Not much for us this week, but one big release with some smaller ones. Disney/Pixar’s Cars 3 finds it way onto 4K, Blu-ray and DVD this week. The Cars franchise hasn’t been the biggest blockbusters yet here we are with a third film. With people begging for a The Incredibles sequel, a third Cars film came our way instead. And the box office numbers might tell Disney/Pixar that fans are done with Owen Wilson and his Lightning McQueen. The film only did $150 million in the US and only $380 million worldwide. The funniest part is, I didn’t mind it. Lightning is no longer top dog on the race track and this allows some funny jokes about technology, age and veterans vs. newcomers. It adds some great names to the voiceover work including Armie Hammer as Lightning’s new nemesis, Kerry Washington and the always awesome Nathan Fillion. I liked this one better than the second film and it looks amazing in HD. Just like most Disney/Pixar films the bonus features are worth the purchase. This comes with the mini-movie Miss Fritter’s Racing Skool and the short film Lou. Plus there are all kinds of features showing you how the movie was made, deleted scenes and more. If you missed it at the theaters, you and your kids (or just you) should give it a chance on home video. Not Disney/Pixar’s best, but better than the second film.
Next is The Settlers, a documentary on people living in Israel. I found this very educational and I was honestly not familiar with the concept of Settlers in Israel. I know of the Six Day War in 1967 which tripled Israel’s land mass, but didn’t realize they didn’t want people living in this area. The land technically didn’t belong to Israel, but Jewish people wanted their holy land back and just started settling. Through decades of debate, war, government policies and more, these areas have become more populated by Israelis despite Palestinian and Israeli efforts. Different prime ministers have taken different perspectives on these settlers. It just goes to show how religious and governmental perspectives can be greatly different. The Israeli government tried to respect laws of war and get the settlers off the land, but the settlers clearly saw it as the land of the Jews and their holy land. The settlers took to violence to stay on their land with the killing of high-ranking mayors and bombings and threats of Muslim buildings. You don’t have to be Jewish or know anything about it to find it interesting and educational. I did.
Third is The Good Karma Hospital Series 1. Any time a series starts with a character having a breakdown in the bathroom, you have my attention. The series is about Dr. Ruby Walker, a British doctor who has a breakdown after a bad break up and stress from work who decides to move to India to work at a hospital there. When she gets there she finds out that a new policy means she has to work at a much less prestigious hospital for a year. Basically it’s your classic fish-out-of-water scenario, but with a bunch of characters and setting we normally don’t get. It reminded me of The Heart Guy which I also watched recently. The lead actress Amrita Acharia is super charming as she struggles to get used to her new environment. It has a bit of everything you expect in a series like this, potential love interest, situations and problems she’s not used to, not enough money and medicine and too many patients. The pregnant nun episode and the monsoon episode are highlights.
19-2 Season 4 finds the end of the Canadian award-winning crime drama. The show always felt more like a British show than what we watch here in the States. Season 4 starts with Nick and Ben wanting justice for the death of Amelie. They try to take matters into their own hands, but it goes badly. A new transfer is introduced while they deal with a male rape case. The weather and turmoil in the city brought on through a gang war dominate the season as does politics within the 19. The show is really well written and well acted and definitely reminds me of a British show more than say NYPD Blue or Law & Order. I find the characters and story more fleshed out and you get a grasp of why they do what they do. If you haven’t seen the show, start from the beginning and I think you’ll binge all four seasons quickly. It’s a shame it is ending.
Afterimage is a biopic about Polish artist Władysław Strzemiński and is the last film from famed Polish director Andrzej Wajda. Strzemiński was an instructor at the Higher School of Plastic Arts where he would eventually be let go for not bowing down to the Socialists. He would lose the right to paint because he had his artist ID taken from him. He thought art should be art and not just used to support a Socialist point of view. Art could support any point of view the artist felt. I was not familiar with the artist or the story and it blows my mind how backwards we have become. He lost his job, couldn’t get food rations or even paint simply for not supporting and teaching Socialist ideology. Nowadays American professors teach stupid kids to be Socialists thinking it’s a good thing. This movie shows the true side of government-run Socialism, food lines, a closed press, no freedom of speech and being strong armed to conform. The coloring is bleak and the lead actor is pretty strong. If you are familiar with the artist, check out the film. If, like me, you aren’t, it’s pretty educational and eye-opening.