A solid week of releases kicks off with one of the best movies of the year, John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum. Keanu Reeves returns as super assassin John Wick as he goes on the run with a $14 million bounty on his head. Now every killer, hitman and thug is out to claim the prize and take out Wick, but John Wick is not that easy to kill. With a little help from a reluctant friend, Sofia (Halle Berry), who owes him, John must take on waves of people determined to kill him in order to find a way to find some sort of peace and stay alive.
The John Wick series has become one of the best action series ever and much to my surprise, John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum is actually the best of them all so far. The action here seems much more original with more variations by bringing in elements like knife fights and dogs. The pace is crazy fast, the fight choreography even faster, and the story as intriguing as ever. Reeves is one of the most beloved movie stars out there now and with John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum he proves once again why.
Next up this week is a zombie movie of a different flavor, The Dead Don’t Die. Bill Murray and Adam Driver play police officers Cliff and Ronnie is the small town of Centerville USA when strange occurrences start to happen when an ecological disaster knocks the Earth off its axis causing strange weather…and the dead to start to rise. Along with fellow officer Mindy (Chloë Sevigny), they must fight off the growing hordes of flesh hungry ghouls and find a way to survive the impending apocalypse.
Written and directed by indie darling Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise, Night on Earth, Only Lovers Left Alive), this is not your typical zombie movie. While Jarmusch does give the audience a good dose of gore, his indie roots show through in a much slower pace and the film being very dialogue heavy. Jarmusch wrote The Dead Don’t Die as a bit of a love letter to the late great George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead) and there are plenty of hidden references to Romero and the horror genre scattered throughout. With a huge supporting cast including Tom Waits, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, RZA and Larry Fessenden, The Dead Don’t Die may not please mainstream horror fans, but it is a great slice of indie filmmaking with its tongue planted firmly in its cheek.
Lastly this week is not only a new Signature Collection edition of the Disney animated classic Aladdin, but the new live action version as well. The new version features Mena Massoud as the kindhearted street kid Aladdin who survives by stealing on the streets of Agrabah. When Aladdin comes into possession of a magic lamp with a genie inside (Will Smith), he tries to use his wishes to become a prince and win the heart of Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott), a lonely princess who yearns to be freed of her royal constraints. But Aladdin must also fend off the evil Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) who plans to steal the lamp to become the ultimate sultan.
The original animated Aladdin is a wonderful family film with lots to enjoy for the adults as well, mainly thanks to the voice talents of Robin Williams as the genie. Lots of pop culture references, great in jokes and a beautiful animation style make Aladdin a bonafide Disney classic. The new Signature Edition features a wonderful transfer and loads of special features including a new sing along mode, featurettes on the original voice work, plus tons of original bonus material. The new live action Aladdin has a lot going for it as well. Will Smith had big curly toed shoes to fill replacing Robin Williams but does a great job of making it his own and having a lot of fun with the role. The best part of the film is the incredible production design, it is a lush, colorful, stunning visual feast that just jumps off your home theatre screen. The music is mostly carried over from the animated film with a few new additions, but they all fit in well and are carried out wonderfully. There is a little something lost in the translation from animation to live action, something indefinable, but Aladdin is still a really fun family adventure. Overall this Disney double feature is a sure fire winner with family movie night.
Also of note this week is a new 6 movie collection of Paranormal Activity movies on Blu-ray, the First Season of the intriguing mystery series The Alienist starring Daniel Brühl, and a whole whack of classic Disney films arriving on 4K for the first time including Brave, Cars 1 & 2, Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, Inside Out and Ratatouille.
Until next week movie lovers!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday September 10, 2019
Adventures of Dally and Spanky
Blood from the Mummy's Tomb (1971)*
Cars 2 4K
Chicago P.D.: Season Six
Circus of Horrors (1960)*
Curious George: Royal Monkey
Finding Dory 4K
Finding Nemo 4K
Hawaii Five-O: The Ninth Season
Infini-T Force: The Complete Series
Inside Out 4K
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Killer Crocodile (1989)*
Killer Crocodile 2 (1990)*
Lock Up 4K
Paranormal Activity 6 Movie Collection
Reap the Wild Wind (1942)*
Scars of Dracula (1970)*
SEAL Team: Season Two
Silverhawks: Season 1 Volume 1
Supernatural: The Complete Fourteenth Season
The Alienist: Season One
The Cloud-Capped Star (1960)* - Criterion Collection
The Dead Don't Die
The Juniper Tree (1990)*
The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob (1973)*
The Parting Glass
Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! The Movie
WWE: Getting Rowdy: The Unreleased Matches of Roddy Piper
*Catalog Blu-ray debut