Much like when it opened in theaters, studios backed away from releasing high profile theatrical releases on home video this week, allowing the second biggest grossing domestic film of all time, The Avengers, to have this week all to itself. If you happen to be one of the remaining 19 or so people still on the planet who have yet to see The Avengers, the time is now. Other than a couple of impressive box set releases, this is a relatively light week for new home video discoveries.
Our Movie of the Week is naturally The Avengers, but check out the films which opted for counter-programming this week, plus a whole lot more, in this week’s edition of Spins and Streams!
More than just another column about new home video releases, we will link to reviews, summarize the film, drop in some factual tidbits, and (naturally) offer you a chance to purchase the film (clicking the images and/or links and purchasing the film of interest helps keep the lights on!).
Consider it your weekly trip through the video store, both virtual and physical, scouring the shelves and combing the racks to find something you can enjoy at home, no matter what your personal preferences…
Without a doubt, The Avengers exceeded even the most optimistic of expectations and banked an unfathomable $623.9 million in North American box office receipts and is the third highest grossing film worldwide with receipts totaling $1.51 billion. And best of all…the film is terrific, possessing something truly for everyone. Intense action, Robert Downey, Jr.’s gifted ability to make any line reading genuinely funny, and a game and willing cast all committed to the film which Paramount entrusted with Joss Whedon, but had built towards for years. This is truly the definition of a thrilling, entertaining spectacle and you should make some time to take this in. The Avengers is an awful lot of fun.
“That The Avengers is terrific and in many ways, the pitch perfect summer blockbuster, should not come as a surprise when considering all involved here. Joss Whedon, while a rather daring pick for a massive film like this, is a skilled and deftly attuned writer, knowing how to manipulate puppet strings as good as anyone. As a filmmaker, he assesses the scope and range of this material expertly and despite an unraveling final act, for much of the 143 minutes Whedon takes in telling his story, The Avengers moves briskly with brilliant stabs of humor, stunning visual effects, and an effective balancing act between action, drama, and humor.
Joss Whedon has taken the impossible and made it possible. He unified Marvel Comics fans, those who have individual favorites in the superhero collective, and the casual observers who thought Iron Man 1 or 2 or Captain America or Thor were fine films, along with those who liked the recent Hulk films. Although I started to waver by the end, I loved a great deal of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers and have no desire to see these films discontinued any time soon.
A good friend of mine attempted to replicate the experience he had as a young boy seeing Star Wars in the theater as his first “grown-up” film and brought his 7-year old son to The Avengers. Let’s just say that I think my friend got everything he could have hoped for and his son loved every minute. Entertaining, well made, and smartly written for a majority of the time, The Avengers is worth all the hype and anticipation after all these years and a fantastic time at the movies.”Science Fiction, PG-13, 143 Mins, Dir: Joss Whedon.
See what else arrives in stores and via streaming services…after the cut!
Bond 50 is the definitive home video release which, simply stated, comprises all 22 James Bond films in one package in a glorious Blu-Ray presentation. Featuring more than 130 hours of bonus features, including an in-depth preview of the forthcoming Skyfall, this is an exhaustive and extraordinary release for those who have loved these films through all their incarnations and machinations. Nine of these titles (Goldeneye, Octopussy, The Spy Who Loved Me, You Only Live Twice, The Living Daylights, Tomorrow Never Dies, Diamonds are Forever, A View to a Kill and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) make their Blu-Ray debut in this package, one week ahead of their individual Blu-Ray releases. While you can also acquire this collection on DVD, the Blu-Ray set retails for a mere $149.99 right now, which is an absolute steal. Action/Adventure, All films are rated PG or PG-13, Various running times, Various directors.
Greta Gerwig’s prolific independent film career has continued to generate lots of buzz, discussion, and anticipation that she is soon on the verge of a breakout film and project. Damsels In Distress which cleared $1 million at the box office follows Lola Versus, which was released earlier in the year theatrically and a couple of weeks ago on Blu-Ray/DVD. Receiving best of her career notices on the fall festival circuit for the forthcoming Frances HA, Gerwig received similar declarations here, portraying Violet, the leader of a trio of college-aged girls who seek out inferior males to date and make better. She is smarter than everyone else, the center of everyone’s universe, but Violet masks her own issues as well and Greta Gerwig is terrific in the role. A star shines bright here and Gerwig is so close to a breakthrough that it is a shame Damsels didn’t find a bigger audience. Comedy, PG-13, 99 Mins, Dir: Whit Stillman.
A highly controversial documentary which brings to light some alarming facts surrounding the breast cancer fundraising movement which was become a cause de celebre for folks from all walks of life, Pink Ribbons, Inc. is a stunning expose on how the pink ribbon has been co-opted for corporate gain and branding, while next to no progress has been made on breast cancer treatment and advances. Reportedly fact-checked and fearless in its unpopular thesis, Pink Ribbons, Inc. will unnerve a whole lot of people who believe in raising money for and devoting countless hours to breast cancer awareness movement, brought into the mainstream by the Susan G, Komen Foundation in the last decade. If you can listen to the facts, the contentions, and the stories here, you cannot help but be angered, or at least brought to question something that seemed so sincere, on countless different levels. Documentary, Unrated, 97 mins, Dir: Lea Pool.
ADDITIONAL CATALOG AND NOTEWORTHY BLU-RAY/DVD RELEASES