The last days of summer continue with some solid titles including one of the biggest hits of the year. Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot as Diana, an Amazon princess on the mysterious hidden island of Themyscira who travels to the world of regular men with American spy Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) to try and stop the God of War, Ares, whom she believes has caused World War I. In the process, Diana discovers her great powers and that there is not only great evil in man, but great hope.

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Wonder Woman is a wonder indeed. Director Patty Jenkins, whose only other feature directing credit is 2003?s Monster with Charlize Theron, does a phenomenal job of bringing one of the most powerful superhero?s ever to the big screen for the first time. And despite what many people may have thought before the film?s release, Gal Gadot absolutely nails the iconic character with authenticity, genuine heart and badass abandon. The story is great and takes its time getting where it must go with interesting supporting characters and a comradery between Gadot and Pine that is at times romantic but more built on mutual respect. The film does conclude with a trademark DC gigantic fight scene but it is not overplayed and caps the film off beautifully. Wonder Woman is now the number one reason I want to see Justice League and I cannot wait for another standalone movie for this new screen icon.

Next up is another movie taking the movie world by storm, The Big Sick. Silicon Valley?s Kumail Nanjiani co-wrote this romantic comedy with his wife Emily V. Gordon based loosely on the real-life story of how they met and got together. Kumail, a stand-up comedian, meets Emily (Zoe Kazan) and despite Emily not looking for a relationship, they begin dating and fall in love. But shortly after a big fight, Emily suddenly falls ill and is placed in a medically induced coma. Now Kumail must deal with his ex-girlfriend?s parents (Ray Romano and Holly Hunter) while waiting each day in the hospital, still trying to maintain his budding comedy career, and dealing with his traditional family and his mother?s desire to set up an arranged marriage for Kumail.

The Big Sick is very deserving of all the attention it is getting. It is a heartfelt, genuine love story told with great humor and sincerity, with some gut bustingly funny scenes that somehow sit up nicely against scenes of great sadness and uncertainty. Kumail is brilliant and shows he is much more than a funny guy and the casting of Romano and Hunter as his possible future in-laws was genius, both of them are absolute gold here. The Big Sick is great comedy infused with an authentic slice of real life.

Lastly this week is yet another film that garnered much acclaim this year, The Hero. Sam Elliott plays Lee Hayden, a veteran Western movie star who now mostly does voice work for commercials. Having one great film under his belt seems to be his legacy but Lee is looking for more out of life, especially after receiving a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. A new spark is brought into his life after he meets and gets involved with Charlotte Dylan (Laura Prepon), a young stand-up comedian. Charlotte gives Lee a breath of fresh air but after a recorded event of Lee?s starts trending on social media and brings Lee back into the spotlight, he must deal with the conflict of a resurrected career even as death becomes more imminent.

The Hero as a whole is a good story of a man later in life dealing with his past and limited future, but the casting of Sam Elliott is really what makes The Hero special. Elliott has long been a phenomenal but underappreciated and underused actor, so it is great to finally see him getting a lead role he can really shine in. Laura Prepon also gives what may be one of her best performances here and the two have excellent chemistry together despite the huge age difference. Here?s just hoping that the attention brought to Elliott from The Hero will do the same as it did for his character in the movie and give him a great new jump start in his career.

Also of note this week is the surprising good Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season, a new special edition of the comedy classic A Fish Called Wanda, and the final season to the fantastic show Bates Motel: Season Five.

Until next week movie lovers.

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday September 19, 2017

A Fish Called Wanda ? Special Edition

Adventures of Captain Marvel*

Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season

Barbie: 10 Movie Classic Princess Collection

Bates Motel: Season Five

Bates Motel: The Complete Series

Blaze and the Monster Machines: Wild Wheels Escape to Animal Island

Boyka: Undisputed 4


Certain Women* - Criterion Collection

Children of the Corn ? Special Edition

Close Encounters of the Third Kind ? 40th Anniversary 4K

Code Black: Season Two

Conan the Barbarian 4K

DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games

Diana: Seven Days That Shook the World

Doors Cut Down

Firefly ? 15th Anniversary Blu-ray Collection

Funny Bones*

Ghost House

Hana-Bi aka Fireworks*

Lethal Weapon: The Complete First Season

Love by the 10th Date

Love with the Proper Stranger*

Madam Secretary: Season Three

Ranma 1/2 OVA and Movie Collection Limited Edition

Red Line 7000*

Road Less Traveled

Simon & Simon: Season Six

Starship Troopers 20th Anniversary 4K

The Big Sick

The Hero

The Legend of Hercules 4K

The Lost World*

The Moderns* ? Collector?s Edition

The Prison

Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Wonder Woman

*Catalog Blu-ray debut

Written by
Bill Howard

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 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.

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