Cool weather accompanies a pretty cool list of releases starting with an action packed new film from Dwayne Johnson, Skyscraper. Johnson plays Will Sawyer, a former FBI Rescue expert and war veteran now running his own business assessing security for skyscrapers all around the world. Called upon to evaluate a new skyscraper in Hong Kong that will be the tallest building in the world. But when a fire breaks out and Will is framed for it, he must find a way inside to save his family and clear his name.
Skyscraper surprisingly did not perform well at the box office domestically (although it did quite well overseas) but it is a fantastically entertaining mash up of Die Hard and The Towering Inferno. Johnson is his usual charming self, winning hearts and kicking ass. Neve Campbell makes a huge splash returning to the big screen as well in a great supporting performance that is much more than the standard write off wife role. The setting is amazing, the action exceptionally staged and very exciting, and the humor frequent and thankfully not cheesy. Despite the lacklustre reception, this is another great flick from The Rock putting him on a solid roll after the also surprisingly great Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Rampage, which was so much better than it rightfully deserved to be. Skyscraper is pure action bliss.
Next up is Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, the latest installment in the popular animated franchise. This time out Mavis (Selena Gomez) surprises Dracula (Adam Sandler) with a vacation on a luxury Monster Cruise ship. With the whole gang along for the trip, Drac must learn to relax and not be the one running things as he navigates dealing with family, dealing with being at sea, and a mysterious new love interest, the ship’s captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn).
The Hotel Transylvania films are just pure joy. The manic animation style of Genndy Tartakovsky (The Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack) is perfect for this light and fun family comedy that takes the classic monsters and puts them squarely in a family setting everyone can relate to. The voice talent is perfectly cast, especially with Drac, a character that suits Sandler’s trademark silly voice to a t. And there is plenty of laughs for the parents here as well as the usual giggles for the kids making Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation appeal to pretty much any age out there.
Lastly this week is a very small indie thriller that is very highly recommended, especially for the month of horror. The Forest of the Lost Souls is a dense and remote forest in Portugal known to be a popular place for suicides. One summer morning, two strangers meet there and begin to learn more about each other’s stories and what brought them to the forest. But it soon becomes clear that one of them is there for a very different reason, one much more sinister and disturbing.
The Forest of the Lost Souls is a very small independent film, but one that really packs a wallop visually and emotionally. Daniela Love is just captivating as Carolina, the girl in the forest. As her story unfolds and you discover her reasons for being in the forest, the film just becomes chilling and unnerving. The photography is absolutely stunning and filmed all in black and white. It is a mesmerizing film on all levels and one definitely recommended to check out for those searching for something different this Halloween season.
Also of note this week is Bo Burnham’s excellent new drama Eighth Grade, the third and final chapter in the Malevolence horror saga Malevolence 3: Killer, and a new special edition of the Nicolas Cage war drama Windtalkers.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday October 9, 2018
A Prayer Before Dawn
Art School Confidential* - MVD Rewind Collection
Burns and Allen Collection
Constantine: City of Demons
Dispatches from Cleveland
Don’t Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
Ed and His Dead Mother
Eight Hours Don't Make a Day* – Criterion Collection
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
House on Haunted Hill: Collector’s Edition
Looking for Lennon
Making a Killing
Malevolence 3: Killer
Out of Time* - MVD Rewind Collection
The 100: The Complete Fifth Season
The Debt Collector
The Evil Dead 4K
The Forest of the Lost Souls
The Malevolence Trilogy
The Man in the Iron Mask* - 20th Anniversary Edition
The Official Story*
The Paper Store
Thelma Todd & Zasu Pitts: The Hal Roach Collection 1931-33
Trick r’ Treat: 10th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
Truth & Justice
Welcome to Hell
Windtalkers* - MVD Rewind Collection
*Catalog Blu-ray debut