Now that we have hit the middle of August what better way to celebrate than to check out the release of the biggest movie of the year and now, the biggest movie of all time, Avengers: Endgame. After the events of Avengers: Infinity War the remaining Avengers are defeated and trying to move on in a world with half of all living things decimated. With the entire world struggling to cope with the unfathomable loss, new hope springs to life when Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) is accidentally released from the Quantum realm and formulates a plan to travel through time and prevent Thanos from ever acquiring the Infinity Stones in the first place. But they not only risk their lives but everything that is left as they struggle to find that one chance in a million to save the world and bring everyone back.
Avengers: Endgame is not only a gamechanger in terms of its box office dominance, but it is a grand and epic finale to the first 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While many critics write off superhero movies as fluff, the Marvel films have been full of years of character development and Avengers: Endgame was full of emotional moments that really struck a chord with audiences who have invested the time with these characters. Avengers: Endgame was well written, perfectly paced and contained some of the most satisfying wow moments in recent film history. It delivers on the ten years of promise the MCU has set up. The 4K release in particular is also a sumptuous visual feast for your home theatre with epic visuals, insanely staged action sequences and a bombastic immersive sound field. Avengers: Endgame is THE home video release of the year.
Next up is a true slasher cult classic finally arriving on Blu-ray for the first time thanks to Arrow Video, Alice, Sweet Alice. Alice Spages (Paula E. Sheppard) is a reclusive and shy 12 year old girl living with her mother Catherine (Linda Miller) and her younger sister Karen (Brooke Shields). When Karen is found brutally murdered in the church on the day of her first communion, everyone’s suspicions turn to Alice. But could such a quiet withdrawn girl be capable of such a savage act? As more people die by the hand of a short masked killer it is up to the family and the police to try and stop the murders.
Alice, Sweet Alice should be another run of the mill 70s slasher movie but thanks to the creative camera work of director Alfred Sole (who only directed a handful of films but is an accomplished production designer) and the solid performances and twisty plot, Alice, Sweet Alice turns into a fast paced, exciting and creepy thriller that succeeds on every level. The new Blu-ray special edition from Arrow features a beautiful new restoration of the film, and tons of new and archival special features including a great piece with the director remembering his film. Horror fans be sure to check out this gem.
Lastly this week we have another great little film arriving on Blu-ray for the first time, True Believer. James Woods plays Eddie Dodd, a former civil rights lawyer who now specialized in defending drug dealers in court. Roger Baron (Robert Downey Jr.) is an idealistic lawyer fresh out of law school who persuades Eddie to on a case of a young Korean man, Shu Kai Kim (Yuji Okumoto) who has been in jail for eight years for a crime he says he didn’t commit. Now Eddie and Roger find themselves deep in a possible conspiracy that could jeopardize their careers and maybe even their lives.
True Believer came out in 1989 which I have always thought was the middle of one of the best periods in film for thrillers. James Woods was doing great films at the time and Downey was really starting to take off. The film was directed by Joseph Ruben who isn’t really a well-known name but directed some really stellar thrillers including Dreamscape, The Stepfather, Sleeping with the Enemy and The Good Son. True Believer is a great methodical mystery with some great twists anchored by excellent performances by Woods and Downey and some great supporting performances by Margaret Colin, Kurtwood Smith, Charles Hallahan and Luis Guzmán. This one is definitely a hidden gem and worth checking out, not to mention it is being released with a cool VHS inspired slipcover and at a very low price.
Also of note this week is the insane flick VelociPastor, which has to be seen to be believed, the hilarious Mel Smith directed and George Lucas written comedy Radioland Murders arriving on Blu-ray for the first time, and the new DC animated film Batman: Hush.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday August 13, 2019
Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog
Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)*
All Is True
Best of Warner Bros. 50 Cartoon Collection – Scooby-Doo
Blitzkrieg: Escape From Stalag 69
Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?
Django the Bastard a.k.a. Django the Avenger (1969)*
Double Dragon: The Animated Series
Dude Bro Party Massacre III
Endless Love (1981)*
Fierce Creatures (1997)*
Finding Steve McQueen (2017)
Forbidden World (1982) (Limited Edition Steelbook)
Galaxy of Terror (1981) (Limited Edition Steelbook)
Hunter X Hunter: Set 6
Leave It to Beaver (1997)*
Leave it to Beaver: Seasons One & Two
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season Three (Limited Edition Steelbook)
Murder Made Easy
My Samurai (1992)* - MVD Rewind Collection
New Amsterdam: Season One
Port of Shadows (1938)*
Public Defender: The Official Second Season
Radioland Murders (1994)*
Razzia sur la chnouf*
Riverdale: The Complete Third Season
Roxanne (1987) - Retro VHS Collection
Searching For Ingmar Bergman*
Shiraz: A Romance of India*
Teen Titans Go! Season 5 Part 1
The Blacklist: Season 6
The Duke Mitchell Collection*
The Inland Sea* - Criterion Collection
The New Kids (1985)* - Retro VHS Collection
The Returned: Season Two
The Spanish Princess
Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954)*
Trial By Fire
True Believer (1989)* - Retro VHS Collection
Vice Squad (1982)* - Collector's Edition
When Calls the Heart: Heart of a Mountie
White Line Fever - Retro VHS Collection
*Catalog Blu-ray debut