August is a heck of a movie month when it comes to Blu-ray/DVD and On Demand releases. I’m also including some show seasons, and limited theatrical releases. For a select few the they are worth checking out due to the bonus content on the Blu-ray’s. The list contains some under-the-radar film, as well as some bigger name releases that are going to be available for home entertainment.Here is the exciting August list of movies you should check out:
POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING :
Andy Samberg is ridiculously goofy. From his SNL skits to his work on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, his characters are usually over-the-top. No difference in Popstar where he plays a former boy band member that makes has a solo album flop, he does everything possible to stay relevant. This is a really funny movie. Had me laughing at a lot of parts. It has some singing and performing, not quite a musical, but Samberg does it all in it. There are a lot of surprise cameos in the movie, including some A-list musicians and variety of SNL cast members. A definite pleasant surprise of a movie.
Popstar is available now on Digital HD, On Demand on August 30 and Blu-ray/DVD on September 13.
This film is really appealing on multiple levels. It’s an honest comedy about couples and the ups and downs of relationships. Written and directed by Clea Duvall (who also stars in the movie), the movies premise consists of four couples going on a getaway where they attempt an “intervention” to save one of the couples marriages. I really like the nice mix of actors in the film. The vastly underrated Jason Ritter, Melanie Lynskey, Ben Schwartz and Cobie Smulders among others. Everyone is age appropriate, believable and brings something interesting to the table. The film has peaks and valleys from fun and goofy moments to serious ones. I liked how it explored relationships and fading romantic connections in an honest way. There are no clear answers, people just trying to find themselves and explore their differences. This is a film worth checking out.
Intervention is available in select theaters and On Demand on August 26
FIVE NIGHTS IN MAINE:
For starters this isn’t a movie for everyone. It’s very serious in its tone and nature, and deals with a loss of a loved one. It’s more in the mold of a movie such as 45 Years. Outstanding performances by David Oyelowo and Diane Wiest carry the bulk of the film with their on-screen conversations, arguments in light of the pain they are each dealing with. It’s not a fast paced movie by any means, but the acting and content holds it up. No theatrics, no effects, no nonsense, just pure acting.
Five Nights in Maine is available now on DVD and On Demand
HALT & CATCH FIRE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON:
If you haven’t seen the series Halt & Catch Fire yet, you should. The second season just came out on DVD and this is the time to rewatch or seeing it for the first time before season three premieres on August 23, on AMC. Season two doesn’t disappoint. The continuation of the group of MacMillan (Lee Pace), Clark (Scoot McNairy) and Howe (Mackenzie Davis) are still working hard creating the personal computer, in an age where IBM is the the main player in the market. It’s a a fictional but fascinating look at the beginning of the computer revolution.
Halt & Catch Fire is available now on DVD
Amateur Night reminded me of the good ol’ days of Jason Biggs and teen comedies. Jason Biggs plays Guy Carter, a dumbfounded pimp/escort Uber driver. Actually he’s an architect that’s struggling to hold down a job in his field, oh, and his wife (played by his real wife Jenny Molen) has a baby on the way. Once he realizes that his driving some tough and spunky escorts, all chaos begins to ensue. This is the kinda role and film that Biggs gained his fame for. The wild escorts are played by Janet Montgomery, Ashley Tisdale and Bria L. Murphy. The movie definitely has some solid laugh out loud moments, including awkward moments that Biggs plays for laughs. I enjoyed the pacing and the outrageous shenanigans in the movie. It’s one of those kick back, relax and enjoy kinda movies. Little thinking is required, but that’s what films like these are for. If you’re a fan of Biggs, you’ll definitely enjoy it. Amateur Night is a pleasant fun surprise.
Amateur Night is currently available in limited theaters in NY & LA & is out now On Demand and Digital
ME BEFORE YOU:
My favorite movie of 2016. There is everything to absolutely love about this genuine story of love and friendship. Based on a JoJo Moyes novel, Emilia Clarke plays a young woman that takes a job caring for a wheelchair bound young man (Sam Claflin). The relationship goes from distant to genuine and honest, and you can’t help but root for their romance. Great performances with characters you want to invest into. This is a guaranteed tearjerker. What makes this movie so spectacular is the non-cliche element to this love story that’s based more on genuine care and affection for the other person, than it is on physical intimacy. I could go on about what makes this movie a must-see (including a phenomenal soundtrack), but anyone who has a soul will feel something during this movie. Romantics will love it and non-romantic will fall in love with it. A true gem of a movie.
Me Before You comes out on August 30 on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand
THE NICE GUYS:
One of the better comedies of the year, The Nice Guys delivers with the dynamic duo of Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe. Shane Black does a wonderful job directing this hilarious flick. Set in the 1970’s, Gosling and Crowe play an odd couple of private investigators that are looking into a murder of a porn star. The film feels and looks very 70’s Los Angeles (even though I wasn’t alive to live that). It’s a slapstick, crime, mystery, action comedy (yup, all those in one) that is guaranteed to make anyone laugh. The performances are awesome. Gosling really does a lot of physical comedy in the film and lets it loose. Very fun and entertaining film with a solid murder mystery to follow along. The Blu-ray Combo Pack has additional bonus scenes to check out.
The Nice Guys comes out August 23 on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand
THE KNICK: SEASON 2:
Yet another tantalizing Steven Soderbergh show. Clive Owen returns as Dr. Thackery, a top of the line operating room surgeon at New York’s Knickerbocker Hospital, that deals with a drug problem. That premise alone should get you into the series. Season one was very compelling, but season two builds on that and gets deeper, Rotten Tomatoes agrees with an incredible 97% rating! The show sets looks outstanding, just as you’d imagine a hospital looking in the early 1900’s, just as fascinating is seeing the medical procedures that took place during that time.
