This week kicks off with the new film from Guy Ritchie, The Gentlemen. Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) is an American who has built a large marijuana business in London using the languishing properties of English aristocrats, but now wants to sell his business and retire. With two potential buyers in play, an American Jewish billionaire (Jeremy Strong) and a Chinese-Cockney gangster named Dry Eye (Henry Golding), Mickey may have a way out if it weren’t for legions of other criminals looking to take advantage of the situation for their own gains, putting his entire future in peril.
The Gentlemen is a return to form for Ritchie, who has left the gangster behind for a while to explore other genres in films like Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Aladdin. But he is back to his old stomping ground with the same smart dialogue, gritty English gangster action and a stellar cast that also includes Charlie Hunnam, Hugh Grant, Colin Farrell, Michelle Dockery and Eddie Marsan. The pace is quick, the humor present and fun, and the twists and turns frequent. The Gentlemen is perfect Guy Ritchie gangster fun and a pleasure to watch from beginning to end. Welcome back.
Next up this week is the new comedy Like a Boss. Best friends Mia (Tiffany Haddish) and Mel (Rose Byrne) have built a successful cosmetics company together from the ground up. But after opening a bricks and mortar store they find themselves in over their heads financially despite their popularity. When a cosmetics tycoon, Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) shows interest in buying them out, it seems too good to pass up. But Mia and Mel’s friendship will be put to the ultimate test as Claire begins changing their company into something they never wanted. Now the friends must put their heads together to find a way out of their situation without losing their company completely.
Like a Boss is not an intelligent comedy. And that is okay. The characters are paper thin, the comedy broad and the story slightly silly. But to watch Haddish, Bryne and Hayek chewing up the scenes in such a playful and entertaining way is good enough for me. Haddish and Byrne have great chemistry and play off each other really well while Hayek plays it way over the top as a grinning villain character that is all kinds of fun. Don’t check out Like a Boss if you are looking for something to challenge you, but if you are a fan of the talent and just want 90 minutes of silly laughs, Like a Boss does the job well.
Lastly this week is the fourth installment in one of the best martial arts franchises ever, Ip Man 4: The Finale. Donnie Yen reprises his iconic role as Wing Chun master Ip Man, this time travelling to San Francisco in 1964 with his son to find him a school after troubles at home. Once in the States Ip Man is reunited with a student, Bruce Lee (Danny Kwok-Kwan Chan) who is opening a Wing Chun school and teaching whites, which is upsetting the local martial arts community. Now Ip Man must try to reconcile the differences between everyone in the community while dealing with rampant racism and political turmoil to find a safe future for his son and student.
The Ip Man series is fantastically anchored by Yen’s brilliant portrayal of the real life martial arts master. He portrays the man with a calm and stoic sense of honor and devotion while displaying some of the most dizzying martial arts put to film. After three previous films, Ip Man 4: The Finale gives fans what they want, a great 60s USA setting, more of a presence of Ip Man’s most famous student, Bruce Lee, and a story that is not only action packed but heartfelt and emotional. For fans of martial arts films these movies are a gift, but fans of great movies in general will also get a lot out of these films since they also infuse historic elements, great characters and strong storytelling. Ip Man 4: The Finale is a perfect ending to a wonderful series.
Also of note this week is the long awaited Bad Boys for Life starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, The Turning with Finn Wolfhard and Mackenzie Davis, and The Last Full Measure with Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer, William Hurt and Ed Harris.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday April 21, 2020
30 Rock: The Complete Series
Al Adamson: The Masterpiece Collection
Bad Boys for Life
Boruto : Naruto Next Generations Set 5
Cartoon Network: Infinity Train: Book One
Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1981)*
Fatal Attraction - Paramount Presents Special Edition
Ip Man 4: The Finale
King Creole - Paramount Presents Special Edition
Like a Boss
Looking for Alaska
Lorenzo's Oil (1992)*
Party Hard, Die Young
The Cremator (1969)* - Criterion Collection
The Curse of the Werewolf (1961) - Collector's Edition*
The Last Full Measure
The Love of Jeanne Ney (1927)*
Thomas & Friends: 10-Movie Birthday Collection + Playset
Time Limit (1957)*
To Catch a Thief - Paramount Presents Special Edition
Ultraman X - Series & Movie
Ultraman X: The Movie - Here He Comes! Our Ultraman
Why Don’t You Just Die!
*Catalog Blu-ray debut