Sunday, November 5, 2017

DVD Outlook: November 2017

As some major Oscar players begin to find limited and nationwide releases this month, there are also some intriguing titles arriving on DVD, Blu-Ray and streaming devices (October's suggestions). November's newest viewing options include a long list of strong films, including an Australian indie gem that I enjoyed at the 2014 Philadelphia Film Festival, despite lacking anything that's an absolute "must-watch". Either way there's definitely something for everyone, so here's a look at what's available this month:

Wind River - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

Hell or High Water and Sicario scribe, Oscar Nominee Taylor Sheridan, takes a seat in the director's chair for the 2017 film Wind River, which earned him a Best Director award at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Jeremy Renner stars as a veteran tracker with the Fish and Wildlife Services who stumbles across the frozen dead body of a young Native American woman. The FBI sends in a rookie agent (Elizabeth Olsen) to assist him in the investigation, where they battle that harsh wintry elements in the mountains of Wyoming. Wind River starts with a sputter but improves mightily as the minutes mount, and culminates with a rewarding resolve that makes the entire journey worthwhile. (November 14th)

The Mule - 3 stars out of 4 - (No review available)

I was shocked to discover that Tony Mahony and Angus Sampson's The Mule was finally earning an official DVD and Blu-Ray release, years after I had the pleasure of catching this oddly-premised, albeit it captivating, Aussie title. Sampson also stars in the film as Ray Jenkins, a social outcast who's set up by his teammates as "Clubman of the year" where he's awarded a trip to Bangkok and coerced into smuggling heroin back into Australia via his rectum. But as airport security finds his actions to be rather suspicious, Ray becomes held up in a hotel by local authorities where he finds himself matched in a battle of wits and bodily control as defecating would mean serious jail time. The Mule is jam-packed with deadpan humor, suspenseful intrigue and some gross scenes as well. But all in all, Mahony and Sampson unleash a gripping dark comedy that certainly brings the goods. (November 21st)

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

Acclaimed filmmaker Steven Soderbergh (Oceans Eleven and Traffic) announced his retirement from filmmaking in 2013, only to make a return this year with the heist-comedy Logan Lucky. Set in a small backwoods town, brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan (Channing Tatum and Adam Driver, respectively), plot to rob a Nascar raceway on race day. These redneck nitwits enlist the aide of incarcerated specialist Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) in order to pull off the job successfully and get away from the authorities scot-free. Logan Lucky's most notable aspect is its finely-timed humor and detailed creativity surrounding the heist itself. While the film isn't necessarily strong enough to warrant a comeback from a heralded filmmaker such as Soderbergh, Logan Lucky still manages to win its audience over with engaging characters and a decent story. (November 28th)

Honorable Mention: A trio of decent releases also make their way to DVD and Blu-Ray this month, Brie Larson in The Glass Castle (11/7), Charlize Theron's action thriller Atomic Blonde (11/14), and a nearly unrecognizable Robert Pattinson in the indie drama Good Time (11/21). Other films available this month include action-comedy The Hitman's Bodyguard (11/21), sci-fi adventure Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (11/21), indies Ingrid Goes West (11/7) with Aubrey Plaza and the peculiar comedy Brigsby Bear (11/14). Finally, kid flick sequel Cars 3 (11/4) also finds a release this November.

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