We kick off this week with a new drama based on a true story, Just Mercy. After graduating from Harvard, Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) has his pick of legal jobs but chooses to move to Alabama to represent Death Row inmates who have been unjustly accused or represented. Along with a local advocate, Eva Ansley (Brie Larson), Bryan takes on the case of Walter McMillan (Jamie Foxx), a man sentenced to die for the murder of an 18-year-old girl despite there being no evidence against him. Bryan, Eva and their team take on a long and embattled journey against corrupt law enforcement and legal representatives to try and bring justice to Walter and others who were denied it in a system stacked against them.
Just Mercy is an absolutely mind boggling true story that really makes you wonder if justice is even a real thing, especially for minorities. The entire legal system seems to monumentally broken things really seem hopeless. Director Destin Daniel Cretton does a great job of making the almost 2 and a half hour movie move very quickly and brilliantly holds your attention for the entire time. Jordan, Brie and Foxx all give fantastic performances in such a heart wrenching story it is hard to believe. If you are looking for something substantial to pass some of your isolation time, Just Mercy is the perfect movie and one that will leave you thinking about it long after the credits roll.
Next up is a new thriller, Underwater. Norah Price (Kristen Stewart) is a mechanical engineer at the Keppler 822 Station deep in Mariana’s Trench drilling for resources. When an earthquake hits, a catastrophic breach in the facility. The only way for the surviving crew members to escape is to walk a mile across the ocean floor to another station and make their way to the surface. But they soon find out that some sort of creature has also emerged after the earthquake. Now they must not only battle the elements of the deep ocean, but the ever looming danger of the mysterious creature that may get to them before they ever reach safety.
Underwater is directed by William Eubank, a cinematographer who has directed two previous features, Love in 2011 and the excellent and underrated The Signal in 2014. He returns with a wonderful visual style anchored by a great lead performance by Stewart and a strong supporting cast including T.J. Miller, Vincent Cassel, and Jessica Henwick. The production design is incredible with ominous and detailed sets, with some very unique and scary creature design as well. Underwater is a dark, fun thrill ride and perfect escapism.
Lastly this week is an older film finding its way to Blu-ray for the first time thanks to the MVD Marquee Collection, Eye See You. Sylvester Stallone stars as FBI agent Jake Malloy, a man driven to alcohol after the death of one of his friends as well as his fiancé. When he is sent to a remote detox clinic in Wyoming, he suspects a killer is among the other law enforcement patients and finds himself in a deadly game of cat and mouse as the patients are killed off one by one.
Eye See You was originally released under the title D-Tox and was a huge bomb for Stallone. The film is the closest thing to a horror film he has ever done and director Jim Gillespie (I Know What You Did Last Summer) actually crafts an effective and entertaining thriller with a killer cast. Joining Stallone are Tom Berenger, Charles Dutton, Sean Patrick Flannery, Robert Patrick, Jeffrey Wright, Dina Meyer, Stephen Lang and Kris Kristofferson, and if that isn’t an all star cast I don’t know what is. The tension is tight, the twists effective and the performances solid. And the real bonus in this new Blu-ray edition is that it also includes the never before seen director’s cut original version of “Eye See You” under its original title as well as tons of special features. This one is an underseen gem and especially for Stallone fans, this is a very welcome addition to the movie collection.
Also of note this week is the new western action flick Hell on the Border starring Frank Grillo and Ron Perlman, the Blu-ray debut of Homeboy with Mickey Rourke, and the new horror film from the Soska Sisters, Rabid.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday April 14, 2020
Alastair Sim's School for Laughter: 4 Classic Comedies*
Bugs Bunny: Golden Carrot Collection
Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)*
Chain of Life: The Rick Boyle Story
Connecting Rooms (1970)*
Criminal Minds: The Complete Series
Criminal Minds: The Final Season
Destry Rides Again (1939)* - Criterion Collection
Even Money (2006)* - MVD Marquee Collection
Eye See You a.k.a. D-Tox (2002)* - MVD Marquee Collection
First Snow (2006)* - MVD Marquee Collection
Harry Langdon: At Hal Roach 1929-30
Hell on the Border
Hi-8: Horror Independent Eight
Jungle Queen: 2k Restored Special Edition*
Police Squad!: The Complete Series*
Possession (2008)* - MVD Marquee Collection
Raiga: God of The Monsters
Red Letter Day
Secret Ceremony (1968)*
Série Noire (1979)*
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Stray Cat Rock Collection*
Style Queens Episode 5: Beyonce
The Cat and The Moon: Special Edition
The Films of Sarah Jacobson
The Honeymooners: Classic 39 Episodes
The Missing (2003) - Shout Select
The Righteous Gemstones: The Complete First Season
The Wind (1986)*
Two Times You
Unintended: Special Edition
Uphill All the Way (1986)*
Woman Times Seven (1967)*
WWE: Elimination Chamber 2020
*Catalog Blu-ray debut