Tuesday, October 3, 2017
DVD Outlook: October 2017
Just as the fall movie season begins to heat up, a fresh new crop of DVD and streaming options available this this include a pair from my Early Year Top 10 Films of 2017 so far (September's suggestions). So if you're looking for alternatives to what's in movie theaters this October, you'll have plenty of worthwhile titles to choose from.
War for the Planet of the Apes - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)
Matt Reeves dynamic Planet of the Apes set of prequels finds another winner in its third installment. The franchise reboot has developed a unique way of jostling dramatic themes with full fledged action sequences that reaffirm the benefits to carefully constructed CGI. And with War for the Planet of the Apes, a rather dubious title selection considering the film's reliance on a more emotionally-driven story line, we follow Caesar (Andy Serkis) into the next chapter of the saga where the ape leader once again finds himself at odds with a human foe. Woody Harrelson stars as the Colonel, a rogue military leader who recruits his forces to terminate the ape population once and for all. Anyone invested in the first two films of the series shouldn't hesitate taking a chance with this third inclusion. And although I felt it was a small step down from its immediate predecessor, War for the Planet of the Apes still stands as a worthwhile exploration into this storied franchise. (October 24th)
Spider-Man: Homecoming - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)
The unstoppable force that has become the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) bulldozes along with its most recent release, Spider-Man: Homecoming. And where this year's disappointing Guardians of the Galaxy sequel felt disjointed from everything that's been building up within the MCU, Homecoming brings the audience back to a familiar place that looks and feels like the trademark branding we've come to expect. A teenage Peter Parker (Tom Holland) finds himself desperate to join the elite ranks of The Avengers, but Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) tries to keep a safe distance due to the teen's immaturity. So as Peter works tirelessly to prove his worth to the world's greatest superheroes, he finds a formidable foe in an average Joe (Michael Keaton) who gets his hands on some alien weaponry. Like most entries from the MCU Homecoming brandishes some highs and lows, but all in all it's a welcome return to the formulaic approach that boasts a lucrative track record. (October 17th)
Baby Driver - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)
Admittedly, I have been historically critical of the adored filmmaker Edgar Wright. While many have succumbed to his cheeky and outlandishly implausible action-comedy delivery, which includes films such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End, I've been disappointed by the unhinged demeanor in which these movies culminate. The director's latest effort, the wildly engrossing Baby Driver, offers more of the same, but it waits until a fatefully late third act until this otherwise exceptional work finally spins off the rails. After being coerced into a crime underworld where he becomes the best getaway driver in the business, Baby (Ansel Elgort) reaches a point where he'll do anything to escape this fateful lifestyle. The uptempo driving sequences are insane and the film's choreographed-style plays eloquently to its phenomenal soundtrack. Yet, the whole experienced becomes soured when Edgar Wright once again ditches his successful game-plan and takes the film's final act into a completely different and ludicrous direction. Thankfully, a wonderful majority of the ride makes a bitter finale easier to swallow. (October 10th)
Honorable Mention: David Lowery offers a captivating Sundance selection and one of the year's most talked-about indies, A Ghost Story (10/3). Sophia Coppola returns with the critically acclaimed drama, The Beguiled (10/10), and unimpressive films The Book of Henry (10/3) and Will Ferrell comedy The House (10/10) are available this month. October is the perfect time for some scary movies as Annabelle: Creation (10/24) received some surprisingly strong reviews, as did the female-centric comedy Girls Trip (10/17). Finally, Stephen King's The Dark Tower (10/31), Halle Berry's Kidnap (10/31) and yet another Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (10/3) close out this month's new releases.