Well things certainly slowed down this week. But the great thing is, of the small selection, there are some killer titles in the mix. We start with the third chapter in one of the best reboots ever, War for the Planet of the Apes. It has been 15 years since the Simian Flu wiped out most of mankind. Caesar and the apes have been living a peaceful existence until the arrival of a ruthless human Colonel (Woody Harrelson) who vows to destroy all apes before humans become extinct. After a vicious battle, Caesar finds himself and most of the apes held prisoner in a camp and he must devise a way to stop the Colonel and save his kind before it is too late.
The Planet of the Apes reboot series that started with Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011 has simply blown me away. Not only are they brilliantly written, directed and stunning to look at, but they are all led by the greatest motion capture performance in history, Andy Serkis as Caesar. Serkis is a phenomenal actor but the depth, emotion and humanity (yes, in an ape) he brings to the character is just staggering. Every facial expression is perfectly captured and translated making the performance legendary and the character timeless and iconic. I am really hoping Serkis finally gets an Oscar nod for his performance in this film. After the two great films before it, War for the Planet of the Apes actually ups the ante and delivers an even more emotionally charged film, a film with more at stake and a film with better action. And that is hard to do in a franchise after two already great movies. If you dug the first two you will love this one, it is my favorite of the three for sure.
Next up is the newest film in the Conjuring universe, Annabelle: Creation. Serving as a prequel to 2014?s Annabelle, Annabelle: Creation follows Samuel and Esther Mullins (Anthony LaPaglia & Miranda Otto), a couple who, 12 years after losing their daughter Annabelle, open their home to provide shelter for Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) and six girls left homeless after the closing of an orphanage. But soon after they arrive, strange happenings occur as a demon tries to take over one of the girls, Janice (Talitha Bateman). Now Sister Charlotte and Janice?s friend Linda (Lulu Wilson) must unravel the mysteries that the Mullins are hiding if they are to survive.
Annabelle: Creation is even better than the first film, mostly thanks to some solid scares and great performances by Talitha Bateman and young Lulu Wilson, who also delivered a great performance in last year?s Ouija: Origin of Evil, another prequel that outdid its predecessor. Annabelle: Creation has all the scares, a great location, a great cast and will make a great addition to any horror flick movie night this week before Halloween.
Lastly this week is Bushwick. Brittany Snow stars as Lucy, a young woman in New York who wakes up to chaos when she finds out Texas is trying to secede from the U.S. and a new civil war has broken out. After meeting Stupe (Dave Bautista), a war veteran, the two try to make it across the treacherous five blocks of Bushwick to get to Lucy?s grandmother and Stupe?s family. But with looters, militia and invading forces everywhere, they will have to use every last ounce of their willpower, ingenuity and luck if they are going to make it out alive.
Bushwick was one hell of a nice surprise. Being a direct to video film I had heard nothing about, I wasn?t sure what to expect but directors Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott craft a very tense and ingeniously filmed action thriller that had me literally holding my breath. Both Snow and Bautista are excellent here, especially Bautista who continues to impress with every new role he takes on. He is not only a skilled soldier here but someone who?s inner turmoil and emotional state can be read on his face in every frame. The directors constructed the film in such a way that it appears to be one continuous take and pretty much in real time and the results are extremely effective. The film never slows down and the viewer really feels like he/she is along for the ride. Check out Bushwick, a great little gem that deserves to be seen.
Also of note this week is a beautiful new Blu-ray set from Arrow Video called George A. Romero: Between Night and Day which presents three films of the late great director (There?s Always Vanilla, Season of the Witch & The Crazies) together in a wonderfully exhaustive box set. Also out this week is Cars 3 and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday October 24, 2017
A Woman?s Torment*
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
Blood Feast: Special Edition
George A. Romero: Between Night and Dawn
Hell on Frisco Bay*
Holiday Inn: 75th Anniversary Edition
J.D.?s Revenge: Special Edition*
Personal Shopper ? Criterion Collection
Portrait of Jennie*
The Corpse Grinders*
The Emoji Movie
The Good Catholic
The Old Dark House*
The Voice of the Moon: Special Edition*
War for the Planet of the Apes
Web of the Spider*
Where?s the Money
*Catalog Blu-ray debut