A bit of a slower week once again, we start the week off with a fresh new version of a blast from the past with Scoob! Young Shaggy is a lonely kid longing for friends when we meets a stray puppy while hanging out at Venice Beach. After naming the pup Scooby, the two become inseparable and eventually befriend a few more kids who eventually team up and form Mystery Inc., the mystery solving gang we all know and love. After we shift to the gang as young adults, they embark on a mystery helping with vapid and vain superhero Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) to defeat the bad guy Dick Dastardly (Jason Isaacs), who wants to unlock the underworld and unleash the three-headed hound Cerberus upon the unsuspecting masses. They must solve one of their biggest mysteries ever in their biggest movie ever.
Scoob! is a fresh new take on the classic Scooby-Doo cartoons, especially with the addition of the early scenes depicting the meeting of Shaggy and Scoob and the rest of the gang. These scenes are nice and touching and make for a great origin to the classic characters. Once the main mystery kicks in it is pretty much standard Scooby fare, but do we really want something different? All the voice talent is excellent, especially Will Forte as Shaggy and Zac Efron as Fred. For a nice nostalgic trip for adults and a fun crash course for the younger audience who might not yet be familiar with the goofy canine, Scoob! checks all the right boxes.
Next up is a new Cinemax series, Jett: The Complete First Season. Carla Gugino plays Daisy 'Jett' Kowalski, a master thief recently released from prison who is determined to leave her life of crime behind and settle down with her daughter. But soon she finds her past and new criminal connections catching up with her as she gets caught up in a new job for local crime lord Charlie Baudelaire (Giancarlo Esposito). Now she must work every angle if she is to get out of the life alive, but she is good at what she does and just might have the tools to play everyone.
Jett was created and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez, who does a phenomenal job with every aspect of the show, but it definitely has a Steven Soderbergh feel to the whole thing, which is not a bad thing. Gugino holds the show on her shoulders easily and is a charismatic and totally badass lead. The supporting cast is all top notch including Esposito, Gil Bellows, Greg Byrk, and Bruce Greenwood, but it is the aesthetic of the show that is the real star. Jett: The Complete First Season is slick, beautifully designed and has a tightly written, labyrinthine story that keeps you engaged throughout. Check it out!
Lastly this week is the second season to the well-received Hulu original series based on the works of Stephen King, Castle Rock. This season follows King character Annie Wilkes (Lizzy Caplan) from Misery and her daughter Joy (Elsie Fisher) as they travel town to town with Annie taking a series of nursing jobs that invariably end with her loading up on stolen meds. She ends up in Castle Rock’s neighboring town of Jerusalem’s Lot where Joy just want to stay put and settle down. But things start to spiral out of control as Annie gets involved with local business owners who are hiding very big secrets as well as the secrets buried in Jerusalem’s Lot itself.
Castle Rock: The Complete Second Season, in my opinion, is a much stronger season than the first one. I found the storyline in the first season to be convoluted and hard to follow, but in this season, the brilliant blending of King’s novels Misery and Salem’s Lot is an unexpected but fantastic journey. And Caplan’s Annie Wilkes is absolutely stunning, you can actually hear Kathy Bates’ voice when Caplan speaks, instantly making her take over the characters seamlessly. Add in some Tim Robbins and Barkhad Abdi and you have one bizarre but completely engrossing season of Stephen King goodness. Highly recommended.
Also of note this week is Tom Hardy as the legendary gangster Al Capone in Capone and the always underrated Olga Kurylenko in the mystery horror The Room.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday July 21, 2020
Against All Flags (1952)*
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944)*
Arabian Nights (1942)*
Attraction 2: Invasion
Blood Hunger: The Films Of Jose Larraz*
Buccaneer's Girl (1950)*
Castle Rock: The Complete Second Season
Colonel Redl (1985)*
Gamera: The Complete Collection*
Ghost (1990) - Paramount Presents
Jett: The Complete First Season
Life Is a Long Quiet River (1988)* - Arrow Academy
Marriage Story (2019) - Criterion Collection
Northern Exposure – The Complete Series
Re: Born (2016)*
Son of Ali Baba (1952)*
Spartacus (1960) 4K
Survive the Night
Taste of Cherry (1997)* - Criterion Collection
The World in His Arms (1952)*
War of the Colossal Beast (1958)*
You Don't Nomi
*Catalog Blu-ray debut