We kick off May with the new Chris Hemsworth film, 12 Strong. Hemsworth plays US Army Captain Mitch Nelson who is called upon after the events of September 11, 2001 to lead the first Special Forces team into Afghanistan after the attacks. Along with chief warrant officer, Hal Spencer (Michael Shannon); wisecracking Sam Diller (Michael Pena); and weapons expert Ben Milo (“Moonlight” star Trevante Rhodes) and eight others, they must navigate the unforgiving terrain on horseback to capture the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, a Taliban stronghold. With all the odds against them they must begin the fight against the forces that struck America at its core.

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12 Strong is a very well made and engrossing military tale told with restraint and a great sense of authenticity. Hemsworth once again proves he is much more than a superhero but a well rounded and versatile actor and he is backed up by a great selection of some of the best actors working today. Overlooked at the box office but worth checking out on Blu-ray.

Next up is Winchester. Jason Clarke plays Dr. Eric Price, a doctor in 1910 summoned to the home of Sarah Winchester (Helen Mirren), heiress of the Winchester Rifle fortune by the company’s board. They are concerned the reclusive Winchester is losing her mind as she continues to build her massive 7 story home with construction continuing incessantly twenty-four hour a day, seven day a week for decades. She believes the house with hundreds of rooms is a prison made to contain the ghosts of every soul ever taken by her husband’s invention. Now Dr. Price must find out for himself if she is indeed mad or if the bizarre home is truly the most haunted house in America.

Winchester is not necessarily a haunted house movie. It has a few jump scares but it is really more of a drama about the real life Winchester and her immense guilt over the consequences of her husband’s business. The cast is excellent including the always amazing Mirren, the underrated Clarke, Sarah Snook and Angus Sampson from the Insidious films. The production design is great as well and the story of Winchester and her lifelong quest for redemption and forgiveness is fascinating and heartbreaking.

Lastly this week is a strange little thriller called Kaleidoscope. Toby Jones plays Carl, a troubled man recently released from prison and trying to get his life back on track. But things get complicated when his mother Aileen (Anne Reid), whom Carl has a very difficult relationship with, is planning an extended visit. Things take another turn when Carl goes on a date set up from a website with Abby (Sinead Matthews) whose intentions with Carl are also in question.

Kaleidoscope is written and directed by Toby Jones brother Rupert Jones and has a distinctly 1960s feel to it with echoes of films like Polanski’s Repulsion. Jones is fantastic as usual and the film overall has a very claustrophobic feel. Anne Reid is also excellent as Carl’s seemingly demure mother who is really the root of all of Carl’s issues. Meticulous, off putting and uneasy, Kaleidoscope is a great throwback thriller.

Also of note this week is the long anticipated new entry in the Tremors series, Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell as well as a new Tremors Complete Collection, the second season of the brilliant series Animal Kingdom, and the fun new animated romp Peter Rabbit featuring the voice talents of James Corden, Domhnall Gleeson, Sia, Sam Neill, Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley and more.

Until next week movie lovers.


DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday May 1, 2018

12 Strong

All I Wish

Animal Kingdom: The Complete Second Season

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Series

Batman/Superman Anthology

Broken: Season 1

Claws: The Complete First Season

Desolation

In the Fade

Kaleidoscope

Legend of the Mountain*

Mamma Mia! The Movie – 10th Anniversary

Mary and the Witch’s Flower*

Maya the Bee 2: The Honey Games

Naruto Shippuden Uncut Set 34

Nostalgia

Once Upon a Time

Peter Rabbit

Please Stand By

Stephanie

Taco Shop

Thank God It’s Friday – 40th Anniversary*

The Half-Breed*

The Insult

Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell

Tremors: The Complete Collection

Van Wilder: Party Liaison

Violent Professionals*

When Calls the Heart: Hearts and Minds

Winchester

Wonderful World of Puppies & Kittens

*Catalog Blu-ray debut

Written by
Bill Howard
Writer

A film fan since he was a wee child and received a full sized Terminator movie poster as a gift, Bill lives for movies. An avid collector of Blu-ray and DVD (and VHS, Beta, and Laserdisc before that), Bill also has his own review site, Fountain Pop.com and has recently completed his first horror novel, 10 Minutes from Home. Bill is often a crusader for the films that no one likes or no one has heard of(he loves Ishtar, Superman Returns, the Star Wars prequels and almost all of the horror remakes...) and just wants everyone to share their love for movies instead of spreading their hate for them.

Out This Week

Rio 2

Country: ML