First up this week we have another retro TV movie adaptation, Baywatch. Dwayne Johnson plays Mitch Buchannan, the Lieutenant of the prestigious Baywatch team of lifeguards at Emerald Bay. His elite team protects the bay keeping visitors on the beach and in the water safe from harm. When Mitch is told he must take on a high profile new trainee, former Olympic swimmer and all around bad boy Matt Brody (Zac Efron), he is hesitant but must set aside his feelings when a new synthetic drug begins to infest his beach. The swimsuit heroes must use all their resources to keep the water, the beach and the town safe.
Baywatch is another in a long line of recycled fan favorite TV shows turned into new movie properties but where many of these fail, Baywatch is actually pretty entertaining. Dumb yes, but entertaining. Johnson is always great even in less than stellar movies. He always gives it his all and it shows here as he and the cast always seem to be having fun. The plot is a total throwaway, seems all these movies are about stopping drug dealers, but the laughs are plentiful and Johnson, Efron, Alexandra Daddario, Jon Bass and Kelly Rohrbach all stand out and give hilarious performances.
Next up is the new Disneynature documentary, Born in China. Narrated by John Krasinski, Born in China follows three animal families living in some of the most extreme environments on Earth. A mother Panda brings her new baby into the world as it begins to explore and find its own independence. A young golden snub-nosed monkey feels left out after the arrival of a new baby sister and tries to find his own way. And a mother Snow Leopard faces great danger as she raises her two cubs in one of the harshest environments on the planet.
Disneynature produces some of the finest and most entertaining nature docs out there and this may be one of their best. The images the crew captures are just stunning and you honestly feel like you seeing some of these animals and environments in a new and very intimate light. The Snow Leopard segment in particular is just breathtaking. These animals have rarely been caught on camera at all and the footage they captured here is gorgeous. Born in China is entertaining, fun and informative for the whole family.
Lastly this week is the newest season in one of the best animated shows on TV, Star Wars Rebels: The Complete Season Three. Picking up some time after the last season, the crew of the Ghost, led by Ezra, whose power is growing at a great rate, has established a new base on the planet Atollon. Together they have been acquiring new resources to strengthen the rebel fleet in their mission to stop the Empire. But the Imperials, led by Grand Admiral Thrawn, have new plans as well and will make Ezra?s mission tougher than ever as he and Sabine take on new roles in preparation for their biggest and riskiest mission yet ? a direct assault on the Empire.
Star Wars has a pretty solid record on television. Genndy Tartakovsky?s Clone Wars was excellent, the six seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars was even better and was impressively immersive and well written, and now Star Wars: Rebels provides an original story that sits comfortably in between those two shows. It still has the cartoon appeal for kids but has great Star Wars mythology and characters that keeps adult SW fans interested. And it has a perfect balance of hijinks, humor and serious stories. Not to mention the animation is stunningly gorgeous and screaming to be viewed on Blu-ray.
Also of note this week is an amazing new special edition of John Frankenheimer?s Ronin starring Robert DeNiro and Jean Reno, the Blu-ray debut of Steve Martin?s insanely hilarious The Man with Two Brains, and a fantastic little known 90s action thriller making its Blu-ray debut, Timebomb with Michael Biehn and Patsy Kensit.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday August 29, 2017
A Family Man
Batman & Harley Quinn
Black Sails: The Complete Fourth Season
Bring It On: Worldwide #cheersmack
Chicago Fire: Season Five
Chicago Med: Season Two
Disneynature?s Born in China
Elementary: The Fifth Season
Gotham: The Complete Third Season
Heal the Living
King of Horror Collection
Lifetime Urban 6 Film Collection
Mom: The Complete Fourth Season
My Cousin Rachel
NCIS: The Fourteenth Season
Red Roses of Passion*
Ripper Street: Season Five
Ronin: Special Edition
Root of Darkness
Society ? Limited Edition Steelbook
Star Wars Rebels: The Complete Season Three
Summer of Fear*
The Legend of Hillbilly John*
The Lion King: Signature Collection
The Man with Two Brains*
The Originals: The Complete Fourth Season
The White Princess
Throat?12 Years Later*
Two Female Spies with Flowered Panties a.k.a. The Sex Merchants (1980)*
Will & Grace: Season 1
*Catalog Blu-ray debut