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The Oscars might air during February, but other than that big ceremony, the month is not really known for big movies. That counts both for theatrical releases and for DVD, Blu-ray and Digital releases for the month. We do have some fun movies and some awards winners and nominees coming out earlier in the month, but there are a few things fans should get excited about in February. If you'll take a look later on you'll notice that crowd pleasers like Doctor Strange and Fuller House: Season 1 will be available on Blu-ray for the first time. (The latter you can also catch on Netflix.) Don't discount awards nominees like Arrival, Loving and Manchester By The Sea, either. Take a look at the full list, below.
In addition, if you are looking for the January 2017 DVD, Digital and Blu-ray releases, head here. Unless otherwise noted in the Digital column, Digital releases are the same days as the Blu-ray and DVD releases.
Loving Blu-ray Review
Over the last couple of years, Joel Edgerton has taken roles in wonderful but underseen films like The Gift and Loving, the latter of which is headed onto Blu-ray this week. The film, from Focus Features follows the story of Mildred and Richard, who fall in love in the racially segregated Virginia in 1958. Their love is stronger than the law and they fight against the illegality of interracial marriages still present at the time. That's the simple basis for the story, but Jeff Nichols' Loving is a story that is more based in performance that it is propelled by a strong narrative. Both Edgerton and Ruth Negga put in masterful and---shall I say it?---loving performances here. The Blu-ray release, which comes from Focus Features and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, actually offers a surprising number of extras for a movie with such a small budget and overall box office impact. Making of and feature commentary components exist along with real information about the landmark case "Loving v. Virginia" and perfecting the cast. You can take a look at the Blu-ray, which also comes with a DVD and Digital copy of the film, here.
Dirty Dancing: 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review
Everyone needs a copy of Dirty Dancing in their household, which is why repeat releases of the classic Emile Ardolino film are not the worst idea. The latest is Blu-ray release or, if you are willing to shell out, a Limited Edition box set that includes a wallet, compact mirror, a room key chain for Baby's room and shooting script with notes, post cars and much, much more. If you aren't willing to shell out more than $55 bucks for all that cool swag, no worries whatsoever. Lionsgate Home Entertainment also has a regular Blu-ray that also comes with a DVD and Digital copy of the classic film. More than six hours of extras are also part of this edition. Most of these have been found on other releases of Dirty Dancing. There were a couple of Patrick Swayze interviews that are brand spanking new to the 30th Anniversary Edition of Dirty Dancing and that were worth a perusal. Most of these extras should be new to non-fanatics, however. There are screen tests and outtakes and interviews with the cast, not to mention commentary on the film. A lot has changed in 30 years, although Jennifer Grey is still kicking it in the eighties thanks to Red Oaks. This release is a reminder of a fun time at the cinema and it's definitely one to own if it isn't in your collection already. Order the regular Blu-ray copy at an extremely reasonable price here.
Tuesday, February 7 Blu-ray And DVD Releases
Week of Tuesday, February 7 Early Digital Releases
Edge of Seventeen Blu-ray Review
It's hard to be a teenager. You're so close to being an adult and yet so far from understanding the complexities of the world you live in. You haven't met that many adult people with adult perspectives. You still live in the bubble of your small world and even smaller high school. A lot of teen dramas have explored the difficulties of these formative years, but Kelly Fremon Craig's script sets itself apart by using many of the painful parts of being a teenager and wrapping them in enough dark humor and warm moments to keep you invested during the film's hour and 44 minute runtime. Hailee Steinfeld can still pull off playing the insecure---and poorly dressed---high school student Nadine and Blake Jenner's jock character Darian is played here as someone who is also more complicated than the average teen flick would make him. If anyone is underused here, it's Woody Harrelson, as straight-faced teacher Mr. Bruner, who absolutely takes no shit from his students and adds a little levity to the film. This one was a quieter film at the box office, but Edge of Seventeen is still a good watch. Order your own copy, complete with a DVD and Digital copy, here.
Arrival Blu-ray Review
What a slow but great week for movie releases. Between coming-of-age story Edge of Seventeen and science fiction drama Arrival there are a lot of cool female performances out this week. Amy Adams may have been gypped out of an Oscar nomination, but Arrival was one of my favorite movies in 2016 and certainly my favorite performance from a lead actress last year. Even if you aren't usually a science fiction fan, Denis Villeneuve's beautifully shot film is emotional enough for even those who aren't big science fiction advocates. When linguist Louise Banks (Amy Adams) and physicist Ian Donnelly (Jeremy Renner) are tasked with making contact with a species of aliens that have appeared suddenly on Earth, they must reach into the unknown and place their trust in each other and what lies ahead. What they find is engaging, mesmerizing and totally worth owning on Blu-ray and DVD. The extras on Paramount Home Media Distributions set are lengthy, which means there is 80 minutes worth of stuff to work through. I particularly enjoyed the extra "Nonlinear Thinking" which explained the major process involved in the editing that went down in Arrival. Other extras focus on language and more. A Digital copy also comes with the Blu-ray flick, which can be purchased here.
