Things are really picking up now that we move into February and we start off with the true story of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots in Only the Brave. Eric Marsh (Josh Brolin) of the Prescott Arizona Fire Department dreams of his crew becoming ‘Hot Shots’, a front line forest fire fighting crew. To make it happen Eric and his team, including troubled new recruit Brandan McDonough (Miles Teller), must undergo rigorous training and qualification testing and ultimately, facing some of the most deadly fires in the country.
Only the Brave is a great story of real life heroes and their journey to do a job most people wouldn’t and couldn’t do. Director Joseph Kosinski fills the movie with a brilliant cast of actors who bring real authenticity to their roles honoring the real life people who put their lives on the line to protect others. The adventurous scenes are thrilling and intricately staged, but it is the anchor of the great characters that keeps the stakes meaning something. Teller in particular really great here as the new recruit that has had nothing but trouble his whole life and is just searching for some meaning. Brolin really turns in a powerful performance as well imbuing Marsh with the unstoppable will to do what he believed he was meant to do. Only the Brave is a tense and exciting movie that does an admirable job of living up to the real story.
Next up is the new film with George Clooney behind the camera, Suburbicon. Matt Damon plays Gardner Lodge, a family man in 1959 America living in the idyllic neighbourhood of Suburbicon. But when an African-American family moves in, Gardner and his family witness the dark underside of their neighbour’s true beliefs as the violence against the new family escalates to insane levels.
I was really looking forward to Clooney’s Suburbicon based on the trailers and the fact that the film was co-written by the Coen Brothers, but the film really never comes together in the way I was hoping it would. I was hoping Damon’s character would be some sort of rebelling hero against the crazy white supremacist neighbours but instead the filmmakers opted to make Damon just as crazy as they are, just not in a racist way. Which is where the problem lays for me. There are no heroes in this story. The African-American family is great but barely explored, and Damon’s son character is much the same. The movie ends up coming off less quirky and more depressing. Some parts really do echo the craziness of racism that is springing up again in society but the film never really focuses on any one point long enough to really care about it. There are some great ideas in Suburbicon but ultimately it ended up very disappointing.
Lastly this week is Walking Out. David (Josh Wiggins) is an average teenager, addicted to his phone and not very interested in his visit to his father’s house in rural Montana. His father Cal (Matt Bomer) lives off the grid and desperately wants to connect with his son through his own passion of hunting. But when they descend together into the winter wilderness and struggle to relate to each other, a dangerous encounter with unexpected wildlife leaves both of them injured and struggling to survive.
Walking Out is a different kind of survival film. It doesn’t rush right into the survival aspect, it takes its time to establish the differences between the father and son and really explore what that means to their situation. Bomer plays the macho old world dad to perfection here, a man who has no idea how to relate to a modern teenager. A man who believes in his gun and nature to provide. His son on the other hand just doesn’t get the fascination but tries his best to go along with it in a desperate attempt to relate to his dad. Once the survival aspect comes into play it means more to the story that we know what these to people carry with them into the situation. Walking Out is a gripping and emotional survival story.
Also of note this week is the newest installment in the Hatchet franchise, Victor Crowley, the new Danielle Harris horror thriller Inoperable, and the Friday the 13th Ultimate Collection, which has been a long time coming.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday February 6, 2018
24 Hours to Live
A Bad Mom’s Christmas
All I See is You
Ancient Aliens: Season 10 Volume 2
Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
Bosom Buddies: The Complete Series
Bubble Guppies: Swim-Sational Collection
Daddy and the Muscle Academy*
Day of the Dead: Bloodline
DC Universe 10th Anniversary Collection
Duckman: The Complete Series
Elevator to the Gallows* - Criterion Collection
Friday the 13th: The Ultimate Collection
Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno*
Homeland: The Complete Sixth Season
House of Demons
Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971*
Jojo Siwa: My World
Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir: Season One
Off the Menu
Only the Brave
Red Dog: True Blue
Ren & Stimpy: The Almost Complete Collection
Rugrats: Season Four
Rugrats: Season Three
Shimmer and Shine: Beyond the Rainbow Falls
The Diabolical Dr. Z*
The Dumb Girl of Portici*
The Gruesome Twosome*
The Guardian: The Complete Series
The Perfect Day
Tom of Finland
Top Gear 24
War of the Worlds: The Complete Series
Welcome to Willits
Where Love Found Me
*Catalog Blu-ray debut