Box Office Buz: DVD and Blu-ray releases for August 8, 2017
So, August is starting with a bit of a whimper, but still some solid stuff among the limited selection. First up this week is the new film from director Guy Ritchie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Charlie Hunnam plays Arthur, a common man raised in a brothel who was sent away as a child when his uncle, Vortigern (Jude Law), slayed Arthur?s father, King Pendragon, and stole the throne. But when Arthur pulls the mythical sword Excalibur from the stone and is proclaimed the rightful King, Vortigern will stop at nothing to find him and kill him to maintain his position on the throne. Along with a band of fellow commoners, Arthur must learn to wield Excalibur and use it to stop Vortigern and restore order to the kingdom.
First off, if you are not a Guy Ritchie fan, this film will not change your mind. It is full of trademark Ritchie-isms like quick cuts, blending of modern and period styles and costumes, offbeat humor and frenetic action. All of which I love. And I simply adored King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Hunnam is excellent as the charismatic rogue and the visuals of Ritchie?s vision of the classic story is stunning. He keeps lots of mysticism and monsters in the story but my favorite part is that Ritchie may be the first filmmaker to actually show the power of Excalibur. And he shows it big time. The humor is frequent but fitting, the cast all likable and convincing, the action spectacular and the production design slick and unique. Check out King Arthur: Legend of the Sword for something a little different and a lot of fun.
Next up is a new action thriller starring Sam Worthington, The Hunter?s Prayer. Worthington plays Lucas, a career assassin who is hired to kill a young woman, Ella (Odeya Rush). When he can?t bring himself to do it, both of them go on the run in a twisted game of cat and mouse as Lucas tries to help Ella try and find those responsible for murdering her family.
At first glance The Hunter?s Prayer seems like another direct to video action flick but it actually stood out on its own with solid performances, very impressive action set pieces and a predictable but solid story. Worthington is often underappreciated but I like him quite a bit and find he has great on screen charisma and convincingly pulls off his characters with considerable depth. He plays Lucas with more authenticity than the average movie assassin and his chemistry with Rush takes on a great father/daughter dynamic that also helps make the movie stand out. Action fans should check this one out for a nice surprise.
Lastly this week are two great new releases from Shout! Factory that are bonafide 80s classics being given the Collector?s Edition treatment, Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf Too. Teen Wolf stars Michael J. Fox as Scott Howard, a struggling high school student who finds out his family tree is full of werewolves and he has hit the age that he is starting to turn into one himself. But after his secret is exposed, he actually becomes popular in school and starts to see all his dreams coming true. But there also new problems that come along with being a werewolf and Scott must find a way to deal with them all.
Teen Wolf Too features Jason Bateman as Todd Howard, cousin to the first film?s Scott, who finds himself going through the exact same situation. Upon entering Hamilton University on a full athletic scholarship, Todd becomes aware of his genetic condition and becomes a star boxer at the school when everyone finds out about his unique wolf capabilities. But Todd soon learns that he may be losing part of himself by pretending to be something else.
Teen Wolf is a fantastic comedy that stands up tall with any other classic 80s comedy. Fox is at the peak of his popularity and is perfect in the role along with a solid supporting cast, tons of laughs and lots of teen angst. And this new Blu-ray edition comes with an exhaustive 143 minute documentary on the making of the film that is easily as entertaining as the film itself.
Teen Wolf Too is a funny movie in that it is pretty much exactly the first movie with the lead actor subbed out, high school traded for University and basketball traded for boxing. But it still retains a solid cast, great laughs and a sizable heart much like the first one. And Bateman easily has the talent to keep up with Fox?s cult status in the 80s, even if it took him a couple more decades to really come into his own. Both movies have a killer line up of new special features coupled with new high definition transfers that make both of these well worth picking up for fans of the 80s classics.
Also of note this week is the Goldie Hawn/Amy Schumer abduction comedy Snatched, Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Rebecca Hall and Steve Coogan in the drama The Dinner, and the newest (and quite terrible) entry in the Wimpy Kid series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. Don?t let this excellent series fool you into checking out this new entry, it abandons the excellent cast, excellent writing and excellent humor of the first films in favor of low brow insulting garbage. The worse family film I have seen in eons.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday August 8, 2017
Apostle of Dracula
Cinematic Titanic: The Complete Collection
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Fargo: 20th Anniversary Steelbook
Frankie and Johnny (1966)*
Girl on the Edge
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
Kung Fu Yoga
Power Rangers: Operation Overdrive ? The Complete Series
Teen Wolf ? Collector?s Edition*
Teen Wolf Too ? Collector?s Edition*
The Breaking Point* - Criterion Collection
The Hunter?s Prayer
Three Tears on Bloodstained Flesh
*Catalog Blu-ray debut