SLIP/cuts: The Best BluRays & DVDs – June

<< SLIP/cuts: A quick nerdy take on recently released movies >>

SLIP/cuts is a new SLIP/THROUGH feature quickly discussing new release movies on disc, streaming platforms, and on demand services. These selections are accompanied with a quick nerdy blurb and a rating.

Releases I haven’t seen follow after. Some of these are highly anticipated, just waiting to be enjoyed.

A note on the rating system… SLIP/THROUGH employs a forward-slash to represent a ranking, like a five star system. This graphical representation will be coloured as follows: red slash = one point, pink slash = a half point, white slash = zero point.

For example, let’s say I thought MAD MAX was really good, but not quite great, and definitely not awesome, garnering a 3.5 out of 5. It would look like this:

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Make sense? I hope so. Let me know what you think.

Enough with the preface… Let’s dig into June’s new releases.


McFARLAND, USA

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Kevin Costner knows how to pick his sports movies. This one is surprisingly emotional though. This underdog true story follows a track and field team made of Mexican Americans. While the film may verge into melodrama, I thought its message on race relations and hard-work was rather powerful.

JUPITER ASCENDING

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The Wachowskis return to sci-fi with this over-the-top fantasy adventure. While the movie has some beautiful imagery, and takes its fantasy seriously, the characters are the main hindrance. Good actors can’t overcome a premise and world more suitable for novels. Several high-concept action scenes and the special effects make this worth a watch, but it will leave you underwhelmed.

FOCUS

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Will Smith is a con man, and Margot Robbie is his protege. There’s a lot of solid twists and turns, several exciting sequences, steamy moments, good performances, and good characters. The pacing is slightly off, thanks to a 2nd Act drastic jump in time to years later. Smith is charming, as is Robbie, and there are a few good laughs. Watch this when you’re in the mood for a good thriller.

SERENA

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Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper reteam for this period drama focused on relationships. This disappointing film examines how relationships evolve over time. Despite the impressive cast, this film is consistently boring.

PROJECT: ALMANAC

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An inventive young adult approach to time travel. This is pretty smart for the genre, and lots of fun. The complications of altering the past have dire consequences on the present. This is a blend of PRIMER and BUTTERFLY EFFECT… with teenagers. Genre fans should enjoy themselves.

KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE

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One of the year’s surprise hits, thus far. This cheeky take on JAMES BOND is full of excitement. It’s worth noting that the tone here is consistently R-Rated. The action is truly intense, the visuals are energetic, and the characters are playful. If you’re looking for a fun spy adventure, and have a wicked sense of humour, you should enjoy this flick too. It’s destined to be a cult classic.

CHAPPIE

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Neil Blomkamp follows up DISTRICT 9 and ELYSIUM with this sci-fi action flick about a robot gaining awareness. It’s like SHORT CIRCUIT with South African gangsters and a ROBOCOP-like mech baddie. I actually enjoyed the strange sense of humour and eccentric characters. There is also emotion within this artificial intelligence story. The action sequences are stylish and exciting. Despite all the negative press, I think this Blomkamp picture is worth watching.


Here are some other releases this month I haven’t seen and why I think they seem worthwhile.

GET HARD

Although word is this Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell flick is pure offensive garbage, I really like Hart. I’d have to be in the right mood. Basically, Hart teaches Ferrell how to survive prison. It looks like the theme here is racism.

THE GUNMAN

Sean Penn kickin’ ass like he’s Liam Neeson or something. An impressive cast and a compelling story, make me want to see this adult thriller. Penn doesn’t normally do action movies, so this one must have something to it.

WHILE WE’RE YOUNG

I love Noah Baumbach films. They aren’t for everyone — kind of like Woody Allen and Wes Anderson aren’t for everyone. This mid-life crisis comedy stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a couple who starts hanging out with a younger couple, to find themselves inspired by their care-free spirits. Another draw for me is Adam Driver, an eccentric and unpredictable talent.

THE LAZARUS EFFECT

This looks like it could be one of those good B-Movies. The premise sounds like FLATLINERS. Olivia Wilde stars as someone experimenting with life after death. When she returns from the brink, she brings something back. I don’t know if she goes nuts, or gets possessed. I’m a horror fan. It’s hard to find good horror flicks now-a-days. I don’t have my hopes up here, but I have to keep looking for that next hidden gem scary movie.

RUN ALL NIGHT

Liam Neeson. With a gun. Sign me up. All I want is some good action, a little character, and Neeson whoopin’ some ass. I’m in no rush though. From the trailer, I just get a feeling I might be bored here.

WELCOME TO ME

Kristen Wiig is a really intriguing talent. I’ve been familiar with her for years, as she stole the show on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. She burst into mainstream with BRIDESMAIDS. And recently tackled indie drama with THE SKELETON TWINS. Wiig is the main draw here, as this looks like another intriguing indie character piece where she can flex her acting muscles.

THE DUFF

This could be fun. Every now and then a MEAN GIRLS or PITCH PERFECT slips/through. The teen comedy genre isn’t dead. It will never fade. However, we are far removed from the glory days of John Hughes. This one here focuses on the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. I’m thinking it goes SHE’S ALL THAT. The trailer had a few laughs, so this might be worth it.

CAMP X-RAY

I’ve been waiting for this. I actually like Kristen Stewart as an actress. She’s already played a diversity of roles in her young career. Standouts are RUNAWAYS, ON THE ROAD, and ADVENTURELAND. The story here focuses on a soldier battling her own ethics in a Guantanamo Bay type detainment center. The trailer was amazing. I loved the thematic image of Stewart behind bars (opposite camera angle of detainee), suggesting she is just as imprisoned herself.

MONSTERS: DARK CONTINENT

I’m a big fan of the first MONSTERS. The visual subtelty was a real highlight, as was the focus on character. I like how the monsters took to the background. This sequel looks more action heavy from the trailers, with a larger emphasis on the monsters. It looks about as subtle as STARSHIP TROOPERS. Now, let’s hope it’s just as fun as that amazing cult classic.

Stay tuned for more.

Do you Agree or Disagree with any rating? Let me know.

Am I missing one that shouldn’t slip/through the cracks? Please, reply in the comments below. 


What do you think? 

Have you seen any of those movies I haven’t? Is there one I should watch?

Leave a comment below.

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