Friday, September 4, 2015

DVD Outlook: September 2015

After an abysmal month of DVD options in August, the fall begins to get us back on track. While I don't want to overstate the quality of the new titles that will be hitting shelves this September, I will say that they are far more promising than last month. Here are my top recommendations for September:

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

My first suggestion is mainly intended for the fans of HBO's former hit show, Entourage, who may have missed out on its big screen post-series release this past June. Much like the long-running comedy series, the film unravels with its ups and downs but, all in all, the feature film plays out like an extra long episode. Good jokes, beautiful women, and the 5 guys who helped make our Sunday nights extra enjoyable for a very long time. Entourage picks up immediately where the show leaves off with Ari (Jeremy Piven) back in Hollywood as the head of a major studio. And with his first monumental decision, Ari chooses Vinny Chase (Adrian Grenier) to star in the studio's next big project. However, Vince will only do the film if he can sit in the director's chair as well. If you're a fan of the hit television show, then it's worth taking a shot on Entourage. (September 23rd)

Mad Max: Fury Road - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

It took a trio of decades for filmmaker George Miller to return to his post apocalyptic universe that he branded in the 70s and 80s. Well, needless to say, some things are worth the wait. In Miller's triumphant return, Mad Max: Fury Road, Tom Hardy takes over the title character and he must try to escape the evil clutches of a tyrannical ruler with the aid of a female rebel named Furiosa (Charlize Theron), and a group of enslaved prisoners. The action is spot on and Fury Road indescribably succeeds as nothing more than a two-hour chase scene. It's quite impressive and like nothing else you've ever seen. While I wasn't as big of an admirer of the film as many other critics and moviegoers, I will say that Fury Road is a remarkably original film that withstands some noticeable pacing issues. (September 1st)

Love & Mercy - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

I've been a committed lifelong fan of perhaps the greatest harmonizing band of all time, The Beach Boys. A few years back mere curiosity had me stumble across the wiki page of the band's song-composing leader, Brian Wilson. After skimming through the peculiar events of his life story, I remember thinking it would make a compelling film. Fast forward and director Bill Pohlad has turned Wilson's story into the critically acclaimed biopic, Love & Mercy. The non-chronological tale casts both John Cusack and Paul Dano as the musical mastermind, recapping his estrangement from the Beach Boys as he went on to compose one of the greatest albums ever written, Pet Sounds, and the eventual effects of a psychological stranglehold by his doctor, Eugene Landy (Paul Giamatti). Prepare yourself for a wild story of manipulation all while reliving the birth of a musical masterpiece. (September 15th)

Honorable Mention: Action fans should be stoked for the DVD and Blu-Ray release of Furious 7 (9/15), although I admittedly quit on the franchise a long time ago. Melissa McCarthy's latest comedy, Spy (9/29) is available later this month and so is the a-cappella sequel, Pitch Perfect 2 (9/22). Blake Lively stars in the age-defying love story, The Age of Adaline (9/8) and a pair of indies, the swinger-comedy The Overnight (9/15) starring Jason Schwartzman and Adam Scott, and the drama I'll See You in My Dreams (9/1) starring Blythe Danner.

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