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It’s time again to take a look at the latest in physical media. This week finds Joaquin Phoenix dancing up a storm, Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe farting, Rian Johnson’s first attempt at a mystery, and some cursed body parts. These are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this weekJoker
What else is there to say about Joker at this point? The Todd Phillips-directed take on the Clown Prince of Crime generated plenty of controversies before anyone had even laid eyes on it. Then it somehow became an awards season fixture. Then a box office smash. So where do people stand? The movie is unquestionably popular – it wouldn’t have made all that money otherwise. But a growing disdain has arisen for Phillips’ dark, moody, nihilistic film. And it’s understandable – Joker has many flaws, its screenplay being the biggest of the bunch. But at the same time, Phillips does such an exemplary job crafting this tale, creating a Gotham that feels run down and sleazy. Is he ripping off the work of Scorsese and Friedkin? He sure is. But he’s doing it well. Really, though, the main thing that elevates Joker is Joaquin Phoenix. One of our best living actors, Phoenix gives the part his all, and creates a fully realized character. His Arthur Fleck is too nasty to be sympathetic, but it’s easy to pity him. As Arthur goes more and more insane, Phoenix goes deeper into character, and the results are hypnotic.
Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:
The 4K Blu-ray looks wonderful, capturing the grit and grain that Phillips embedded into the frame. It also comes with several behind-the-scenes featurettes that delve into the process of nearly everything here, from inception to character creation and beyond. Phillips talks about how he approached the film wanting to “make a great character study – and get people to see it.” The result: crafting a character study narrative onto a familiar character. Other topics of discussion: Phillips and Phoenix talk about the creation of Arthur’s weird, haunting dance moves. As they tell it, the first time Arthur dances – in a public bathroom after committing his first murder – the scene was written so that he runs into the bathroom to ditch his weapon. But Phillips felt that wasn’t true to the character, so he and Phoenix hashed things out on set for over an hour until Phoenix struck on the idea that the scene was really about the Joker “emerging” from Arthur, and that the best way to present that would be with this strange, slow dance. The rest is history.
Special Features Include:Joker: Vision & Fury Becoming Joker Please Welcome… Joker! Joker: A Chronicle of Chaos The Lighthouse
Hark! Bellow, bid our father The Lighthouse Blu-ray rise from the depths...
We have charts from five VOD and streaming platforms; they don’t use the same metrics, and are not independently verified. However, FandangoNOW leads the herd in its decision to list by the nearest equivalent of “grosses” — that is, the number of transactions times the cost. With the majority of releases at $19.99, it gives a better view of comparative performance.
Across the board at FandangoNOW, iTunes, and Amazon Prime, “Sonic the Hedgehog” Paramount and “Bad Boys for Life” Sony —the two top theatrical releases of 2020 — are thriving. Spectrum Cable’s weekly chart, which appears to be a little slower to pick up trends, doesn’t yet show those two films at all. However, like FandangoNOW, it does reflect the presence of the faith-based terminal illness romance “I Still Believe” Lionsgate, the other significant new release over the past week.
Other new titles like STX’s “Brahms: The Boy II” available at a lower price of $9.99 and the year’s best-reviewed new film “Never Rarely Sometimes Always” Focus, which was released Friday — are so far sight unseen.
To judge by platforms that rank by transactions, lower prices do help. We also list Netflix, which is based on the streamer’s ranking of viewings. It presents perhaps the most curious test of what interests the public and what the future of movies and other forms of recorded entertainment looks like.
We will cover this in far more detail midweek as well as look at winners and losers so far and possible trends and changes to come.FandangoNOW
full week rank based on total sales price, not no. of transactions
1 Bad Boys for Life Sony – $19.99
2 Sonic the Hedgehog Paramount – $19.99
3 The Invisible Man Universal – $19.99
4 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Disney – $4.99
5 Onward Disney – $4.99
6 Bloodshot Sony – $19.99
7 Jumanji: The Next Level Sony – $4.99
8 Birds of Prey Warner Bros. – $19.99
9 I Still Believe Lionsgate – $19.99
10 The Call of the Wild Disney – $4.99iTunes
rank based on transactions; list includes current and highest position during the week
1 1 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Disney – $4.99
2 1 Sonic the Hedgehog Paramount – $19.99
3 2 Bad Boys for Life Sony – $19.99
4 1 1917 Universal – $5.99
5 2 Jumanji: The Next Level Sony – $3.99
6 3 Onward Disney – $4.99
7 7 Knives Out Lionsgate – $5.99
8 7 Contagion Warner Bros. – $3.99
9 9 Ford v...