This week’s edition of The Digital Wire DVD and Blu-ray Releases is making up big time for last week’s stunning lack of noteworthy home video news announcements. We’ve got some critical favorites, horror cult classics, and a precious jewel of a film made by one of our finest directors that is finally getting the release it deserves. Just don’t blame me if you end up blowing your paycheck here.
Below you’ll find info on several future home video releases complete with technical specs, release dates, and links to pre-order at Amazon, as well as a list of titles coming out this week.
After spending the last two weeks watching all 8 Best Picture nominees for The 87th Annual Academy Awards, I am now fully qualified to give you the lowdown, determine which ones are the best, and more importantly which one will win the big prize.
The crop this year includes the usual Oscars suspects: we have some historical/war films and biopics (Selma, Imitation Game, American Sniper); the movie about the person overcoming adversity (Theory of Everything); the quirky comedy (Grand Budapest Hotel); an original film by an international director (Birdman); a film by a long-admired Hollywood director (Boyhood), and the little indie that could (Whiplash).
There’s a secret to picking these things. You see historically, Best Picture films don’t win without their directors nominated for Best Director. Simple math dictates that that leaves only 4 movies that can win Best Picture. But before I tell you who will win, let’s focus on the much more important question: Which movie should win? Let’s count them down from 8 – 1.
Selma Director: Ava DuVernay
Screenwriter: Paul Webb
Cast: David Oyelowo, Tom Wilkinson, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Lorraine Toussaint, Wendell Pierce Paramount Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 127 Minutes
Release Date: January 9, 2015
Directed by Ava DuVernay (Middle of Nowhere, I Will Follow), Selma is the story of a movement. The film chronicles the explosive three-month period in 1965 when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (David Oyelowo) led a campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.
Selma isn’t the first film about the civil rights movement, nor is it the first to feature Dr. King. What makes DuVernay’s film special, however, is that it doesn’t depend on the stereotypical white savior to rescue people of color from their plight. Films like Mississippi Burning, Ghosts of Mississippi, and To Kill a Mockingbird explore segregation, racism, and injustice for African Americans, but always with the help of an idealistic white person.
Now that 2014 is over, we are left with deciding which movies were the best of the year. Contrary to to what the box office says, 2014 was a pretty amazing year in film. But as I look back at the 100 or so films that I have seen in the past year, the following 15 films are the ones that I have seen repeatedly, could not stop talking about, or have had the biggest impact one me. Of course this is a subjective list, as there are plenty of other films that I have and have not seen that are or could be better, but honestly, these 15 left the biggest impact on me. I’ll also throw in a couple of honorable mentions. Hit the jump to check it out.