New Blu-ray & DVD releases for the week include some stuff for kids, some cool Asian flicks, a rock doc and more.
Let’s start with The Lost Bladesman. We here are at The Nerds Templar are big fans of Donnie Yen so it’s always great to get a movie of his. This is a Chinese historical piece with some great fighting sequences. Even as he gets older Yen is one of the best action actors in the world and he’s great in this. There’s some great blade on blade action and the one scene in a corridor with Yen, the female lead and the man trying to kill him is pretty amazing. There’s also a cool scene where he’s been poisoned and takes on a crowd of guys. The costuming and wardrobe are great as usual and even though I’m never familiar with the time period these films take place in, I thoroughly enjoy the movies. Yen fans will like this for sure as will any Asian historical film fan. We definitely recommend this one.
Second we have My Way, a rock documentary about two women who take to the road to sell their albums on their way to Los Angeles to shoot a music video. Part of me wants to really recommend this and support it because you should follow your dreams and take a shot at doing what you love. But I really didn’t like the main woman, Rebekah, in it. She leaves her husband at home and heads out on the road when he didn’t want her to. She has another bandmate that she pretty much blows off towards the end. Sure, the bandmate was more into the partying side of music, but Rebekah comes across as a primadonna to me. It’s called My Way because that’s a name of her song, but to me it’s because it’s her way and that’s it. I didn’t like her music and she wanted to come across as a rocker like 90’s chicks Liz Phair and Courtney Love, but she had more of a country sound to me. I’m torn on this one actually.
Third is Power Rangers Dino Charge Hero Christmas Edition. The original Power Rangers came out long after I was a kid so I never really got into them, but I know some diehard fans who are adults. This cast looks like a United Colors of Benetton ad from the 1990’s, but hey there’s a Christmas special in this. They have to help Santa save Christmas. That’s a bonus episode in this set. This also introduces a purple Ranger who then leaves. You get four episodes and then the bonus episode “Race to Rescue Christmas.” Clearly it’s not my thing, but they’ve been putting out Power Rangers episodes for almost 20 years at this point so people watch it. If you are a fan, pick it up.
Next is Bob Hope: Hope for the Holidays. I love these Bob Hope discs and can’t wait when they come my way. I’m not old enough to have seen Hope in his prime, but seeing these DVD specials really showcase how legendary he really was. This collection is nearly 2 hours of holiday specials with guests like Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, The Judds and many more. It has a bunch of his bits from his USO tours, Jack Benny visiting “Santa” at the North Pole, and the best stuff is watching people screw up and it staying in the show. You get Hope from the 1950’s to the 1990’s. I’m a really big fan of these collections and really enjoy them when I get them. As always, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Fifth we have Hell on Wheels Season 5 Volume 2. I like this show, but don’t love it. I only watch it when it hits DVD/Blu-ray despite being a fan of most of AMC’s shows. I like westerns too so I don’t know why this show was never must see for me. The end of the series finds Cullen dealing with violence in Chinatown, The Swede fighting with the Mormons, and the race to Ogden is finally coming to an end. I like how they used government regulations/hearings to shape the end of the show because it shaped railroading. If you are a fan of the show definitely pick up Volume 2. Again, not really sure why this show didn’t wow me, but I did like it overall.
Next is Care Bears & Cousins Take Heart Volume 1. If you grew up with the Care Bears this is a good introduction for your own kids. It’s definitely geared towards really young kids, but that’s ok. Kids deserve their own stuff sometime. I always liked the cousins better myself so seeing Lionheart and the like was fun at least. This sees the Cousins’ ship stolen among other storylines. It was cute and the kids will like it so that’s fine.
Reign of Assassins from John Woo is next. Woo produced and co-directed this movie that stars Michelle Yeoh. She’s not doing many movies anymore so it’s good to see her again. She’s been one of the best female action stars of the past 20 years and I pretty much watch anything she’s in. Yeoh is an assassin who must take the remains of a mystical Buddhist monk to their resting place. The remains hold a secret so people try to get them. You either like these Chinese period action dramas or you don’t. We here do. I watched this back to back with the Donnie Yen film so it was a good night for me. We like to support Asian films especially good ones like these. It’s another with great action, great costuming and set design and if it’s one of Yeoh’s last films, it’s great to see her one last time. Definitely recommended as well.
Last we have Shaun the Sheep: We Wish Ewe a Merry Christmas. I am a grown man, without children who watched this on a Friday night alone. And I absolutely loved it. I literally laughed out loud during every “episode”. I’ve been been a fan of Aardman since Wallace and Gromit and I loved the Shaun the Sheep movie. This is fantastic and is perfect for families or even grown adults. There’s very little words spoken, but the noises and facial expressions make you laugh and giggle. There’s 7 stories and each one is absolutely adorable. I know it’s geared towards kids, but it simply makes me laugh. Whether it was the farmer skiing off the roof, the cat trying to get his bed near the fireplace back, the dog’s new hat or any of the sheep, I just really like this stuff. If your kids love Shaun the Sheep, buy this. If they aren’t familiar with him, buy it anyways. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!