I hate to say it but the summer months are coming to a close. But we start this week off with a bang with Deadpool 2. Ryan Reynolds returns to the instant cult hit role as Wade Wilson aka Deadpool, the foul-mouthed mercenary with a heart of gold. This time out Deadpool is trying to recover from a great loss in his life and finds new purpose trying to save a young mutant boy from Cable (Josh Brolin), a time travelling cyborg bent on destroying the boy for his part in Cable’s future. Deadpool assembles his own team of fellow mutants and outcasts to stop Cable and maybe find some sort of hope for his own future.
Deadpool was a long developing passion project for Reynolds and ended up paying off as a huge hit. But what nobody expected was that Reynolds actually managed to pull off a sequel that is superior to the original in almost every way. There is more humor, more heart, bigger and badder action sequences, more characters that are really memorable and overall just a bigger, better experience. The most amazing thing about Deadpool 2 is how much emotional heart is actually has. For a film with so much language and inappropriate humor, it is incredible how its themes of love and the importance of family shine through. Now we just have to wait for Deadpool 3.
Next up is a new Collector’s Edition of one of the weirdest cult classics out there, David Lynch’s Wild at Heart. Nicolas Cage plays Sailor, a newly free criminal who ignores his probation and set out for California with his love Lula (Laura Dern). But Lula’s psychotic mother Marietta (Diane Ladd) is maddened at the thought of her daughter with the rebellious Sailor and hires a killer to hunt him down and kill him, turning Sailor and Lula’s road trip into a journey they will never forget.
Personally, I am really hit and miss with Lynch’s films, but Wild at Heart is definitely my favorite of the director’s work. Wild at Heart has a fantastic, weird vibe to the whole film, a kind of Wizard of Oz on drugs road trip full of the most bizarre characters ever. Cage is at his unhinged best, Dern delivers one of her best performances, Willem Dafoe gives one of his most chilling portrayals and Diane Ladd…well you just have to see how crazy she is for yourself. This new Wild at Heart Collector’s Edition from Shout Factory is the first time the film has been on the format in North America and features a new interview with novelist Barry Gifford, an astounding 76 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, a making of doc and tons more. If you haven’t checked out Wild at Heart before now is your chance for one of the weirdest movie nights in a long time.
Lastly this week is a new Ethan Hawke drama, First Reformed. Hawke plays Reverend Ernst Toller, the pastor at the historic First Reformed Church in upstate New York. Anxious over an upcoming event at the church celebrating its two hundred fiftieth anniversary in a huge public event organized by the mega-church that owns it, Toller struggles with his own purpose and with his relationship with a local woman (Amanda Seyfried) whose boyfriend may be an eco-terrorist in need of council. All of these events culminate in a personal revelation for Toller that may change his life forever.
First Reformed is written and directed by the legendary Paul Schrader, known best for his screenplays for Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and American Gigilo. Schrader is a man who often deals with hard subjects and the conditions of human beings dealing with change, choices and life altering decisions. First Reformed is no different. Hawke delivers a powerful performance as the lonely and lost Reverend Toller and is backed up by some great restrained supporting performances by Seyfried and by Cedric Antonio Kyles, also known as Cedric the Entertainer, as the head of the mega church. First Reformed didn’t go places I expected it to and ends up as a very thought provoking drama that resonates long after the credits.
Also of note this week is Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Third Season, the Johnny Knoxville stunt comedy Action Point, and the new Jackie Chan sci fi action epic Bleeding Steel.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday August 21, 2018
Ash vs Evil Dead: The Complete Third Season
Blindspot: The Complete Third Season
Blue Bloods: The Eighth Season
Deep Rising: Special Edition
God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness
Gotham: The Complete Fourth Season
Heaven Can Wait* – Criterion Collection
Jack Ryan 5-Movie Collection
Leonor a.k.a. Mistress of the Devil *
NCIS: The Fifteenth Season
Smithereens* - Criterion Collection
Strait-Jacket* - Shout
The Coroner: Season Two
The Ninth Passenger
The Terror: The Complete First Season
The Tingler* - Shout
The Walking Dead: The Complete Eighth Season
Wild at Heart* - Shout
*Catalog Blu-ray debut