Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DVD Outlook: September 2016

September has crept up quickly and as we turn the page on summer, we look to another new crop of DVD and streaming options. This month's collection of titles leaves plenty to be desired, but there are a few worthwhile movies to choose from. You may wanna backtrack a little to August's suggestions (or even further) if you're looking for more upper echelon films. Also, you can always check out some new releases arriving in theaters this month, because there are a handful of intriguing films coming to a theater near you. Either way, here are my top three suggestions for September:

Captain America: Civil War - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

When it comes to one of the year's most anticipated films, as well as one of its highest grossing, what is there left to say about Marvel's latest chapter, Civil War? Since 2008 when the studio began building this enormous universe, storylines have been molded to fit this epic chapter that pits Avenger vs. Avenger. The special effects are phenomenal and its crowded superhero fight scene makes this more than worth watching. As someone who's enjoyed the Marvel films but never been over-the-top with his praises, I would personally rank Civil War in my top 3 to 5 range. And in comparison to the rest of September's new DVD and streaming options, Civil War certainly takes the cake. (September 13th)

The Meddler - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

After a brief stint on the festival circuit in Toronto and Tribecca, Lorene Scafaria's indie dramedy, The Meddler, proved to be a winning early year release. The film marks a triumphant return for Susan Sarandon who stars as an aging widow who travels from New York City to Los Angeles in order to be closer to her only daughter as she struggles beginning a new chapter in her life. The well-balanced blend of humor and emotion carries the film alongside its talented leading star and her co-stars, Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons and Rose Byrne. The Meddler isn't necessarily a must-watch film, but it's a worthwhile crowd-pleaser that offers authentic characters and a genuine story. (September 6th)

Money Monster - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

Jodie Foster's tense stock market drama, Money Monster, premiered earlier this year to mixed reviews. George Clooney takes center stage as a financial TV show host whose live broadcast is taken over by a bitter one-time investor (Jack O'Connell) who loses everything after taking the host's flawed advice. While Money Monster is bogged down by a brutally unrealistic third act, its poignant message and intensity are executed magnificently by the film's long list of accomplished performers. As someone who is typically up and down with Julia Roberts, she gives an excellent turn as the show's producer who micro-manages this difficult situation from afar. If you're intrigued by the film and you happen to stumble across it one way or another, Money Monster just may surprise you. (September 6th)

Honorable Mention: Critics raved about the Jane Austen period piece, Love & Friendship (9/6), and James Wan's horror sequel, The Conjuring 2 (9/13), but neither one stood out to me. Also, A couple of decent comedy options available this month include the sequel Neighbors 2 (9/20) and the musical mockumentary Popstar (9/13). I found modest enjoyment in the well-received shark-attack thriller, The Shallows (9/27), but I was less impressed by the Matthew McConaughey drama, Free State of Jones (9/20). Although I never saw it, plenty of praise has also been given to Star Trek Beyond (9/20). Finally, there's another pair of comedies arriving this month. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (9/27) wasn't as good as I had hoped, while I never had the opportunity to catch Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson in Central Intelligence (9/27).

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