Pages Navigation Menu

"No matter where you go, there you are."


US Blu-ray & DVD releases this week: Rampage, I Feel Pretty, Truth or Dare, You Were Never Really Here and more


RampageRampage might just hold the honor of being the best video game movie ever made. That’s less an indicator of Rampage being a great film and more a condemnation of the fact that video game-based movies are notoriously awful. Rampage is silly and over-the-top and makes little sense, but it sure is fun. I mean, it’s Dwayne Johnson versus giant monster animals. How can you not enjoy that? It’s completely disposable, the script and acting are both all over the place, and you’ll forget about it the minute it’s over, but it’s a fun way to kill a couple of hours and some of the action sequences are spectacular. Rampage comes to home video on 4K Ultra HD as well as Blu-ray and DVD, and the 4K presentation is stellar, offering up extremely vibrant colors, crystal clear imagery, and a booming soundtrack that complements the film’s frenetic action. A fun ride that looks great in HD!

I Feel Pretty – I’m not a terribly big Amy Schumer fan, but I’ll give her this: she really knows how to throw herself into a role. In this movie about a slightly overweight girl who lacks confidence who gets a head injury and becomes convinced her wish to look like a supermodel has come true, Schumer gives it her all. From shaking her entire body in a bikini contest to walking around naked and letting it all hang out, she is fearless in the role. And that’s part of what makes the movie work. It’s nothing special, ultimately, but it’s one of those movies that wins you over by the end, and it has a positive body image message to boot. The supporting cast is terrific, and Schumer’s confidence (something her character lacks for the first part of the film) is infectious. Women especially will like this film, but I found it satisfying overall.

Truth or Dare – Blumhouse Pictures has a formula when it comes to horror movies, and they rarely stray from it. Truth or Dare is as formulaic a horror movie as they come, but despite that, I enjoyed it quite a bit. Part of the reason for that is that it’s almost completely devoid of gore, which I appreciate. Instead, it relies on a creepy atmosphere, some interesting deaths, and – of course – no small amount of jump scares. The “demonic game of Truth or Dare” plotline is a sort of derivative of the Final Destination films, so it never feels terribly original, but it’s a fun way to kill 90 minutes. Is it Capital-S Scary? Not even a little. But for a PG-13 horror experience that will give you the heebie-jeebies but not keep you up at night, it’s a good time.

You Were Never Really Here – I had heard some mixed notices about this film, so I knew it wasn’t the action film that some of the marketing messages had portrayed it to be. However, what I wasn’t expecting was for the film to be the actual antithesis of action; in fact, it’s one of the most boring movies I’ve ever suffered through. Honestly, despite a solid performance from Joaquin Phoenix (with the little he has to do) this is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in years. The only people I can recommend it to are fans of Nicholas Windng Refn’s later works such as Only God Forgives and The Neon Demon or last year’s Rooney Mara film A Ghost Story. If you like those kinds of glacially-paced, nothing happens movies, this might be up your alley.

Disobedience – Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams both deliver excellent performances in this deep drama about a shunned Jewish woman who returns to her home only to find her feelings for another woman stirred up once again. This is one of those movies that’s easy to appreciate but harder to enjoy. Weisz and McAdams are – not surprisingly – the biggest strength of the film, but it’s a serious film with a lot of melodrama, and it’s not exactly a fun viewing experience, rather it’s more of an emotional roller coaster. For some people, that’s exactly what they want out of a movie, and for those people, I’d recommend Disobedience.

The Good Place: The Complete Second Season – Kristen Bell and Ted Danson star in one of the most original network comedies in quite some time. The show is sort of a take on the afterlife, but there’s much more to it than that. I can’t go into too much detail,because the less you know about this show going into it, the better. Suffice it to say that it has a metaphysical bent to it, but it manages to deliver everything you want from a sitcom at the same time. Kristen Bell is terrific, the entire supporting cast is great, and I really love the humor of this show. Check it out and be surprised by it… you’ll have a lot of fun doing so. However, I do recommend starting with the shorter first season first; it’s a quick watch and Season Two will make much more sense if you watch it.

Sneaky Pete: Season One – Giovanni Ribisi has found a terrific star vehicle with the Amazon show Sneaky Pete. While it’s been available on Amazon Prime for a couple of years, now it’s on DVD for those of you who aren’t Prime members. The show focuses on a small-time criminal who begins impersonating his prison cellmate to get away from a ganglord he’s in trouble with. Of course, small-town life has its own perils, especially when it turns out that everything is not exactly as it seems. The show is really well done, with Ribisi giving his best performance in years, and it delivers a tense, exciting episode week after week. If you don’t have access to this show on Amazon, check it out on DVD.

