Well August is coming to an end as we drift into the end of summer. We kick the week off with one of the more acclaimed movies of the year, Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island. Scott (Pete Davidson) has been in a state of limbo since his firefighter father died when he was seven. Now in his mid-20s he has achieved nothing and dreams of being a tattoo artist but does nothing to further that dream. Still living with his hard working ER nurse mother Margie (Marisa Tomei) and spending his days hanging with his friends and smoking weed, Scott’s life is turned upside down when his mother starts dating a loudmouth firefighter named Ray (Bill Burr). Now Scott is forced to confront all of his issues and finally take the first steps to jumpstart his life and start moving forward.

Judd Apatow has a beautiful talent for writing and directing hilarious comedies that have rock solid foundations in heart and truth. His films like The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up and This is 40 were funny because of the situations but also because the audience can relate to the characters and their struggles. Same goes for his cult favorite TV series Freaks and Geeks. Now with The King of Staten Island he tackles the kid who won’t leave home and as usual, instead of making fun of the stereotype, Apatow shows the truth of it, the heart of it, and makes it funny but heartfelt and authentic. The whole cast is excellent anchored by a stellar performance by SNL alumni Davidson, who really shows he is more than just another comedian trying to make it in film, but a guy who can actually make the cut. Another solid hit from Apatow cementing his place as one of the best comedy filmmakers out there.

Next up is the newest entry in the Steve Coogan/Rob Brydon Trip to…series, The Trip to Greece. This time out actor/comedians/friends Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon head out to travel from Troy to Ithaca following in the footsteps of the Odysseus. Along the way they sample fine foods and deal with, discuss and make fun of their (fictionalized/exaggerated) personal lives and careers. They also frequently fall into impersonation competitions that have become a staple of the series.

Director Michael Winterbottom knows these two men well and is by now expert at crafting these hilarious faux-documentary films. Coogan and Brydon have unbelievable chemistry and are just brilliant at riffing off of each other. Their duelling impressions are the stuff of legend, but it is the authenticity of their characters, which are based on their real lives, and the heart of their friendship that really anchor these films and make them memorable. The Trip to Greece in particular seems to have more personal stuff and more introspection than the previous films, and seems to be bringing the journey to a close. If you are a fan of these guys and haven’t seen this series, check them out, they are comedy gold from two of the funniest guys out there.

Also of note this week is The Burnt Orange Heresy with Claes Bang, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Debicki and Mick Jagger, and the Blu-ray debut of the classic anthology horror flick Tales from the Darkside: The Movie.

Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday August 25, 2020

Alias Redneck a.k.a. Senza Ragione (1973)*

Alien Scum: Wild Eye Raw & Extreme

Aliens & Hippies

All I Desire (1953)*

Amplify

An Evil Tale

Are We the Waiting

Are You Afraid of the Dark? (2019)

Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957)*

Best of DC Animated Movies

Breezy (1973)*

Cecilia a.k.a. Diary of a Desperate Housewife (1983)*

Chicago Fire: Season Eight

Chicago Med: Season Five

Cold Heaven (1991)*

Conquest (1983)*

Dark Tales

Dead Pit*

Deathsport (1978)*

Deep Blue Sea 3

Einstein's Universe

Endeavour: The Complete Seventh Season

Eugenie...The Story Of Her Journey Into Perversion

Five Corners

Hard Kill

Hell Bent (1918)*

Hollywoodland (2006)*

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) Steelbook Edition

Last Shot

Live Feed: Collector’s Edition

Mind Rage

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) Steelbook Edition

Reginald Denny Collection*

SEAL Team: Season Three

Strike Back: The Complete Series

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie -  Collector’s Edition

The Alejandro Jodorowsky Collection

The Balcony (1963)*

The Burnt Orange Heresy

The Flash: The Complete Sixth Season

The Gunsmoke Movie Collection

The House by the Cemetery (1981) 4K Special Edition

The King of Staten Island

The Last Victim/Forced Entry*

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1975)* - Criterion Collection

The New York Ripper (1982) 4K Special Edition

The Sign of the Cross (1932)*

The Trip to Greece

There's Always Tomorrow (1955)*

Toni (1935)* - Criterion Collection

Trick Baby a.k.a. The Double Con (1972)*

Universal Horror Collection: Volume 6*

Who Killed Cock Robin*

Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century

*Catalog Blu-ray debut