On DVD & Blu-Ray: August 28, 2018

Really thought the Jerry character was going to go somewhere way weirder than it did, but am kind of glad it didn’t? TAG is super transparent how concocted every aspect of this is despite it being based on a real group of friends. Otherwise, Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, and Hannibal Buress have solid chemistry with one another and their individual characters are strong. Isla Fisher is a champ while Johnson is the stand out comedically though. The biggest issue is that the film simply isn’t funny enough consistently enough. It mostly works, finds a reasonable groove, and gets a little heavier than expected in the end, but I imagine seeing this with a group of friends would improve the experience. I just don’t know that I’d care to see it again and again. C-

Upgrade starts slow, but picks up once the premise is in place and doesn't look back. The definition of a movie with a couple of stand-out set pieces, an inventive plot that continues to innovate with each act mixed with a fair amount of humor and a charismatic lead in Logan Marshall Green. Green knows what he's playing and goes all out with it whereas Leigh Whannell's (Insidious 3) direction is still a tad shoddy in certain instances. The sequel should be even better.

Also features one of the gnarliest death scenes in recent memory.

I dug it. B

Poor people fight to create a life.
Privileged people create fights to feel like they’re living.

Imposter director Bart Layton weaves together documentary-style interviews with the highest quality re-enactments you've ever seen to the tunes of The Doors and Elvis Presley. The energy is infectious, the performances are quietly spectacular-Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Jared Abrahamson, and Blake Jenner are each well-drawn with their performances only further stressing certain inevitabilities-while Layton can't help but to emphasize his thesis that these guys ultimately did what they did in order to feel special so that the world would finally admit what they'd been fed their entire lives. American Animals is especially fascinating in parts, a movie lover's wet dream in others, but comes slightly undone in the final stretches with the film massaging that thesis one too many times in order to find an answer to a question that is satisfied simply by having pieced together the events and multiple perspectives of this true story. B

For a movie that’s literally about getting back on the horse after it bucks you off, The Rider is so very subdued that it’s difficult to become fully enraptured in it.

It gets to a certain level of emotional involvement where the idea that the pain endured by Brady Blackburn (who is Brady Jandreau playing a version of his real life self) in walking away from the only thing he loves is far deeper and more painful than anything he’d have ever experienced while riding and yet-this still feels incomplete.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just upset Brady never took his precious younger sister, Lilly, to the carnival like he promised her. C

"I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks." - Sarah Grimké...and Ruth Bader Ginsburg's personal mantra.

Going in knowing little to nothing about Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her historical rise to Supreme Court Justice, RBG is the biggest shot of adrenaline one might ever gain from a movie centered around an 84 year-old. From the opening scene in which Ginsburg, or the "Notorious RBG" as she's come to be known, is working out with her personal trainer it's clear the perpetually busy Supreme Court Justice is not one to be reckoned with.

Further, this documentary doesn't simply capitalize on the recent wave of pop culture adoration though it obviously acknowledges it, but directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West dive into that of what made Ginsburg who she still is today and the multitude of cases that earned her a place not only as a Supreme Court Justice, but as the pioneer for women's rights and equal rights for all. It is a legal legacy that is worthy of the praise this documentary so happily heaps upon her.

And yet, it is the small moments and truths that endear the audience to Ginsburg the most. From seeing RBG react to Kate McKinnon doing an impression of her on SNL for the first time to that of learning that at the ripe old age of 22 or so, when she was attending Harvard Law School, she also had a two year-old daughter, was caring for her husband who was going through radiation therapy due to cancer, handling her course load, as well as gathering all of her husband's coursework (who was also in law school) from friends so he wouldn't fall behind, and still somehow managing to make Harvard's law review that it becomes clear no matter if you agree with her opinions or stands on certain issues that it's hard not to acknowledge how truly special of an individual she is.

Also, what a fantastic and eloquent writer the woman is. B

Book Club follows four lifelong friends including Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen (as well as their husbands and or significant others played by Craig T. Nelson, Andy Garcia, Ed Begley Jr., and Don Johnson) have their lives forever changed after reading "50 Shades of Grey" in their monthly book club. Of course, Wallace Shawn and Richard Dreyfuss are here as is Alicia Silverstone which means I could have all of these pairings completely wrong, but the point is I've already rented this from Redbox and will be logging thoughts about it on Letterboxd later this evening after the wife and I enjoy a cozy Tuesday on the couch watching it.

Mary Shelley chronicles the love affair between poet Percy Shelley (Douglas Booth) and 18 year old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (Elle Fanning), which resulted in Mary Shelley writing "Frankenstein".

Writer Steven Knight (Locke, Allied) and director Susanna White's (Generation Kill) Woman Walks Ahead stars Jessica Chastain as Catherine Weldon, a portrait painter from 1890s Brooklyn, who travels to Dakota to paint a portrait of Sitting Bull and becomes embroiled in the Lakota peoples' struggle over the rights to their land.

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