New DVD’s: May 2019

With Avengers: Endgame having just landed in theaters, Summer movie season is officially upon us. Of course, not everyone wants to trek out to a crowded theater to catch the year’s biggest blockbusters, and luckily for them there are a lot of great movies arriving on video at the library throughout the month of May. This may actually be one of the more critically acclaimed months of overall releases we’ve seen in a while, with several top picks arriving, and even the worst-reviewed films still looking like decent fun. So check out the list below, and use the links to put yourself on hold for any titles that catch your eye!


THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

MetascoreThe LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, reunites the heroes of Bricksburg in an all new action-packed adventure to save their beloved city. It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are now facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than it can be rebuilt. The battle to defeat the invaders and restore harmony to the LEGO universe will take Emmet (Chris Pratt), Lucy (Elizabeth Banks), Batman (Will Arnett) and their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds, including a strange galaxy where everything is a musical. It will test their courage, creativity and Master Building skills, and reveal just how special they really are.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part is a delightful all-ages adventure with the potential to reach even the most cynical and weary of us.” – Yolanda Machado, TheWrap

“The sequel actually slows down the story a bit, with a lower jokes-per-second rate and a little more time for contemplation. But instead of making the new film smaller or duller, it leaves room for a little more sophistication. The sequel’s best gag isn’t a one-liner or a one-off, it’s subtly and fundamentally built into the story.” – Tasha Robinson, The Verge

Available Formats (5/7):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


WHAT MEN WANT

metascoreAli Davis (Taraji P. Henson) is a successful sports agent who’s constantly boxed out by her male colleagues. When Ali is passed up for a well-deserved promotion, she questions what else she needs to do to succeed in a man’s world… until she gains the ability to hear men’s thoughts! With her newfound power, Ali looks to outsmart her colleagues as she races to sign the next basketball superstar, but the lengths she has to go to will put her relationship with her best friends and a potential new love interest (Aldis Hodge) to the test.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The story is a lot harder on its female protagonist than the 2000 film was on its male equivalent. This makes a depressing amount of sense, given what women are up against in most workplaces. Henson’s Ali plays both the dramatic encounters and the slapstick opportunities for higher stakes than Gibson ever did.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“A high-concept comedy about the domestication of a work-obsessed woman that nonetheless managed to win me over.” – Inkoo Kang, Slate

Available Formats (5/7):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


THE PRODIGY

MetascoreSarah (Taylor Schilling) is a mother whose young son Miles’ disturbing behavior signals that an evil, possibly supernatural force has overtaken him. Fearing for her family’s safety, Sarah must grapple with her maternal instinct to love and protect Miles in favor of investigating what – or who – is causing his dark turn. She is forced to look for answers in the past, taking the audience on a wild ride; one where the line between perception and reality remains blurry.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“McCarthy is not (yet) a celebrated director, but The Prodigy may change that. As with his under-seen debut film The Pact, his greatest asset here is his patience, followed by his evocative use of light, shadow and negative space. He’s a filmmaker who recognizes that the buildup is more fun than the payoff, and he manages to generate suspense with seemingly little happening on the screen.” – Alan Zilberman, Washington Post

“The film is littered with jump scares, but most of them offer up shocking twists that land with genuine payoff: the score winds up, the framing gets tighter, the shots linger for longer, and when a different film might serve up a jump scare with a giddy ‘oh, it was nothing!’ laugh, The Prodigy delivers something truly distressing.” – Kate Erbland, IndieWire

Available Formats (5/7):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


EVERYBODY KNOWS

MetascoreCarolina, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her Argentinian husband and children. However, the trip is upset by unexpected events that bring secrets into the open.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Nominee: Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or

“Immensely watchable and thematically complex tale, which in some ways plays out like a deceptively conventional Agatha Christie-style whodunit.” – Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

“It’s fascinating and unpredictable, so much so that the fate of Irene almost becomes a secondary concern. And thanks to the very clever and very compassionate way that Farhadi has crafted this film, that’s not a flaw.” – Randy Cordova, Arizona Republic

Available Formats (5/7):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


BLAZE

MetascoreBlaze is inspired by the life of Blaze Foley (Ben Dickey), the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas outlaw music movement that spawned the likes of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. The film weaves together three different periods of time, braiding re-imagined versions of Blaze’s past, present and future. The different strands explore his love affair with Sybil Rosen; his last, dark night on earth; and the impact his songs and his death had on his fans, friends, and foes. The braided storyline terminates in a bittersweet ending that acknowledges Blaze’s profound highs and lows, as well as the impressions he made on the people who shared his journey.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Winner: Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize Best Actor – Ben Dickey

