Things are warming up! We kick off the heat wave with The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. It’s been five years since Emmet Brickowski (voice of Chris Pratt) and his friends saved the city of Bricksburg. But moments after it seemed like everything was awesome again they are invaded by aliens from the planet Duplo. Now the city is in ruins and everyone is adjusting to their new much less optimistic life in the new Apocalypseburg. Emmet joins Lucy (voice of Elizabeth Banks) and Batman (voice of Will Arnett) to travel to the Systar System to stop the aliens once and for all and get their awesome lives back.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part is thankfully more of the same that made The Lego Movie so darn good. The voice acting by Pratt, Banks, Arnett and many others is top notch, the writing is hilarious and the action fast paced and the story imaginative. The CG graphics are gorgeous to look at keeping audiences of any age engaged fully. The Lego movies have all been hits so far and have really raised the bar for family films, let’s hope they keep it up.

Next up is a new survival drama, Arctic. Mads Mikkelsen stars as Overgård, a man stranded in the remote arctic after a plane crash. Thanks to his inventiveness and ingenuity he is surviving in a makeshift camp, but after a helicopter flying by also crashes, he rescues a young woman and finds himself trying to decide if staying in the camp waiting for rescue is the right thing to do, or if he should embark on the perilous journey to a faraway base camp and risk even making it out alive.

Arctic is surprisingly low budget at around $2 million dollars but every cent is on screen in this tense and frustrating drama. Mads Mikkelsen, perhaps the most underrated actor working today, is phenomenal in his role here really hitting home as the man capable of surviving but always weighing his options carefully. The cinematography is stunning to look at, filmed entirely in Iceland, and the story keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Very highly recommended.

Lastly this week is Ethan Hawkes third film behind the camera, Blaze. Ben Dickey plays country music singer and songwriter Blaze Foley, an unsung legend of the Texas outlaw music movement. The film weaves through three different periods of Foley’s life re-imagined, examining his love life, his career and his last night on Earth as well as the impact his songs and death had on all those he knew and the legacy his music left.

Blaze is a wonderfully intimate portrait of a man who lived for music. Foley was a passionate man who was constantly trying to find his place in the world and who struggled with his sense of purpose. Ben Dickey is unbelievably authentic as Blaze, stripping down the character to his emotional roots and never shying away from the man’s faults and demons. Hawke is a steady and intuitive director crafting his film in a very confident way much like many of the masters of the 70s. Blaze is a must see for music fans or for anyone interested in witnessing an honest portrayal of the life of a songwriter.

Also of note this week are a nice selection of titles new to the 4K format including the classic hit Forrest Gump, the Kurt Russell firefighter drama Backdraft, Ridley Scott’s intense Black Hawk Down and Guillermo Del Toro’s wondrous Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

Until next week movie lovers!

DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday May 7, 2019

A Delicate Balance (1973)*

All About Lily Chou-Chou (2001)*

Arctic

Backdraft 4K

Better Call Saul: Season Four

Black Hawk Down (2001) 4K

Blaze

Bonanza: The Official Ninth Season: Volume One

Bonanza: The Official Ninth Season: Volume Two

Broken Flowers (2005)*

Everybody Knows

Forrest Gump 4K

Hellboy II: The Golden Army 4K

Hyena Road (2015)

LEGO DC Super Heroes: Aquaman / The Flash

Permanent Green Light

Rhinoceros (1974)*

Sex Madness Revealed

Shoah: Four Sisters

Swing Vote (2008)

The Grand Duel*

The Heiress* - Criterion Collection

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part

The Man Who Haunted Himself (1970)*

The Nightcomers (1971)*

The Prodigy

Tom and Jerry: Me oh Mice Triple Feature

Unikitty: Season 1

What Men Want

When Calls the Heart: Queen of Hearts

*Catalog Blu-ray debut