Welcome to November! And a packed week it is to start off the new season starting with the new Spike Lee joint, BlacKkKlansman. In the midst of the 1970s Civil Rights movement, Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) becomes the first black detective on the Colorado Springs Police Department. When he inadvertently starts investigating the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan posing as an interested white man over the phone, he pairs up with a Jewish colleague (Adam Driver) who poses as the same alias but in person to infiltrate the organization and possibly even expose the higher ranks all the way up to David Duke (Topher Grace).
I am already a huge Spike Lee fan, but I have to say BlacKkKlansman is easily my favorite Spike Lee film since Malcolm X at least. Washington and Driver are a fantastic pair as they fool every idiotic white supremacist they encounter. If the story weren’t true I would have a hard time believing it. That two cops, one black and one Jewish could team up and infiltrate a racist hate group just sounds too good to be true. Lee keeps things stylish and interesting as he always does with a fantastic soundtrack, a wide variation of camera angles and set ups, a phenomenal cast and an engaging and fast paced script. And while BlacKkKlansman may be one of the Lee’s most accessible films, it doesn’t dull his point at all when it comes down to the situation during the Civil Rights Movement and the similarities to today’s social and political climate.
Next up is the long-awaited sequel to one of Disney and Pixar’s most beloved animated films with Incredibles 2. With superheroes still being illegal, upbeat benefactor and telecommunications tycoon, Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) has a plan to make super’s acceptable again, utilizing Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) as their shining example. But this leaves Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) to become a stay at home dad. But the whole Parr family may be in for more than they bargained for when a new villain, Screenslaver starts wreaking havoc with his mind control abilities.
Writer/Director Brad Bird made The Incredibles a hit in 2004 with his perfect balance of family friendly humor and action topped with a good dose of morality tale. With Incredibles 2, every element that made the original great is amped up with some great family humor, especially the scenes of Mr. Incredible trying to manage baby Jack-Jack and his emerging super powers. But there is also the story of Elastigirl trying to become the face of superheroes, a woman representing a largely male driven arena. The film has some great messages that are very on point with what is really going on in our world today, but it never hits you over the head with it either. On top of all this well thought out and well written story, you get some downright hilarious jokes, and some top notch action scenes, all tied together with a connecting theme of family. This one is another winner.
Lastly this week is an old classic brought to new life in Christopher Robin. Ewan McGregor plays an adult Christopher Robin, now a regular man focused on his new life and work, but is struggling with balancing things and making time for his family. His old friends from the hundred-acre wood haven’t forgotten him though, and Winnie the Pooh finds a way into real world London to find Christopher and hopes to bring him back to the woods to relight his childhood imagination and rediscover a love for life and family.
Christopher Robin will seem like something of a trip back to the hundred-acre wood for anyone who grew up with Pooh as well. Ewan McGregor is always charming and funny and he fits in well here with newly imagined live action versions of the classic characters. And although they might not look quite as we might remember them, their charm and personalities have not changed a bit and seem as authentic as ever. Christopher Robin is a small, charming fairy tale about never losing your imagination and always keeping what is truly important in your heart. And we can all use some of that.
Also of note this week is a new Collector’s Edition of the 1992 cult favorite Mick Garris film Sleepwalkers, written by Stephen King and featuring tons of new special features. Also check out Destination Wedding with Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder and Papillon with Charlie Hunnam and Rami Malek.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday November 6, 2018
A Story from Chikamatsu* - Criterion Collection
Air Force One 4K
Alone We Fight
An Interview with God
Art School Confidential*
Benji's Very Own Christmas Story*
Beyond the Sky
Bilil: A New Breed of Hero
Blaze and the Monster Machines: Blaze Saves Christmas
Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti
Law Abiding Citizen 4K
Phantasm - Steelbook Edition
Sherlock: Season One 4K
Silent Witness Season 6
Sleepwalkers – Collector’s Edition
Succession: The Complete First Season
Superman: The Movie 40th Anniversary 4K
The Good Fight: Season Two
The Little Witch
The Prayer Box
The Shield: The Complete Series*
The Sound of Music Live
The Thing 4K Steelbook
Train to Busan - Steelbook Edition
Transformers: The Ultimate Five Movie Collection 4K
Who is America
Windtalkers – 2 Disc Ultimate Edition*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut