We have hit a week so slim I have actually not seen any of these films. There are some potentially great titles in this short list including the Stephen King miniseries 11.22.63 and the new Tom Hanks film A Hologram for the King, but I have yet to see them. So I thought I would let you know about three films from earlier this year that I did get around to that really knocked my socks off. These are your new releases for August 9, 2016.
First up is a film that came out July 26, Criminal. Ryan Reynolds (uncredited) plays Bill Pope, a CIA operative who is killed while trying to stop a diabolical plot. After recovering Pope’s body, the government seeks out Dr. Mahal Franks (Tommy Lee Jones) and his experimental techniques to pull memories out of one person and transfer them to another. But the only person expendable enough to try it on is Jericho Stewart (Kevin Costner), a dangerous killer convict with nothing to lose.
Criminal is a fantastically fun action thriller from relatively new director Ariel Vromen who previously helmed the excellent The Iceman with Michael Shannon. Costner is at his best as the ruthless killer with no remorse who suddenly finds himself with the memories of a man who loved his wife and child. He plays the conflict well within Jericho and has some fun scene chewing while he’s at it. The action is plentiful and creative and the supporting cast including Gal Gadot, Michael Pitt, Alice Eve and Scott Adkins are all great as well. This one didn’t last long on the big screen but is well worth checking out at home.
Next up is a film from February, Remember. Christopher Plummer plays Zev Guttman and Martin Landau plays Max Rosenbaum, two elderly men in a retirement home that plot for Zev to go on a road trip to find the man responsible for killing their families at Auschwitz during World War II. But with Zev’s wife’s recent death and his progressing dementia, it may be more challenging than anticipated.
Remember is from Canadian director Atom Egoyan and is a stunning thriller from start to staggering finish. Egoyan never really gets his due among the great directors but has made some truly stunning films including 2014’s The Captive with Ryan Reynolds. Remember is anchored by an incredibly nuanced and emotional performance as Zev and Egoyan’s direction keeps the pace tight and the story immersive. Do yourself a favor and check out Remember, it will be a film you won’t soon forget (pun intended).
Lastly this week is The Last Witch Hunter, also from February. Vin Diesel stars as Kaulder, an ancient and valiant warrior who once stopped an all powerful witch but was cursed with immortality. He searches the world hunting down rogue witches while yearning for his long lost loved ones. But when the Queen Witch is resurrected, Kaulder may be in for an epic battle with the fate of the entire world at stake.
The Last Witch Hunter looked like just another average and overdone fantasy flick from the trailers and when it lastly only a week or so at the box office it seemed to confirm it. But it turns out it is one of those highly entertaining flicks that got lost in the shuffle. Diesel is great in the role of Kaulder as is Elijah Wood as his priest assistant. The story is very cool with a great mix of sci fi, fantasy, dimensional worlds, witchcraft and horror. The action scenes are inventive and fun and the special effects are very well done and look spectacular in hi def. This is a great fantasy flick that deserves some recognition on Blu-ray. Check it out!
As mentioned and also of note this week is the Stephen King miniseries adaptation 11.22.63, the Tom Hanks drama A Hologram for the King and the new hit DC show Supergirl: The Complete First Season.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday August 9, 2016
A Hologram for the King
Basket Case 2*
Basket Case 3: The Progeny*
Battles without Honor and Humanity
Code Black: Season One
Fathers & Daughters
Five Day Lover
Maude: The Final Season
McCabe and Mrs. Miller – Criterion Collection*
Million Dollar Duck
NCIS: New Orleans: Season Two
On Guard aka Le Bossu
Perry Mason: The Complete Movie Collection
Scooby-Doo and WWE: Curse of the Speed Demon
Supergirl: The Complete First Season
The Tunnel: The Complete First Season
*Catalog Blu-ray debut