New Blu-ray & DVD releases for the week include some TV, some 4Ks and a cult flick among others.
I’ll start with Hickok which I watched on 4K. I grew up on Westerns so I have a soft spot for them. This one stars Luke Hemsworth who doesn’t quite have the “it” factor his brother Chris has although I can say the same for their brother Liam. With newer Westerns I look for certain things that I want/expect in a Western. Long sweeping shots, gun fights and action. This is a pretty decent film, but it’s not quite good either. The cast certainly helps. With the likes of Bruce Dern and Kris Kristofferson you automatically add credibility. Country star Trace Adkins is in it and he’s been in a slew of these films now. The film won’t “wow” too many people, but until we get a great blockbuster Western at the box office, films like this will have to. The film does look gorgeous on 4K and if you are going to watch it, I recommend the upgrade. Hemsworth handles the gun fights fine, I just wanted a bit more from the film.
Sticking with 4Ks, The Lincoln Lawyer gets the 4K upgrade this week. It may not seem it, but Matthew McConaughey wasn’t always the respected, award-winning actor he is today. He wasn’t seen as a bad actor, but he was more known for rom-coms than Oscars. Then came The Lincoln Lawyer and people took notice. Wow, Matthew McConaughey can really act! He plays an attorney who works out of his Lincoln that gets involved with a realtor who is accused of assaulting a prostitute. As he digs deeper the case might be connected to another case. McConaughey surprised people in this, myself included. The cast is also great with Bryan Cranston, William H. Macy, John Leguizamo, Marisa Tomei, Michael Pena and more. It’s a really good drama and if you haven’t seen it, definitely pick it up. It helped jumpstart the McConaissance.
Next is Face2Face. I want to give this film some credit for trying something new in filmmaking even though I didn’t exactly like the movie or how it was made. You can call me “Get Off My Lawn” Guy or “Old Man Yells at Cloud”, but today’s excessive need to record everything drives me insane. The film is made through FaceTime or Skype or some other live video recording. A depressed teen finds an old friend/neighbor who now lives in California and they start communicating together through video feeds. That’s fine, it is how people do it today even if I don’t like it. My issue is the story and the characters, I simply didn’t care about them. The girl in California is completely vapid and everything today that I don’t like. She needs likes and favorites and “friends” to prove her worth. The boy doesn’t have Facebook at first and doesn’t like that stuff yet he’s the one who went and stalked this girl. There’s a twist to his character which is fine I guess, but the big reveal about her seemed too tacked on. I won’t spoil it, but she leaves her camera on to show him something then freaks out when he wants to do something about it. Don’t show someone something if you don’t want help ya jerk! Credit for some original filmmaking although I wish I cared about the characters.
Fourth we have Shakes the Clown. It’s the 25th anniversary of the Bobcat Goldthwait cult flick and it’s getting a new release on Blu-ray and DVD through Mill Creek. I hadn’t seen the film in years and forgot half the people who were in it. Adam Sandler, Julie Brown, Kathy Griffin, Robin Williams and Tom Kenny as the bad guy. Yup Tom Kenny the voice of Spongebob. It’s a super dark comedy about an alcoholic clown who gets passed over for a children’s TV show. His boss gets killed and Shakes gets blamed for it. Bobcat at the time was more known for his wild characters like in the Police Academy movies and sure Shakes is pretty manic, but Bobcat shows depth and talent. It’s a cult flick and if you are a fan and don’t own it yet, pick up this new release.
Now for a run of TV releases. We see NCIS: New Orleans The Third Season out this week. My mom is a big fan of the NCIS franchise although she admits New Orleans is her least favorite. Scott Bakula is a great TV actor and he does well here. You pretty much know what you get out of these shows, but I think that’s what people like about them. I’m not a huge fan, but again, my mother likes them and that’s what makes them powerhouse draws for CBS. I think at this point you know whether or not you’re a fan of the NCIS shows. I only watch them when they hit DVD, but they get big ratings so they’ll continue making them.
Billions Season 2 also comes out this week. With a cast including Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis I don’t know why I don’t love this show. I like it, but it’s not one I go out of my way to watch. Giamatti plays a US attorney who goes after Lewis’ hedge fund character. It’s a well made and well acted drama, I just don’t love it for some reason. The best part of season 2 for me was Lewis’ character trying to buy an NFL team. I think Lewis looks like NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and he’s who I’d have play Goodell in a movie. It’s a show I find just good enough to keep watching when I get it on DVD, but not one I watch when it’s actually on TV.
Last we have Murdoch Mysteries Season 10. If you like Sherlock and aren’t watching this, you should. It’s pretty much a Canadian Sherlock. It takes place in the early 20th Century and uses the latest forensic science to solve mysteries. The first episodes revolve around the great Toronto fire and goes from there. There’s a sports/Olympic themed episode. One involving dead men with lipstick marks, a Best in Show type episode, and even a roller skating champion. The show is odd and quirky, but well acted and well made. Yannick Bisson may be pretty unknown here in the States, but he’s very much the leading man. He’s good looking, charismatic and everything you want in a sleuth character. I want to go back and see previous seasons I haven’t seen before.