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The world is…interesting right now, to say the least. And there’s a fairly good chance that you’re suddenly stuck inside your house right now, or at least hesitant to go out. Not to worry: You can stay in and watch some Blu-rays. You don’t even have to leave the house to get them – order them online and have them show up on your doorstep. And if you need some help regarding what to pick up, these are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.Uncut Gems
It’s the movie everyone can’t stop talking about – the movie that many thought would ensure Adam “The Sandman” Sandler an Oscar nomination. It’s Uncut Gems, the Safdie Brothers‘ anxiety-inducing saga of gambling addict Howard Ratner Sandler, a jeweler who thinks he has a sure thing in the form of a rare black opal. But nothing goes according to Howard’s plans – he ends up handing the opal off to Kevin Garnett playing himself, and then his life proceeds to spiral completely out of control. His gambling debts put him in potential danger, and to make matters worse, every time he has a chance to climb out of the hole, his poor decisions put him right back in there. It’s perhaps a reflection of our troubled, turbulent times that so many people took to this movie, which is 135 minutes of screaming, tension, and jaw-dropping horror it’s pretty funny, too. While I didn’t love Uncut Gems as much as some I prefer the Safdie’s previous film, Good Time, I can’t deny the skill at work here. And Sandler is just as good as everyone says. Hell, he’s better.
Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:
I sure wish this release came with more special features – there’s only one, a making-of. A commentary would’ve been ideal – especially if they had managed to talk Sandler into doing it. Alas, it was not to be. But Uncut Gems is worth picking up anyway. But be sure to hold onto it tight – and whatever you do, don’t lend it to Kevin Garnett.
Special Features Include:“Money on the Street: The Making of Uncut Gems” Featurette Charlie’s Angels
Charlie’s Angels, the latest attempt to reboot the TV series of the same name, has a lot going for it. The leads – Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska – are incredibly likable, and they all have a fun, easy-going chemistry with one another. There’s also a handful of funny moments – mostly from Kristen Stewart, who shows a real knack for comedy here. But the film ultimately suffers from a rather blah script, and some uninspired direction. Elizabeth Banks directs, as well as co-stars. And while I think Banks is a genuinely good performer, she’s yet to hit her stride and find her voice when...
Week three of no theatrical releases. That will technically change soon — Universal’s premium VOD-opening “Trolls World Tour” has a handful of still-open drive-ins to play don’t expect any grosses reported. But it was a week full of important stories, with particular interest in a series of release date adjustments. However, no date can be realized if theaters aren’t open, and nobody knows when that will be.
• Exhibitor trade organization NATO held a webinar Friday. President John Fifthian raised hope that some theaters might be open by late May or early June. AMC Entertainment CEO Adam Aron, who oversees the most screens in North America reiterated his hopes for mid-June.
• With the COVID-19 still in its early stages of national spread, uncertainty about the curve flattening, and signs that in China, which had the earliest outbreaks three months ago, that viral decline doesn’t equal viral defeat, the reality is it could be weeks before anyone can make a reasonable assessment on reopening.
• Countering industry optimism that after weeks indoors, people will flock to theaters is a survey by Performance Research about public attitudes on return to public events. It saw 49 percent of respondents saying feeling safe about returning to theaters ranged from in a few months to never, with 28 percent saying if they do return, it will be less often. That said: This is a snapshot taken nearly two weeks ago, and shouldn’t be considered predictive. It showed similar or worse results for sporting events, concerts, and theme parks.
• Sports league executives spoke with President Trump, who urged resumption as soon as possible. However, Dr. Alan Sills, chief medical officer for the NFL, cautioned it is premature to believe that football can return this fall. Governors in some states that aren’t fully shut down, like Nebraska, encouraged voluntary compliance — with the threat that if the virus isn’t contained, their ardent fans might not have a season. Sports, of course, demand close player and spectator contact, and are more vulnerable even than theaters to the ongoing threat of contagion. But the idea that it is conceivable the country could have a year with no more sports is even more shocking than disruption to theaters.
• The key takeaway from multiple studio release schedule changes is, in re-dating titles, they don’t expect theaters to be fully operational until July at the earliest. Though key June and July titles like Pixar’s “Soul” and Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” remain in those months, “Mulan” on July 24 is the earliest rescheduled date for any major title. Other date changes act as a diversion while theaters are closed, but the reality is everything is written in pencil, not pen.