Finally we are basking in the warmth of the sun! There are also some great releases this week to bask in starting with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his fellow Vikings are enjoying a peaceful life living among dragons in Berk but their accommodations are getting crowded. After Toothless finds a mate in a rare Light Fury, Hiccup searches for the dragons mythical ‘hidden world’ to find a place where the dragons will be safe until all humans learn they are not a threat. But infamous dragon hunter Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) is determined to destroy all dragons and Hiccup must find a way to stop him and keep the dragons safe.
The How to Train Your Dragon series is seriously one of the best animated film series ever. The films are all filled with genuine heart and wonderful characters that actually have developing arcs. And the animation is stunningly beautiful and can compete with the liked of Pixar films any day. This entry holds up just as well as the first two, maybe even better. You really find yourself having to be reminded that this is in fact an animated film. The visuals are so amazing you really can get lost in it. The story this time around is strong and engaging, I just can’t help but hope they are not planning on stopping the series at three films.
Next up is a new comedy headlined by Rebel Wilson, Isn’t it Romantic. Wilson plays Natalie, a talented architect who is unfortunately not noticed by those around her and suffers from self doubt. After hitting her head in an accident Natalie awakens in a hospital in a romantic comedy version of her world where everything is perfect and Natalie is appreciated and pursued by handsome men. Desperate to return to her real life, Natalie must find what she thinks is true love but her new surroundings might teach her a thing or two about what is really important in life.
Isn’t it Romantic is Rebel Wilson’s first solo lead role and she handles things well. Wilson is instantly funny in any situation but still manages to play the more straight or emotional scenes very well too. The supporting cast is great including the reuniting of her Pitch Perfect co-star Adam Devine as Natalie’s best friend and Liam Hemsworth proving brother Chris isn’t the only sibling with comedy chops. Overall the film does play it pretty safe and doesn’t venture into more raunchy territory, but it does prove Wilson is more than capable of leading a comedy.
Lastly this week is a new film from martial arts legend Donnie Yen, but this time he tackles comedy and family friendly! Big Brother stars Yen as Henry, an ex-soldier turned high school teacher uses his immense fighting skills and big heart to help the underperforming school and inspire its students. And when an opportunistic entrepreneur wreaks havoc at the school with his gang of fighters sent to disrupt things, Henry and his students band together to give the unwelcome guests a real education.
Donnie Yen is undoubtedly one of the best martial arts movie stars out there with his incredible skills yet he is one of the few martial arts stars who actually has considerable acting skills as well. Big Brother is definitely a change of pace for Yen but a welcome one with a real 80s lighter overall tone that still features some kick ass action mixed up with some great positive messages. It is nice to see Yen tackling a wide variety of material, if only Hollywood would recognize his talents and use them.
Also of note this week is the drama The Upside with Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston, the Blu-ray debut of the underrated action film The Hunted with Christopher Lambert and John Lone, and the new horror film Lords of Chaos with Rory Culkin as a member of a Norwegian Black Metal band!
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday May 21, 2019
A Dark Place
Bitter Moon (1992)*
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Isn't It Romantic
Ladies in Black
Let the Sunshine In* - Criterion Collection
Lords of Chaos
Nixon (1995) - Special Edition*
Pokémon The Series : Sun and Moon - Ultra Adventures Complete Collection
Public Defender: The Official First Season
Ruben Brandt Collection
She-Devils on Wheels*
The Bostonians (1984)*
The Hunted (1995)*
The Image Book
The Loud House: Relative Chaos – Season 2, Volume 1
The Seduction (1982)*
Trapped Alive (1988)*
Von Richthofen and Brown (1971)*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut