Box Office Buz: DVD and Blu-ray releases for November 14, 2017
Mid-November hits with a reduced release slate but some mighty fine titles in the mix. First up this week is Atomic Blonde. Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron) is one of the best agents MI:6 has to offer. An expert in espionage and deadly in a fight, Broughton is able to deploy any of her extensive skills to tackle the most dangerous missions Her Majesty?s Secret Service has to offer. When she is sent to Berlin amidst the cold war ending and the taking down of the Berlin Wall to deliver a priceless dossier containing valuable secrets, she partners with station chief David Percival (James McAvoy) to elude legions of spies from all around the world all out to get the list for their own gain. Broughton must escape the turbulent city with the information intact but doing so she will have to draw on every trick up her sleeve to get out alive.
The first thing Atomic Blonde has going for it is the substantial talents of Charlize Theron. She has proven time and again that she has the stuff to go against any male action star out there and this movie may be her best action film yet. Next, veteran stunt performer David Leitch takes over directing duties here and does so with style. On the stylistic level of a John Wick type deal, Atomic Blonde looks fantastic and has some of the best fight scenes outside of the actual John Wick films. Add to that the considerable supporting talents of James McAvoy, John Goodman, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones and Sophie Boutella (who unfortunately doesn?t get to kick any ass here) and you have a fantastic period action flick definitely worth checking out.
Next up is a new thriller, Wind River. FBI Agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is sent to a remote Wyoming Native American Reservation to investigate the death of a woman who was found frozen in the snow with apparent trauma. Banner teams up with local Fish and Wildlife tracker Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) to try and piece together the events leading to the young woman?s death, events that may be tightly tied to local residents.
Wind River really took me by surprise. Written and directed by Taylor Sheridan (Hell or High Water, Sicario), Wind River is as cold and calculating as the Wyoming snow. Renner and Olsen are both excellent as polar opposites; Banner is the fish out of water and Lambert is the seasoned pro who knows the area like the back of his hand. The story unfolds at a steady pace and definitely kept me wondering along with the characters with the last third of the film being a powderkeg of excitement. If you dug Sheridan?s other efforts as much as I did, check out Wind River.
Lastly this week is a new chapter in a horror classic franchise, Amityville: The Awakening. Joan (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and her teen daughter Belle (Bella Thorne), young daughter Juliet (Mckenna Grace) and Belle?s comatose twin brother James (Cameron Monaghan) move into a drastically reduced home in Amityville New York to be closer to the doctors needed for James? treatments. But the infamous house at 112 Ocean Avenue is known to locals for its murders and subsequent stories of hauntings. Now Belle is starting to believe there might be some truth to the stories as her brother shows miraculous signs of improvement amidst many strange happenings at the house. But is something in the house manipulating James? recovery?
Amityville: The Awakening is already getting a bad rap from the media due to its lacklustre performance at the box office but it is really not a bad film, especially in the realm of horror sequels. Where writer/director Franck Khalfoun really gets it right is in having the characters acknowledge not only the real-life murders that happened in the house, but also the movies that came afterwards. In fact, the character of Belle even watches the original 1979 film with her friends IN THE HOUSE. That was pretty cool. The story follows some genre tropes here and there but he solid cast that also includes Thomas Mann (Kong Skull Island) and Jennifer Morrison (Once Upon a Time, House) are great here and the story is very entertaining with some good scares. And I will admit as a fan of the series it was cool to be back in the house with a fresh new twist.
Also of note this week is Preacher: Season Two, which is even better than the first season of the cult hit show, the Blu-ray debut of The Incredible Shrinking Woman with Lily Tomlin, and a very cool limited Steelbook edition of Clive Barker?s original Hellraiser.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday November 14, 2017
7th Heaven: The Complete Series
Albert: A Small Tree with a Big Dream
Amityville: The Awakening
Attack of the Puppet People*
Bob Hope: The Ultimate Movie Collection
Brothers of the Night
D.C. Follies: The Complete Series
Desert Hearts* - Criterion Collection
Doctor Who: Complete Series 10
Funeral Parade of Roses*
Hamilton: Building America
Hellraiser ? Limited Edition Steelbook
In This Corner of the World
Le Samourai* - Criterion Collection
Mariah Carey?s All I Want for Christmas is You
My First Miracle
Preacher: Season Two
Psycho Complete 4 Movie Collection
Sacha Guitry: Four Films 1936-1938*
Simon & Simon: Season Seven
The Incredible Shrinking Woman*
The Last Laugh*
The Man Who Died Twice*
The Paul Naschy Collection II*
The Secret Scripture
Time to Die a.k.a. Tiempo de Morir*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut