Another cold winter month in the books and one step closer to warmer weather! We start off this week with Ralph Breaks the Internet. In this sequel to the 2012 hit Wreck It Ralph, Ralph (John C. Reilly) and his friend Vanellope (Sarah Silverman) are distressed when Vanellope’s game, Sugar Rush, breaks and the parts to fix it are no longer available. So they use a newly installed Wi-Fi router in the arcade to access a new thing called The Internet to try and find the elusive piece that could save Sugar Rush and restore the only home Vanellope has ever known.
Wreck It Ralph was a wonderful animated family film with a throwback vibe that really seemed to be more for the parents than the kids, but it was entertaining and enjoyable for any viewer. Ralph Breaks the Internet may have even improved the formula with some great jokes about the pros and cons of the internet, some of them even having subtle but powerful messages about trolling and other issues. And being Disney, there are even some great digs and references to other Disney properties that are downright hilarious. And the 4K transfer is really something to behold practically appearing to be three dimensional in its clarity and resolution. One of the best looking, funniest and most enjoyable family films of the year.
Next up is a new horror flick, The Possession of Hannah Grace. Megan Reed (Shay Mitchell) was a good cop but after losing her job due to substance abuse, she is out of rehab and is getting her life back together with a new job at the city hospital morgue. When the body of a young woman, Hannah Grace (Kirby Johnson), arrives at the morgue after dying during a long, excruciating exorcism gone wrong, Megan finds herself spooked by the contorted corpse and believes she is starting to see things in the quiet hallways. But is Megan relapsing or imagining things or is Hannah Grace’s body still possessed and determined to live again?
The Possession of Hannah Grace is an atmospheric and creepy thriller with an amazing physical performance by Kirby Johnson. The setting of the city morgue at night is unsettling in itself, and Shay Mitchell delivers a fine performance as the former cop doubting her own sanity, but it is the unsettling visual appearance of Johnson’s Hannah Grace that keeps the viewer creeped out. An effective and moody little horror film.
Lastly this week is a film that was actually out a few weeks ago but is worth mentioning this week, Jonathan. Ansel Elgort stars as Jonathan, a young man with an unusual diagnosis. He has a twin brother named John that shares his body. With the help of medication and Dr. Mina Nariman (Patricia Clarkson), Jonathan makes things work by splitting each day between his personalities, with one getting the 7am to 7pm part of the day and the other getting the night shift. But when one brother starts hiding the fact that he has a girlfriend, it causes a rift between them that threatens to derail the delicate balance of their lives completely.
Jonathan is a very interesting approach to a character drama and I don’t know that it would have worked as well with another actor. Elgort is thoroughly convincing as two people within the same body and really elicits empathy for both brothers and the limits placed on their existence. It is fascinating to watch how their structured lives fall apart when they feel the need for independence and the unique problems that would be associated with such a situation. Well worth checking out even if only for Elgort’s excellent performance.
Also of note this week is a new Legally Blonde Blu-ray collection from Shout! Factory, the classic Kurt Russell comedy Used Cars hitting Blu-ray for the first time, and a 90s action double feature Blu-ray debut, Crazy Six/Blast with Rutger Hauer, Ice-T, Rob Lowe and Burt Reynolds.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday February 26, 2019
A Bill of Divorcement (1940)*
A Man Possessed
Battle for the Lost Planet*
Beast of the Yellow Night (1971)*
Crazy Six/Blast* - Double Feature
Desert Fury (1947)*
I Am Still Here
Invasion of the Blood Farmers*
Legally Blonde Collection*
Mary Queen of Scots
Next of Kin (1982)*
Ralph Breaks the Internet
The Little Mermaid - Anniversary Edition
The Midnight Man (1974)*
The Mole People (1956)*
The Possession of Hannah Grace
The Rover a.k.a. L'avventuriero (1967)*
The Vengeance of She*
To Sleep with Anger* - Criterion Collection
WWE: Best of RAW and SmackDown 2018
*Catalog Blu-ray debut