The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is one of my favorite films of 2022 so far. Nicolas Cage stars as Nick Cage a version of himself who is hired to show up at a rich man’s birthday party. While there federal agents convince him this man (Pedro Pascal) is an arms dealer and they need Cage’s help in finding a kidnapped girl. There is a lot to like about the film. Cage followed up the fantastic Pig from last year with another solid performance here. He knows he’s kind of making fun of himself and fully embraces it. Despite enjoying The Mandalorian I’m not a huge Pedro Pascal fan (for personal reasons), but I have to admit he’s really good here. Him and Cage have tremendous chemistry together and the film is at its best when the two are on screen together. It has its flaws, but I liked it a lot and can see myself watching it multiple times. It’s Nic Cage proving he is still a good actor despite doing a lot of odd movies and referencing a lot of them. I dug it.
Second we have Ip Man: The Awakening. I am a big fan of the Ip Man franchise starring Donnie Yen. Unfortunately this is a prequel to that series and doesn’t star Yen. It feels like a Ip Man film with the story it tells (one man versus bad guys), but you can definitely tell it doesn’t have Yen in it. He brought a lot of charisma to the role, but it’s lacking here. The fight sequences are fine and the story 100% fits a Ip Man story, but I wanted more from it. You know what will happen and that Ip Man will win and come out fine because it’s a prequel. I don’t know if it’s something I’d watch again which stinks because I’ve rewatched watched the Yen flicks a few times. If you like Ip Man stories it is worth watching though.
Third we have The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Season 1 & 2. One of the longest running sitcoms in TV history, Seasons 1 and 2 have been restored and remastered and with the start of these DVD releases, it marks the first time complete seasons of the show have been released on home video. At the time of first few seasons the show was still doing radio as well so it’s amazing just how much material the Nelsons were putting out. Each seasons has 39 complete episodes and showcases the Nelsons in a sort of fictional version of themselves. It was wholesome TV that despite never being a ratings hit, aired forever. The family symbolized American values at the time and eventually brought in more personal situations like Rick being a singer and both boys eventually getting married. The strongest selling point for these releases is the fact that many episodes haven’t been available before especially in full season collections. There have been previous collections with hand picked episodes, but these are each specific season as it aired. My parents grew up watching the show as did a lot of folks so this would make a great gift to that generation. Or it’s great for those of us who want a classic slice of Americana.
The next two releases come from Mill Creek Entertainment‘s super fun Retro VHS Blu-ray series where you get a movie on Blu-ray with a retro inspired slipcover with artwork you would have seen at the video store. First is King Ralph, the John Goodman comedy. The film came out in 1991 during the height of Roseanne, but wasn’t a monster hit. Goodman plays a Vegas lounge singer who inherits the throne of England after a freak accident. Classic fish-out-of-water stories were quite common for that time period. You have the lovable Ralph trying to fit in with all the pomp and circumstance and of course it will all go sideways at first! Goodman is fantastic in the role even if it feels a bit dated nowadays. I’m a huge Goodman fan and I’ve always had a soft spot for this film.
Second we have Heart and Souls from 1993 starring Robert Downey, Jr., Charles Grodin, Kyra Sedgwick, Elisabeth Shue, Tom Sizemore, and Alfre Woodard. For the generation that only knows him as Iron-Man, seeing RDJ in a film like this might be a bit weird. He was already dealing with drug and personal issues at this point, but he still gives a decent performance. It’s not my favorite film of his, but I hadn’t seen it in years and forgot how many people were actually in it. He plays a businessman who has guardian angels through a freak accident when he was born. A trolley car crashes and his mother gives birth to him in the car and the souls of four people who died stick with the baby. It’s definitely odd, but the cast is good. The sweet slipcover is well worth the purchase though if like me you enjoy this series.