Here at The Nerds Templar, we get a lot of movies sent our way to watch. Some are new, some are older. We get Blu-rays, DVDs, online screeners and everything in between. Sometimes we just don’t have time to write a 1000 words about every movie. Sometimes the movie doesn’t deserve a 1000 words. We do like to discuss the movie though and in those situations we do articles like this, Review Round-up. This group includes some new releases for August 21st, a few movies I got after their release and some other randomness. I’ll start with the new releases.
Mill Creek Entertainment has a complete series box set out for Masters of Sex. The show was about William Masters and Virginia Johnson, pioneers of the science of human sexuality, and it was a show my parents quite enjoyed. I hadn’t watched it till the box set came my way but it was one I was interested in. Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan are fantastic in their lead roles. It ran for four seasons on Showtime and was pretty critically acclaimed. I thought the first two seasons were better than the last two especially after jumping forward a few years, but overall it’s a solid show. There are ton of well-known actors who make appearances throughout the series as well. Sure it’s a show about sex, but it’s also a character study and shows how times have changed in how we see sexuality largely thanks to these two. Sheen and Caplan make the show though. You love and hate them and are 100% fascinated in their work. I should have watched it when it aired, but I’m glad I got to watch it anyways because I liked it quite a bit. It’s a well made, well acted and smart drama that captures a time in history we seem to forget about. People have no perspective nowadays and a show like this reminds us of what happened to get us to where we are now. I loved the set design, costuming and production value as well.
Second we have Blue Bloods The Eight Season. Another favorite of my parents who watch the show religiously Friday night when it airs on CBS. It’s a show I only watch on DVD after the season ends. It’s not great TV, but I understand why the older crowd enjoys it every week. At this point you know whether or not you’re a fan of the show. If you haven’t seen it, I’d start at the beginning. Season 8 has episodes dealing with a parade honoring a cop bomber, a detective investigating the mob is killed, a famous basketball player dying, car thieves connected to a former case, a journalist goes missing after trying to prove someone innocent, a student is killed at school and the principal tries to handle it, a man with two different families is killed, Danny asks for help from an unlikely source, a terrorist’s phone comes into moral and legal play, and a series of drive-bys. It’s not groundbreaking stuff, but Donnie Wahlberg, Tom Selleck and Bridget Moynahan are good in their roles. If you like the show, pick up the 8th season this week.
Next is Show Yourself. This hit DVD last week, but I didn’t get a copy until a few days ago. This is about Travis, an actor, who heads to the woods to deal with his friend’s death. He visits an old place he grew up going to and wants to empty his friend’s ashes there. He’s also reading a new script and learning his lines. But then things start getting weird. He’s hearing knocks on the door, he thinks he sees his dead friend in the pond and so on. We’ve seen movies like this before and I’m not sure if the ending makes sense. His dead friend Paul seems to be making contact with him, but he thinks he’s going crazy. He’s video chatting with friends and his director and they think he should leave. Of course he doesn’t and the entity stars screwing with him. I don’t think it made a lot of sense. At times you think he’s crazy or drunk. At times you think it’s a ghost and they show something, but that something also says he’s not Paul. It doesn’t seem to explain much and I was more confused at the end of the film than entertained. The lead actor isn’t bad but it feels like so many other movies we’ve seen before. It’s not bad exactly, I just wish it explained a bit more.
Sticking with horror, Don’t Grow Up is next. This came out in July, but I didn’t get to see it until last week. It’s pretty good and at least tries to bring something different to the zombie genre. This finds six kids in a detention center realizing no one is around so they escape. But they escape to find adults have turned into zombie type creatures. Kids don’t seem to be affected, but can be killed. The adults have some type of infection and those under 18 are safe from it. But they must also deal with other kids who are also trying to survive. It might not wow too many people, but in a cluttered genre, it at least tries something new-ish. Some of the characters bothered me, but overall I didn’t mind the film. It doesn’t necessarily re-write the genre, but I’m ok with it. They show some survival instincts, they try to get away from the city and survive together. I can see it getting watched on streaming services quite a bit. Don’t expect too much and you should enjoy it.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, Terry Gilliam made a weird movie. 2005’s Tideland gets a remastered release this week. I had actually never seen it and it’s typical of his style. It’s all off-center camera angles, fantasy scenes and bizarre storylines. This finds a 9-year-old girl dealing with junkie parents (played by Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Tilly). Her mother dies so her father (Bridges) moves them and eventually she is left alone to deal with her father and weird neighbors. She escapes into fantastical thoughts and talks to doll heads. If you like Gilliam you probably love this movie. I’m not much of a fan so I didn’t get much out of it. The Blu-ray release looks great especially the fantasy sequences, but I just don’t get the point of the film. Plus it’s super awkward. Jodelle Ferland was probably 10 when it was made and she’s getting her dad’s needle ready for his drugs and almost kisses an older boy. It’s pretty cringe worthy. But, again, if you are a fan, you’ll love this release. It has an introduction and commentary by Gilliam, a 45 minute documentary on the making of, interviews with the cast, deleted scenes and B-roll plus more. I’m sure there are people who think this is a masterpiece so this release is clearly for them.