Back to business as usual this week with a slew of great titles starting with the new Christian Bale film, Hostiles. Bale plays Joseph Blocker, a United States Cavalry Captain in 1892 who is starting to tire of his long career of fighting Cheyenne, Apache and Comanche natives. When he is ordered to escort a captive and ailing Cheyanne chief, Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) and his family to their ancestral home in Montana, Blocker is angered to have to help ‘the enemy’. To complicate matters, along the journey they come across a woman, Rosalie Quaid (Rosemund Pike) whose family was slaughtered by marauding Comanches. She joins their party and together they must all learn to survive together to cross a land inundated with hostiles.
Director Scott Cooper may not be a name you recognize, but for me this guy is really knocking it out of the park. He has only directed 3 films before Hostiles: Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace, and Black Mass, but what a group of films! And Hostiles just adds to his short but impressive resume. His direction is confidant and feels much more seasoned than Cooper actually is. Bale, Pike and Studi are all phenomenal here with excellent supporting performances by Adam Beach and the underrated Rory Cochrane. The film is violent, unforgiving and bleak, but the story of survival and compassion is a powerful one well worth checking out.
Next up is the newest entry in the Maze Runner series, Maze Runner: The Death Cure. In the epic finale to the Maze Runner saga, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) leads his group of escaped Gladers on their final mission. In order to save their friends, they must find a way to infiltrate the legendary Last City and find a cure for The Flare, the virus that ravaged the Earth’s population.
The Maze Runner series has done very well and is a very underrated series in my opinion. I find it much more entertaining than the Divergent series with more interesting characters and story. This last chapter does not disappoint, it is filled with favorite characters, fantastically fun action sequences, and a nice wrap up to the series overall. The scope of this entry does seem bigger with more impressive sets and more peripheral cast. It ends with a bang with this maybe being the entry with the most action as well. Fans of the series will not be disappointed and anyone out there who hasn’t checked it out yet, give it a shot.
Lastly this week is Den of Thieves. Gerard Butler plays ‘Big Nick’ O’Brien, the head of an elite unit of the L.A. Country Sheriff’s Department. Nick and his team are successful in what they do but constantly teeter on the line between good and bad as they use any means necessary to catch the bad guys. Now they are up against the state’s most successful bank robbery crews led by Ray Merrimen (Pablo Schreiber) who are just as determined not to get caught as they plan to pull off a seemingly impossible heist of the Federal Reserve Bank of downtown Los Angeles. The two groups will come together head to head to see whose skills and perseverance will win out in the end.
Den of Thieves is one of those action thrillers wherein there is really no one to root for. Butler’s Nick and his team are pretty despicable guys and not far off from criminals themselves. Every character on both sides seems determined to pull off their jobs at any cost necessary, including innocent lives. But action wise, Den of Thieves has lots for the action aficionado including a great shoot out finale amidst a gridlocked off ramp. For action kicks, Den of Thieves does the trick.
Also of note this week is the Blu-ray debut of the three 80s cult classics, Cyborg with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, and Dan Aykroyd in Doctor Detroit. That should keep the nostalgia flowing for a weekend movie marathon.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday April 24, 2018
A Pistol for Ringo & The Return of Ringo: Two Films by Duccio Tessari*
Backstabbing for Beginners
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story*
Cyborg: Collector’s Edition*
Daughters of Satan*
Dead Man – Criterion Collection
Den of Thieves
Digimon Adventure tri.: Loss
Down Three Streets*
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Five Steps to Danger*
Flesh and Laces: Parts 1&2
Forever My Girl
Gray Lady Down*
Grease: 40th Anniversary Edition*
Hope and Glory*
Killer Klowns from Outer Space: Special Edition*
Kyuukyuu Sentai GoGoFive: The Complete Series
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Patagonia Treasure Trail
Saltwater: Atomic Shark
Savannah Smiles – MVD Rewind Collection*
Shameless: The Complete Eighth Season
The Holy Mountain
The Maze 3D*
The Strange Ones
The Virgin Suicides – Criterion Collection*
Troll/Troll II Double Feature
War of the Planets
Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God… Be Back by Five* - MVD Rewind Collection
*Catalog Blu-ray debut