Not a lot for us this week so I’ll start with the biggest of the bunch, Captain Marvel. The movie made bank at the box office with people wanting to see the character for the first time and seeing how she would come into play in Avengers: Endgame. I’ve always liked the Miss Marvel/Captain Marvel character in the comics, but I was pretty disappointed in the movie. Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful characters in all of Marvel and you don’t see that here. You get her backstory and how she becomes Captain Marvel, but the fight and action sequences were pretty weak. For a powerful being, she ultimately becomes strong at the end because she’s reminded of being bullied throughout her life. You’re a superhero, but it takes PTSD from bullying to take down the bad guy? The film takes place in the 1990’s so it’s a prequel to the current MCU. That opens the doors to a lot of errors which happens to most prequels. Nick Fury and Agent Coulson are well established in the MCU and you get their backstory/connection to Carol, but so much of that doesn’t make sense with what we already know about infinity stones and SHIELD. One of my biggest issues was the look/feel of the film, It being based in the 1990’s there are so many references to the decade it got boring. She crashes into a Blockbuster Video to remind you of Blockbuster Video. She goes into Radio Shack because remember Radio Shack? It was shot on the street for a lot of it and it felt cheap compared to the rest of the MCU. When I first saw it I called it a 2 hour long episode of Agents of SHIELD and not an MCU movie and I stand by that. But it has fans and people will gobble up this home video release. It’s in my bottom third of MCU movies along with Iron Man 3 and Thor: Ragnarok.
Next is Five Feet Apart. I’m clearly not the target audience for this film but I did think Haley Lu Richardson and Cole Sprouse had good chemistry. They play a pair of teenagers with cystic fibrosis currently in the hospital who can’t get too close because patients with CF can’t get physically close to each other. Is it just another The Fault in Our Stars? Yes, but the audience will like it. The more I see of Richardson the more I like. The surprise might be Sprouse. I don’t watch Riverdale and pretty much still think of him as the boy in Big Daddy so seeing him as a grown actor surprised me. I thought he was pretty good and the pair had chemistry and you rooted for them. The ending is a bit much for me, but the audience will be putting their tissues to use.
Third we have Leprechaun Returns. This is a direct sequel to the original Jennifer Aniston film with this taking place 25 years after that and ignoring all the previous sequels. Warwick Davis doesn’t play the leprechaun but Mark Holton does return from the first film in the same role. Aniston isn’t in it but comedian Heather McDonald does an impression of her in a voiceover. Leprechaun Returns sees the original house now as a sorority house with Aniston’s daughter as the newest member. The sisters want the house to be fully green so they use solar panels and want the water from the well. They unknowingly release the Leprechaun who was trapped there in the first film and now he wants his gold. It’s not great but I had fun with it. It’s campy and he has some great one liners. There’s also some fantastic gore and blood. The series (like other horror franchises) lost its way in all the direct-to-video sequels and this is a nice return. It’s not a cult classic like the original but it’s certainly better than a lot of the sequels. I love that they ignored all the storylines in Da Hood and space and all that nonsense. In a way it’s like the Halloween reboot from last year, ignoring all the junk and going back to the original basics.
I Am the Night is a 6 episode miniseries that aired on TNT starring Chris Pine and India Eisley from director Patty Jenkins who worked with Pine on Wonder Woman. I missed this when it aired so I’m glad it came my way. I’m a huge Pine fan especially in stories about previous decades (this taking place in the 1960’s). Eisley is new to me and held her own with Pine very nicely. She plays a biracial girl who finds out she’s adopted and is connected to a powerful family in Hollywood. She lives with a black adopted mother in Nevada and heads to LA to find out more about her background. Pine is a reporter and Korean war vet with dependency issues who investigated the family in the past. All of it could be connected to the infamous Black Dahlia murder. It’s a slow burn of a series that I don’t think needed six episodes, but overall I liked it. It’s based on a true story and at the end of every episode they show some pictures of the real people and how they were connected. I loved the look and feel of the series. It’s not quite noir, but is still timely and era appropriate. I knew nothing of the true story so it was all new to me which I liked. If you missed it, check it out.
Next is The Sower about a small town in 1851 France. All the men have been arrested by Napoleon and the women struggle to keep afloat. They need to take care of the fields and themselves. The younger women make a pact saying that if a man shows up, they all get a turn. Of course a man does show up and he’s on the run himself. Violette shows him around and they start to connect, but the other women remind her of their pact. He is told of the pact and doesn’t like it and soon some men return providing even more drama. It has a nice little setting and the two leads have some serious chemistry together. You kind of know what to expect, but it’s short (98 minutes) which keeps the pacing solid and keeps it from dragging.
Terror in the Skies hit DVD/VOD on the 7th and is a documentary about the Chicago mothman. It is a winged creature people started seeing in Chicago over the past few years that is bigger than a human and flies like a bird. The film also looks at the history of these creatures with similar animals in West Virginia decades back. I have a hard time believing in any of this type of stuff especially nowadays with cameras everywhere. How hasn’t anyone gotten quality video with a cell phone in every pocket and buildings having CCTV and what not? I’m sure people will enjoy this, but I’m just not a supernatural guy. Ghost stories and myths like this do nothing for me. I’m too much of a realist I guess. It’s well made and everything, but it’s just not my type of thing.
Last we have Double Impact. This Special Collector’s Edition from MVD Rewind came out at the end of May but I didn’t get my copy until a few days ago. Released in 1991 it stars Jean-Claude Van Damme as twin brothers separated as babies when their parents are murdered in Hong Kong. Chad grows up in California as a fitness instructor and Alex grows up on the streets of Hong Kong as a gangster. The family friend who raised Chad finds proof Alex is alive and takes Chad to Hong Kong to right their family wrong. It’s classic JCVD with splits, bad one-liners, ridiculous action and fighting Bloodsport’s Bolo Yeung. I have a soft spot for JCVD films and hadn’t seen this one in years. It’s not great (most weren’t) but I have fun with them. This new Blu-ray release looks and sounds great and comes with a slew of bonus features, a staple of MVD Rewind Collection films. Not only do you get new interviews with cast and crew but it features almost an hour of never before seen deleted and extended scenes including a newly unearthed alternate ending. This is a pretty sweet release for JCVD fans.