Thursday, August 3, 2017

DVD Outlook: August 2017

It appears August is rather barren with new DVD and streaming options (July's suggestions). Thankfully, a hot slate of diverse theatrical offerings such as The Big Sick, Dunkirk, War for the Planet of the Apes, Spider-Man: Homecoming and so much more, you can find a worthwhile movie to enjoy no matter what your personal preference may be. Either way, here's a look at what's available on DVD and streaming services this month.

Alien: Covenant - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

Earlier this year Ridley Scott returned to his storied Alien universe once again with the follow-up to 2012's Prometheus. In the latest installment, Scott and company shift their efforts from cryptic to visceral and disturbing with a bloody and twisted affair that feels immensely more horror-based than its predecessor. While on a colonizing mission to jump-start the humanity on a distant planet, crew members of the Covenant are awoken from their hibernation state following a malfunction with the vessel. Consequently, they abandon their long-term plans for a closer destination that proves to be a deadly decision. Covenant isn't the craftiest effort from the franchise but it certainly delivers some fine moments. It's difficult to sense where Ridley Scott will take things from here but as long as there's another Alien film, you can count me in. (August 15th)

Chuck - Not Scored or Reviewed

Rarely do I put a film that I haven't seen in my top 3 suggestions, but Chuck is one I've heard good things about and I plan to watch immediately. I had an advanced screening planned but because of unforeseen circumstances I had to pass my tickets along to a friend who raved about the Chuck Wepner biopic. Liev Schreiber stars as the retired boxer whose real life title fight with Muhammad Ali inspired the screenplay for Sylvester Stallone's Best Picture Winner, Rocky. With co-stars Naomi Watts, Elisabeth Moss and Michael Rappaport, this intriguing examination regarding the origins of one of Hollywood's most prolific films has legitimate knockout potential. (August 15th)

Sleight - 2 stars out of 4 - (No review available)

Under a normal set of circumstances, a film like Sleight wouldn't land in my top 3 suggestions. However, a lackluster crop of titles opens the door for this rather intriguing tale with a mediocre delivery. Newcomer Jacob Latimore stars as Bo, a young street magician who's forced to care for his young sister after the loss of their parents. Taking his remarkable talents to the streets for a modest payday, Bo becomes entangled with a dangerous drug dealer in order to make ends meet. But once he realizes that he's getting in too deep, he must figure out a way to cut ties and make it out alive. There's definitely more than meets the eye with Sleight, including some unexpected sci-fi that fits very well into the storyline. However, creativity doesn't hold the film back, it's a weak delivery and unimpressive acting that tempers the overall experience. (August 1st)

Honorable Mention: One of August's biggest DVD releases is the highly anticipated, albeit very disappointing, Marvel sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (8/22). Other mediocre options that I've reviewed include the war thriller The Wall (8/15), Zach Braff's geriatric heist comedy Going in Style (8/1), and SXSW selection Colossal (8/1) with Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis. I highly suggest avoiding one of 2017's weakest efforts, the sci-fi drama The Circle (8/1) starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. Finally, other notable options that I haven't seen include Snatched (8/8), Guy Ritchie's King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (8/8), Baywatch (8/29) and indie My Cousin Rachel (8/29).

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