First up this week, Olivia Wilde stars in A Vigilante. Sadie (Wilde) is a survivor of domestic abuse who finds herself training physically and mentally to make herself into an avenging angel for other abused women. While Sadie’s husband is still out there, Sadie hides herself from the world, devoting all her time and energy into saving as many others as she can. But how long can she live like this before her past comes back to confront her?
A Vigilante is the feature debut of writer/director Sarah Daggar-Nickson and I have a feeling we will be hearing much more about her in the future. A Vigilante is crafted with a seasoned professional’s eye with every frame being intentionally and meticulously laid out. And Olivia Wilde is a raw, unrelenting force as Sadie, serving as a therapeutic outlet for any viewer looking to take out some frustration over the current social climate over the treatment of women. A powerful portrait of a woman pushed too far and a fiercely effective thriller.
Next up is a whole different kind of female driven thriller, Greta. Chloë Grace Moretz stars as Frances, a young woman who finds a purse on the subway and returns it to the owner of the enclosed identification, a woman named Greta (Isabelle Huppert). Greta seems to be a little lonely and Frances takes a liking to her and the two become unlikely friends. But after Frances begins to suspect Greta may be scamming her, she cuts off the friendship only to find Greta starting to stalk her. With nowhere to turn Frances tries desperately to find a way to rid herself of Greta before things escalate into dangerous territory.
Greta is a classic stalker thriller that is brought to a better than average level thanks to the brilliance of Isabelle Huppert. The film veteran is no stranger to violent roles but she seems to take particular relish with the character of Greta. She plays her as a woman who just needs to love and will stop at nothing to do so. And Moretz is excellent as well as the innocent girl who maybe trusts Greta a little too much and finds herself in an impossible situation. Greta plays up the camp a little and has fun with the premise while still keeping things tense and scary.
Lastly this week is a new Criterion Collection edition of David Lynch’s classic Blue Velvet. Jeffrey Beaumont (Kyle MacLachlan) is home from college to tend to his ailing father when he discovers a severed ear in a nearby field. After turning it into the police Jeffrey becomes obsessed with the mystery surround the ear and becomes embroiled in the dark underground of his small town with his fellow amateur sleuth Sandy (Laura Dern).
Blue Velvet is perhaps David Lynch’s great masterpiece. The film is filled with such intense and bizarre performances (especially that of Dennis Hopper’s insane and brilliant Frank Booth), sumptuous visuals and unique story. Lynch has made a career out of making strange and surreal movies, some of which work and some that didn’t, but Blue Velvet is the perfect film that bridges the gap between fantastical and grounded and really manages to create a wholly original world that the characters live in, and one that you won’t soon forget after viewing. The new Criterion Collection edition features a new 4K transfer, 53(!) minutes of deleted scenes and alternate takes, and no less than three feature length documentaries on the making of the film. This is an essential edition for any film collector.
Also of note this week is Gaspar Noé’s new experimental film Climax with Sofia Boutella, and the disturbing new Korean horror film A Record of Sweet Murder.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday May 28, 2019
A Record of Sweet Murder
A Space Program 2015
Beatriz at Dinner
Blue Velvet (1986) - Criterion Collection
Cartoon Network: Steven Universe - The Complete Second Season
Double Impact (1991)* - MVD Rewind Collection
Eugenie... The Story of Her Journey into Perversion (Special Edition)*
Exorcism of the Dead
La prisonnière a.k.a. Woman in Chains (1968)*
Madame X (1966)*
Marquis De Sade's Justine (Special Edition)*
One Sings, The Other Doesn't* - Criterion Collection
Outlander: Season 4
Penny Points to Paradise (1951)
Portrait in Black (1960)*
Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island
Shark Attack 3-Pack
South Park: The Complete Twenty-Second Season
Steel Magnolias (1989)*
The Alligator People (1959)*
The Nun (1966)*
The Poison Rose
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)*
The Unity of Heroes
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995)*
When a Stranger Calls Back (1993)*
WWE: WrestleMania 35
*Catalog Blu-ray debut