This week in Blu-ray/DVD recommendations I confidently offer up writer/director Maggie Carey‘s The To Do List for your consideration. Starring Aubrey Plaza, Johnny Simmons, Bill Hader, and many more, The To Do List delivers consistent laughs and, at times, an all too realistic depiction of the awkwardness of “first times”. As an added bonus, I imagine viewers who grew up in the 90’s will appreciate the fashion and accessory induced nostalgia the film provides (the sound of a Trapper Keeper ripping open is music to my ears). Moreover, having a story like this told from a female perspective is refreshing to say the least. I don’t want to oversell it as being a comedic game-changer but The To Do List is a solid feature debut for Carey and Plaza is excellent as the overachieving lead who approaches sexual experience the only way she knows how: like it’s a class final that’s worth 75% of your overall grade.
Home entertainment recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for director Marc Webb‘s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Out of the Furnace interviews with Christian Bale and more, Gal Gadot landing the role of Wonder Woman in Batman vs. Superman, Sundance 2014 announcing its competition lineup along with a slew of first/new images from many of the entries, and the possibility of X-Men: Apocalypse hitting theaters in May 2016. For more, check out a brief recap and link to each of the above after the jump.
1. First Trailer for THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
The first trailer for Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 landed online this past week and, in the process, teased enough potential villains for me to wonder if the Wall Crawler’s going to need to throw back a 5-Hour Energy or seven to keep up. In all seriousness, some of the action and effects work on display here looks tremendous and I have a gut feeling that the film could turn out to be great.
2. OUT OF THE FURNACE Interviews with Christian Bale and More
In spite of its lukewarm reception thus far, I’ll stand by the statement I made a few weeks ago about Out of the Furnace being a must-see for me due to its stellar cast. If you agree with my sentiment in the slightest then you’re in luck as we ran several interviews with said cast this past week including: Steve’s video interviews with Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, our text interviews with Zoe Saldana and Willem Dafoe, and a group text interview with Bale, Affleck, Saldana, Woody Harrelson, and co-writer/director Scott Cooper.
3. Gal Gadot to Play Wonder Woman in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN
Some big news came out of the Batman vs. Superman camp this week with the announcement that Gal Gadot has been cast as DC’s definitive female superhero, Wonder Woman. There’s no questioning that Gadot is a striking beauty and the fact that she served two years in the Israel Defense Forces tells me that she’s likely capable of handling whatever fighting/action demands the role might throw her way.
4. Sundance 2014 Competition Lineup Announced
As hard as it is to believe, the six inches of snow outside my front door and the announcement of its competition lineup serve as proof that winter is upon us and Sundance 2014 is just over a month away. I’m sure others will pop-up as January 16th creeps closer, but for now my most anticipated film from the festival is the Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader drama, The Skeleton Twins. Check out the rest of the lineup at the link above and for a slew of first images from some of the announced films be sure to click here.
5. X-MEN: APOCALYPSE Gets 2016 Release Date
Providing further evidence of the social media age we live in, a couple of tweets made headlines this week. X-Men: Days of Future Past director Bryan Singer and industry staple Exhibitor Relations both took to Twitter to announce that X-Men: Apocalypse will hit theaters in 2016 (May 27th, 2016 to be precise). Details on the pic are scarce beyond the release date (you only get 140 characters, folks) but those familiar with the character Apocalypse can start connecting dots immediately and, for better or worse, the speculation and debate surrounding what could be is half the fun.