A little different take for our New This Week, this will feature a few movies out this week but also a few from last week that I didn’t get in time for last week’s article. I’ll start with the new releases first.
Leatherface is an origins story involving The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. We see the Sawyer family years before the events of the Texas massacre. It’s pretty interesting and a neat concept for horror fans. A young Sawyer son is sent to a mental hospital when the family kills the daughter of a cop played by Stephen Dorff. Lili Taylor plays the Sawyer mom. The film then jumps ten years later and the Sawyer son escapes the hospital with 3 fellow patients and a kidnapped nurse. Games of Thrones/Iron Fist’s Finn Jones also plays a deputy. The film isn’t great, but the concept worked for me. Seeing how Leatherface evolved is pretty cool actually. Compared to the jumpscare/paranormal horror that infests the genre today, it’s good seeing an old school slasher flick that at least attempts some originality. If you like the franchise, I recommend it.
Next is Salvation a TV show I had never heard of, but turns out my mother of all people had watched it. An MIT student discovers that an asteroid is on its way to Earth and could be a planet killer. He tells a tech god (think Elon Musk) and they go to the government with their discovery. The government already knew but kept it hidden from the public. They had bought supplies from the tech god without him realizing what they were for. With the help of a government official they realize the government isn’t telling them the truth and they must find a way to stop the asteroid from destroying Earth. It’s not the most original show of all time and I don’t know if I’d go out of my way to watch it, but it’s a binge worthy show. I couldn’t go week to week with it, but blasting out a few episodes at a time is fine. There’s too many side stories and love interests that seemed out of place for a disaster show. I’m not sure if it got picked up for a second season, but I could see it being a mid-season or summer replacement.
England is Mine is a biopic about singer Morrissey. I wouldn’t consider myself a fan and didn’t know much about him. Unfortunately after watching the film, I still don’t know much about him. I was expecting a biopic about his beginnings and rise to fame, but it’s pretty much just a beginnings movie. You don’t see him become famous at all. At one point he almost has a record contract, but they only wanted the guitarist. The rest of the movie is him dealing with his mother, different jobs, being shy and writing. If I didn’t know Morrissey eventually became a huge singer I would think the movie was about wasted talent because nothing comes of him in the movie. There’s barely any music in the film especially from Jack Lowdon who plays the singer. It says Jessica Brown Findlay was his soul mate and muse but after a while she’s barely in the film. Unless he goes off to be with her (which the movie doesn’t show), I don’t see the point of her at all. Maybe fans will understand more because I didn’t.
Shattered is next and wow is it a generic movie. I think it was made for TV because it seemed to have fade outs in it. It’s based on a true story, but it’s very unoriginal and by the book and seems to have any really edgy stuff cut from it. Ray Wise (who I normally love) plays a powerful businessman/politician with a wife and son. He sets up his son with a young woman (Molly Burnett) and they adopt a son through an adoption Wise sets up. The adopted son ends up with mental problems and something bad happens. Molly starts piecing together the puzzle of where the son came from and the truth about her husband and father-in-law. That breakdown sounds entertaining or at least dramatic, but the movie is completely lackluster. It felt forced and generic and it didn’t work for me. Maybe it’s a Lifetime movie or something because I can see my sister watching it. I was disappointed.
Now for some releases from last week. The best of the bunch is Netflix’s Luke Cage Season 1. I did not like Jessica Jones so I wasn’t expecting to like this. I didn’t think much of Daredevil although the second season was slightly better. But then I watched The Punisher and liked that a lot. So going into finally watching Luke Cage, I was pleasantly surprised. Honestly, it’s my second favorite Netflix/Marvel series behind The Punisher. I thought Mike Colter was fantastic as Powerman Luke Cage. He has a soft-spoken personality, but with a bad ass precense to himself. He’s a monster of a man, but he’s quiet and deep and cares about Harlem. Colter is just fantastic in the series which is so weird considering how little I thought of Jessica Jones which he also appeared in. The show has toughness, a great location, music, a great vibe and look and most episodes work well. My only negative is I don’t like the actress playing Misty Knight. She acts with her face too much and it bothered me every episode. The rest of the cast including Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard, Theo Rossi and more are great though. I wrote the show off before watching it and now I really enjoy it. Colter is Luke Cage.
Last we have a couple of Disney DVD releases. DuckTales Woo-oo! is a reboot of the DuckTales cartoon I grew up with. Featuring voices like David Tennent (Doctor Who), Danny Pudi (Community), Bobby Moynihan (SNL) and Kate Micucci, the show brings Huey, Dewey and Louie and Scrooge McDuck to a new generation. I kinda like it too. The cast is great, but the stories are kid friendly, but also fun for the whole family. This collection has the TV movie which finds them searching for the Lost City of Atlantis plus six bonus shorts. They have a new friend called Webby to bring in a female audience. If you grew up on the classic show and have kids now, I highly recommend it. I thought it was cute and fun.
Also from Disney is Tangled The Series: Queen for a Day. I didn’t particularly like the movie Tangled and had no idea it had its own series. I did like that the original cast of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi reprise their roles, but if you don’t like the movie you probably won’t like this. Your kids will though. Rapunzel is queen for the day when her parents leave Corona, but a snowstorm is on its way. It’s very kid friendly so you can plop the little ones down and walk away. This collection features the first episode and four shorts.