Pages Navigation Menu

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


US Blu-ray and DVD Releases: The Rhythm Section, Ride Like A Girl and more

Well, folks, it’s really starting to slow down now. With review copies held up by the Coronavirus, I only have a few titles to report on this week. Here’s a look at some of the new titles debuting on video this week.

The Rhythm Section – Blake Lively and Jude Law star in this dour action/drama film that I found hugely disappointing. The trailer for the film made it look like an action-film-slash-arthouse-drama, and I guess that’s exactly what I got. However, it’s so dark, depressing, and slow-moving, with characters who are all basically dead inside, that it’s hard to enjoy any of it. It’s a good half hour or 40 minutes before there’s any action, and while there are a few intense action scenes in the second half of the film, the movie is just like a cloud of sadness and depression. I understand that the story — dealing with a young woman whose family is killed in a plane bombing that seeks revenge against the perpetrators — comes from a dark place, but that sense of drowning in darkness overwhelms the film. I suspect there are some people who will really like this movie, but sadly, I’m just not one of them.

Ride Like a Girl – A great cast, including Theresa Palmer, Sam Neill, and Sullivan Stapleton star in this feel good sports drama based on real events. The film tells the true story of Michelle Payne, a young woman who dreamed of winning the Melbourne Cup, the most prestigious horse racing event in Australia. However, a traumatic injury put her chances of becoming the first woman to win the race in serious jeopardy. As you can imagine, the film focuses on her struggles to overcome her injuries and rise up to try and become a champion. I won’t spoil anything for you, but I think Theresa Palmer is a terrific actress, Sam Neill and Sullivan Stapleton are always welcome additions to any cast, and the film is uplifting and inspirational. What more can you ask for?

Also Available This Week on Home Video:

  • The Dark Red – This psychological thriller has an interesting concept but falls apart a little in the execution The story set up is strong; from the official description: “A young woman is committed to a psychiatric hospital after claiming that her newborn has been abducted by a secret society called the Dark Red – an ancient, underground cult that harvests and controls an incredibly rare blood type that gives one the power to hear and guide another person’s thoughts.” Okay, that’s kind of neat and a little different from what the horror genre usually offers up these days. The problem, however, is that the finished product doesn’t live up to its promise. Lead actress April Billingsley does a solid job of carrying the film, but the pacing is slow and the script has some moments where it either doesn’t make sense or doesn’t give you enough to really make you feel like you’re understanding everything that’s happening. It’s not a terrible film by any stretch, but it comes up short in enough areas to make you wish it was better.
  • WB Archive Spotlight – This week sees the release of four new Blu-rays from the Warner Archive, or online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold) and the first one is one I’m super excited about. V: The Final Battle brings the second half of the groundbreaking TV miniseries V to Blu-ray for the first time. I loved the two V miniseries when I was a kid, and I’ve rewatched them over and over throughout the years. Now I’m thrilled to have the second miniseries on Blu-ray (the first miniseries was released last year but I din’t get a copy for review yet.) If you have fond memories of lizard people trying to take over the earth, I’m thrilled to say these shows really hold up well and they look better than ever on Blu-ray. Next up is the Blu-ray debut of The Stalking Moon, starring Gregory Peck and Eva Marie Saint. Ostensibly the film is a western, but really it’s more of a suspense film that just happens to be set in a western setting. Peck plays an army ranger helping a woman and her half-apache son get across the desert while trying to stay out of the clutches of a deranged killer. There are a few slower moments here and there, but overall it’s a solid suspense thriller with two great leads. Next up is the Blu-ray debut of Beau Brummell, starring Elizabeth Taylor, Stewart Granger, and Peter Ustinov. This is a bit of an odd film, with Granger playing a “dandy” British soldier who complains about his uniform and, through a convoluted series of events, ends up befriending the prince and romancing Lady Patricia. I liked the film even if I didn’t quite love it, but I will say that Blu-ray treatment really works for this film, as it’s extremely colorful and filled with ornate sets and costumes, and the high def presentation lets that shine, Finally we have Dodsworth, also making its Blu-ray debut, featuring a young Walter Huston and Mary Astor. This 1930s film is based on a best-selling novel by Sinclair Lewis, and was nominated for seven Academy Awards. It sees Huston as a wealthy man who realizes money can’t bring him happiness so he sets out to find himself, discovering romance along the way. The only problem is that his shrewish, money-loving wife isn’t exactly thrilled to see him fall in love with someone else. This is a solid film; it has that 1930s pacing and feel, and while Huston and Astor are both very good, the film is a nice slice of classic Hollywood, but it’s nothing overly special.

Next PostPrevious Post