Box Office Buz: DVD and Blu-ray releases for June 27 & July 4, 2017
With this coming weekend being a holiday weekend for us here in Canada as well as our friends in the USA on July 4, next week's releases are pretty thin so I thought I would put both together this week for your browsing pleasure.
First up this week is the big screen comedy version of the 1970s cop show CHiPs, aptly entitledCHIPS. Dax Shepard writes, directs and stars as Jon Baker, a former pro motorbiker trying to get his wife back and his life back together by becoming a cop. On his first day, he is paired with Frank Poncherello (Michael Pe), a seasoned undercover Federal agent posing as a Highway Patrol officer to investigate a multimillion dollar heist. But foiling a possible inside job may not be Ponch's biggest obstacle as he tries to deal with the polar opposite Jon. But they must work together if they are to solve the case and further their careers. Even if it kills them.
CHIPs is another in a long line of films adapting old TV shows to the big screen with mixed results. CHIPs fares better than most thanks to the charisma and chemistry of Shepard and Pe. With other actors in the roles this one would have been mostly forgettable but the two actors bring a great sense of humor to the roles and keep the film from getting tired. For a fun action comedy to fill a movie night at home, CHIPs will do the trick just fine.
Next up is another big screen adaptation of an even bigger cult TV hit, this time its Power Rangers. Based on the cult hit series from the 90s, Power Rangers follows a group of high school outcasts who stumble upon an ancient alien ship and acquire super powers. While trying to master their newfound abilities they also discover than an old enemy of the aliens is returning to exact vengeance and they may be the only hope to stop them from taking over our world.
Power Rangers does a really great job of rebooting the old story, especially in the relationships of the high schoolers played by Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin and Becky G. The five young actors have a great on screen chemistry together and a good chunk of the movie is just these five kids trying to find something stronger in themselves and finding a way to work together to achieve their goals. Once the villain comes into play the action gets bigger and flashier and Elizabeth Banks really looks like she is having a fantastic time playing Rita Repulsa. Once the action kicks into high gear in the last act though, the action kind of goes right back into the standard TV style fighting scenes, which I was hoping would also get a big time update for much more spectacular action sequences. But the action is still entertaining and Power Rangers is a fun movie, especially to watch with the kids. The young cast are the real reason for checking this one out.
Next up is an almost lost 80s horror cult classic that is finally seeing the light of day on Blu-ray, The Unholy. Ben Cross stars as Father Michael, a priest called in to take over a New Orleans parish after several previous priests are brutally murdered. Father Michael discovers an evil force that is responsible, a powerful demon, known as Daesidarius, or The Unholy, who appears in the form of a beautiful woman to tempt priests to break their vows. Father Michael's own faith will be tested as he faces the greatest evil ever in the hopes of stopping it once and for all.
The Unholy has always been one of my favorite 80s horror flicks. Originally released in 1988, this was the heyday of VHS horror and The Unholy did not disappoint. Not only did it have class with a cast including Cross, Ned Beatty, Hal Holbrook and Trevor Howard, but it had some great practical effects that, at the time, were pretty damn cool. Nowadays they come across as pretty cheesy but as the documentary on the Blu-ray tells us, it was a bunch of FX newbies doing their first big job and the results are pretty legendary. The documentary is almost as good as the movie and both are highly recommended.
Lastly this week is one more older film I never thought would see the hi def light of day, A Shock to the System. Michael Caine stars as Graham Marshall, an advertising executive awaiting a long-deserved promotion. But when he is passed over for a new and much younger subordinate, he takes his anger out on a stranger in the subway and pushes them in front of a train. After realizing that nobody saw him and he got away with murder, Graham decides to use his newly acquired skill to take care of all the areas of his life that are disappointing him until he finally gets what he wants.
A Shock to the System is a brilliantly dark and funny thriller with an absolutely fantastic performance by Caine. Caine rarely disappoints but this role just seems to have him giddy and enjoying every minute of it. And it is a guilty pleasure for every viewer as well since we have all thought at one time or another of taking someone out to get what we want. A Shock to the System would be a great double feature with a similar favorite of mine that came three years later, Falling Down with Michael Douglas.
Also of note on July 4 is Danny Boyles long awaited sequel T2 Trainspotting, The Zookeepers Wife with Jessica Chastain and on June 27 one of the late Bill Paxton's great roles in Trespass on Blu-ray for the first time.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday June 27, 2017
Death Line A.k.a. Raw Meat*
Der me Tod a.k.a. Destiny*
Dirty Dancing: Television Special
Don't You Recognize Me?
Feed the Light
Home Movies: The Complete Series
Money from Home*
Power Rangers: Dino Super Charge: The Complete Season
Prison Break: The Event Series
Some Like It Cool
Straw Dogs - Criterion Collection
Taught in Cold Blood
Teen Titans: Judas Contract
The Autopsy of Jane Doe
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog* - Criterion Collection
The Man from Planet X*
The Pink Panther Film Collection*
The Savage Innocents*
The UnholyVestron Video Collector's Series*
Truth or Dare
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday July 4, 2017
A Shock to the System*
A Stork's Journey
Gadgetgang in Outer Space
King Arthur: Excalibur Rising
Seijun Suzuki's The Taisho Trilogy*
Song to Song
The Bat People*
The Hollow One
The Zookeepers Wife
Vincent N Roxxy
*Catalog Blu-ray debut