We start this week off with one of the most talked about sequels from 2018, David Gordon Green’s Halloween. Four decades after the events of the original Halloween, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is estranged from her daughter (Judy Greer) due to Laurie’s trauma after her encounter with the killer Michael Myers. She has spent her entire life preparing her daughter and herself for Michael’s eventual return. When Michael does manage to escape, and return to finish what he started, it is up to Laurie to put an end to the evil once and for all.
This was definitely one of my most anticipated films of 2018 and really it ended up being a pretty mixed bag for me. Green and co-producer Danny McBride did manage to keep the aesthetic of the original film, their updates to the mask and to the character of Laurie were well done, and Curtis’ performance was excellent. But it seemed to fall apart for me on a couple of other elements. Despite Michael once again being a killing machine, he somehow did not seem as imposing or scary as in previous incarnations. I don’t know if that was due to the physical presence of the actor in the mask, but it just didn’t translate as well. The other major factor for me was the humor. Whenever it shows up it seems out of place. And it seems to appear whenever there is a scene that should have been scary, taking you out of the scene. The last thing that didn’t work was the casting of Judy Greer. I just didn’t buy her as the girl that grew up tough and able to really be a badass like Laurie. But overall Halloween is a curious experiment, and is generally enjoyable, mostly for Curtis and the production design. But the film was a hit and hopefully will spawn a sequel that will right the wrongs.
Next up is a new Robert Redford film, The Old Man & the Gun. Redford plays Forrest Tucker, a bank robber who has been on the run most of his life who despite getting multiple chances to start over, can never leave behind the thing he truly loves, robbing banks. With many robberies over his lifetime and multiple prison escapes, Tucker loves the thrill of his vocation. But when he meets and falls for a woman named Jewel (Sissy Spacek) and finds himself pursued by a dogged detective (Casey Affleck), Tucker can’t stop even in his 80s.
The Old Man & the Gun is a pretty incredible true story. Redford is in fine form and really seems to be enjoying himself and his chemistry with Spacek is wonderful. The further the story goes, the more incredible it gets, this is a fantastically fun heist flick blended with touching character study and love story. It’s great to see Redford still taking on such interesting roles even at 83, let’s hope we still get many more.
Lastly this week is the new family sequel Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. Teenager Sarah Quinn (Madison Iseman) lives with her mother Kathy (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and younger brother Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) in Wardenclyffe, New York. When Sonny and his friend Sam (Caleel Harris) stumble upon a locked book in an abandoned house they are hired to clean up, they open it and unwittingly release the magic within it that makes everything on Halloween come to life to attack the town. Now they must find a way to get rid of all the creatures and close the book back up and return it to the author, R.L. Stine (Jack Black).
Goosebumps was a big hit in 2015 so it was inevitable we would see a sequel, but this one ends up being even more fun despite not having Jack Black in it nearly as much. The special effects work is imaginative and looks great with the entire cast doing a great job keeping things fast paced and fun for the kids and adults alike. Make a note of Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween for your next family movie night.
Also of note this week is Jonathan, a great new sci-fi drama with Ansel Elgort as two brothers sharing the same body, a new Blu-ray special edition of Brian De Palma’s Obsession, and a new 4K 30th Anniversary edition of Stallone’s Cliffhanger.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday January 15, 2019
Cliffhanger - 25th Anniversary Edition 4K
Crimson Peak - Special Edition
Four Times That Night (1971)*
Howling III: The Marsupials*
Hunter x Hunter Set 5
Illumination Presents: 10 Minion Mini-Movies
Knives of the Avenger (1966)*
LEGO Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit
MST3K: Volume IX
Notorious - Criterion Collection
Obsession - Special Edition (1976)
Once Upon a Deadpool
Saturday the 14th*
The Doctor Blake Mysteries: Season Five
The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion*
The Glass Key*
The Old Man and the Gun
The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 4*
The Plague Dogs*
The Plague of the Zombies (1966)*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut