Quickie Video Reviews: Here are some of this week’s video releases that I had an opportunity to view.
For those of you who are huge fans of South Park or others that want to get a taste of the iconic TV show, try out Season 18 of the hilarious, rude, crude and sometimes unglued adult show. Like all seasons of the popular animated show, it’s all new and no need to have seen other years of the wacky comedy since 1997. In Season 18 the subject matter ranges from being gluten free to “transgendering” to using mobile aps and more in the 10 episodes. It’s a whole lot of fun if you don’t take them seriously or at least not too seriously. Now no Blu-ray and DVD the show can continue to go on inside your home theater. Read more
Disturbing, terrifying and creepy the film Amnesiac takes you into the unknown much like an episode from The Twilight Zone. Now on home video the movie takes you into a mystery that has some cool twists. Even though the movie lags while attempting to keep you in the dark, the eeriness and strange pace of Director Mia Barron’s film is just what the doctor ordered for a darkened room with you a friend and your DVD player. Read more
Here’s a fairly good anthology of horror flicks on one DVD. It’s called Invoking 2 and features an unknown cast that actually pretty darn good and directors that know their stuff. The 6 short films cover a variety of horror subjects of which a couple could raise many goosebumps. Read more
A different take on the honor of dueling the film Blunt Force Trauma comes to home video. The fictional action drama puts the audience inside the “sport” for money pitting the best fast draw artists up against each other for pride and glory. Very good acting, direction and cinematography make the story exciting, compelling and convincing. Now on DVD and Blu-ray for home viewing. Read more
Timing for this horror flick is just right with the Halloween season upon us. Nocturna the direct to DVD/Blu-ray thriller tries hard to scare up a cauldron of ghastly treats, but fails miserably in the acting and direction departments. While it does have a decent storyline however, the film is not played out compelling enough to make it frightful. The make-up artists do have a field day here, but nothing more. Read more
Turning a brutal crime story into a masterpiece of filmmaking can be quite hard for any filmmaker, but director Denis Villeneuve gets the right cast with an awesome script called Sicario. Putting his actors to work he presents a grisly look at the Mexican border where he stages his play that gets very tense and compelling. I can definitely see a shot at some of the bigger awards come Oscar Time. Especially the performances by Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro. Read more
Releasing this weekend and battling stiff competition The Martian movies into theaters everywhere. The edge of your seat movie turns up the excitement early then settles down as audiences watch a stranded astronaut waste no time in finding a way to survive against unsurmountable odds. It’s Cast Away under more intimidating conditions and the tenseness of Gravity times two. The film pushes the envelope several times with exciting situations that involve the possibility of certain death. Excellent acting by Matt Damon and the usual high intensity of director Ridley Scott make The Martian a must for science fiction and action junkies.
Opening this weekend is a romantic comedy with a twist called Sleeping with Other People. The film has a big cast of notable actors and a director/writer who knows how to dish out romance from more than one perspective. The film should attract couples and females, but beware of the message as it may tantalize and titillate those seductive areas of your psyche. Nevertheless it’s a fun film and doesn’t get dull. Read more
A two fold documentary called Rosenwald gets released this weekend telling two historical and enlightening stories of Americana. Connected by philanthropy and concern for the welfare of African Americans in the South following the Civil War, the film documents the life of Julius Rosenwald and his legacy that includes being instrumental in their education. Not preachy or over sentimental, the straight forward biographical presentation makes for intelligent understanding of the plight of both immigration and social development. Read more
Finally a different kind of Zombie movie that, although low budget, really has a different kind of plot. It’s called A Plague so Pleasant and tells a wild and weird tale of surviving in a different kind of setting than the usual. Nicely acted and directed the movie treats the viewer to all the guts and gore, but adds a twist. The horror thriller is only available on DVD starting today. Read more
Taking a loony trip to horror flicks of the past, the movie Queen Crab comes to home video. The campy little film uses similar techniques as 50’s monster movies like Attack of the 50ft Woman and The Blob. Although there has been success in the not too distant past with the genre, the cost of making any movie now days can be a huge deterrent and it shows here. If you are a connoisseur of old fashion horror or even the recent crop of low budget zombie movies, then you’ll find your crown in Queen Crab. Read more
The taut thriller, Return to Sender spins a wicked tale of rape, revenge and redemption. Very good acting, direction and cinematography, the movie raises tension levels with each chapter. If you like your drama suspenseful and compelling then this film should keep you on the edge of your seat. The edgy Return to Sender is now available on Blu-ray and DVD for home viewing. Read more
The lackluster story of SWAT: Unit 887 with problematic acting and cinematography enters the home video market on DVD. Not the sharpest tool in the shed, the movie gets very predictable, shows its low budget and makes novice mistakes. That said the film does have a lot of police action and some tense moments. Read more
An exciting little film with a lot of drama from an enjoyable cast Cop Car stands toe to toe with the outstanding Indies released this year. At first I thought that it was another episode of “Fargo” with that kind of sick humor, but on its own the movie plays with surprising spirit that sometimes overshadows the hit TV show. Nicely written and excellent direction, if you like movies that get more twisted as they play out, then Cop Car’s for you. Now on Blu-ray and DVD for home viewing. Read more