January kicks up a bit this week starting with the new Ryan Gosling film First Man. Gosling plays astronaut Neil Armstrong from 1961-1969 covering his journey from being a NASA test pilot to becoming the first man to walk on the moon. With many hurdles for NASA and for Armstrong himself, including the personal cost to his wife and child, and previous death of another child, Armstrong faces insurmountable odds to make history and participate in the biggest space event in human history.
Director Damien Chazelle does a fantastic job of keeping First Man from getting too dry and technical. By concentrating on Armstrong and his personal journey, he makes the film more intimate and more engaging, and Gosling perfectly conveys Armstrong’s demeanour and unwavering determination. In addition, First Man is beautiful to look at and fascinating to see what went into such a huge undertaking.
Next up is Beautiful Boy. Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet star as David and Nic Sheff, a father and son dealing over many years with Nic’s addictions, rehab, relapse and recovery and examines the effects the situation not only has on the father and son but everyone else in their lives.
Beautiful Boy is a different and very interesting take on addiction. It looks at a father and son that do not have issues and who are in fact very close with a strong relationship. But when the son’s addiction takes over, it really takes an honest look at how addiction happens, how it is dealt with and how it is not easy. Beautiful Boy is equal parts addiction film and father/son relationship film, so as a viewer you become more invested and feel less like it is a heavy handed addiction tale. It helps that actors as good as Carell and Chalamet are the ones telling the story. Highly recommended.
Lastly this week is an 80s crime classic coming to Blu-ray for the first time, Charles Bronson’s 10 to Midnight. Bronson plays Leo Kessler, a veteran detective in Los Angeles on the trail of a sadistic serial killer who escaped prosecution and is once again on the prowl looking for new victims. But Kessler will stop at nothing to get the charismatic killer of the streets for good.
Charles Bronson had some pretty amazing action classics in the 70s and 80s including the legendary Death Wish series, but 10 to Midnight may be one of his most overlooked classics. Aside from dated music, the film holds up very well and is a great early example of the type of serial killer films that would later become popular like Copycat and Se7en. Bronson is his usual stoic self but personally that is what I want when I sit down to a Bronson film. The story here is tense and exciting, the LA setting is great and a nice change from the usual New York City settings, and the killer, played by Gene Davis, is absolutely brilliant. If you have never seen 10 to Midnight, now is the chance to check it out in this awesome new Blu-ray special edition that features a new scan of the film and tons of new special features.
Also of note this week is a new special edition of another 80s crime classic, Sylvester Stallone in Cobra, a new special edition of the comedy gem Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Steve Martin and Michael Caine, and Glenn Close in the acclaimed drama The Wife.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday January 22, 2019
10 to Midnight - Collector's Edition*
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days* - Criterion Collection
A Fancy Piece of Homicide
A Natural Disaster
American Renegades a.k.a. The Lake
Beaten to a Pulp
Breath: Special Edition
Cobra - Collector's Edition
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - Collector's Edition
Double Dragon - MVD Rewind Collection*
Getting Even with Dad*
Here and Now
House of Ravens
How to Train Your Dragon 4K
I'd Prefer Your Problems Princess
Johnny English Strikes Again
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Set 3: Stardust Crusaders: Battle in Egypt
Killjoys: Season Four
Kiss of the Tarantula*
Mikey and Nicky* - Criterion Collection
Navajo Code Talkers of World War II
Oceans: Our Blue Planet
Road House 2*
Sheborg - Special Edition
The Hate U Give
Waterworld [Limited Edition]
WWE: Best PPV Matches 2018
*Catalog Blu-ray debut