Blu-ray Invasion – Week of June 7 & June 14
The modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia is a city like no other. Comprised of habitat neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown, it’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together – a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with a fast-talking, scam-artist fox, Nick Wilde, to solve the mystery.
Disney has always been in a place where it can really do no wrong when it comes to kids movies, or at least the first movies in a franchise that release in theaters. Zootopia is that next great entry into Disney’s library of iconic franchises. This one even delves a little bit into the idea of how we should treat each other in society. The voice acting is all great, and there isn’t a weak bit throughout Zootopia. The disk has a lot of cool special features including one where you can see some of the research done on the animals featured in the film. BUY IT
Four-time Oscar-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men,Fargo) write and direct Hail, Caesar!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, and Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix.
The Coen brothers haven’t really gone anywhere, but they have so many different styles of films that whenever a new one comes out, it’s bound to remind you of one they haven’t done in a while. This non-stop funny version of a Coen brothers movie always seems like a breath of fresh cinematic air and this one is certainly worthy of being in the conversation of which of the Coen brothers movies is funniest. One negative to this is that there are so many characters here, inevitably there are some you will have wanted to spend more time with. That being said, everyone here is great, obviously. The special features here aren’t quite film-school-in-a-box worthy, but they do highlight some things like the amazing production design, and a run through of all the characters. BUY IT
Vinyl: The Complete First Season
A New York music executive in the late 1970s hustles to make a career out of the city’s diverse music scene.
Comparable to Empire, but Vinyl has the advantage of being on HBO so it can be just a little more gritty and raw. There’s also something a little more convincing about the nature of the subject whereas Empire seems to be over the top for the sake of being over the top. There a number of good commentaries on here and one good featurette about how they recreated the ’70s. Queue It
The road to true love is paved with knives and bullets in this killer comedy starring Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell. Unlucky in love and with terrible taste in men, Martha (Kendrick) bumps into Francis (Rockwell) and finally meets the man of her dreams. Sweet and charming, he seems the perfect match until Martha discovers Francis is a world-class assassin whose enemies are trying to kill him and can’t quite decide as body counts rise whether to join in the mayhem or dump him.
This is kind of an extremely low rent version of True Lies but it does do an excellent job of using the strengths that Sam Rockwell and Anna Kendrick bring to the table. It isn’t the most original idea, and if you’re not a fan of these two, there’s not going to be much here for you. Queue It
The Funhouse Massacre
On Halloween night, a group of the United States most notorious serial killers escape from Statesville Asylum and descends upon a giant funhouse whose theme is based on their different reigns of terror. The unsuspecting carnival patrons think that the cranage created at the park is just part of the show…until they become part of the main attraction…(Ben Begley, The Hungover Games) and the local sheriff (Scottie Thompson, Skyline, Before I Wake), who seems to have a strange attachment to the leader of the maniacs, the silver-tongued devill “Mental Manny” (Jere Burns, Justified, Angie Tribeca)
Not the most original or even good by any quantitative measurement, but it sure is tons of fun. As far as horror movies go, the fun ones are simply that and they’re always worth the time you spent watching them. This doesn’t have a lot of rewatch value so this is definitely one where you should Queue It
Assigned to protect a seemingly safe U.S. embassy in the Middle East, elite Marine Corporal Evan Albright (Charlie Weber) thought he wasn’t going to see much action. But when a hostile, extreme militant group launches a surprise attack aimed at killing an embassy informant, Albright’s team is caught off guard. Outgunned and outnumbered, Albright’s routine assignment escalates into an all-out war.
If you thought it was crazy that there was somehow a sequel to a movie based on the true memoirs of a marine, then brace yourself for part three of that, I suppose, franchise? Anyways, this is a generic actioner by all accounts and even the presence of Dennis Haysbert and Scott Adkins aren’t enough to save this from keeping the franchise afloat. Skip It
Jeepers Creepers: Collector’s Edition & Jeepers Creepers 2: Collector’s Edition
On a desolate country highway, two homeward-bound teens (Gina Philips, The Sickhouse, and Justin Long, Drag Me To Hell) are nearly run off the road by a maniac in a beat-up truck….and later spot him shoving what appears to be a body down a sewer pipe. But when they stop to investigate, they discover that the grisly reality at the bottom of that pipe is far worse than they could have ever suspected….and that they are now the targets of an evil far more unspeakable- and unstoppable- than they could have ever imagined!
Of all the horror franchises that have propped up sequel after sequel, I’m surprised this one didn’t warrant more films besides these two. There is a bit of controversy with the director understandably, but the reins could have easily passed onto another. It’s also disappointing that this seemed to be when Justin Long had a bit of a meteoric rise in the movie industry but ultimately, at least lately, it hasn’t led to much. All of that being said, this Shout Factory release, and the sequel, Jeepers Creepers 2 are both worth the purchase. They have a ton of new features and look at the mythology of the creeper. Buy Them
Ballers: The Complete First Season
Created by Steve Levinson (Entourage, Boardwalk Empire), Ballers is an all-new HBO comedy that explores the sun-soaked world of a group of past and present football players in and around Miami, FL. Leading the pack is Spencer (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), a retired football superstar who is trying to find a foothold as a financial manager to current players. In an industry where the career span is unbelievably short, Spencer and his crew must figure out where the game ends and life begins, all while keeping their cool and having each other’s backs.
Maybe the most obvious moves in television history, but then again maybe not because it took so long to even exist, but Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and HBO. It’s a match made in absolute heaven. Ballers is like a mashup of Entourage and Inside the NFL. Paired up with Rob Corddry, the two of them together have amazing on-screen chemistry as business partners and with the backdrop of Miami, Ballers takes us into a world we’ve never seen. Absolutely worth the purchase for fans of The Rock, sports, HBO, comedy, etc. etc. etc. Buy It
The X-Files: The Event Series
Almost 14 years after the original series run, the next mind-bending chapter of The X-Files is a thrilling, six-episode event series from creator/executive producer Chris Carter, with stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reinhabiting their roles as iconic FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Mitch Pileggi also returns as FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner, Mulder and Scully’s boss, who walks a fine line between loyalty to these investigators and accountability to his superiors.
This was a welcome back to some very familiar and iconic pop culture characters and although this had immense levels of expectations to contend with, this proved to be worth of the rest of the canon of the show. Wisely didn’t set itself up to need more than what was given in this refresher back to the show many of us know and love.