Tuesday, February 14 Blu-ray And DVD Releases
Week of Tuesday, February 14 Early Digital Releases
Hacksaw Ridge Blu-ray Review
Hacksaw Ridge has been the little World War II drama that could ever since it was released. Made on a $40 million budget, the story of WWII pacifist Desmond Doss brought in nearly $175 million worldwide, and accrued some awards nods this season. It makes sense, as the young man's story is told eloquently, and the simple storyline never drags because warfare is a remarkably attention-grabbing topic. (It also makes sense because awards shows are suckers for war movies.) Still, if you missed the Mel Gibson-directed movie, Lionsgate Home Entertainment is bringing it to Blu-ray and DVD for the first time. It's also out on 4K, if you have the capacity, but we took a look at the regular Blu-ray, which comes with a few bonus features, including deleted scenes and a message from Mel Gibson. I'd skip those and go straight for the jugular... and by that I mean the super lengthy documentary that accompanies the film. That looks at the film through both a "making of" and an historical lens, and even features some interview footage from Desmond Doss' son (the protagonist of the movie died back in 2006). You can order the extremely reasonably priced new release here.
Manchester By The Sea Blu-ray Review
Unlike a lot of the releases this month, Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester By The Sea isn't a fun or exhilarating movie. The Golden Globe and Academy Award nominated tale of a handyman named Lee (Casey Affleck) returning to his hometown after his brother suffers a heart attack and dies. Although Manchester is a beautiful town, it holds bad memories for Lee and he is forced to confront some of those memories and make tough choices as the movie wears on. The film is not often the happiest and certainly isn't something you'd want to watch on a lark, but it's easy to see why Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams have been noted for their outstanding performances. The cast, which also includes Kyle Chandler, Gretchen Mol and Lucas Hedges, is a standout all around. Lionsgate Home Entertainment's film is probably not one you'd need to own on Blu-ray, simply because of the climate the film is shot in and they way it was filmed. The extras on the disc, too, are nothing to write home about. Still, the movie is one that should be seen, and now you can do so in the comfort of your own home before the Oscars air. Order your own copy here.
Tuesday, February 21 Blu-ray And DVD Releases
Week of Tuesday, February 21 Early Digital Releases
Doctor Strange Blu-ray Review
Marvel has been touting the home entertainment release of Doctor Strange for weeks now. The Digital release dropped a couple of weeks ago, and now you can access a physical copy that will look pretty on your shelf and hopefully be worth a re-watch or five. Doctor Strange isn't my favorite story in the Marvel Cinematic universe, especially as Benedict Cumberbatch's Stephen Strange can often be a bit of an ass, but he's still an entertaining ass, and the movie is also one of the most visually accomplished flicks ever created. It's entertaining and it's eye candy. What a package
Walt Disney Home Entertainment really went all out for this release. There are a ton of bonus features, including lengthy audio commentary with director Scott Derrickson. If you are interested in what Marvel has coming up, Marvel Studios Phase 3 Exclusive Look is a good bonus feature for you. There is tons of information out on the Internet about films from Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 to Infinity Wars, but this extra provided a nice overview. If you want to talk about how detail-oriented this set is, there's even an adorable little 3D component for the Digital movie code that comes with the Blu-ray release. Some extras tied to the Blu-ray release have been released prior to the Blu-ray hitting shelves, so for a taste of those, check out the gag reel and a deleted scene.
Allied Blu-ray Review
Allied kind-of flew under the radar after news of Brad Pitt's divorce from Angelina Jolie spread like wildfire. While the movie doesn't have some of the spark of this years Academy Awards pool, Robert Zemeckis' latest movie is likable and emotional--certainly worth a watch if not an addition to your collection. Allied comes in 4K Ultra HD or Blu-ray, but we took a look at the Blu-ray review, which still pops on our TV at home as bombs light up the London sky and two spies play a most dangerous game. Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard both tear up the screen as war torn lovers and if you like the danger--and in this case romance--of the WWII era, you'll like the bonus features on Paramount Home Media Distribution's set. Most of the bonus features are behind-the-scenes stuff. One looks at production design, but the more exciting segments are the ones that look at the weapons, vehicles and the music in Allied. Give those a watch, even if you skip the rest. You can order your own copy of Allied here.
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