Monday, March 6, 2017

DVD Outlook: March 2017

If you haven't finished capitalizing on the hefty collection of titles released last month, you should definitely start your movie watching there (February's suggestions). However, if you're caught up with this year's top selections, March includes a bunch of new offerings that landed in my "honorable mention" section of 2016's Top Films. Here's a look at the movies you should keep an eye out for this month:

20th Century Women - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

Just missing out on my Top 10 annual list was Mike Mills' latest effort, 20th Century Women. The film follows a teenage boy in the 1970s growing up under the roof of his single mother (Annette Bening) and her two tenants, Abbie (Greta Gerwig) and William (Billy Crudup). And when the teen's mother begins to question her ability to properly guide him into manhood, she enlists the help of Abbie and the boy's best friend and crush, Julie (Elle Fanning). This trio of ladies, all unique in their wisdom and perspective, form an unlikely cast of role models. The film is hilarious at certain times and remarkably poignant at others. 20th Century Women delivers a wide range of well-developed characters and amazing performances as you can't help but be lured into each of their complicated lives. (March 28th)

Patriots Day - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

Most people's natural reaction to Peter Berg's manhunt drama, Patriots Day, is that the wounds and scars of this American tragedy are still raw. And although that's a fair argument to make, it's also true that this gripping re-telling of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing and the city-wide hunt for the Tsarnaev brothers is a worthwhile experience. Told through the woven combination of dramatic reenactment and real-life footage, Peter Berg places the audience into the action and brings these traumatic events to surface. Despite a few clear moments of over-dramatization and the reinforced "Boston Strong" theme, Patriots Day feels so authentic and precise in its delivery. (March 28th)

A Monster Calls - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

I was completely blown away by J.A. Bayona's 2012 tsunami disaster drama, The Impossible. He finally followed up the effort with last year's sentimental adaptation, A Monster Calls. Newcomer Lewis MacDougall stars as Conor, a child whose mother (Felicity Jones) is suffering from a terminal illness. And as the boy struggles to cope with his home life, he also faces bouts of bullying from his classmates. Yet, everything changes when a tree monster (voice of Liam Neeson) approaches the boy at night on three separate occasions and tells him stories that help him face his world of problems. A Monster Calls obviously tells an emotional and moving story, but it also offers masterful visual effects that leave a lasting impression. (March 28th)

Honorable Mention: Other Oscar Nominated titles available in March include Best Actress Nominee Natalie Portman in Jackie (3/7),  Best Supporting Actress winner Viola Davis in Fences (3/14), Best Cinematography Nominee for Martin Scorsese's Silence (3/28), Best Animated Film Nominee, Moana (3/21), and the Oscar winner for Best Costume Design with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (3/28). Just missing my top suggestions for the month was the political thriller Miss Sloane (3/21) starring Jessica Chastain. Finally, other random titles available in March include the sci-fi drama Passengers (3/14), Ben Affleck's gangster flick Live by Night (3/21) and the comedy Why Him? (3/28).

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