Yet another fairly tame new release week to kick off October, but we start with one of the best shows on TV coming to Blu-ray, Yellowstone. Kevin Costner stars as John Dutton, who owns and runs the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. Along with his sons Jamie (Wes Bentley) who handles the ranch’s legal matters, and Kayce (Luke Grimes), a war vet who handles the dirtier jobs, and daughter Beth (Kelly Reilly) who handles the business affairs, the Dutton family is one to be reckoned with as they fight off media scrutiny, developers trying to grab up their land by any means and politicians bought and sold by corporations looking to cash in on the Dutton’s. But for this powerful American family, nothing will stand in their way and those who do will pay dearly.
The best way I describe Yellowstone to friends who haven’t seen it is that it is Sons of Anarchy but with cowboys. It has all the loyalty, backstabbing, drama, sex and violence that Sons was famous for, but in Montana. The cast is outstanding leading off with Kevin Costner in a role he seems born to play, and surrounded with the stellar Bentley, Grimes and Reilly as his kids who really vary in personalities but all have their very, very dark sides. Especially Kelly Reilly’s Beth, who is a wonderfully complex anti-hero and also half of the hottest romance on TV in years with Cole Hauser as ranch hand Rip. Yellowstone is high drama with fantastic writing, character development, production design and entertainment value. Simply outstanding and highly recommended. Yellowstone Seasons One and Two are available now on Blu-ray.
Next up this week is a new film from writer/director David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch) entitled The Tax Collector. David Cuevas (Bobby Soto) is a family man who works for powerful Los Angeles gang members as a gangland tax collector along with his partner Creeper (Shia LaBeouf). Together they make collections across the city making sure the gangs pay up or suffer the consequences. But when a new player arrives in town, David and Creepers jobs are in danger as is their entire way of life. But when David’s family is threatened, it becomes an all-out war for survival.
I am a huge fan of Ayer’s work, from the aforementioned Training Day and End of Watch to the Brad Pitt wartime tank flick Fury and the Arnold Schwarzenegger underrated action movie Sabotage. With The Tax Collector Ayer returns to the streets but this time on the other side of the law. The story is engaging and feels fresh and Cuevas is a strong lead who just gets better as the film goes on. But it is Shia LaBeouf that is the real scene stealer as the unstable Creeper, a suit wearing, tattooed, shaven head psycho who the gang members think is the devil. And Ayer casting LaBeouf as the secondary character was brilliant as he gets lets screen time but anchors Soto’s character well and makes for some great drama. The Tax Collector is highly recommended.
Also of note this week is the first season of the newest entry in the Star Trek universe, Star Trek: Picard - Season One with Patrick Stewart returning to his iconic role, the Shudder original series Eli Roth's History of Horror: Season 1 which is the perfect set to pick up with Halloween quickly approaching, and Zack Snyder’s brilliant 300 finally finding its way to 4K.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday October 6, 2020
300 (2007) 4K
American Pie Presents: Girls' Rules
B: The Beginning – The Ultimate Collection
B: The Beginning: Season One
Before the Fire
Blues Clues & You! Caring with Blue
Conjuring Universe 6 Film Collection
Digimon Adventure: Last Evolution Kizuna
Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)*
Eli Roth's History of Horror: Season 1
Little Nothings a.k.a. Riens du tout (1992)*
Naruto Triple Feature Collector's Edition Steelbook
Peppa Pig: Peppa's Perfect Day
Pierrot le fou (1965)* - Criterion Collection
Ricky Zoom: Zoom into Adventure
Shutter Island (2010) 4K
Star Trek: Picard - Season One
Tales from the Hood 3
The Deeper You Dig
The Face at the Window (1939)*
The Fighting Fist of Shanghai Joe (1973)*
The Groundstar Conspiracy (1972)*
The Hard Way (1991)*
The Invincible Dragon (2019)
The Last Kingdom: Season Four
The Pale Door
The Secret Garden
The Secret of My Success (1987)*
The Tax Collector (2019)
The Wonderland (2019)
To Your Last Death (2019)
Valley Girl (2020)
When Calls the Heart: Into the Woods & New Possibilities
When Calls the Heart: Year Seven
Yellowstone: Season One
Yellowstone: Season Two
*Catalog Blu-ray debut