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US Blu-ray and DVD Releases: Blacklight, Singin’ In The Rain, Constantine: The House of Mystery, The Good Fight and Lovecut

Well, it’s a super small week this week, but there are some great titles out. A little dancing, a little singing, a little magic, a little political intrigue… there’s something for everyone!

Blacklight

Liam Neeson’s latest action-thriller is not his most exciting one, but it’s a perfectly watchable movie. Neeson plays a sort of off-the-books specialist for the FBI who begins to suspect that something is going on behind the scenes that’s not quite kosher. Enlisting the aid of a young journalist, he searches for the truth, only to find that the FBI isn’t a big fan of the truth getting out. It’s kind of an odd film. There are a few good action sequences, but the climax is a little bit toothless and the wrap-up seems like there was a forgotten scene somewhere. Neeson is clearly feeling his age a little bit; the few scenes of him running give doubt that he could chase down a 90-year-old senior citizen. But, like I said, the film is entertaining enough and an easy watch. You’ll likely forget about the movie the minute it’s over, but if you like Neeson’s brand of action, this one’ll fit the bill for a couple of hours.


Singin’ in the Rain (4K Ultra HD)

I’ll be honest, Singing’ in the Rain is one of those movies I’ve always wanted to see but just never got around to. With the new 4K Ultra HD release of the film, I finally had a chance to see what all the hubbub is about. I’ve seen the film often described as the best musical of all time, so I was curious what makes it so revered. Turns out it’s a lot of things, but first and foremost it’s the dancing. The songs themselves aren’t overly memorable (except for the title track, of course), but the dance sequences are absolutely magical. It’s legitimately some of the most spectacular and fun choreography I’ve ever seen. Add to that Gene Kelly’s singing, Debbie Reynolds’ sheer charisma, and Donald O’Connor’s humor, and the film is an absolute delight. It’s well deserving of all the kudos it’s received over the years. Singin’ in the Rain makes its 4K Ultra HD debut this week (and the package includes a Blu-ray and a digital copy), and it looks and sounds utterly fantastic. It’s almost hard to believe the film is 60 years old: colors are vibrant and pop off the screen, while the print is incredibly clean with no damage or specks to mar the picture. The surround soundtrack isn’t the most nuanced soundtrack ever, but the music sounds rich and lush and full, and it brings the film to life nicely. This is a terrific version of a musical masterpiece!


Constantine: The House of Mystery

The latest DC Universe Animated release is not a full-length movie like they usually are. Instead, it’s a brand new 26-minute John Constantine short film coupled with three other short films from previous DC Animated releases: Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth!, The Losers, and Blue Beetle. So I’m a little bit mixed on this release. On the one hand, all four shorts are really quite good, especially the Kamandi one. On the other hand, if you’ve bought the previous DC Animated releases, then you already have three of the four shorts included here, and you’re paying for just a 26-minute film. The Constantine film itself is pretty cool, with John Constantine himself trapped in a series of potential alternate lives that usually end pretty badly. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a follow-up story to it at some point in the future, either. I like the DC Animated short films, so this is a fun collection, but it’s mostly for people who don’t already have the previous releases.


The Good Fight: Season Five

At this point, I bet most viewers have forgotten that The Good Fight was a spin-off of The Good Wife (if they even remember the Good Wife, which feels like it came out 20 years ago at this point.) And while that original show might be over, The Good Fight goes on and it seems to be quite successful, seeing as how this is the fifth season already. This Paramount+ streaming-first series focuses on Christine Baranski in the lead role as a lawyer working at a prestigious African American–owned firm that’s gained attention for tackling socially challenging cases. This season, Diane questions her role at the firm, while Mandy Patinkin joins the cast (and is excellent as always) as a judge who decides to open his own court, which is obviously not exactly legal. And then you have the usual cases that come and go with every episode, most of which are quite interesting. As with the previous seasons, there’s a great supporting cast (including a few new players this season) and the writing on the show is really sharp, although it definitely is not for people who want their TV to remain apolitical. This latest DVD collection includes the entire fifth season (10 episodes), and it’s a pretty easy binge-watch. I can’t say I was in the market for another law-centric series to watch, but if you are, this one is pretty good.


Lovecut

The marketing materials for Lovecut make several comparisons to HBO’s hit series Euphoria, and it’s easy to see why. The film (which is in German, as it was made in Germany) follows six teenagers — three couples — all dealing with love and sexuality and technology. The film features young actors all in their first acting roles, so there is a rawness and freshness to the performances that really make the film work. Each couple is dealing with its own unique circumstances, and the film isn’t overly exploitative but it’s not exactly tame, either. The film runs just over 90 minutes, so the pacing is tight and it keeps from dragging. The film is subtitled, so I know that turns some people off, but I never mind them and the film is worth a look if the subject matter interest you.

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