Box Office Buz: DVD and Blu-ray releases for May 23, 2017
Not a huge week but some really great titles hitting shelves. First up this week is Logan. Hugh Jackman reprises his iconic role as Wolverine (for the last time?). In 2029, the world has changed. Mutants are near extinct and the X-Men have disbanded. Logan (Jackman), now a heavy drinking limo driver, finds his powers of self-healing failing him as he tried to hide and take care of a very ill Professor X (Patrick Stewart). When the duo cross paths with a young mutant named Laura, who has similar powers to Logan?s and a secret past, they must go on the run to find her safe harbor before sinister powers find her.
After nearly two decades of playing the fan favorite Marvel character Wolverine, with some films getting high praise and others not so much, Logan proves Jackman always had what it takes and gives what may be his absolute best performance as Logan. Director James Mangold, who also directed the previous film, The Wolverine, has crafted a wonderfully emotional, action packed thrill ride that almost plays like a modern day western. It also gives fans everything they have asked for including an R rating and gratuitous violence, something essential to the character but lacking in the other movies. And the introduction of young Dafne Keen as Laura is the performance of the year as far as I am concerned. This little girl is one to watch in the years to come. Logan is everything you could possibly want out of a Wolverine movie and more.
Next up is another critically and audience acclaimed film, Jordan Peele?s Get Out. Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is nervous to meet his girlfriend Rose?s (Allison Williams) parents for the first time, unsure how they will accept Chris and Rose?s interracial relationship. Once at Missy and Dean?s (Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford) house everything seems off from the first moments with the Armitage?s having multiple black workers on their property. But the way the workers act is even more suspicious. As their weekend unfolds Chris finds there may be much more to fear than judgement and he can only hope to survive with his life.
Get Out is a brilliantly written piece of work. Peele, best known for his comedy roles and as half of the comedy duo Key and Peele, has crafted a socially relevant thriller that also happens to be a whole lot of fun. There are moments of uncomfortable situations that will make audiences, especially white audiences, think and ruminate about their own experience with witnessing, or being, racist, but ultimately the movie never get preachy or overbearing and always reassures the audiences that they are here for a good time. And any movie that can do both of those things is okay in my book.
Lastly this month is a new horror anthology, XX. Consisting of four stories, XX starts with The Box. After her son Danny (Peter DaCunha) gets to see inside a mysterious box a stranger on the subway is carrying, Susan (Natalie Brown) starts to notice his behaviour change. Most notably that he will not eat anything. For days. As his condition continues the entire family becomes affected by whatever was in the box, but can Susan and her husband figure it out before it takes their son? The next story is The Birthday Party. On the day of her daughter?s birthday, Mary (Melanie Lynskey) finds her husband dead from an apparent suicide. Now she must find a way to hide the body so it doesn?t ruin her daughter?s birthday and scar her for life. Next is Don?t Fall, the story of four friends who go camping near an ancient site who must face an evil presence that may not allow them to ever see the next sunrise. And lastly is Her Only Living Son, the story of Cora (Christina Kirk), a mother who has left her husband and not lives in hiding with her son Andy (Kyle Allen) who is about to turn 18. But as his birthday approaches Cora sees a drastic and terrifying change in Andy?s behaviour and a possible dark connection to his father.
The stories in XX are directed by four women, Jovanka Vukovic, Annie Clark, Karyn Kusama and Roxanne Benjamin. All four women were given free rein to create their own tales of terror and the results are unique, creepy and fresh. All the cast members in all four segments are all great particularly with Natalie Brown, Peter DaCunha and Melanie Lynskey standing out and for my money The Box and Don?t Fall were probably the most successful segments. Some of them felt a little truncated like the directors had more story to tell but were not able to for whatever reason, but it still makes for an interesting anthology full of unique ideas and top shelf quality filmmaking. XX definitely makes me want to see features from these women though, so someone should get on that.
Also of note this week is the adventure film The Great Wall with Matt Damon, the documentary I Am Heath Ledger, and the 90's horror flick making it?s Blu-ray debut, The Vagrant starring the late Bill Paxton.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday May 23, 2017
American Wrestler: The Wizard
Beauty and the Beast 2012 ? The Complete Series
Call the Midwife: Season Six
Cops vs Thugs*
Dheepan* - Criterion Collection
Feed the Gods
Friday the 13th Ultimate Collection
I Am Heath Ledger
John Wayne Western Collection
Max 2: White House Hero
My Life as a Zucchini
Othello* - Criterion Collection
Outsiders: Season Two
Power Rangers Mystic Force: The Complete Series
Shaquille O?Neal Presents All Star Comedy Jam: Live from Sin City
The Funny Farm*
The Great Wall
The Jacque Rivette Collection*
The Magnificent Dead
Vixen: The Movie
War & Peace*
Welcome to the Loud House: Season 1 Volume 1
*Catalog Blu-ray debut