We kick off the start of the cold weather and the long road into winter with Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw. Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham reprise their Fast & Furious franchise roles as Lawman Luke Hobbs and outlaw Deckard Shaw who despite hating each other must join forces to stop a new terrorist threat led by the cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) when he gets his hands on a deadly bio-agent that could alter humanity forever.
Hobbs & Shaw is the first spin-off movie in the Fast & Furious franchise but all the things you love about those films are definitely present including some great laughs thanks to the abrasive relationship between the two tough guys, amazing and thrilling action sequences, lots of cars and chases and loads of explosions. Johnson and Statham have charisma to spare and fantastic on-screen chemistry, so that alone makes Hobbs & Shaw worth the price of admission. Add to that the additional screen presence of Idris Elba as the Terminator-like villain, exotic locations, and Vanessa Kirby as Shaw’s very badass sister who comes along for the ride and you have an over the top, sci-fi flavored action epic that keeps the Fast & Furious franchise alive while taking it all in a new direction. And the 4K Blu-ray is one of the best-looking movies of the year and will undoubtedly test the limits of your home theatre system with a gorgeous picture and absolutely bombastic sound. Check it out!
Next up is a new horror flick based on the bestselling youth books from the 80s, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. In 1968 a group of teenagers in the small town of Mill Valley decide to investigate the town’s notoriously haunted house once owned by the Bellows Family. In the home a young girl named Sarah lived with horrible secrets that she turned unto a series of scary stories, stories that can transcend time itself and become all too real for the curious teens.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a fantastic series of stories that helped form many kids of that generation myself included. Director André Øvredal and producer Guillermo Del Toro did a great job of bringing these classic stories to life with a beautifully made horror film that is accessible by younger audiences but still full of great visuals and old-fashioned horror storytelling that will also appeal to adult fans. The production is slick and gorgeous to look at and the incredible practical effects creatures are seriously something to marvel at. While hardcore (and elitist) horror fans may write this one off, I found Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark to be a wonderfully produced old fashioned horror anthology that perfectly executed what it was out to do. Fun, well written, produced and acted, and just a good time plain and simple.
Lastly this week is a new crime thriller, The Kitchen. In Hell’s Kitchen circa 1978, three women, Kathy (Melissa McCarthy), Ruby (Tiffany Haddish) and Claire (Elisabeth Moss) are married to members of the Irish mob who are caught during a robbery and sentenced to three years in prison. When the three women find it hard to support their families without their husbands' criminal income, they take the situation into their own hands by taking over collecting protection fees in their neighbourhood while actually helping out and making them beloved in their community. With the mob not liking what they are doing the women escalate and try to gain more power to take over all they can and ensure the security of their families, but they may not be prepared for the consequences of their actions, especially when their husbands get released.
The Kitchen is a crime thriller aiming for the same audience as many of Scorsese’s films, or other great neighbourhood crime films like The Drop with Tom Hardy or A Place Beyond the Pines with Ryan Gosling. McCarthy, Haddish and Moss are all excellent here as truly badass criminal entrepreneurs. McCarthy in particular really moves out of her regular sort of role to embrace the badass and does it with authenticity and grit. While the film definitely earns its R rating, it sometimes feels like the story pulls back a bit from being a little grittier, but it is still an excellent crime thriller anchored by three fantastic lead performances. The supporting cast including Domnhall Gleeson, Margo Martindale, and Common are all excellent but this is definitely the leading ladies show. Highly recommended.
Also of note this week is a new wave of Disney animated classics hitting 4k including Big Hero 6, Moana, The Princess and the Frog, Zootopia and my favorite, Tangled. Also out this week is a phenomenal new box set, Abbott & Costello : The Complete Universal Pictures Collection.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday November 5, 2019
A Very Corgi Christmas
Abbott & Costello : The Complete Universal Pictures Collection*
Apprentice to Murder*
Bare Knuckle Brawler
Big Hero 6 (2014) 4K
Castlevania Season 2
Cinderella and the Secret Prince
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Great Cars: Ford & Ferrari
It Always Rains on Sunday*
Letterkenny: Seasons 1 & 2
Moana (2016) 4K
My Adventures with Santa
New Port South (2001)*
Peanuts by Schulz: Lucy and Friends
Santa with Muscles (1996)*
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Seven Days to Noon*
Snow Falling on Cedars (1999)*
Tangled (2010) 4K
The Man Between*
The Princess and the Frog (2009) 4K
Undercover Brother 2
Universal Soldier 4K
Woman in Hiding*
WWE: Clash of Champions 2019
Zootopia (2016) 4K
*Catalog Blu-ray debut