April continues with another strong week starting with the new Hugh Jackman musical based on the early days of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman. Jackman plays Barnum who from an early age was craving innovation and success starting with a modest wax museum. But as his dreams evolve Barnum puts together a group of social misfits that find empowerment when they take the stage to thrill audiences. But when Barnum starts giving in to the excesses of fame, he loses sight of the most important things in life.
The Greatest Showman is a wonderfully fun and infectious journey through the formation of one of the greatest entertainers in history. Jackman beautifully portrays the man with a heartfelt sense of wonder and a drive that would not be broken. The entire supporting cast portraying his working family of sideshow acts are all wonderful, especially Keala Settle as the bearded lady Lettie and Zac Efron as the well to do investor who becomes Barnum’s biggest believer. For musical fans out there you must check out The Greatest Showman, it is definitely the feel good flick of the year.
Next up is the new action film Braven. Jason Momoa plays Joe Braven, a logging company owner in Canada who finds himself, his father (Stephen Lang) and daughter (Sasha Rosoff) surrounded at their cabin by armed men led by drug dealer Kassen (Garret Dillahunt) when they show up to recover a bag stowed there off season. Joe must use everything around him to fend off the attackers and protect his family at all costs.
Braven is a fantastic 80s style throwback action movie that hits all the right notes. Momoa is a foreboding presence on screen and does a great job leading the excellent cast, including Dillahunt, Brendan Fletcher and Zahn McClarnon, in an action packed story reminiscent of great survival action flicks like Bronson’s Death Hunt and Stallone’s Cliffhanger. If action is what you are looking for, Braven will do the trick.
Lastly this week is a new indie movie that took the festival circuit by storm, My Friend Dahmer. Ross Lynch plays teenage Jeffrey Dahmer as he struggles with the same things every teen must deal with; girls, friends, cruel classmates, and dealing with his dysfunctional family at home including his detached father Lionel (Dallas Roberts) and his mother Joyce (Anne Heche) who struggles with mental health issues. But no one who interacts with Jeff has any idea what he will eventually become.
My Friend Dahmer might be a film you think is exploitation as many films about famous serial killers are, but this film is based on a book John Backderf who actually went to school and had a friendship with him in their last year of high school. The book, and this film, chronicles that year and the strange relationship Backderf and his friends had with Dahmer, whom they befriended more for amusement than genuine friendship. Ross Lynch is astounding as Dahmer, playing him straight as a troubled teenager and showing the progression of Dahmer’s behaviour as he approaches adulthood. And to add to the authenticity, all the scenes that take place in Dahmer’s childhood home were filmed in the real location. Creepy, well written and brilliantly acted, and endlessly fascinating, My Friend Dahmer is very much worth checking out.
Also of note this week is a new Special Edition of Dario Argento’s masterpiece of horror, Deep Red, the new Jessica Chastain drama Molly’s Game, and the controversial and intriguing true story drama All the Money in the World, the film in which Christopher Plummer replaced Kevin Spacey after his sexual abuse allegations. And good thing he did because Plummer is fantastic in it.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday April 10, 2018
A Study in Terror*
All the Money in the World
Along with the Gods: Two Worlds
Charles Bronson Collection
Cheech & Chong’s Still Smokin’*
Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke*
Condorito: The Movie
Crucible of Horror*
Deep Red: Special Edition
Dolphin: Spy in the Pod
Eclipse Series 46: Ingrid Bergman's Swedish Years*
Full Moon High*
Gone are the Days
Killjoy 2: Deliverance from Evil
My Friend Dahmer
Outlander: Season Three
Stressed to Kill
Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay
Tad, The Lost Explorer and the Secret of King Midas
The Coroner: Season One
The Greatest Showman
The Incredible Hulk 4K
The Price of Fame
The Tribes of Palos Verdes
Vice Principals: The Complete Series
*Catalog Blu-ray debut