A smattering of releases for this week for June starting with the Arnold-less sequel, Escape Plan 2: Hades. Sylvester Stallone returns as security expert Ray Breslin, who now manages an elite team of security specialists who are skilled in the art of escaping the world’s most elaborately secured prisons in order to help the prisons better their systems. When Ray’s friend and most trusted operative Shu Ren (Xiaoming Huang) is kidnapped and sent to one of the most elaborate and secret prisons ever built, one that in fact, is fully computerized and is constantly changing shape, Ray must gather some of his most trusted allies to find Shu and break him out of the most inescapable prison ever made.
Escape Plan 2: Hades does suffer from the absence of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Stallone is actually more of a supporting player here, but lead Xiaoming Huang does a great job with his charisma and exceptional skill. The action is plentiful and the entire movie really has more of an Asian action film vibe, but it works well and is a lot of fun. And throw in the impressive presence of Dave Bautista along with 50 Cent, Jesse Metcalfe, Jaime King and Titus Welliver and you have a nicely rounded out cast and a fun action flick.
Next up is a bizarre new film called Terminal. Taking place in an anonymous, neon-lit, almost abandoned city, Terminal follows two assassins (Dexter Fletcher and Max Irons) as they carry out a sinister mission, a teacher (Simon Pegg) battling a fatal illness and considering what he thinks is his only way out, a strange janitor (Mike Meyers) and a curious waitress (Margot Robbie) leading a double life. As all of their stories intertwine, their fates are all being controlled by one mysterious criminal mastermind.
Terminal is a hard film to wrap my mind around. It has elements of indie thriller filmmaking, shades of Tarantino and retro styling, and the overall feel of a strange stage production. The whole cast are great, the writing is a little uneven as is the pacing, but it was unique enough to keep me interested. Robbie and Pegg are definitely the stars of the show here though. For something odd and off the beaten path, give Terminal a shot.
Lastly this week is Black Lightning: The Complete First Season. From DC Entertainment, Black Lightning follows school principal Jefferson Pierce, formerly a well known superhero known as Black Lightning. He hung up his suit nine years before and settled down with his wife and two daughters. But as Jefferson’s community comes under attack from a new criminal network, he is drawn out of retirement to protect the people he loves. But becoming Black Lightning again could come at a heavy price.
I am quite surprised more people aren’t talking about Black Lightning. This is a well written, well acted, exciting and action packed show that takes on many societal issues such as crime, racism, drugs, and much more, and does it all with a middle aged black superhero at its core. My one and only complaint about the show is the retro-awful neon suit that Black Lightning sports. In 2018, they really show have been able to come up with something cooler than that. But rubber tights aside, Black Lightning: The Complete First Season is well worth checking out for fans of superheroes or just fans of good dramatic television that likes to incorporate many hot topics intelligently into its storylines. Very much looking forward to a Season Two.
Also of note this week is a very desirable new 13-disc collection of the uber fun Puppet Master films in a collectible trunk display, the Blu-ray debut of a great 80s action gem A Breed Apart with Rutger Hauer, and a new Criterion Collection of John Waters cult classic Female Trouble.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday June 26, 2018
A Breed Apart*
Beauty and the Dogs
Black Lightning: The Complete First Season
Blood Theatre/The Visitants*
Escape Plan 2: Hades (July 29)
Female Trouble* - Criterion Collection
Garlic and Gunpowder
Garo Special: Beast of the Demon Night
Gus: An American Icon
Hunter x Hunter: Set 4
Jack Reacher 4K
Mission: Impossible 1-5 4K
Peyton Place: Part Four
Puppet Master Collection [Limited Edition Ultimate Collectible Trunk Blu-ray 13 Disc Set]
Sleepless in Seattle – 25th Anniversary Edition
The Complete Sartana*
The Curse of the Cat People*
The Escape of Prisoner 614
The Last Post: Season 1
The Martian Chronicles*
The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Vol. 2*
The Virgin Spring* - Criterion Collection
Tyler Perry’s Acrimony
*Catalog Blu-ray debut