Terminator 2 (4K Ultra HD) – There is no shortage of home video releases for Terminator 2. Now, it makes its debut on the premium 4K Ultra HD format. I’m going to skip talking about the movie itself here, as I think we all have a pretty good idea of just how great T2 is. So is it worth the upgrade to 4K HD? Well, yes and no. On the one hand, the 4K format is exactly what you want a film like this – heavy in action and special effects – to be seen in. And there are some scenes that shine and look fantastic. There are other scenes, however, that don’t look nearly as pristine. The color saturation is nice and the surround soundtrack is booming, but the film looks inconsistent. It’s probably the best home video version of T2 yet, but I don’t know if it’s the best version it could be.

Also available this week on home video:

  • The Leisure Seeker – Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren star in this moving adaptation of Michael Zadoorian’s 2009 novel of the same name. The film is about an elderly couple that go on a road trip down the east coast in an RV, along the way reliving the good and bad moments of their life together. The film is a bit on the melodramatic side, but with Sutherland and Mirren turning in excellent performances, you know you’re in good hands. It’s not the kind of movie I would normally seek out, but it’s worth watching and it has some great moments.
  • The Tunnel, Season 3: Vengeance – It’s the final season of the acclaimed international drama. You might be more familiar with FX’s terrible (and luckily short-lived) remake The Bridge, but this is easily the better show. Once again, a British inspector and a French detective team up to solve a compelling mystery, and once again, it’s solid television. I can’t say I was overwhelmed by it, but considering how much I hated The Bridge, this remains a much more enjoyable watch. Stephen Dillane and Clemence Poesey are very good in the lead roles, and it’s a satisfying enough crime drama, plus it offers a wrap-up of sorts for the shows fans.
  • Cartoon Network: OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes – All right, I’m going to throw myself to the wind and sound old for a minute: I just don’t get most of what Cartoon Network produces these days. Every show looks the same, like an eight-year-old Japanese animation student drew it, and their shows are all nuggets of weirdness without any real point. That’s my take at least. I’d love to say that OK K.O. bucks that trend, but in fact, it epitomizes everything about Cartoon Network that I don’t like. I can appreciate that this is a show that’s steeped in video game and movie pop culture, but I just couldn’t get into it. In fact, just watching the handful of episode son this DVD was enough to make me never want to watch the show again. Sorry, Cartoon Network, this old man just isn’t in your demographic anymore, I guess.
  • A.R.C.H.I.E. 2: Mission Impawsible – This family film sees Michael J. Fox voicing a robotic talking dog. In this second installment of the series, Archie and his owner end up joining the circus, where Archie takes on the role of a ventriloquist’s assistant, using his talking ability to con the audience. Of course, it wouldn’t be a kids’ dog movie without a plot to kidnap Archie. What you get here is a perfectly fine family film that’s really geared for the younger viewers. Older audiences might find it a bit silly, but little kids should find it a lot of fun, and parents will enjoy hearing Michael J. Fox as Archie.
  • PBS: Frontline: Trafficked in America and Frontline: Blackout in Puerto Rico – There are two new Frontline specials out from PBS this week. Trafficked in America is a serious and sobering investigation of human trafficking, which – as this program illustrates – is not a problem relegated solely to the rest of the world. This show focuses more on forced working situations and not on the more headline-grabbing sex trafficking. Still, it’s an important viewing experience, even if you have to steel yourself for it. Meanwhile, Blackout in Puerto Rico is fairly self-explanatory, a look at the situation in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which ravaged the island nation and left many people without power for the better part of a year.
  • WB Archives: Super Fly, The Colossus of Rhodes, 2 Weeks in Another Town, The Black Scorpion – Warner Brothers’ print-on-demand service has several new titles available this week, all making their debut on Blu-ray. First up is Super Fly, just in time to capitalize on the recent Super Fly theatrical adaptation. I haven’t seen the new one yet, but the original 1970s exploitation classic is a lot of fun. Ron O’Neil shines as the lead character, Priest, and the film straddles the line between cheesy and epic. Next up is The Colossus of Rhodes, which is most notable for being Sergio Leone’s first film. While Leone would go on to make his name with The Man With No Name trilogy, this swords-and-sandals epic starring Rory Calhoun does show some flashes of the talent on deck. It’s a bit long at over two hours but there are some great scenes of ancient action. 2 Weeks in Another Town is a film that should be slam dunk. Directed by Vicente Minnelli and starring Kirk Douglas and Edward G. Robinson, the film looks great on paper. For some reason, though, I just didn’t find it very engaging. The performances are great, but the film is too slow for me. Finally, The Black Scorpion, a classic 1950’s giant creature flick, makes its debut on Blu-ray as well. Featuring special effects co-designed by King Kong’s Willis O’Brien, the film is one of the better B-movies from this era, with some cool giant scorpion monsters terrorizing the earth. Cheesy, but a good time!

Next PostPrevious Post

Amazon Prime Free Trial