Wednesday, June 1, 2016

DVD Outlook: June 2016

As the summer movie blockbuster season brings waves of people to their local theaters, couch potatoes and home bodies can breathe a sigh of relief because June has plenty of DVD and Blu-Ray releases worth enjoying (May's suggestions). This month's upcoming titles are beginning to put 2015 in the rearview and turning to 2016's most impressive early year selections. Check out all the exceptional titles you'll be able to catch this June.

Eye in the Sky - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

Gavin Hood's military thriller, Eye in the Sky, is a little gem that became overshadowed by the largely anticipated release of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. While this controversial depiction of modern drone warfare will mostly be remembered as the late-great Alan Rickman's final film, and one in which he gives a spectacular performance again, Eye in the Sky deserves so much more credit. Its premise is really quite simple, a high ranking British military officer (Helen Mirren) has tracked 3 of the top 5 most-wanted terrorists to the same location in Kenya. But once she receives the authority to initiate a drone missile strike carried out by an American soldier (Aaron Paul), a young Kenyan girl wanders into the missile's collateral damage zone. These military officials must come together to determine whether or not they should carry out the mission. There isn't much else to the story, but the tense and suspenseful manner in which their highly debatable actions play out is a marvel to watch. (June 28th)

10 Cloverfield Lane - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

Another worthwhile early year release comes in the form of Dan Trachtenberg's sci-fi thriller, 10 Cloverfield Lane. At its core the film delivers a psychologically suspenseful and mysterious tone that morphs into a puzzling sci-fi effort late in its third act. Supposedly, this was all an effort to bridge the film into the same universe as its monster movie namesake, 2009's Cloverfield. Either way, the movie still succeeds on the shoulders of standout performances from John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and John Gallagher Jr. After a car accident knocks her unconscious, Michelle (Winstead) awakes in an underground shelter of Howard (Goodman), a complete stranger who tells her he rescued her from an even larger world disaster. And when another resident in the bunker, Emmett (Gallagher Jr.), confirms Howard's story of a greater danger lurking outside the shelter, the trio must survive tensions in this tiny environment. There are plenty of high and low moments, but if you can withstand the film's disappointing finale, then you're guaranteed to enjoy 10 Cloverfield Lane. (June 14th)

Eddie the Eagle - 3 stars out of 4 - (Read my rapid review here)

After catching Eddie the Eagle's hokey and unappealing trailer more than a few times, I was shocked to discover that I actually enjoyed the film. I admittedly knew nothing about the true story of Eddie Edwards (Taron Egerton), a relatively unathletic man who achieves his lifelong goal of becoming an Olympian. Sure, Eddie is unconventional and his methods of reaching the Olympic stage are a bit weaselly, but Taron Egerton creates such an inspiring character that the entire film comes together very well. There are certainly more than a few moments where Eddie the Eagle clamors for an unnecessary amount of sentiment, yet the prideful look in his father's eyes when he returns from the Olympics makes the entire film well worth it. Eddie the Eagle is a crowdpleasing feel-good feature that should only be watched under the knowledge of those circumstances. (June 14th)

Honorable Mention: A pair of 2015 holdovers arrive to DVD this month, Charlie Kauffman's Best Animated Feature nominee, Anomalisa (6/7), and the powerful slow-paced drama, 45 Years (6/14). The Coen brothers' semi-disappointing comedy, Hail Caesar! (6/7), and the critically adored children's movie, Zootopia (6/7), are also available. Also, a pair of movies I enjoyed to a certain extent are being released this month, Jeff Nichols' sci-fi drama, Midnight Special (6/21), and the Tina Fey comedy, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (6/28). Finally, two movies that I haven't seen, but who received positives reception, include Michael Showalter's indie comedy, Hello, My Name Is Doris (6/14), and Michael Bay's wartime action-drama, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (6/7).

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