Nominee: Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize – Ethan Hawke

“Along with Dickey’s equally feral and vulnerable performance, what stands out most in Blaze is just how fully formed and realized Hawke’s vision is as a filmmaker.” – Oliver Jones, Observer

Blaze feels like a true passion project, an engine running on Hawke’s endless supply of enthusiasm for his subject.” – Joshua Alston, The A.V. Club

Available Formats (5/7):

Blu-ray | DVD


COLD PURSUIT

MetascoreNels Coxman (Liam Neeson) is a family man whose quiet life with his wife (Laura Dern) is upended following the mysterious death of their son. Nels’ search for justice turns into a vengeful hunt for Viking (Tom Bateman), a drug lord he believes is connected to the death. As one by one each of Viking’s associates “disappear,” Nels goes from upstanding citizen to ice-cold vigilante, letting nothing – and no one – get in his way.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Cold Pursuit is stark and refreshing, like taking an icy swim with the Polar Bear Club. A jolt. The movie makes you want him to stay around for a while longer.” – Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post

“It knows exactly what kind of movie it is, but that doesn’t stand in the way of it goosing its bloodbath set pieces with irreverent, off-kilter gallows humor.” – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

Available Formats (5/14):

Blu-ray | DVD


HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U

MetascoreJessica Rothe leads the returning cast of Happy Death Day 2U, the follow-up to the surprise 2017 smash hit of riveting, repeating twists and comic turns. This time, our hero Tree (Rothe) discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Although it’s almost too much story, too much humor, and too many ideas for one movie to contain, the breathlessness of Happy Death Day 2U is irresistible. This is one frightfully clever sequel that audiences will want to revisit again… and again… and again… and again… and again…” – William Bibbiani, TheWrap

“What could have been a simple retread or by-numbers continuation instead throws itself headfirst into time-twiddling absurdity. High art? No. A total blast? You bet.” – Ben Travis, Empire

Available Formats (5/14):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY

MetascoreFighting with My Family is a heartwarming comedy based on the incredible true story of WWE Superstar Paige™. Born into a tight-knit wrestling family, Paige and her brother Zak are ecstatic when they get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try out for WWE. But when only Paige earns a spot in the competitive training program, she must leave her family and face this new, cut-throat world alone. Paige’s journey pushes her to dig deep, fight for her family, and ultimately prove to the world that what makes her different is the very thing that can make her a star.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“Like its amiable, irresistible ménage, Fighting With My Family softens its rougher edges with humor. It’s often broadly funny but never mean or patronizing; it takes the Knights, their eccentricities and quixotic aspirations seriously, but not enough to squelch the fun.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“It’s a touching and funny tale about a family chasing their unconventional dreams in the world of sports entertainment. It has such a magnificent cast, and the story is interesting enough to entertain both wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans alike.” – Anthony Ray Bench, Film Threat

Available Formats (5/14):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


APOLLO 11

metascoreFrom director Todd Douglas Miller (Dinosaur 13) comes a cinematic event fifty years in the making. Crafted from a newly discovered trove of 65mm footage, and more than 11,000 hours of uncatalogued audio recordings, Apollo 11 takes us straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission—the one that first put men on the moon, and forever made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin into household names. Immersed in the perspectives of the astronauts, the team in Mission Control, and the millions of spectators on the ground, we vividly experience those momentous days and hours in 1969 when humankind took a giant leap into the future.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Winner: Sundance Film Festival Best Editing Documentary

Nominee: Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Documentary – Todd Douglas Miller

Apollo 11 is a great documentary, and its greatness can largely be attributed to the stunning archival scenes compiled within it. It’s impossible for anybody who wasn’t there to truly understand what it felt like to see Apollo 11 complete its travels, but for at least 93 endlessly arresting minutes, Apollo 11 does its very best to put you right there.” – Dominick Suzanne-Mayer, Consequence of Sound

“This is a rousing, essential viewing experience that reminds us of exactly what humanity is capable of when we work together toward a single, world-changing goal.” – Kimber Myers, The Playlist

Available Formats (5/14):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


TRIPLE THREAT

MetascoreA group of professional assassins (Michael Jai White, Scott Adkins, Michael Bisping) are hired to take out a billionaire’s daughter who is intent on bringing down a major crime syndicate. A down and out team of mercenaries (Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Tiger Chen) must take on the assassins and stop them before they kill their target.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“The film boasts a sizeable effects budget too for some nice explosions, blood squirts, and bullet ballet. Sit back, disconnect, and have fun. Even with the lack of an A-List star, Triple Threat finds a way to stand on its own.” – Alan Ng, Film Threat

“At times, the film’s demand for teamwork precludes satisfying payoffs. It would be more fun to watch Uwais take down the much-larger Michael Jai White (as one of the assassins) without an assist, for instance. Also, asking Adkins to take on Jaa and Uwais simultaneously just seems unsporting. But your scorecard will be full, which is the point.” – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times

Available Formats (5/14):

Blu-ray


HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

metascoreNow chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid, Hiccup has created a gloriously chaotic dragon utopia. When the sudden appearance of a female Light Fury coincides with the darkest threat their village has ever faced, Hiccup and Toothless must leave the only home they’ve known and journey to a hidden world thought only to exist in myth. As their true destinies are revealed, dragon and rider will fight together—to the very ends of the Earth—to protect everything they’ve grown to treasure.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

The Hidden World is the best Dragon yet — an animated action phenom with moonstruck passion in its heart and a spirit that soars.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Here, the visuals outdo anything we’ve seen before, to such a degree that we might almost overlook the subtler innovations in the character animation: the nuances of expression on both the human and reptilian faces, and the wonderful nonverbal tactics these artists use to convey emotional intricacies neither Hiccup nor Toothless have had to communicate before, all of which pays off in an unforgettable final scene.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

Available Formats (5/21):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


THE UPSIDE

MetascoreA recently paroled ex-convict (Kevin Hart) strikes up an unlikely friendship with a paralyzed billionaire (Bryan Cranston).

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“French cinema has a lot going for it, but the one thing Americans do best is story. And so Intouchables, now The Upside, has a story that finally works.” – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

“In the end, The Upside is the sum of its good players and dubious politics, wrenching genuine tears from a story that celebrates the rich promise of life in all its shades of joy and heartbreak.” – Allan Hunter, Screen International

Available Formats (5/21):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


ISN’T IT ROMANTIC

MetascoreNew York City architect Natalie works hard to get noticed at her job but is more likely to be asked to deliver coffee and bagels than to design the city’s next skyscraper. And if things weren’t bad enough, Natalie, a lifelong cynic when it comes to love, has an encounter with a mugger that renders her unconscious, waking to discover that her life has suddenly become her worst nightmare—a romantic comedy—and she is the leading lady.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It’s ridiculous, and it’s wonderful. Falling in love is stupid like that.” – Stephanie Zacharek, TIME

Isn’t It Romantic pulls off a sweet sleight-of-hand trick as a rom-com-within-a-rom-com, mocking all of the classic rom-com tropes while still letting us indulge in them. The movie is having its gourmet cupcake and eating it too.” – Dana Schwartz, Entertainment Weekly

Available Formats (5/21):

Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack


CALL THE MIDWIFE: SEASON 8

At the start of season eight, it’s spring of 1964 and everyone is excited for the Queen’s Royal Birth. With the additions of two new Sisters, who have been sent to live and work with the team in Poplar, Nonnatus House feels full once more.

Description provided by Rotten Tomatoes.

“This was a return to form: an absorbingly paced, perfectly judged slice of Sunday-night pleasure.” – Michael Hogan, Daily Telegraph

“Although you know full well it deals in schmaltz and shameless heartstring-pulling, Call the Midwife exerts a strange power.” – Carol Midgley, The Times

Available Formats (5/21):

DVD


GRETA

MetascoreA sweet, naïve young woman trying to make it on her own in New York City, Frances (Chloë Grace Moretz) doesn’t think twice about returning the handbag she finds on the subway to its rightful owner. That owner is Greta (Isabelle Huppert), an eccentric French piano teacher with a love for classical music and an aching loneliness. Having recently lost her mother, Frances quickly grows closer to widowed Greta. The two become fast friends — but Greta’s maternal charms begin to dissolve and grow increasingly disturbing as Frances discovers that nothing in Greta’s life is what it seems.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“It’s a nail-biter that sends ice down the spine and proves that in the hands of a master director, any genre is capable of achieving new heights of imagination.” – Rex Reed, Observer

