofty ticket prices, then The Imitation Game is a fine choice for either DVD or Blu-Ray in a home setting. Oscar Nominee Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the real life mathematician, Dr. Alan Turing, who was selected by the British Army to head a team of cryptographers tasked with cracking the German's enigma code during the heart of World War II. The anti-social and smug mathematician must learn to communicate and open up his ideas to the rest of the team in order to help Britain win the war. The Imitation Game is a fine film on just about every level. There isn't anything that's specifically amazing about the feature, but it's a really solid watch that's guaranteed to be enjoyed by anyone who encounters it. (March 31st)

Honorable Mention: Two other films I really enjoyed this year were the Chris Rock comedy, Top Five (3/17), and Jean-Marc Vallee's Oscar-recognized film, Wild (3/31). Another pair of Oscar films that I didn't love are also arriving to DVD this month, Angelina Jolie's Unbroken (3/24) and the adapted musical Into the Woods (3/24). Two major blockbuster sequels that  I haven't seen will be available as well, The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (3/24) and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (3/6). And finally, if you're seeking some decent independent films, a pair of 2014 Sundance selections that I thought were all right include the drama Song One (3/24) starring Anne Hathaway and the pretentious comedy Listen Up Philip (3/10) featuring Jason Schwartzman.

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