Happy mid-December! Looks like this is the last good sized release week before the holidays, but there are still a couple of hot titles before the year ends. Let’s kick off this week with The Last Duel. In 14th Century France, the battle-scarred veteran knight, Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) returns home after a trip away to hear his wife Marguerite de Thibouville (Jodie Comer) accuse Jean’s former friend Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) of rape. To defend her honor Jean officially accuses Jacques of the crime and challenges him to a duel with the permission of Jacques friend and confidant Pierre d'Alençon (Ben Affleck). Pierre denies the request but it. Is eventually granted by the King. The country is enthralled with the torrid tale that culminates in a gruelling match to the death, with the fate of Marguerite hanging in the balance.

The Last Duel is based on true events and directed by Ridley Scott and co-written by Nicole Holofcener, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. The scale of the film is impressive as is the story and performances across the board. The film tells the tale from the separate points of view of Jean, Jacques and Marguerite, showing the differences between how people see events and how they actually happened, a theme that stills hold much interest in today’s social climate. The Last Duel is a fascinating tale that keeps the pace brisk through the 2.5 hour runtime, and finished with a spectacular duel that is well worth the price of admission. Very highly recommended.

Next up this week is a new thriller called South of Heaven. Jason Sudeikis plays Jimmy Ray, a recently released convict determined to set his life straight and give Annie (Evangeline Lilly), now dying from cancer, the best last year of her life. But after a chance accident with fatal consequences, and with complications from a crooked parole officer (Shea Wingham) and a powerful mobster (Mike Colter), Jimmy finds it almost impossible to just settle down and live a quiet life with Annie. Now he must do everything he can to clean up the mess and set everyone straight so he can finally give Annie the peace she deserves.

South of Heaven is a good old fashioned Southern crime thriller. Sudeikis takes on the out of character role very well, playing Jimmy as sympathetic but with an underlying rage. Lilly plays Annie with a strong presence and character, which is nice as roles like this are usually played as throwaway characters. But Annie is much more than the reason for Jimmy’s actions, she is a force that plays into the outcomes. And Colter puts in another strong performance proving he is one of the best actors out there. Same can be said for the prolific Wingham. Overall South of Heaven may not be the most original thriller out there but it is a strong outing for all involved and a highly entertaining thriller worth watching.

Also of note this week is Venom: Let There be Carnage with Tom Hardy and a new 4K release of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street with Leonardo DiCaprio.

Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!             

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday December 14, 2021

American Sicario (2021)

Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)*

Bedtime Story (1964)*

Butch Camp

Cartoon Saloon's Irish Folklore Trilogy

Chicken’s Blood

Crash! a.k.a. Death Ride (1977)*

Damnation (1988)*

Dangerous (2021)

Disciples of Shaolin

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema V (1952-1957)*

Going Berserk (1983)*

Hell on the Shelf

Iron Warrior (1987)*

Ivanhoe (1952)*

Jack Frost (1997)* - MVD Rewind Collection

Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman (2000)* - MVD Rewind Collection

Language Lessons (2021)

Mass Appeal (1984)*

Mosley

My Stepmother Is An Alien (1988)*

Playdurizm (2020)

Premutos: The Fallen Angel (1997)*

Put Your Devil Into My Hell (1973)*

Revenge of the Shogun Women (1977)* 3D

South of Heaven (2021)

Sword of Desperation (2010)*

Sylvia Kristel 1970s Collection*

The Abbott and Costello Show: Season 1 (1952)*

The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Night 4K

The Christmas Tree (1969)*

The Comeback Trail (2020)

The Dead Pit (1989)

The Fabulous Dorseys (1947) [The Film Detective Special Edition]*

The Four Seasons (1981)*

The Kindred (1987) Steelbook Edition*

The Last Duel

The Learning Tree (1969) - Criterion Collection*

The Long Goodbye (1973)

The Mitchells Vs. the Machines (2021)

The Red Shoes (1948) - Criterion Collection*

The Rookies

The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)*

The Sherlock Holmes Vault Collection (1931-1937)*

The Spanish Chainsaw Massacre – Wild Eye Raw & Extreme

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) 4K

Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021)

Where The Red Fern Grows (2003)*

Years Of Lead: Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers 1973-1977*

*New to Blu-ray