Welcome to mid-August and a solid week of releases starting with one of the biggest movies of the year, Avengers: Infinity War. After protecting the world and disbanding due to conflicting beliefs, the Avengers find themselves having to come together once again to face the greatest threat Earth has ever known: Thanos (James Brolin). Thanos is an intergalactic maniac scouring the universe to gather all of the Infinity Stones to achieve ultimate power and cleanse the universe before ruling over it. Now the Avengers, along with every ally that can muster, must find a way to stop a seemingly unstoppable foe before he bends their very reality to his will.
Many critic slam superhero movies but there is a reason they are so popular. In a world full of uncertainty we need the escapism of heroes and villains and good and evil. And being a superhero fan I have to say Avengers: Infinity War was a superhero movie unlike any I have ever seen. The action is practically non-stop, but never feels rushed or forced, every actor in the massive cast gives it their all, and the story is actually very emotional and powerful in a story that starts off as good vs evil but becomes something very much in the gray, which is intriguing. Thanos is okay with killing millions but to him it is for a greater cause and seeing this play out was phenomenally fun. Avengers: Infinity War left me definitely wanting more, which we will all get next year but in the meantime check out this gargantuan epic for yourself.
Next up is one of the best action shows on TV that no one really talks about, Strike Back: The Complete Fifth Season. After the series seemingly ended, Strike Back has returned with a new team and all new missions. MI6’s elite unit, Section 20, is back in action with the new team of Sergeant Daniel ‘Mac’ Macallister (Warren Brown), American Sergeant Samuel Wyatt (Daniel MacPherson), Captain Natalie Reynolds (Roxanne McKee) and LCpl. Gracie Novin (Alin Sumarwata). Together they scour the globe to stop terrorist threats and maniacal radicals as they threaten the innocent and the free world. Two in particular are Omair Idrisi (Don Hany) and Jane Lowry (Katherine Kelly) who plot to use chemical weapons to start a new world order and threaten millions of lives.
Strike Back started as a show in the U.K. starring The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln, then was introduced in the USA with the fantastic teaming of Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester. And after four seasons of action perfection that show ended much to my and many fans dismay. But now Strike Back has returned with a new team and the show is as good as ever. The new team up of Brown and MacPherson is great, they are both charismatic and capable, but not as lovable as Stapleton and Winchester. The real deal in this season are the women. McKee and Sumarwata are just phenomenal and form a more perfect duo than the men this time around. But overall the show quality is the same, the action sequences and storylines are of the same caliber, and the acting is top notch from everyone involved. It is very rare for a show to transition like this but if you like military intrigue action, seek out Strike Back: The Complete Fifth Season, it has never been done better.
Lastly this week is an underappreciated comedy classic seeing its Blu-ray debut, The Lonely Guy. Steve Martin plays Larry, who has just discovered his girlfriend cheating on him and is trying to readjust to life being a ‘lonely guy’. Making a new friend in fellow lonely guy Warren (Charles Grodin), Larry decides to write a book as a guide for ‘lonely guys’ everywhere and starts to reinvent his life while also pursuing Iris (Judith Ivey) and threatening the lonely guy lifestyle that is making him famous.
Late 70s/early 80s Steve Martin is classic Steve Martin. His unique brand of stand up comedy translated well into comedy classics like The Jerk, The Lonely Guy, The Man with Two Brains, All of Me and Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. Like Woody Allen’s early films, Martin’s are filled with outrageously broad comedy, prat falls, and looniness. In The Lonely Guy Martin is at his best and the movie is filled with such memorable scenes and situations you will be quoting it for weeks. Or years like me. This one is a welcome addition to the Steve Martin Blu-ray catalog.
Also of note this week is the Blu-ray debut of the horror cult classic Return of the Living Dead II, the Frank Zappa bizarre opus 200 Motels on Blu-ray for the first time, and the new thriller Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday August 14, 2018
12 Monkeys: Season Four
12 Monkeys: Season Three
2 Die For
Affairs of State
Army of Darkness Steelbook
Arrow: The Complete Sixth Season
Avengers: Age of Ultron 4K
Avengers: Infinity War
Broken Angels Club
Cartoon Network: Steven Universe: Heart of the Crystal Gems
Destined to Ride
Enter the Wild
Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami
How to Talk to Girls at Parties
Lady Street Fighter*
Laserblast – VHS Retro Big Box Collection
Lifeforce 4K Steelbook
National Lampoon’s Van Wilder 4K
Nutty Professor II: The Klumps*
Peter Gunn: The Complete Series
Power Rangers Ninja Steel: The Complete Season
Raven Tales: Season One
Raven Tales: Season Two
Return of the Living Dead: Part II Collector’s Edition*
Shock and Awe
Strike Back: The Complete Fifth Season
The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez* - Criterion Collection
The Blacklist: The Complete Fifth Season
The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island
The Gore Gore Girls
The Great Smokey Roadblock a.k.a. The Last of the Cowboys*
The House of Tomorrow*
The Howling Limited Edition Steelbook
The Last Warrior
The Lonely Guy*
The Pirates of Penzance*
The Song of Solomon
The Us Generation: The Making Of the 1982 Us Festival
The Yellow Birds
Walking Tall Special Edition
*Catalog Blu-ray debut