Welcome to March! One step closer to warm weather. We start off the month with Creed II. Continuing the successful Rocky franchise, Sylvester Stallone returns as Rocky Balboa picking up years after training Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) to become the Heavyweight Champion of the world and follow in his father’s footsteps. But when Russian boxer Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu), son of the Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), the who killed Apollo Creed, shows up in Philadelphia to challenge Adonis, he accepts the challenge despite not having Rocky’s support. Now he must fight the greatest challenge of his life, even at the risk of losing those he loves.

Creed II is a worthy, maybe even superior sequel to the excellent Creed from 2015. Jordan and Stallone fall easily back into their roles and bringing in Munteanu and Lundgren was a stroke of brilliance, especially since Lundgren’s character from Rocky IV is still a fan favorite. The story is well written and never seems to be sequel filler, the fight scenes are excellent and the drama just as solid. Now with eight films in the Rocky legacy, the series is actually as strong as ever. Curious to see how long they can keep this quality level going, but I am there as long as they keep making them as good as this one.

Next up is the new comedy Instant Family. Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne star as Pete and Ellie, a happily married working class couple considering parenthood. When they decide to look into fostering and adoption, they are taken by Lizzy (Isabela Moner) who also has two younger siblings, Juan (Gustavo Quiroz), an oversensitive and quiet boy, and Lita (Julianna Gamiz), an energetic and trouble making little girl. Pete and Ellie take in the three kids and try to make a perfect life for them, but soon find out there is much more to an instant family than they could ever have bargained for.

I was really impressed with Instant Family. I was expecting a run of the mill, prat fall, kid gags movie but what I got was a very well written, beautifully acted and touching comedy that was as emotional as it was hilarious. Moner, Quiroz and Gamiz were absolutely wonderful and wholly convincing as siblings, and Wahlberg and Byrne have excellent chemistry and brilliant comedic timing. But it was the sincere and authentic family story that was really the heart of the movie and made all the laughs not seem cheap. Instant Family is a memorable one and highly recommended.

Lastly this week is a new thriller, The Clovehitch Killer. Charlie Plummer plays Tyler, a Boy Scout, a volunteer at his local church, and the dutiful son of an upstanding, community leader dad, Don (Dylan McDermott). But when Tyler discovers a hidden box of disturbing photos in his Dad’s workshop, he begins to suspect his father may be The Clovehitch Killer, a murderer who terrorized the town 10 years earlier. With the help of a mysterious local girl named Kassi (Madisen Beaty), Tyler starts digging into the case in the hope of discovering the true identity of the elusive killer.

The Clovehitch Killer is a very well done and entertaining serial killer story with a nice coming of age twist. McDermott delivers his best performance in years as the mild mannered and too nice to be true Don, and Charlie Plummer is excellent as the son struggling with considering the father he loves dearly may be a monster. The film has a nice retro Stand By Me-ish feel to it, but with a great underlying sense of dread and mystery. A better than average thriller well worth checking out.

Also of note this week is The Favorite featuring the Oscar Winning performance by Olivia Colman, Ben is Back with Julia Roberts, and Don’t Go with Stephen Dorff and Melissa George.

Until next week movie lovers!

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday March 5, 2019

100 Yards

Barbie Dreamtopia: Festival of Fun

Before and After*

Ben is Back

Burning

Creed II

Don't Go

Duets*

Gunpowder

House of Cards: The Complete Sixth Season

Instant Family

Kalifornia (1993) - Collector's Edition

Krypton: The Complete First Season

Liz and the Blue Bird

Marquis (1997)*

Mary Queen of Scots

Phantom Lady*

Rick and Morty: Seasons 1-3

Shakespeare and Hathaway: Season One

Sister Street Fighter Collection*

The Clovehitch Killer

The Craft - Collector's Edition*

The Deadly Mantis (1957)*

The Doctor*

The Favor*

The Favourite

The Mercy

The Standoff at Sparrow Creek

Untamed Heart*

Vox Lux

Welcome Home

Welcome to Mercy

When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Blessing

*Catalog Blu-ray debut