A short list this week but chock full of great titles starting with the new film starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Rampage. Johnson plays Primatologist Davis Okoye who has taken care of an extraordinarily intelligent silverback gorilla named George since rescuing him from poachers when he was a baby. When a greedy corporation’s genetic experiments in space fall to Earth in a catastrophic accident, George, along with two other animals, is mutated into a super-sized aggressive creature intent on destroying everything in their paths. Now Davis must rush with Dr. Caldwell (Naomie Harris), who invented the chemical, to find the antidote and save George and the city.
Rampage is based on an classic video game from the 80s and I honestly was not expecting too much from it, but I was incredibly surprised just how much fun Rampage was. It has a very 80s vibe, tons of non-stop action, great one liners from Johnson and overall just more fun than I could handle. The effects are stunning, pacing breakneck, and always stops short of veering into dumb territory making this the most pleasant surprise of the year so far.
Next up is the new film from Amy Schumer, I Feel Pretty. Schumer plays Renee Bennett, a woman struggling with insecurity around her looks and the societal pressures of appearance. When Renee hits her head in an accident at the gym, she wakes up thinking she has changed into the most beautiful woman despite not actually changing physically. Her newfound confidence start to make big changes in her life from a new job to a new relationship, but how long can it last until Renee realizes it is her attitude that is changing her life, not her looks.
Schumer has built her career on being someone who embraces what she looks like and empowering the individuality of women. I Feel Pretty is the movie that embodies what she has stood for all along. It is funny and heartfelt and never stoops to crude humor or dumb humor, instead using the humorous situations to reinforce the idea that society really does have a problem when it comes to appearance. So while you are getting some good laughs and a solid relationship film, there are also some pretty important lessons to be learned in I Feel Pretty.
Lastly this week is the unique new film from director Wes Anderson, Isle of Dogs. In an undetermined future, an outbreak of dog flu has spread throughout the city of Megasaki, Japan and the mayor has decreed all dogs be sent to a trash island off the coast to keep the population safe. But when a young boy, Atari, loses his dog in the chaos, he sets on to find him amongst the new population of animals with the help of five other dogs determined to help him.
Wes Anderson is undeniably one of the most unique filmmakers out there. His last animated film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, is brilliant and Isle of Dogs ads another creative notch to his belt. The stop motion animation is gorgeous to look at and the characters, voiced by the likes of Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Frances McDormand and many more, are endearing and unique. Anderson’s stories always seem to revolve in some way around family and this is no exception. Definitely unlike anything else out there, Isle of Dogs is worth a watch, especially for Anderson fans.
Also of note this week is the new Joaquim Phoenix thriller You Were Never Really Here, the new Blumhouse horror flick Truth or Dare, and the Omar Epps/Paula Patton thriller Traffik.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday July 17, 2018
A.R.C.H.I.E. 2: Mission Impawsible aka Archie 2
You Were Never Really Here
Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare
I Feel Pretty
Irma la Douce*
Isle of Dogs
Sex, Lies and Videotape – Criterion Collection*
Super Troopers 2
The Case of the Scorpions Tail*
The Quick and the Dead 4K
Woman is the Future of Man + Tale of Cinema: Two Films by Hong Sangsoo*
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic: Rarity
The Good Place: The Complete Second Season
The Expanse: Season Three
Top Gear: From A-Z (Ultimate Extended Version)
Cartoon Network: OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes – Season One Volume One
*Catalog Blu-ray debut