A plethora of Blurays were released this week. Among them are two powerful Oscar films, Hacksaw Ridge and Manchester by the Sea. Powerful in their own ways, and heart wrenching as well. Also, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals which was a huge surprise to me this year. In my Bluray Breakdowns I discuss each film briefly and whether or not you should pick it up!
As the trailers started coming out for Hacksaw Ridge my anticipation for this film started to build. When it was finally released I was completely blown away. These battle scenes are visceral, and build beautifully. What Desmond Doss did can’t be overlooked. Going into war without a single weapon, because of his love for God and belief in the Bible was inspiring. He gave his heart and soul for this country and we as Americans are grateful. Andrew Garfield may have won the Oscar any other year for this performance, I’m pulling for him but it’s a stacked year for lead actor. It’s an uphill climb, another performance in today’s pickups maybe the favorite, but for my money Garfield was the best actor of 2016.
The direction here is superb as well. Mel Gibson’s work behind the camera was some of the best this year, and for his career. He got great performances out of his lead, and the supporting cast, which is paramount, especially in this type of film. The war scenes are beautifully captured. Hacksaw Ridge makes you proud to be an American, in such a trying time for our country.
As for special features there’s a lot. My favorite being Mel Gibson’s Veterans Day greeting. That will warm your heart. Also, there’s a comprehensive documentary on the special effects, and interviews with the cast, crew, and the living heroes from WWII. There’s so much here to take in, making this an essential buy this awards season.
Hacksaw Ridge review:
Manchester by the Sea:
It doesn’t get more emotional than the events that happen in Manchester by the Sea. Going into this film I was thinking that I knew what I was in for. I had no idea. Casey Affleck blew me away. This was a career defining performance for him. The chemistry between him and Lucas Hedges, who plays his nephew is magnetic. They but heads, argue, and there’s that unspoken love that they share. Real, that’s the word that best sums up this story. Kenneth Lonergan directed a classic. This movie is truly beautiful and heart breaking. He brings you in from the opening scene angle keeps you there for the whole runtime.
There’s a brief making of feature on here. The extra that I enjoyed the most was the conversation with Kenneth Lonergan. It’s always good to get in the directors head, especially one who filmed a movie of this magnitude. You aren’t really going to buy this film for its extras, but I do believe it’s worth a watch. So sheathed you rent it or buy it this week, please check it out.
Manchester by the Sea review:
One of the most unique films this year rounds out the new releases. Nocturnal Animals is visually mind blowing. Tom Ford manages to take the sleek look of the city and blend it with a western type setting. Two of the best actors working today, Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams lead this film. Both of them are phenomenal, Adams I believe was snubbed for an Oscar this year. Whether it was this, or Arrival she deserved some recognition. Gylenhaal was great as well. He’s really front and center and the scenes he shares with Michael Shannon and Aaron Taylor-Johnson was some of the best acting of 2016. Well acted and directed, Nocturnal Animals is a great film.
You get a brief interview with Tom Ford about his visual flare but that’s really it for extras. You’re buying this for the quality of the film and its rewatch ability. Maybe you should rent it first and if you like it enough to buy it again go ahead and do so.
Nocturnal Animals review: