A nice batch of titles this week starting with the new film from Melissa McCarthy, Life of the Party. McCarthy plays Deanna, a married woman with a daughter recently sent off to college. But after her daughter leaves her husband announces he wants a divorce leaving Deanna with no sense of direction or purpose after being a devoted wife and mother for decades. So Deanne decides to pursue her dreams from her younger days and go back to college. The same college as her daughter, where she embraces her newfound freedom and learns to live for herself again.
Life of the Party is co-written by McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone and directed by Falcone. There are plenty of laughs to go around, McCarthy could just stand around and make me laugh, but I couldn’t help thinking if the husband and wife duo put a little more authenticity, realism and heart into Life of the Party, it could have been so much more. But as it stands it is standard, light fare for anyone and does have plenty of funny situations for McCarthy to stumble through in a hilarious manner. Many of McCarthy’s movies seem to take this lighter route and it seems to work for her but I hope we get some meatier comedies (or any other genres) from her in the future. She is brilliant and can do anything she sets her mind to.
Next up this week is one of my personal most awaited Blu-ray releases of the year, Peter Medak’s The Changeling from 1980. George C. Scott plays John Russell, a composer who has recently lost his wife and child in a tragic car accident. Trying to move on, he rents an large old house to try and reflect and compose new music. But as John spends more time in the house strange things happen. Loud banging, faucets turning on by themselves and a ghostly voice on his recordings. John becomes obsessed with researching the history of the old house and uncovering the mysteries hidden behind its walls.
The Changeling is perhaps the greatest haunted house film ever made in my opinion. Scott turns in one of his most emotional and best performances (which is saying a lot) and the heavy atmosphere and creepy set pieces create a haunted mystery of the highest caliber. This Blu-ray debut from Severin Films features a stunning new 4K transfer of the film, certain special editions include the soundtrack on CD, and a huge list of special features including a new commentary by the director and producer, a doc on the true story that inspired the film, featurettes on the music and art direction and much much more. This one is a must own for all horror fans and one of the best catalog releases of the year.
Lastly this week is a great new horror film from Shout Factory, Wildling. Anna (Bel Powley) has grown up in isolation with a mysterious man she only knows as Daddy (Brad Dourif). Daddy keeps Anna locked in an attic fearing a child-eating monster he tells her roams outside called The Wildling. When Anna is 16 she is freed by small town sheriff Ellen Cooper (Liv Tyler) who helps her adapt to her new life as a normal teenager. But as Anna’s body starts to mature, her nightmare return with a vengeance leading to a terrifying secret.
Wildling is a fantastic mystery/thriller/horror film full of excellent acting, especially by Powley, and a nice creepy atmosphere. Dourif’s role is memorable as well, as they usually are, and the story gives some great twists and turns along the way as well. A refreshing new twist on a classic tale.
Also of note this week is another great new horror film, Pyewacket, a bizarre new action thriller called Lowlife, and the intriguing new HBO show Here and Now: The Complete First Season with Holy Hunter and Tim Robbins.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday August 7, 2018
Bigfish & Begonia
Breaking IN: Unrated Director’s Cut
Cradle Will Rock*
Digimon Adventure tri.: Coexistence
Documentary Now!: Season One & Season Two
Happy Endings: The Complete Series*
Here and Now: The Complete First Season
Mac and Me: Collector’s Edition*
Masters of Sex: The Complete Series*
Measure of a Man
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series [25th Anniversary Limited Steelbook Edition]
NCIS: New Orleans: The Fourth Season
On Chesil Beach
Psycho Biddy Double Feature: Strait-Jacket / Berserk!*
Queen of the Stardust Ballroom*
Riverdale: The Complete Second Season
SEAL Team: Season One
Six: Season 2
Someone’s Watching Me*
The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island
The Changeling: Special Edition*
The Day After*
The Death of Superman
The Keeping Hours
The Land Before Time: 30th Anniversary Playset
Transporter 3 4K
WWE: Elimination Chamber/Fastlane 2018
*Catalog Blu-ray debut