Best Picture Oscar winner “The Shape of Water,” “Justice League” and “Call Me By Your Name” are also new to Blu-Ray this week.  

It occurred to me toward the end of “I, Tonya,” when footage of O.J. Simpson is seen briefly on a television screen, that 1994 was a banner year for scandals. While O.J. may have been what occupied the summer of 1994, it’s Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding who reigned supreme over the first half of the year.

Harding is played in “I, Tonya” by Margot Robbie in a performance that garnered her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress and proved to everyone that she has the chops to do some very heavy dramatic lifting. I do hope she keeps playing Harley Quinn in the DC movies though. She’s perfect for the part and looks like she’s having a blast playing it—so I in turn have a blast watching it. There’s no reason she can’t mix the serious with the fun and do both exceptionally well.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: I, Tonya

“Thor: Ragnarok,” “Wonder Wheel,” and “The Man Who Invented Christmas” are also new to Blu-Ray this week. 

Generations are an interesting topic. The people in them all tend to be defined by certain traits. These traits are painted on with a very large brush using very broad strokes, but there is truth to them. It’s also interesting to note the overlap. For example, the Baby Boomers born in the early 1960s have more in common with the Generation Xers of the mid to late sixties than they do with their fellow Boomers born in the ‘40s or ‘50s. Likewise, there seems to be an overlap in which Millennials born in the ‘80s have more in common with Gen Xers than they do with Millennials born in the ‘90s.

Of course, the defining characteristics of any generation are very simplistic and over-arching, plus they fail to take into account an individual person’s character and experiences. However, they can be useful as general guidelines for a point in the right direction. That’s how I came to reconcile the fact that while the title character of “Lady Bird,” played by Saoirse Ronan in an Oscar nominated role, is a Millennial--a generation known for conformity and obedience—she behaves like a Gen Xer, a generation known for questioning the status quo and not trusting authority. It’s telling that the action of the movie takes place over the course of Lady Bird’s senior year in a Sacramento High School, from 2002 to 2003. She’s seventeen when the movie starts, so she was born in 1985. Now the rebellious streak makes sense.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: Lady Bird

“Murder on the Orient Express,” “Darkest Hour,” and “Coco” are also new to Blu-Ray this week. 

Generally speaking, movies, in their drive to show life but with the boring parts cut out, tend to over-simplify. Typically, even a movie with a complex character at its center, like Mildred (Frances McDormand) in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” would short change the supporting players and make them one dimensional. In a lesser developed movie, Chief Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) would be brash and incompetent and his deputy Dixon (Sam Rockwell) would be a stereotypical one-note racist cop with no redeeming qualities who gets some kind of comeuppance at the end. Much to my delight and gratifying refreshment, “Three Billboards” is not one of these lesser developed movies.

The plot is straightforward. Approximately seven months before the start of the movie, Mildred’s daughter Angela (played in a flashback by Kathryn Newton) was raped and immolated in a vicious attack right by Mildred’s home. Willoughby, the chief of police, did a thorough investigation, but not thorough enough for Mildred. In order to motivate him into further action to solve her daughter’s murder, Mildred rents out three billboards from Red (Caleb Landry Jones), the local owner of the billboards. On them she questions Willoughby’s ability to solve the case and asks why the investigation has stalled.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

“Roman J. Israel, Esq.” and “Hellraiser: Judgment” are also new to Blu-Ray this week. 

“Wonder” is the kind of movie that defies an easy description. If the logline on is to be believed, “Wonder” is the “incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.”

This is true. It is that story about that boy, who is nicknamed Auggie and played with tug at your heartstrings vulnerability by Jacob Tremblay (“Room”), an impressive child actor. But it’s much, much more than simply his story. It’s also the story of Auggie’s parents, played by Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts, who make their son the center of their universe and worry about how well he’ll do interacting with children his own age after being home schooled. It’s about Via (Izabela Vidovic), Auggie’s sister, who graciously accepts that her parents give Auggie the most attention and is refreshingly understanding about it. She loves Auggie, is not jealous, and has worked the situation to her benefit to become self-sustaining and independent.

Read moreBlu-Ray Pick of the Week: Wonder
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