The Knick: Season 2 is available on DVD
THE PERFECT HUSBAND:
This would fall under the straight to DVD horror movies that you probably don’t know about unless you’re a hardcore horror movie lover. This film deserves more credit than that. A husband and a wife attempt to repair their marriage by taking a trip to a cabin in the woods (bad idea), that’s where things start getting tense and scary, for the wife. Fairly decent amount of blood and gore begins to rain down. While you probably won’t get great acting or a mesmerizing plot, you do get a lot a solid and entertaining horror flick. This is a very niche movie for horror loves, but I’d recommend it’s worth checking out.
The Perfect Husband is available on DVD
LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT:
Ewan McGregor plays Jesus on the 40 day journey through the desert where the devil rears its ugly head. McGregor carries the movie, that is short on actors. This is a sort of biblically themed movie that works. It focuses on the characters struggle, Jesus being the one depicted in the film, instead of fancy CGI or grand sets. The movie keeps the outside distractions simple and focuses on the narrative. It’s a interesting collision between good and evil and the choices that need to be made. Oh, the demonic woman will certainly scare the crap out of you also.
Last Days in the Desert is available now on DVD and On Demand
THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR:
Not to be confused with Marvel’s Winter Soldier, fans of the first Huntsman will be pleased to hear that the second time around without Snow White is a lot better. Add Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain into the mix, and you get a major upgrade. This is a visually impressive and action packed movie with some really big names coming together to make it work. Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Chastain) attempt to fight for their forbidden love as they go against the mighty ice Queen Freya (Blunt) and her sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron). The Dwarfs are funny, and there is some nice humor sprinkled throughout the movie. The Blu-ray features are worth checking out also.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War comes out August 23 on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand.
Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore come together to form this film about the modern complexity of relationships, marriage and parenting. It’s a quirky film (most movies with Gerwig are) that holds a lot of truth that can be relatable to many people. I enjoyed the offbeat humor and interactions among the characters. The plot surrounds Hawke’s character being fed up with his marriage and finding solace in a much younger woman (Gerwig) that makes him feel alive again. It’s a fun watch for with natural humor filled moments. The Blu-ray copy of the movie includes a nice selection of bonus features.
Maggie’s Plan comes out August 23 on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand
THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE: SEASON 1:
Based on the Steven Soderbergh’s movie of the same title, which was a intriguing documentary style look at a life of an escort. This STARZ series is follows an NYC call girl named Christine (Riley Keough), and is a lot like the film version just more expansive. The show has an authentic feel to it, and keeps you engaged and interested in how far Christine will go. There is no denying that the show is erotic, it has to be, but the plot is good enough to divert the focus from all the sex. It reminds me of personal favorite series of mine, Hung, but a lot less comedic and darker.
The Girlfriend Experience: Season 1 is available now on Blu-ray and DVD
The last movie of Hollywood legend Gerry Marshall, Mother’s Day goes easily fits the mold of his recent films. If you’re a fan of Valentines Day or New Year’s Eve (I was), then this is a movie that will definitely appeal to you. It has a similar tone and vibe to those films and an all-star cast. Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts and Kate Hudson to name a few. The genre of these Marshall films are straightforward. The title points you to what the movie is basically about. There are multiple storylines taking place at the same time, all that share ties to another. I enjoyed the comedy of the film. It’s slapstick, silly and over-the-top, but it’s entertaining. While critics and some audiences haven’t taken a liking to the movie, I’m in support of it. Garry Marshall fans will want to see his final film, so that alone makes Mother’s Day worth checking out.
Mother’s Day is available on Blu-ray and DVD
A HOLOGRAM FOR A KING:
Before the highly anticipated releases of Sully and Inferno come out this fall in theaters, you should catch Tom Hanks in A Hologram for a King. Hanks plays a struggling salesman with a broken marriage seeks his final beat of hope as he travels to Saudi Arabia to sell the king some holograms. Yup, pretty much in the title of the movie, but the film is a lot more than that. The laughs are genuine. The acting is high quality. It’s more than just a story about a rep trying to restart in life, the romance he forms with a Saudi nurse is sweet and enhances the plot instead of sidetracking it. The second half of 2016 is all about Tom Hanks, so see this movie before you see the upcoming ones.
A Hologram for a King is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand
LOUDER THAN BOMBS:
This is a pure dramatic film. It centers around a father and his two sons dealing with the loss of his wife and their mother. It’s a tale about family at it’s core. Growing up. Coping with a loss of a loved one. Rebuilding yourself and moving forward. It’s ultimately about the beauty and darkness of life. Jesse Eisenberg does really nice work in the film, a far removal from his usual quirky roles. It’s a more serious sort of film, not for everyone, but impactful. You need to see Eisenberg’s straight hair in the movie. It’s quite the startling sight to see.
Louder Than Bombs is out now on DVD
THE ANGRY BIRDS MOVIE:
Before ‘Pokemon Go,’ there were ‘Angry Birds’. The phone app game that drove everyone wild. Well, there now is a movie version of Angry Birds, and it’s quite fun actually. The film follows Red bird’s (Jason Sudeikis) misfortunes until he’s tasked with stopping the alien green pigs from taking over their land or nest. It’s like the bird version of Happy Feet, but a lot raunchier. It’s a movie for adults and kids, just not the really young kids. There are a lot of good laughs and interaction. There is a nice selection of different birds with various quirky personalities. The Blu-ray contains a ton of special features worth checking out. Angry Birds is a lot of fun, stays pretty faithful to the game also.
Angry Birds is out now on Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand