Another wide array of releases this week including my second favorite movie of 2017. That movie is I, Tonya starring Margot Robbie. The award-winning film is pure genius. I call it The Wolf of Wall Street of figure skating movies. Robbie is fantastic as the infamous Tonya Harding, but it’s Allison Janney who steals the film and took home a deserved Best Supporting Actress Oscar. I loved this film which shows the rise and fall of Tonya Harding and actually makes you sympathetic towards her. The world will never truly know how involved she was in the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, but this shows that she knew about a bit, but not the actual physical attack. It has a fantastic score, great action, amazing performances and everything you want in a biopic. If you haven’t seen the film, you really need to. Even if you don’t like figure skating (I don’t), it’s a great film nonetheless. Robbie is probably the best actress going that’s not named Charlize Theron and she continues to prove her A-list status here. A must see!
Next is Kickboxer: Retaliation. I hadn’t seen the Kickboxer reboot from a few years ago, but was able to watch it on Netflix before watching this. I’m glad I did because I didn’t realize it was more a straight remake with the same story and character names. This film sees Kurt Sloane sent to prison for his actions in the reboot. He is forced to fight a 400 pound monster of a man, but is trained by Mike Tyson and Jean-Claude Van Damme who was also in the reboot. The lead actor playing Sloane (Alain Moussi) is in great shape and has a stunt background so the fighting is top-notch, but his acting ability is a bit suspect. He’s not overly charismatic, but you’re watching these films for the fighting and he’s great at that. I like the original Van Damme franchise from years past, but this new series isn’t bad. If you haven’t seen the reboot, watch it on Netflix first and then watch this. I like the series so far and I’d watch a third movie when it comes out. Tyson isn’t asked to do too much which is smart and JCVD does some fighting as well. If you miss 1980s and 1990s action movies, give this a shot.
Fear the Walking Dead The Complete Third Season is out now. I’m a big fan of The Walking Dead, but didn’t think much of this spin-off. I actually gave up after two seasons so watching this on Blu-ray was new to me. So how was Season 3? It was better, but I still don’t love the show. Unlike TWD where I have characters I like and don’t want to see dead, FTWD doesn’t really have any that I care about. The core group just never did it for me. I did think this was a better season and there seemed to be a tonal shift with more emphasis on survival, but I still don’t know if I’ll start watching it when it airs. But the ratings are decent so obviously it has some fans and those fans will definitely want to add this to their collection.
Sticking with TV, next is The Good Fight Season 1. I had never even heard of this show, but I guess my mom had watched it when it aired. It stars Christine Baranski who is part of a scam costing millions. She is tossed from her law film and has to become a junior partner elsewhere. I didn’t love the show, but my mom liked it. It’s your typical attorney show of today and the type of procedural you expect from CBS. CBS watchers will like it and it seems like it was picked up for a second season. This collection has all 10 episodes and some bonus features.
From Mill Creek Entertainment comes Crossbow The Complete Series. This show came out in the late 1980s and is the story of William Tell. I was not familiar with it whatsoever, but was impressed with the production design for its time. No one will confuse it for Game of Thrones or Vikings, but it’s fun enough and easy to follow. There are some cool fight sequences and battles and of course some cool shots with an arrow. If you remember the show, this is the whole series so add it to your collection.
Even though it’s been released before, The Wonder Years Complete Series also is getting a release this week. This marks the 30th anniversary of the show and good lord do I feel old now. It was one of my favorite shows growing up and to me it’s a TV classic. The show holds up great with fantastic characters, a timeless story and great actors. Set against a 1960’s backdrop, the storylines were pretty universal and still translate today. Even with technological advances and non-stop 24 hour news and social media, being a kid, falling in love for the first time and inter-family arguments stand the test of time. That’s why the show is so beloved, it’s timeless. Kevin’s growing up, falling for Winnie, being with his best friend Paul, dealing with his family, those stories are universal. Can you tell I love this show? If you don’t own it, buy it this week!
Next is Pastor Paul, a film out of Africa in the Nollywood style. A white American is asked to step into a film role because they needed a white guy in their Ghana/Nigerian film. While playing the character Pastor Paul, the white guy is possessed. I really didn’t get this movie. I’m not familiar with Nollywood films, but I’m sure there’s an audience out there for it. It’s a short film, made in true indie film style with actors I’ve never heard of. I’ll give it credit for originality at least here in America. I’m not exactly sure what I was supposed to get out of it, but if are into Nollywood films, this is probably right up your alley. Lots of credit for trying something new, just not my type of film.
Last we have When the Starlight Ends starring Outlander’s Sam Heughan. This noir-ish film finds Heughan playing a writer with overlapping storylines involving the woman he loves, his writing, a neighbor, success and failure. It’s odd, but I kinda like it actually. I liked the noir vibe a lot especially with Heughan’s voiceover narration. I don’t know if the movie makes a ton of sense and it seems to be a few years old, but I can see it finding a bit of an audience with Heughan’s popularity from Outlander. David Arquette and Sean Patrick Flanery make appearances, but it’s all about the chemistry between Heughan and Arabella Oz in her debut. It’s at times confusing, sexy, smart, sci-fi-ish, confusing again and romantic. I’m not exactly sure what to label the film, but again I kind of liked it. If you are a Heughan fan, check it out.