Time for a bold proclamation: I feel certain degree of nostalgia for movie watching in the pre-Netflix era. Having instant access to a virtually streaming entertainment library is truly priceless, but it’s easy to fondly reminisce about the good old days of walking down to the neighborhood Blockbuster. Vinyl heads can wax poetic about the virtues of listening to physical media without getting a single weird glance, but DVD aficionados are left to fend for themselves. Now is the time to destigmatize the disc.
Ok, ok. There’s no need to pretend that one of the merits of watching DVDs over streaming is better picture quality. Still, there is something to be said for hitting up a Redbox kiosk on the way out of the grocery store. Spending hours trawling through Netflix’s recent additions queue is a great nightly activity, but taking the time to bring home a physical DVD has novel appeal. Binge watching seven episodes of The Office is your average Tuesday, but bringing home a DVD is an event. It requires planning and decision making!
Another reason to go the old school route: A ton of recently released films on DVD and Blu-Ray are offered this month, some of which you can’t find online. Practically every movie watching scenario is covered, whether you’re hoping to cuddle up with a cutie and watch the ultimate romantic comedy, get some thrills with a new horror flick, or just veg out with some Vin Diesel. We recommend you do an expert level move and rent two movies at once for a DIY double feature. Who knew teen rom coms and King Kong go so well together? Truly the pairing of a creative genius. Plus, you can always borrow a page from the vinyl playbook and boast about “loving the process of playing physical media” to impress your date. Here are eight reasons to replace Netflix and chill with Redbox and chill in July with these Redbox new releases.
A United Kingdom (2017)
Director: Amma Asante Stars: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Tom Felton
A United Kingdom is the true story of the love between the King of Botswana and a white working class British woman, with enough real life drama to put any Nicholas Sparks movie to shame. The new apartheid state of South Africa gave Britain an ultimatum: prevent their marriage and the biracial ruling of Botswana (their neighboring country) or be denied access to South African resources.
The Fate of the Furious (2017)
Director: F. Gary Gray Stars: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson
After eight movies, every human on the planet knows what to expect from a Fast and the Furious movie. The latest installment lives up to its legacy with aplomb—and the biggest worldwide box office opening of the past decade. Fast cars, snappy one-liners, and beautiful people zoom across the screen, stacking up to create the ultimate summer action flick.
Everything, Everything (2017)
Director: Stella Meghie Stars: Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson
The Fault In Our Stars may have defined the “sick teens in love” genre, but Everything, Everything is coming for the crown with the story of a girl hermetically sealed inside her home. Armed with a truly charming pair of young actors, a precious title, and tender gazes from opposite sides of the dome, the movie hits the right mix of romance and angst.
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John C. Reilly
Kong’s origin story begins when a group of explorers arrive on a mysterious Pacific island in search of new discoveries, completely unaware they’re sharing the island with a neighbor: a giant gorilla. As expected, chaos ensues. With a stacked roster of A-listers and ultra-detailed visuals, Skull Island never looked so good.
The Zookeeper’s Wife (2017)
Director: Niki Caro Stars: Jessica Chastain, John Heldenbergh, Michael McElhatton, Daniel Bruhl
The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the true story of how the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo helped hundreds of Jews escape the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. The story line is emotional, but it’s the sweeping shots of the Nazi invasion of Poland—and subsequent escape of animals from the zoo—that make this movie worth watching.
The Lost City of Z (2017) Director: James Gray Stars: Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson, Charlie Hunnam Based on a true story, The Lost City of Z focuses on a British explorer who discovers evidence of a sprawling, previously unknown civilization in the New World. The visually stunning film is totally transportive, bringing the audience into the uncharted Amazon rainforest at the start of the 20th century. In other words, the adrenaline rush is real.
Director: Craig Johnson Stars: Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern, Isabella Amara
Watch Woody Harrelson terrorize everyone around him as Wilson, a foul-mouthed grouch on a twisted trip to meet his teenage daughter for the very first time. Wilson was adapted from a popular comic series, and Woody Harrelson fully commits to his intensely unlikable character. Once he starts being nasty, it’s impossible to tear your eyes away.
Director: James Cullen Bressack Stars: Stefanie Estes, Zack Ward, Tom Green
A woman moves back to her childhood home only to be confronted with twin horrors: memories of an abusive childhood and a grotesque version of her old imaginary friend intent on stalking her every move. Bethany supplies more than its fair share of gross images, but true fear sets in once the line between memories and real life begins to blur. Don’t watch this one before bed.