Yes I know I posted a Review Round-up! earlier in the week but I got a couple of more releases for this week and I want to talk about them. First is The Atomic Cafe a “documentary” from 1982. I put documentary in quotes because it’s more a spoof than anything else. It mixes authentic government educational training films with real life footage along with music, newsreels, propaganda and advertisements to splice together a film that shows the funny side of life during the Atomic age. From on the street interviews with everyday Americans talking about nuking the Koreans to “Duck & Cover” training videos and more, you’ll be laughing at how we were during this age. Sure hindsight is 20/20 and people genuinely believed Mother Russia was going to destroy us, but some of the propaganda back then is ridiculous. The songs written and played in the movie made me laugh. Seeing people building fallout shelters and stockpiling food and gas masks really makes you question how gullible the public is. I loved the scene with the 3 soldiers questioning a Communist woman speaking out on the street. It’s all quite comical but it does show how people will believe whatever you want them to.
Next is The Black Windmill starring Michael Caine, Donald Pleasence, John Vernon, Clive Revill, Catherine Schell, Joss Ackland, Delphine Seyrig, and Janet Suzman. I had never seen this 1974 spy thriller that sees Michael Caine as a British agent whose son is kidnapped. The kidnappers want diamonds the government had recently purchased and the government doesn’t want to pony up. Caine is made to look like he’s behind the kidnapping and he must do things on his own without being able to trust those around him. The shootout at the end is pretty solid and Caine is always good. Back then he could do these types of films with his eyes closed but they are usually watchable. The action is solid because it’s from director Don Siegel (Dirty Harry, Madigan) plus you can never go wrong with Donald Pleasence and John Vernon. The film looks good on Blu-ray and comes with commentary, interviews and more. If you like 70’s spy thrillers and Michael Caine, pick this one up.
Third we have Viking Destiny. I’m a big fan of Norse mythology, watch the TV show Vikings, like action/fantasy films and was hoping this would be good. It’s not. It’s ok, but it has a lot of flaws. The story itself is good. A young girl is born to a king but he’s in battle during her birth. Absent fathers cause cursed children and his wife dies during birth. His brother had a son 3 days earlier and they trade children. The king should have a son as an heir not a daughter. The daughter grows up thinking she’s the king’s niece, but secretly trains. When her real father the king is killed, she must go into hiding or be killed herself. Of course she will end up fighting for her rightful place, but by then I was kinda over the film. The biggest issue is the fight choreography. It’s overly staged and looks it. The sword fighting is predictable and the woman does some tricks no one back then would do. The acting is pretty subpar and the dialogue is very cliched. I did love the location though. The backdrop really works and I thought the wardrobe/costuming was good as well. The legendary Terence Stamp plays the god Odin and I recognized Will Mellor from the show No Offence. The lead actress is Anna Demetriou who I recently saw in The Marine 6. I’m not really sure what her background is, but I thought it was something to do with the WWE but I guess it’s not. She looks good in the role, but I can’t see her doing more than these types of straight-to-video-esque movies for now.
Last but certainly not least is the best releases of the week. Ok I’m biased because I’m a born and raised Red Sox fan, but anytime World Series Championship Blu-rays come my way, I’m happy. First is The 2018 World Series Champions Boston Red Sox, the 2 disc set. This showcases the Red Sox win over the Los Angeles Dodgers to win their fourth World Series since 2004. Boston was the best team in baseball throughout the season winning a franchise record 108 games. Games 1 & 2 were at Fenway Park before heading to LA. Game 3 in Los Angeles was one for the ages with extra inning after extra inning and both teams using every player possible. It was LA’s only win of the Series and many thought it would turn the Series, but Boston won in 5. Orange is the New Black’s Uzo Aduba narrates the film and it includes footage from the Duck Boat victory parade.
But if you are true fan, you need World Series Champions 2018 Boston Red Sox Collector’s Edition, the 8 disc monster box set. This includes all five complete games of the World Series, the pennant-clinching ALCS Game 5 against the Astros and a bonus disc of the ALDS clinching Game 4 versus the Yankees. Relive every at-bat, every pitch and see Steve Pearce win the MVP again. From David Price getting the post-season monkey off his back, to clutch hits from Eduardo Nunez to catches from Mookie, Beni, JBJ and more. Rewatch Nathan Eovaldi become a Red Sox cult god in Game 3. Rewatch Chris Sale throw that nasty last pitch to clinch the Series. This set is everything you need to get through the cold winter until spring training comes along! Go Sox!