New Blu-ray & DVD releases for the week include some TV, one of the biggest hits of the year and a solid sci-fi flick. We’ll start with the biggest release of the week.
The biggest release of the week is one of the biggest films of the year, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. I’ll cut right to the chase, Vol. 2 isn’t quite as good as the first film, but I think that’s because of expectations. The first film no one really knew what to expect. Guardians of the Galaxy was known to comic fans, but people who don’t read comics weren’t overly familiar with them. This time around we had high expectations for the movie because everyone loved the first film. But just because it’s not quite as good as the original doesn’t mean it’s still not a good film. Chris Pratt is a movie star, no doubt, but there are 3 breakouts in Vol 2. First of all, Baby Groot is fantastic. It opens with the Guardians trying to capture a creature and Groot dances throughout. There’s a scene where he’s trying to steal something and steals everything else first. Then there’s a bomb towards the end which is hilarious with Groot. The funniest character might be Drax. There’s a running joke where Drax talks about how ugly the new character Mantis is. It made me laugh every time. Then there’s Michael Rooker’s Yondu. His character gets a ton of development in this one and along with Kurt Russell’s character, we learn a lot of backstory on Peter Quill/Star-Lord. The movie looks absolutely amazing on 4K. Seriously, it’s beautiful. Russell’s character lives in a world full of wonder and it’s stunning to look at. Music plays a huge role in the franchise and it sounds pristine on the 4K. There are also some great bonus features including gag reel, deleted scenes, and commentary with Director James Gunn. A must own for Marvel fans.
Next is the science fiction flick Kill Switch. It stars Dan Stevens and is a pretty solid sci-fi flick. If you liked the TV show Fringe or the movie Upside Down, you should like this. Stevens plays a physicist that gets hired to work for a company that wants to build an echo world to drain their resources for our benefit. He thinks the echo world (think parallel universe) will be lifeless and he is sent there to figure out what was going wrong. In his world, it’s a regular shot film, in the echo world, it’s a first person shooter style look and you never really see Stevens there. There ends up being people in the echo world that is being torn apart because of the tower that’s draining their world. I love science fiction films and I appreciate ones that don’t go out of their way to break their own rules. This explains just enough to not over complicate the plot without ruining their own ground rules. Stevens is a solid leading man as well. I can see this movie getting a lot of watches on Netflix because it’s not super well-known, but it’s pretty good and worth catching when you can.
Now for a bunch of television releases. Dominion Creek Series 2 continues the story of the Connolly brothers in the Canadian Klondike. It’s an Irish show that takes place in early 20th Century Canada, but is actually shot in Ireland. Gaelic is spoken throughout the show which is awesome to me. I wasn’t familiar with the series, but was able to catch up on Series 1 before watching Series 2. Series 2 starts with the 3 brothers doing well in the Klondike. Tom is making a lot of money with his claim. Seamus is making money off the bath house and Padraig is still working at the hospital and a claim with Bridget who he is now with. There is a major death early on and a baby changes hands. Typhoid is ravaging the area and a new “judge” shows up who may not be who he is. Captain Pat is on trial for the murder of Skookim Jim. Tom falls in love and there’s a death of yet another big character. Each series is only 4 episodes so it’s an easy binge. I really like the show. I come from an Irish family so I enjoy watching Irish programming. The acting is really good and I like the addition of Timothy V. Murphy. It’s sort of a western, sort of Irish history and a family drama as well. If you saw Series 1, definitely pick up Series 2.
800 Words Season 2 Part 2 also comes out this week. This is such a quirky show that is fun, but also heartfelt. This time around George’s family is back together while he’s writing for the newspaper and is trying to work on his new relationship. We see fallout from an article George writes. He might be losing interest in the small town. Arlo is getting ready for a new school year which causes issues with George. George and Fiona have a disaster with their weekend away. My favorite episode involved a new restaurant opening which causes a stir when not everyone is invited. It’s such a cute little show with characters that all serve a purpose. If you’ve seen the show, continue with Season 2 Part 2.
Blue Bloods Season 7 is also out Tuesday. I watch the show when I get it on DVD, but it’s one of my mother’s favorite shows on TV. It’s a ratings hit for CBS on Friday nights and if you watch it you can see why. It doesn’t try to do anything different, but by following the basics of police procedurals you get people to tune in. It may not be my favorite show, but the target audience, people like my mother, love it. The season starts with Danny still under investigation by the Attorney General for shooting Thomas Wilder. Other episodes include a rape case where the rapist is a rich man and the victim doesn’t want to press charges, a community activist is looking at deportation, there is claims of excessive force on the police force, the murder of the son of Frank’s critic, an ex-NYPD officer goes missing, and the finale saw Danny dealing with a Mexican cartel. I don’t go out of my way to watch the show, but I don’t mind catching up with it on DVD.