Up first this week we have The Long Night. I wanted to like this a bit more. Overall it’s not bad, but it had potential to be a nice surprise. It stars Scout Taylor-Compton as a woman returning to the south in search of her family. She lives in New York with her boyfriend and together they head south to an area she barely remembers thanks to the help of a man she was in contact with. Once there things take a turn and soon her and her boyfriend are surrounded by cultists who may be the key to her past. For a film I had never heard of it’s at least watchable, but while watching it it never quite fulfills the potential it has. The south has some fantastic mythology and I wish it leaned more into it. It gives somewhat of an explanation, but I wanted more about the cultists and more devastation. It has a good tone to it, but maybe different actors or a different filmmaker could have brought the story to life better. Not bad for a watch though.
Second we have CSI: Vegas. The original CSI is back with 10 episodes starring William Petersen and Jorja Fox as Gil Grissom and Sara Sidle, reprising their roles from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and new characters as well. It opens with an attack on Jim Brass which brings Gil and Sara out of retirement to investigate the attack on their friend. David Hodges is charged and the story envelopes the season, but each episode sort of has its own event that needs investigation. The original was the only CSI I ever got into so it was nice seeing it return with some original characters. As far as recent TV reboots it’s one of the better ones because it doesn’t wander far from the original styling of the series. It has been picked up for a second season, but don’t expect everyone to return. If you were a fan of the original CSI like I was and were skeptical about this new reboot give it a chance. I enjoyed it more than I expected.
The next few releases come from Mill Creek Entertainment. First is Up All Night: The Complete Series. It was a short lived show that starred Christina Applegate, Will Arnett, and Maya Rudolph. Applegate played a producer of Rudolph’s talk show with Arnett as Applegate’s husband who stayed home to watch their newborn. The second season saw Applegate staying home with the cancellation of Rudolph’s talk show. I remember watching an episode or two when it first aired in 2011-2012, but I’m not an Arnett fan so I never got into the show. Watching it now I never realized the guest stars in it. Coming from Lorne Michaels it has Saturday Night Live veterans show up in it like Molly Shannon and Will Forte, but it also has the underrated Jason Lee in it. Nick Cannon, Megan Mullally, Sean Hayes and a lot of others all make appearances as well. It isn’t a great show to me, but I’m sure it has a ton of fans because of Applegate, Rudolph and Arnett.
Mill Creek continues its slew of Ultraman releases with two more this week. First is Ultraseven X: The Complete Series. This is a 12 episode series that ran in 2017. This takes place in a world where all violence, war and terrorism have been erased and we find a man named Jin waken and is told he’s an agent with DEUS whose mission is to the stop the aliens who have control over the world. He is given a pair of glasses which helps him bond with Ultraseven X to do battle with the aliens before ultimately learning the truth of who he is. It’s not bad for a newer Ultraman series and fans who are hooked on these releases will enjoy it.
Last we have Superior 8 Ultra Brothers, a movie from 2008. It’s a meta movie where Ultraman the TV series exists first airing in 1967. Daigo watched it as a kid and loved the show. He has a vision where him and his friends are Ultras doing battles. His friends don’t believe him and soon he finds himself in an alternate world where he helps Ultraman Mebius defeat a Kaiju by knowing his enemy’s weakness from the TV show. Mebius joins him in his own world and realizes Ultraman and aliens don’t exist here. He is told by a girl in red shoes to awaken seven warriors and stop the destruction of a world in which Ultramen never existed. As aliens start to destroy the Earth old childhood memories resurface with Daigo and his friends and the words of the girl come true with Daigo becoming Ultraman Tiga and his friends turning into Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Gaia to help save the day. It’s fun and campy and I liked how self-referential it is. It’s funny to see older characters as the heroes who know the heroes from the show they grew up on.