Monday, May 4, 2015

DVD Outlook: May 2015

Last month I described how April offered a weak crop of net DVD and Blu-Ray selections. Unfortunately, May isn't all that promising either. Thankfully, though, this month does include a major Oscar contender and box office success that headlines an otherwise disappointing list of titles.

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

Clint Eastwood's heavy war-time drama, American Sniper, was one of the final releases of 2014's cinematic year. Bradley Cooper gives a towering Oscar-nominated performance as Chris Kyle, America's deadliest sniper who must balance the pressures of war with Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder and his family life at home. Eastwood paints a valiant, yet controversial, portrait of the modern day battlefield and the toll it takes on our brave young men and women who serve this country. With a steady stream of action and drama blended together quite effectively, Cooper and company transform American Sniper into one of Eastwood's finest films in years. (May 19th)

Hot Tub Time Machine 2 - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

It's with great reservation that I toss my support into the Hot Tub Time Machine 2 ring. I'm hesitant because it's an over-the-top sequel that must be viewed as a winning continuation of the hilarious 2010 original. If you haven't seen the first installment and know the R-rated humor you should expect, then I'd refrain from going in blind with this raunchy and outrageous follow-up. Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke return with their new wing man, Adam Scott, to venture back into the past to stop an unknown shooter from killing Lou (Corddry). Unfortunately, though, these dimwits end up shooting themselves into the future and screwing with the space-time continuum. The jokes are fresh but just as classless as the first film, so fans of the franchise needn't worry. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 is worth a viewing if you're seeking thoughtless R-rated humor and you're aware of the source material. (May 19th)

Love, Rosie - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my brief overview here)

One of the more charming romantic comedies at last year's Philadelphia Film Festival was Christian Ditter's, Love, Rosie. This delightful British tale follows two young best friends and star-crossed lovers, Rosie and Alex, who somehow manage to mess up every chance they get at having a true relationship together. Despite the film's irking near-misses and contrived circumstances that somehow backtrack the leading pair's attempts at taking the next step, Ditter's winning rom-com survives thanks to excellent leading work from Lily Collins. Her beauty and charisma are majestic and help make Love, Rosie a worthwhile experience for any couple. (May 5th)

Honorable Mention: Also finding a release this month are a pair of Oscar selections, Best Picture Nominee Selma (5/5) and Julianne Moore's Academy Award winning role from Still Alice (5/12). The cash-printing franchise origin film, 50 Shades of Grey (5/8), also reaches DVD and Blu-Ray this May. One of the most raved about comedy-horrors on the film festival circuit, What We Do in the Shadows (5/19), starring Flight of the Concord's Jemaine Clement writes, directs and stars in this modern vampire story. Finally, Anna Kendrick fans who want to prepare themselves for Pitch Perfect 2 this month can pregame with her latest musical drama, The Last 5 Years (5/5).

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