Every Tuesday, I review the newest Blu-ray and 4K releases to determine whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping. Click on the provided links to purchase each title from Amazon, and be sure to share this week’s column on social media.
Pick of the Week: “Promising Young Woman”
Emerald Fennell’s “Promising Young Woman” is one of the best directorial debuts in recent memory. This is not your typical revenge thriller, subverting expectations at just about every turn to deliver a devastating tale about trauma, grief and repressed rage that brilliantly straddles the line between dark comedy and searing drama. The ease in which Fennell pulls off these tonal shifts is spectacular to watch, lulling the audience into a false sense of security (especially as it veers towards rom-com territory in the second act) before she yanks the rug out from under you. Carey Mulligan is excellent as the cunning femme fatale, turning in one of her best performances in years, while Bo Burnham is well cast as the charming love interest. Every aspect of this movie — the soundtrack, the cinematography, the costumes and production design — works in unison to create a singular vision that not only entertains but cuts deep enough to leave a lasting mark.
Extras include an audio commentary by writer/director Emerald Fennell and a behind-the-scenes look at making the film. FINAL VERDICT: BUY
Also Out This Week:
“PG: Psycho Goreman” — As a child of the ‘80s, there’s something oddly fascinating about writer/director Steven Kostanski’s latest film, “PG: Psycho Goreman,” which plays like a Troma-style reimagining of “Harry and the Hendersons” complete with some marvelously cheesy practical effects. But while this tongue-in-cheek homage to 1980s schlock horror and sci-fi fantasy films is a lot of fun for the first 30 minutes, it’s unable to sustain that feeling for the entire runtime. This is a premise that would have worked much better as a short film or even as a recurring skit on “SNL.” As it stands, “PG: Psycho Goreman” provides some scattered laughs and nostalgic charm, but its gimmick wears thin fast. Extras include an audio commentary by Kostanski, as well as a series of production featurettes, cast interviews and more. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
“Don’t Tell a Soul” — Director Alex McAulay’s debut feature starts out fine enough, but despite its promising setup, this cat-and-mouse thriller slowly fizzles out due to some incredibly poor writing. The more time you spend with the characters, the more the story falls apart, with certain plot points no longer making any sense and the characters’ decision-making constantly called into question — especially Jack Dylan Grazer’s teen protagonist, who seems too smart to be so naïve. The actors do the best they can with the material provided (apart from Mena Suvari, who’s treated more like a plot device than a fully realized character), but it’s not enough to rescue this forgettable and utterly predictable thriller. Extras include a making-of featurette. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP