December continues to be strong this week beginning with the new Denzel Washington film, Equalizer II. Washington returns as Robert McCall, the retired CIA Black Ops operative now moonlighting as a vigilante for hire helping those who need it. In between his day job as a private driver and helping the people who live in his apartment complex, McCall must hunt down the people responsible for the murder of one of his oldest friends (Melissa Leo) and find justice for her in a relentless, globe-trotting quest for vengeance.
The first Equalizer was a hit and a great adaptation of the beloved 80s TV series, but with Equalizer II director Antoine Fuqua ups the ante in virtually every aspect and delivers one of the best action thriller in recent memory. Washington is in fine form as usual as the highly skilled and unflappable McCall and along with a well-structured main storyline, the side stories of McCall’s neighbours provides additional great character development and keeps the movie rolling at a breakneck pace. One of the best flicks of the year.
Next up is the new animated film, Smallfoot. High in the mountains of the Himalaya’s, tribes of Yeti live undisturbed and unknown to the rest of the world. Migo (Channing Tatum) is a young Yeti learning the ways of his people when he stumbles upon a plane crash and finds a ‘smallfoot’, a human, which are rumored by the Yeti to only be a legend. When no one in his village believes his story, he sets out with a group of friends to venture beneath the clouds and set out on an adventure to discover once and for all if humans really exist, and to bring proof back to the other Yeti.
Smallfoot is a delightfully funny family film animated in a similar style to the Hotel Transylvania films, with a sense of humor to match. The animation is crisp, clean and frantic, the humor enjoyable for kids and adults alike (unlike the last Hotel Transylvania) and the voice talent is spot on and well done featuring the liked of Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Common, LeBron James, Danny DiVito and more.
Lastly this week is a new action film called Peppermint. Jennifer Garner plays Riley North, a devoted and caring mother and wife who loses her husband and daughter in a senseless act of violence. Following the tragedy Riley disappears for five years only to re-emerge as a lethal killing machine, having devoted her time to learning everything she needs to know to bring the killers to justice and correct the system that set them free.
Jennifer Garner made a name for herself as an international spy in the hit TV series Alias but in recent years has been sticking mainly to drama and comedy roles in her TV and film work. So it was a great pleasure to see her back in action kicking some butt. Peppermint is fast paced with creative action sequences and some very satisfying revenge. My only complaint would be that I would have liked to see some of her missing five years and the training she put herself through, it is really only briefly mentioned in the film. But overall Peppermint is a welcome return for an action genre favorite.
Also of note this week is the underrated horror gem Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation debuting on Blu-ray starring none other than Matthew McConaughey and Renée Zellweger in early roles. Also out is the Blu-ray debut of the Tobe Hooper/Stephen King/Robert Englund horror The Mangler, and the Rob Bell documentary The Heretic.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday December 11, 2018
Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days
Await Further Instructions
Dan & Phil 2018 World Tour: Interactive Introverts
Death in Paradise: Season Seven
Don Cherry: Rock’em Sock’em 30
Evil Dead 2 4K
Father Brown: Season Six
Female on the Beach*
Fiend a.k.a. Deadly Neighbor*
Forty Guns* - Criterion Collection
Hang 'Em High - 50th Anniversary
I Still See You
Instinct: Season One
Maniac: Limited Edition
My Neighbor Totoro - 30th Anniversary Edition
Nathan for You: The Complete Series
Nemesis - MVD Rewind Collection*
Not Without My Daughter - MVD Rewind Collection*
Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s, Volume 1*
River Runs Red
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2
Sleepover - MVD Rewind Collection*
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation - Collector’s Edition*
The Apartment: Special Edition
The Bold Type: Season Two
The Equalizer II
The High Chaparral: Season Two
The Last Kingdom: Season Three
The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve
The Wild Boys
Unbroken: Path to Redemption
Waterworld: Special Edition
We, The Marines
Who We Are Now: Special Edition
WWE: Super Show-Down 2018
*Catalog Blu-ray debut