Monday, February 2, 2015

DVD Outlook: February 2015

After a VERY strong list of titles arriving to DVD and Blu-Ray in January, this month continues with some other elite options for movie-lovers. It's undoubtedly Oscar season, as many of these recognized films are scurrying to reach the shelves and Red Box dispensers. So if you're looking to stay in and avoid the frigid February weather all while enjoying a solid flick, then these are the movies you'll want to take a chance on.

Nightcrawler - 3 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

By now you've probably heard about Jake Gyllenhaal's phenomenal work in Dan Gilroy's debut thriller, Nightcrawler. Gyllenhaal gives an Oscar-worthy turn as Lou Bloom, a sociopath living in L.A. desperate for work. And after Lou encounters an accident on the freeway, he watches eagerly as videographers arrive to the scene and capture the footage for local television stations. Determined to make an impression on the crime journalism industry, Lou does whatever it takes to reach the pinnacle of success. Illustrating exceptional writing and a long list of impressive performances from the entire cast, Nightcrawler is easily one of the best films of 2014. (February 10th)

St. Vincent - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

Emma Stone put it best in Zombieland, Bill Murray "has a direct line to my funny bone". This past year he earned a Golden Globe Nomination for his hilarious curmudgeonly portrayal in the good-hearted comedy, St. Vincent. Murray plays a war vet and degenerate gambler who finds an unlikely friend in Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), a young man who moves in next door with his single mother (Melissa McCarthy). Despite all of Vincent's rugged attributes that could easily be mistaken for flaws, Oliver takes an unusual liking to this head-scratching role model. Downright hysterical and enjoyable on all levels, Ted Melfi's directorial debut, St. Vincent, is guaranteed to win you over. (February 17th)

Whiplash - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

Although Nightcrawler unjustly missed the final cut, the Academy Awards recognized last year's Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner, Whiplash, in its Best Picture field of eight. Similar to the first two entries I've discussed, Whiplash marks director Damien Chazelle's feature film debut as well. Miles Teller takes the lead as Andrew, a passionate young drum student obsessed with achieving "greatness" on his instrument. However, his demanding instructor, Fletcher (the Oscar Nominated J.K. Simmons), pushes Andrew to the brink of breaking down. Somewhat controversial and emotionally taxing, Whiplash possess all the elements of a successful drama. (February 24th)

Honorable Mention: Two of my most underrated films of 2014 include the Sundance dramedy Laggies (2/10) and the conspiracy drama Kill the Messenger (2/10). A few major Oscar contenders will hit the shelves this February including Best Picture Nominees Birdman (2/17) and The Theory of Everything (2/17), as well as Best Animated Feature Big Hero 6 (2/24). I'd be doing a huge disservice to critics everywhere if I failed to mention the documentary Life Itself (2/17) centering around Roger Ebert is also available this month. And finally, comedy sequels Dumb and Dumber To (2/17) and Horrible Bosses 2 (2/24) arrive this February as well.

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