We kick off May with the new Vin Diesel movie, Bloodshot. Diesel plays Ray Garrison, an elite solider who is murdered along with his wife while they are on vacation, then brought back to life by a brilliant scientist, Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce). Ray is resurrected with the help of nanotechnology which enables him to have superhuman strength and ultra-fast healing. But as he starts to get used to his new abilities, he breaks out of the facility and seeks revenge on those responsible for his wife’s death, only to discover there is much more to his story than he originally thought.
Bloodshot is based on a Valiant Comics character and is brought to life by director Dave Wilson, who was previously a video game visual effects artist. Wilson brings his expertise to the effects in Bloodshot and does a pretty darn good job of directing as well. The story is fast paced and fun with spectacular action sequences and a solid performance by Diesel. The plot is well devised and fun to watch unfold, but it is the effects and action that will really stick with you after the credits roll. A great escape for quarantine movie night.
Next up this week is the new fantasy horror film Gretel & Hansel. A long time ago in a distant fairy tale countryside, teenaged Gretel (Sophia Lillis) and her younger brother Hansel (Sam Leakey) have been kicked out of their house by their troubled mother and seek shelter and work. But when they stumble upon a house in the woods owned by a woman named Holda (Alice Krige) who invites the siblings inside for a meal and allows them to sleep there in exchange for work. But soon Gretel starts to suspect the woman has other plans for the two children and must find a way to escape with their lives.
Gretel & Hansel is directed by Oz Perkins, son of late screen legend Anthony Perkins. Oz has made a name for himself as a director of atmospheric and artistic horror with his other two films, I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House and The Blackcoat’s Daughter. With Gretel & Hansel he crafts a mainstream horror fairy tale with a very artistic soul, full of disturbing yet beautiful imagery and stellar performances by It: Chapter One and Two’s Sophia Lillis and the brilliant Alice Krige. Gretel & Hansel may not be for everyone, maybe not for every horror fan, but it is a beautiful film to watch and another potential cult favorite from Oz Perkins.
Lastly this week is another horror film, The Lodge. Richard (Richard Armitage) is a father to two children, Aidan (Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) and is trying desperately to get them to accept his new girlfriend Grace (Riley Keough). He takes them all to an isolated cabin to spend some time together, but is called away for work and forced to leave his kids alone with Grace. Things only escalate when a blizzard hits trapping them inside the lodge as Mia starts to learn about Grace’s secrets and her disturbing past, things that may end up threatening Mia and Aidan’s very lives.
The Lodge is a very atmospheric nail biter of a horror film anchored by a brilliant performance by Riley Keough. The two children are excellent as well and really convey that fear of not only being stuck with someone they are unsure of, but also being stuck in a location with no way out. It is a satisfying blend of survival horror and stalking killer horror with some occult thrown in for good measure. The Lodge is a claustrophobic, tense flick perfect for late night viewing.
Also of note this week is the excellent Mexican horror film Tigers Are Not Afraid, the new crime thriller Arkansas with Liam Hemsworth and Vince Vaughn, and John Turturro’s return to his classic character from The Big Lebowski in The Jesus Rolls.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday May 5, 2020
47 Ronin (2013) 4K
A Thousand Clowns (1965)*
An Inspector Calls (1954)*
Cruel Peter: The Boy
D-Day: Normandy 1944 75th Anniversary Edition 4K
Exorcism At 60,000 Feet
Gretel & Hansel
Gunsmoke: The Complete Series
Gunsmoke: The Final Season
I Still Believe
Mandy (2018) Steelbook Edition
Me, Natalie (1969)*
Ray Donovan: The Seventh Season
Red vs. Blue: Singularity
Six Moral Tales (1963-1972)* - Criterion Collection
Spring Night Summer Night (1967)*
The Jesus Rolls
The Mask of Zorro (1998) 4K
The Road to Mother (2016)*
Tigers Are Not Afraid (2017)*
Wonder Woman: Bloodlines
*Catalog Blu-ray debut