We kick off the week with the Oscar Winning film from James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari. In 1966, the Ford Motor Company is determined to start winning professional races and taking the Le Mans winning streak from Enzo Ferrari (Remo Girone). Ford head Henry Ford II (Tracy Letts) and his vice-president Lee Iacocca (Jon Bernthal) hire car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British driver and racing engineer Ken Miles (Christian Bale) to head up a team to beat the Italians at their own game. But with less than 90 days to rewrite Ford’s legacy, the pressure is on and careers are on the line.
Ford v Ferrari is a fantastic film that is so filled with adrenaline, great performances, excitement and fun that you barely notice the film’s two and a half hour runtime. Damon and Bale have amazing chemistry as Shelby and Miles and the supporting cast are all in top form and deliver a thoroughly engrossing true story that is sure to entertain even non-racing viewers. I myself don’t care for racing at all but I was hooked from the start with Ford v Ferrari and it is definitely deserving of its many accolades this year.
Next up this week is a new film from controversial Japanese director Takashi Miike, First Love. Dark and brooding boxer Leo (Masataka Kubota) and drug addict Monica (Sakurako Konishi) find themselves having one tumultuous night when they get caught up in a war between two warring gangs and must escape the violent events involving drugs, corrupt police, Yakuza and assassins at every turn. Despite the turmoil Leo and Monica find themselves falling in love amidst the carnage and dreaming of a life together if they can survive the night at all.
Miike is one of the most controversial but also one of the most celebrated genre filmmakers of the past 30 years with over 100 credits to his name. His unique vision is especially potent when delivering strange fare like First Love. Miike has always been one to toss genre conventions out the window and First Love is no exception. Love story, action, horror, thriller, comedy, there is a bit of everything in there and all executed brilliantly and with amazingly kinetic visual flair. First Love is very highly recommended.
Lastly this week is a new Blu-ray edition of a film widely regarded as one of the biggest bombs of all time, Hudson Hawk. Bruce Willis plays Eddie Hawkins, a former thief fresh out of prison after serving ten years. No sooner is he released than the insane Darwin and Minerva Mayflower (Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard) kidnap him and blackmail him into stealing some of the works of Leonardo da Vinci in hopes of finding hidden components to building a gold making machine. Now with his partner Tommy (Danny Aiello), Hawk must steal the items and find a way out of his predicament while trying to stop the Mayflower’s and saving himself and Tommy.
Hudson Hawk is a film I have dearly loved since its release in 1991. It has such a wacky but lovable story with even wackier and more lovable characters. The role is custom made for Willis’ personality and he shines in it. Add to that the comedic brilliance of Danny Aiello, Richard E. Grant, Sandra Bernhard, Andie McDowell, James Coburn, and great small roles by Frank Stallone and David Caruso (as one of the Mayflower henchmen, all named after candy bars!) and you have a purely ridiculous delight of a movie. There are great action sequences, Three Stooges level slapstick, and great heists by Willis and Aiello where they time the heists to classic songs they sing as they steal! Hudson Hawk is not for everyone, but for those who really dig Willis (who also co-wrote the story) and enjoy silly fun, this one is a classic!
Also of note this week is the James Wan produced Swamp Thing: The Complete Series, a new Shout Factory Collector’s Edition of the 1981 horror classic My Bloody Valentine, and the new horror flick starring Lin Shaye, Get Gone.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday February 11, 2020
A Million Hits
Bigfoot Down Under
Blood and Sand (1922)*
Dangerous Cargo (1977)*
Ford v Ferrari
Gunsmoke: The Complete Eighteenth Season
Gunsmoke: The Complete Nineteenth Season
Hell on the Border
Hudson Hawk (1991)
Jojo Siwa: D.R.E.A.M. The Concert Experience
Legal Eagles (1986)*
My Bloody Valentine: Collector's Edition (1981)
Mysterious Mr. M: 2k Restored Edition*
Nighthawks: Special Edition
No Mercy (1986)*
Paris Is Burning (1990)* - Criterion Collection
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert
Roma (2018)* - Criterion Collection
Rosewood Lane/White Noise: The Light*
Shutter Island 10th Anniversary 4K SteelBook Edition
Spirits in the Dark
Suburban Birds (2018)
Swamp Thing: The Complete Series
The Beast and the Magic Sword (1983)*
The Freakmaker (1974)*
The Great War
The Killing Time (1987)*
The Point (1971)* - Ultimate Edition
The Sting II (1983)*
Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)*
Wild Child/Life Happens*
Wild Nights with Emily
You'll Never Be Alone
*Catalog Blu-ray debut