On DVD & Blu-Ray: May 3, 2016

Everyone has a story. Even the woman who invented the miracle mop. In Joy, Jennifer Lawrence is the 1995 version of Joy Mangano as we become privy to the beyond hectic journey it took for this now entrepreneur and titan of industry to become such. In these terms, this is a real rags to riches story and would probably be a very compelling one at that if it were simply left to these devices, but in the hands of director David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle) it has to be more than that-it has to be mythic almost. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with this approach as a unique or different take on any type of material is always appreciated, but Russell's style is especially effective with some stories while not always finding it's rhythm with others. Joy lands somewhere in the middle of this scale as certain aspects of our titular characters life service Russell's frantic style well while other times it seems to be fighting with the tranquility that the film so desperately craves. In a word, the film is relentless. And to a certain extent it should be in order to give audiences a real sense of what this character had to overcome to get to where she is today, but it is always key for journeys such as this to provide moments of calm reflection that, again, help to give audiences a sense of scope. Here, these moments are treated as flurries of flashbacks or mounting issues that are proclaimed one after another in sometimes painfully awkward dialogue. This technique works to a certain extent given there are moments when the relentless clawing and nagging of every supporting character in the movie ceases and something good is actually allowed to happen to Joy without them mingling and messing things up, but these are too few and far between. The real issues arise when it became clear we, as an audience, want to dig deeper into the psyche of our main character than the actual film does. Why does Joy continue to allow her family to pull her down? That Joy, unlike say Russell's The Fighter, never digs into the reasons as to why Joy can't leave these thwarted and painful relationships behind is ultimately what makes the project feel more barren than it wants to be. Full review here. B-

Chloƫ Grace Moretz made her second attempt at a YA novel adaptation earlier this year with The 5th Wave about four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks that have left most of Earth decimated. I didn't have any interest in seeing where this Rick Yancey adaptation went and still don't, but if you love Yancey's series you might as well pick this up because its doubtful there will be any sequels.

Another Nicholas Sparks movie and with it we get a declining caliber of cast and declining box office. While The Choice may not measure up in terms of money made to previous Sparks adaptations it certainly seems to be in large part because his stories are beginning to all run together. I've watched the previous two Sparks films and couldn't be bothered to ever watch them again and thus I couldn't be bothered to even look into his latest.

I'd originally planned to see director Atom Egoyan's Remember starring Christopher Plummer at last years Toronto Film Festival, but it didn't work out. I then was offered a screening link as the film was going to open in a limited run in my area, but it never did and thus I never received the link. And so, now that the film is arriving on home video I might actually get around to checking it out, but considering the many delays my excitement for the film has certainly waned and I'll likely end up waiting until it inevitably arrives on Netflix in a month. 

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