First up this week is Pacific Rim Uprising. Picking up 10 years after the Battle of the Breach, the world is rebuilding but Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) the son of hero Stacker, but he doesn't see himself as anything like his dad. Jake is a former Jaeger cadet who now makes a living by dealing Jaeger parts in exchange for goods. But when a rogue Jaeger appears as well as new mutated Kaiju’s, Jake must join forces with some rookie pilots to live up to his father’s legacy and save the world.
Pacific Rim Uprising is missing some of the visual flair that Guillermo Del Toro brought to the original film, but it is more than made up for with more action and spectacular effects scenes that keep the pace fast and exciting. John Boyega does an admirable job of holding the film on his shoulders and the supporting cast are all excellent as well. If you are just looking for a special effects extravaganza with tons of robot and monster action, Pacific Rim Uprising will do the trick just fine.
Next up is an interesting new experimental thriller from director Steven Soderbergh, Unsane. Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) is trying to get on with her life after a period of time dealing with a frightening stalker. When visiting a counsellor at a facility called Highland Creek, she signs a form she thinks is for further counselling but in actuality she voluntarily commits herself to the institute. Once locked inside she discovers her stalker is actually working there under a new identity and she must do everything in her power to convince the staff she is not crazy.
Steven Soderbergh has always been one for experimenting in his films and with Unsane, he decided he wanted to try filming an entire movie with an iPhone. The result is a claustrophobic thriller that twists and turns making you constantly second guess yourself as to whether Sawyer is crazy or not. Foy is excellent in the lead role and it is great to see Amy Irving back in a film after a fairly long absence. Unsane is fast paced, interesting and engaging and a really fun experimental thrill ride.
Lastly this week is a new Criterion Collection edition Blu-ray release of Michael Moore’s Bowling for Columbine. Just as relevant (or maybe even more relevant) as it was in 2002, Moore’s fascinating documentary explores America’s fascination with guns and their staggering death toll attributed to that fascination. Presented with many interesting angles and some humor sprinkled throughout, Bowling for Columbine looks at the easy access to guns in America, it’s violent history, and political, social, corporate and racial issues that factor into the phenomenon.
Bowling for Columbine is one of the most successful documentaries of all time for good reason. While many point out that Moore might approach his subjects from a certain point of view, there is no denying the facts he presents and the questions that arise from them. It is always entertaining while being informative and thought provoking at the same time. This new Criterion Collection edition features a new transfer of the film, a new documentary on the making of the movie, special features covering the effects the movie has had, and segments from TV shows featuring Moore. Bowling for Columbine is an essential doc and this is the essential edition of it for sure.
Also of note this week is the ludicrously fun 70s animals gone wild horror film Night of the Lepus about giant mutated rabbits on a rampage, the drama Midnight Sun featuring Patrick Schwarzenegger, and a new MVD Rewind Edition of Jean-Claude van Damme’s Lionheart.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday June 19, 2018
Alex & Me
Alien Predators a.k.a. The Falling*
Bowling for Columbine* - Criterion Collection
Doctor Who: The Complete Tom Baker
El Sur* - Criterion Collection
Halo: Forward unto Dawn
I, Jane Doe*
In the Dark
Keep the Change
Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 08
Lionheart – Special Edition*
Night of the Lepus*
Pacific Rim: Uprising
The American Heroes Collection
The Garden of Eden*
The Hollow Child
The Woman in the Window*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut