Odd mix of releases this week and I’ll start with Youngblood. Kino Lorber has a new Blu-ray out of the 1980’s hockey flick. The film isn’t as beloved as Slapshot or Miracle, but I’ve always enjoyed it. I hadn’t seen it in years so it was nice catching up with it. It stars Rob Lowe as a young hockey phenom that makes a team through a tryout. Patrick Swayze is the hotshot of the team with Keanu Reeves in net. Watching it now, the film could never get released nowadays. There’s underage drinking and hazing. The woman who runs the house the players stay at sleeps with the players. Sure all this stuff actually still happens, but we don’t like to admit it. Lowe was such a pretty boy in the 1980’s and I don’t mean that in a negative way. Swayze was always a guy us dudes could root for long before Roadhouse. This release comes with new Audio Commentary by director Peter Markle and the Blu-ray looks and sounds solid. A top 10 hockey flick.
Second we have Iceman: The Time Traveler a sequel to Iceman. Donnie Yen and most of the cast returns from the first film. Yen plays a Ming Dynasty palace guard that was frozen in time and awakens in today’s world along with a few others. He knows the key to time travel using The Golden Wheel of Time. The first film took place around 2014 or whenever it came out. This takes place right after that with Yen traveling back to the Ming Dynasty to reset history and fix the wrongs that were put on his name. I’m a big fan of Yen and this series is a good mix of period piece and modern-day martial arts flick. These films tend to do well in China and I like them as well. If you saw the first film I definitely recommend this sequel.
Third we have Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask and before watching this, I had no idea who he was. The film is a mix of documentary style with interviews with family and those who knew the man and re-enactments with Colin Salmon playing the title character. Fanon was a French West Indian psychiatrist, philosopher and writer from the French colony of Martinique best known for his books Black Skin White Mask and The Wretched of the Earth. He would live in France and Algeria as well. He looked at racism between colonizer and colonized. Obviously if you know who he is then this is for you. I had no idea who he was and I’m not sure what I took away from it, but I’ll give it credit for blending styles to make it more than just a documentary with people talking about someone.
Sticking with documentaries, next is Narcissister Organ Player about performance artist Narcissister. Can’t say I was familiar with her or her style of art. She wears all kinds of wardrobe and wigs and pulls things out of her vagina on stage. Nope, that is not a typo. I guess she was on America’s Got Talent but obviously she couldn’t do that last part on TV. Her story is about being bi-racial, having a white mother and African-American father. She talks about wanting straight hair like her mom and all kinds of other stuff. I’m not sure how that leads you to a life of pulling things out of your vagina, but there’s a documentary about her so someone knows who she is. There’s clips of her with Marilyn Manson so I’m sure she has an audience. I’m not part of that audience and don’t really know what I was supposed to take away from this.
One last documentary to get to, The Last Race. This is a film about a racetrack in Long Island NY, the last of its kind. At one point Long Island had a ton of racetracks, but real estate prices closed the rest. It tries to claim stock car racing started in New York, but I believe it started in the south thanks to bootlegging. But anyways, this track is owned by an 80 plus year old couple trying to hold on and not sell out for millions of dollars. I did like the shooting style inside the cars when racing. You get introduced to a lot of drivers who still race there and those who raced when it was big. If you like auto racing and know of this track then this is for you.
Last we have Audition which actually came out last week and I got the date wrong. This is a new restored release of Takashi Miike’s film. It’s about a widower who wants to find a new love and his friend, a filmmaker, sets up an audition for a movie that could help his friend meet a new woman. The man falls for a younger girl and thinks everything is going great until they realize there isn’t much information about her, her work history seems to be a lie and she disappears after a weekend with him. Then it goes off the rails. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but like most Miike films, it goes violent and I’m here for that. I quite enjoyed it and this new release looks and sounds great. It comes with commentary from Miike, cast interviews and a lot more bonus features. If you are a fan of the film, this new release is quite impressive.