“The filmmaker’s expressively cockeyed impulses soon take over (he’s ably assisted by the terrific cinematographer Seamus McGarvey), and the resulting craziness is quite delightful to behold in the moment and to reflect on after.” – Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter

Available Formats (5/28):

Blu-ray


CLIMAX

MetascoreFrom director Gaspar Noé (Irreversible; Enter the Void; Love) comes a hypnotic, hallucinatory, and ultimately hair-raising depiction of a party that descends into delirium over the course of one wintry night. In Climax, a troupe of young dancers gathers in a remote and empty school building to rehearse. Following an unforgettable opening performance lit by virtuoso cinematographer Benoît Debie (Spring Breakers; Enter the Void) and shot by Noé himself, the troupe begins an all-night celebration that turns nightmarish as the dancers discover they’ve been pounding cups of sangria laced with potent LSD. Tracking their journey from jubilation to chaos and full-fledged anarchy, Noé observes crushes, rivalries, and violence amid a collective psychedelic meltdown.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Winner: Cannes Film Festival C.I.C.A.E. Award – Gaspar Noé; Sitges-Catalonian International Film Festival Best Picture

“It’s all insane and intoxicating, and what’s perhaps most remarkable is that, ultimately, the ugliness and excess is legitimized by being in the service of an elaborate and ecstatically realized celebration of dancing as an art form.” – Giovanni Marchini Camia, The Film Stage

Climax isn’t so much about the inevitability of chaos, but about the sadness of watching something beautiful fall apart. And it is never less than electrifying.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

Available Formats (5/28):

DVD


OUTLANDER: SEASON 4

metascoreClaire and Jamie settle in colonial America, meet Jamie’s aunt (Maria Doyle Kennedy) and a pirate named Stephen Bonnet (Ed Speleers) while their daughter, Brianna Randall (Sophie Skelton), researches the fate of her parents with the help of Roger Wakefield (Richard Rankin) in the 20th century.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“There’s still plenty to recommend in the fourth go-round of the popular Starz epic, including but not limited to its predictably lush cinematography, uniformly excellent costuming and production design, and performances that range from solid to remarkable. There’s also a hell of a good yarn to be spun.” – Allison Shoemaker, RogerEbert.com

“Balfe and Heughan have been playing these characters for so long that their chemistry now feels as natural as breathing, and the show knows how to lay in just the right amount of tenderness without things getting overly sappy.” – Liz Shannon Miller, IndieWire

Available Formats (5/28):

DVD


LORDS OF CHAOS

MetascoreBased on an astonishingly true story, Lords of Chaos recounts the exploits of the Norwegian black metal movement’s most notorious band: Mayhem. After the gruesome suicide of vocalist Per Yngve Ohlin, the band’s founder, Øystein Aarseth, used the opportunity to inject a mix of satanism, havoc, and murder into the music to sell more records.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

Nominee: Sitges-Catalonian International Film Festival Best Picture

“Much like the music, Lords of Chaos is frequently unpleasant but oddly compelling — not least because Åkerlund ensures that the film never takes itself as seriously as its subjects did.” – Michael Nordine, IndieWire

“Cohen, so good in 2015’s Brooklyn, is chilling as the shark-eyed Varg (who has been linked to hate crimes in France in recent years), and Culkin brings just the right amount of eye-twitch to Aarseth, who seemingly enjoyed making grandiose proclamations of ‘evil’ and donning corpse makeup rather than actual criminal activity — yet did little to stop out-of-control followers.” – Sara Stewart, New York Post

Available Formats (5/28):

Blu-ray


A VIGILANTE

MetascoreA once abused woman, Sadie (Olivia Wilde), devotes herself to ridding victims of their domestic abusers while hunting down the husband she must kill to truly be free.

Description and score provided by Metacritic.

“As an actress, Olivia Wilde has been something of a shape-shifter, but in this movie she seems to be burning through all her previous roles to find something essential. She grabs hold of the spectacle of agonized female anger, and does it with a grace and power that easily matches that of Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“The film manages to be both hopeful and devastating — and recommended viewing for anyone who subscribes to the facile notion that abused women should ‘just leave.'” – Sara Stewart, New York Post

Available Formats (5/28):

Blu-ray

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