A huge week kicks off with a huge hero in Godzilla: King of the Monsters. After the events in the last Godzilla film, the world is reeling from the realization that monsters are indeed real. Dr. Emma Russell (Vera Farmiga) has developed a portable sonar device that can communicate and sooth the monsters and help to control them, but when the device is hijacked by an eco-terrorist intent on releasing all the monsters hidden within the Earth, Emma’s estranged husband Mark (Kyle Chandler) and daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown) must join the fight, find the device and stop Rodan, Mothra and the gigantic King Ghidorah with help from Godzilla.

Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a visual extravaganza filled with spectacular action scenes that unfold like glowing neon paintings before your eyes. The entire cast are excellent including Farmiga, Chandler, Brown, Ken Watanabe, Ziyi Zhang, Bradley Whitford, Sally Hawkins, Thomas Middleditch, and Charles Dance. The action is plentiful, the visuals stunning and the story simple and effective. Godzilla: King of the Monsters sets a new standard for giant monster movies.

Next up is a new rock and roll biography movie, Rocketman. Taron Edgerton plays rock icon Elton John as he navigates starting off in music, his legendary partnership with lyricist Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell), his childhood issues with his mother (Bryce Dallas Howard) and domineering father (Steven Mackintosh) to his personal life and struggles with addiction. 

Rocketman takes a slightly different approach to storytelling than the hit rock bio of Freddie Mercury last year, Bohemian Rhapsody. Rocketman uses the music of Elton John to show Elton’s emotional journey through imaginative sequences that blur the lines between reality and fantasy. The majority of the film is a straightforward narrative, with Taron Edgerton putting in an uncanny performance as the iconic rocker, and keeps things moving along fast with great musical sequences, lots of humor sprinkled throughout and a stellar supporting cast. But the star of the show, as it should be, is Edgerton who really puts a lot of heart into the screen version of Elton, and incredibly does all his own singing as well. Rocketman is a fast, fun, sing along rock bio well worth checking out.

Lastly this week is the new animated sequel, The Secret Life of Pets 2. After the events of the first film, Jack Russell Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is leading a happy life with his owner Katie, even after Katie meets and marries Chuck and they have a son, Liam, who Max is not fond of at first, but soon grows to love. When the whole family takes a trip to a family farm for a reunion, Max is introduced to Rooster (Harrison Ford), the farm dog. Rooster teaches Max a lot about believing in himself and how to not be afraid, thing that will come in handy when Max gets home to try and help rescue an abused White Tiger from a ruthless circus owner, Sergei.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is just as charming and funny as the first film and is also as equally gorgeous to look at. Illumination is great at creating these animated features that entertain kids as well as adults. The characters are all wonderfully rendered with perfectly cast voice actors and make for perfect family movie nights in the home theatre. The 4K edition of The Secret Life of Pets 2 is pure cinema animation perfection with a bold and saturated picture and immersive sound field. To keep the whole family entertained you can’t do much better.

Also of note this week is the new edition of Apocalypse Now: The Final Cut, the Third and final season of the spectacular martial arts series Into the Badlands, and the bizarre throwback horror movie The Banana Splits.

Until next week movie lovers!

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday August 27, 2019

9 Lives of a Wet Pussy (1976)*

Apocalypse Now The Final Cut 40th Anniversary 4K

Attack Force Z

Black and Blue

Blaze and the Monster Machines – Ninja Blaze

Blue (1993)*

Brother Can You Spare a Dime? (1975)*

Chicago Fire: Season Seven

Chicago Med: Season Four

Child’s Play – Juno Selects Series

Clarence Clemons - Who Do I Think I Am?

Conflict of Wings – Juno Selects Series

Day of the Outlaw (1959)*

Decoder (1984)*

Doll Factory

Doublecross – Juno Selects Series

Fear in the Night (1972)*

Flesh Gordon (1974)*

Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (1978)*

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Hell Comes to Frogtown (1987)*

Into the Badlands: The Complete Third Season

Killers Anonymous

Ladyworld

Let My Puppets Come (1976)*

Love Letters (1983)*

NCIS: Los Angeles: The Tenth Season

Rocketman

Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The Complete Animated Series

Safe Space

Skateboard

SpongeBob Squarepants: The Best 200 Episodes Ever!

Stand By Me 4K

The Banana Splits

The Flash: The Complete Fifth Season

The Flavor of Green Tea over Rice* - Criterion Collection

The Garden (1990)*

The Koker Trilogy* - Criterion Collection

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

The Leech Woman (1960)*

The Return Of Chandu

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Vanishing Shadow*

The Wax Mask (1997)*

WWE: Extreme Rules 2019

Zombillenium

*Catalog Blu-ray debut