The selection dwindles a little this week there’s still some gold in them there hills. We start with Daddy’s Home 2. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg reunite as Brad and Dusty, two Dad’s dealing with merged families. Having put their differences aside, Brad and Dusty now work together to make their kids’ lives as great as they can be. But with the holidays approaching and a planned all family Christmas ahead, wrenches are thrown into their orderly lives when Brad’s Dad Don (John Lithgow) and Dusty’s rebellious Dad Kurt (Mel Gibson) show up to join them. Now they must not only deal with any insecurities between them, but they must deal with their own parental issues as well, which may make just surviving the holidays impossible.
Daddy’s Home was a big hit and it was inevitable we were going to see Brad and Dusty again. But adding the killer combo of Lithgow and Gibson as polar opposite fathers was brilliant. Daddy’s Home 2 is silly, stupid, ridiculous and over the top. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Once in a while we just need dumb movies like this and with the comedic talents of all involved, this one was a home run. Gibson almost plays a broad characterization of his own public image here, to hilarious results. For all out fun, check out Daddy’s Home 2, just don’t overthink why.
Next up is Same Kind of Different as Me. Ron Hall (Greg Kinnear) is a wealthy international art dealer whose marriage to Debbie (Renée Zellweger) has been on the rocks for quite some time. When Ron tries to make amends by accompanying Debbie to volunteer at a homeless shelter, the couple start a friendship with a troubled homeless man, Denver Moore (Djimon Hounsou) who may end up changing their lives in ways they could never have imagined.
Same Kind of Different as Me is branded on the front cover with the Dove Seal of Approval, which signifies approval by the Dove Foundation, a group that recommends family friendly viewing and oftentimes, religious themes. While that can sometimes turn me off as I don’t like a preachy movie, Same Kind of Different as Me did not come across that way. It contains great themes of human decency and acceptance, but it is never overpowered with religious overtones. Zellweger and Hounsou in particular as really great here, with Hounsou delivering one of his best performances. This is a great movie for the whole family and one that can actually teach your kids a thing or two about how to treat others without being heavy handed.
Lastly this week we take a complete 180 with Mom and Dad. Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair play Brent and Kendall Ryan, parents to kids Carly (Anne Winters) and Josh (Zackary Arthur). Dealing with the stresses of being parents is one thing, but when a strange mass hysteria strikes their town making all parents inexplicably violent and out to kill their own kids, Brent and Kendall find themselves confused and uncontrollably bent on finding and dispatching their offspring. Now Carly and Josh, and every other kid in town, must find a way to elude their parents until help can be found as the massacre grows to incredible levels.
Mom and Dad is definitely a controversial and darkly humorous movie. It’s funny how society accepts pretty much any and all violence in films but when it comes to parents going after their own kids, things get uncomfortable. But Mom and Dad manages to keep the humor dark but evident and turns the whole thing into a crazy upside down survival movie that is beyond entertaining. Cage is unhinged, as usual, and is so much fun to watch, but Blair keeps up with him with every beat as she tries at first to resist the urge to off her kids but ultimately can’t fight it. And at the same time, they actually find themselves dealing with their own pent up regrets and anxieties about getting older and being parents. Mom and Dad is a heck of a lot of fun and well worth checking out.
Also of note this week is the awesomely cheesy 80s television show The Master: The Complete Series starring Lee Van Cleef, Sho Kosugi and Timothy Van Patten, so much fun for ninja fans! Also check out Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project, and Brooklyn Guns with Harvey Keitel.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday February 20, 2018
A Summer Story*
An Actor’s Revenge* - Criterion Collection
Blood of the Vikings: Last of the Vikings
Daddy’s Home 2
Daddy’s Home 4K
Farewell My Lovely/The Big Sleep
Gate II: Return to the Nightmare*
Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rouge
Kuu Kuu Harajuku: Girl Power
Midnight Texas: Season One
Mom and Dad
Rise of the Footsoldier: Part II
Same Kind of Different as Me
Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities
The Covered Wagon*
The Florida Project
The Girl Without Hands
The Hero* - Criterion Collection
The Master: The Complete Series*
The Night Walker*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut