Well, for the first time in a while we have a week of quantity and quality! But for me it is the week of throwback fun! We kick it off with the new big screen treatment of Mortal Kombat, which was actually released last week. MMA fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan) has a beautiful wife and daughter, but can’t seem to make his career in fighting go anywhere. But his life is turned upside down when he meets Sonya Blade (Jessica McNamee) and Jax (Mehcad Brooks) who have uncovered an otherworldly realm where warriors from across time and dimensions come together to fight in Mortal Kombat for control over the universe. But first Cole must learn his purpose and his power if he is to defeat the evil warriors working for Emperor Shang Tsung (Chin Han).
The Mortal Kombat films of the 1990s were fun for their time, and the great news is that this blockbuster keeps the heart and soul of those films and of the nineties themselves alive. The whole cast is great and the story is full of laughs and fantastical action sequences. The characters are memorable and even though the story may not even…spoiler ahead…get to the actual tournament, it is a super fun prologue film that left me wanting more. The highlight may actually have been the excellent opening sequence with Hiroyuki Sanada and Joe Taslim. Overall, for fans of the franchise, Mortal Kombat marks a fresh new chapter and sets up what I hope will be a fantastic new film series.
Next up this week are two guilty pleasures of mine arriving on 4K for the first time, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Retaliation. In the first film we find Duke (Channing Tatum), a soldier, recruited by a top secret, international special forces unit known as G.I. Joe. Led by General Hawk (Dennis Quaid), the team is out to stop an evil organization known as Cobra from getting specialized warheads.
In G.I. Joe: Retaliation, after a deadly attack, three remaining Joes, Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), and Flint (D.J. Cotrona) along with Snake Eyes (Ray Park) are on the run and trying to stop a Cobra conspiracy to free Cobra Commander (Luke Bracey) and take control of the White House.
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is the more flawed of the two films but still has plenty of great action sequences, some really cool characters and is a ton of fun overall. But with G.I. Joe: Retaliation the filmmakers seem to hit the mark much better and make the proceedings really FEEL like G.I. Joe. Many of the classic characters are here including Roadblock, Snake Eyes, Lady Jaye, Flint, Storm Shadow, Firefly and Zartan and the action is better this time around as well, including some sweet ninja action. There is a 13 minute longer cut of the film available on streaming that is unfortunately not included here, but even in the theatrical cut G.I. Joe: Retaliation is full of great action and is a must see for fans of G.I. Joe. Especially now with the release of Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. The new 4K transfers look fantastic with noticeable upgrades in all aspects of the visual presentation. If you are a fan like I am, these 4K editions are worth every penny of the upgrade. Highly recommended.
Also of note this week is the fantastic documentary The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films, available on the MVD Rewind Collection on Blu-ray. For fans of 80s action cinema, this documentary is a must see to check out the story of one of the most successful studios of the 80s. Also check out the newest chapter of the Saw franchise, Spiral starring Chris Rock, and the new horror flick Jakob’s Wife with Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday July 20, 2021
32 Malasana Street
A Stranger is Watching (1982)*
An American in Paris (2018)
Behind the Sightings
Bordertown: Season 3
Born for Hell a.k.a. Naked Massacre (1976)*
Close Range (2015)/Savage Dog (2017) Double Feature - MVD Marquee Collection
Crazy Mama / The Lady in Red (Double Feature)
Dead & Buried (1981) 4K
Die in a Gunfight (2021)
Eight Legged Freaks (2002)*
End Game: Technology
Fire a.k.a. No Escapes (2020)
Flight to Mars (1951)*
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013) 4K
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) 4K
Gangs of London: Season One
Going for Goldeneye
I Wouldn't Be in Your Shoes (1948)*
Jack vs Lanterns
Jakob's Wife (2021)
Janis Joplin - Janis: Little Girl Blue
Jerry Lewis: The Essential 10-Movie Collection
La piscine (1969)* - Criterion Collection
Little Big League (1994)*
Pal Joey (1957)*
Royal Deceit (1994)* - MVD Marquee Collection
Siege a.k.a. Self Defense (1983)*
Skinned Deep (2004)*
Spiral: From the Book of Saw
Star Trek: Discovery - Season Three
Step By Step (1946)*
Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)*
The Gilded Lily (1935)*
The Go-Go Boys: The Inside Story of Cannon Films (2014)*
The Plainsman (1936)*
The Time Guardian (1987)*
The Walking Dead: The Complete Tenth Season (2019-2021)
The Wraith (1986) - Vestron Video Collector's Series*
Whirlpool of Fate (1925)*
*New to Blu-ray