A smaller selection this week, but what a selection! We kick off the week with one of the very best films of 2019, Parasite. The Kim family, mother and father Chung-sook and Ki-taek (Hye-jin Jang & Kang-ho Song), and their young adult offspring, son Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi) and daughter Ki-jung (So-dam Park) are all jobless, penniless and unmotivated living in a dingy basement apartment. But when Ki-woo scams his way into a job posing as an English tutor for the teenage daughter of a wealthy family, he soon finds a way to get the rest of the family jobs for the family as well without the family knowing they are all related. But as the Kim family gets comfortable with their new lifestyle, they will do everything in their power to keep it.
Director Bong Joon Ho (The Host, Snowpiercer) crafts a hypnotic and masterful tale of deception with Parasite. The entire cast are perfection, especially the actors comprising the Kim family, and even at just over 2 hours, the time flies by as the brilliant sucks you in and never lets go. There is a reason Parasite is cleaning up here in awards season, it is an immersive, funny, and disturbing morality tale that is 2019’s must see film.
Next up this week is the new entry in the Terminator franchise, Terminator: Dark Fate. Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes) is a hard working young woman with a loving father and brother in Mexico. But one day her life is thrown into turmoil when a mysterious man appears and attempts to kill her. The man is stopped by an equally mysterious woman named Grace (Mackenzie Davis) who claims to be an augmented human from the future sent to protect her from the man (Gabriel Luna) who she says is a terminator sent to kill her. When all seems lost, another woman, Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) with a history of dealing with terminators, shows up to help the women find a way to survive against the unstoppable assassin.
When the trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate arrived, fans were skeptical and the film did not perform as well as hoped. But the kicker is, the movie is actually really good! Co-written and produced by James Cameron and directed by Deadpool’s Tim Miller, Terminator: Dark Fate is a fun action packed thrill ride that sets up a cool new, if familiar, story, new cast additions Reyes, Davis and Luna are all excellent, and seeing Hamilton and Schwarzenegger back on screen together is magic. Miller keeps the action epic with great set pieces and stays true to the feel of the original two films. Give Terminator: Dark Fate a chance, don’t expect the first two films over again, but enjoy this one for how fun it is.
Lastly this week is screenwriting debut and only second feature directed by actor Edward Norton, Motherless Brooklyn. Norton plays Lionel Essrog, a lonely private detective afflicted with Tourette's Syndrome who sets out to solve the murder of his friend and mentor. Essrog has a powerfully obsessive mind that actually helps him unravel the mystery behind many hidden secrets in 1950s New York.
Motherless Brooklyn in a throwback to film eras of the past including film noir and the epic period dramas of the 1980s by filmmakers like Scorsese. Leone and Lumet. Norton shows a steady and confident hand behind the camera despite this only being his second time there. And his screenplay adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s novel plays like a classic noir. The supporting cast are excellent with Willem Dafoe (of course) standing out and Gugu Mbatha-Raw delivering a great performance as well. I hope we get to see Norton behind the camera more in the future, Motherless Brooklyn feels like a great drama from a time gone by.
Also of note this week is the new drama Harriet starring Cynthia Erivo as iconic American freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, the Blu-ray debut of Eric Red’s fantastic 80s horror film Body Parts, and The Rock in Ballers: Season Five.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday January 28, 2020
All About My Mother (1999)* - Criterion Collection
American Outlaws (2001)*
Ballers: Season 5
Bell, Book and Candle (1958)*
Body Parts (1991)*
Edge of the Axe (1988)*
Fail Safe (1964)* - Criterion Collection
Hard Soap, Hard Soap/Disco Lady (1977-78)*
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Set 5: Diamond Is Unbreakable Part 2
Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)*
My Name Is Myeisha
Terminator: Dark Fate
The Battle of Jangsari
The Slumber Party Massacre (Deluxe Limited Edition Steelbook with Exclusive Action Figure)
Trial by Jury (1994)*
Very Bad Things (1998)*
Wild America (1997)*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut