We start this week off with a star-studded flick, Oceans 8. Sandra Bullock stars as Debbie Ocean, estranged younger sister of Danny Ocean. Recently released from prison, Debbie has her eyes on a bigger heist than even her brother could have pulled when she assembles a team to steal The Toussaint, a huge diamond necklace worth $150 million. And she wants to steal it off the neck of the biggest star in the world (Anne Hathaway) at one of the biggest events in the country, the Met Gala. Along with her former partner Lou (Cate Blanchett) and a crack team ready to pull off the heist of the century, Debbie risks it all for the thing she is best at in hopes of securing her future.
The Oceans series has been very successful and to make a new sequel with a (mostly) new cast and no longer under the watchful eye of director Steven Soderbergh (the director this time out is Gary Ross of Hunger Games fame) is a risky move. But there is no denying the chemistry of the fantastic cast with Bullock and Blanchett in particular seeming to have the time of their lives. The heist planning and execution is brilliantly laid out and Ross obviously has tried to keep the style of the film true to Soderbergh’s first three films and it works just as well as those. You can’t really miss with a heist and a cast like this all having a ton of fun.
Next up is one of my favorite thrillers from the 80s finally arriving on Blu-ray, The Seventh Sign. Demi Moore plays Abby Quinn, a pregnant housewife expecting her child on February 29 of the leap year. As she gets closer to the due date, her life starts to take a mysterious turn as her lawyer husband Russell (Michael Biehn) is defending the case of a teenager who killed his parents claiming God told him to, and the Quinns having a peculiar new tenant in their garage apartment. As the due date approaches Abby starts to think the birth of her child may be linked to a catastrophic event that could affect the entire planet, but will she unravel the mystery before the birth?
The Seventh Sign is one of those pitch perfect thrillers that seemed to permeate theatres in the late 80s and early 90s. Demi Moore gives one of her very best performances with the entire supporting cast all turning in great ones as well including Biehn and Jürgen Prochnow. But it is director Carl Schultz who really delivers here with a moody, atmospheric biblical nightmare of a movie that sticks with you long after it is over. Schultz is mainly a director for television and only did a few forgettable features but for some reason the pieces really came together for The Seventh Sign and he created an unforgettable thriller that is just as effective today.
Lastly this week is a bizarre horror/thriller from 1990 also finding its way to Blu-ray for the first time, Brain Dead. Not to be confused with the Peter Jackson film of the same name, Brain Dead stars the two Bill’s – Bill Pullman and Bill Paxton, with Pullman starring as Dr. Rex Martin, a neurosurgeon specializing in mental illness who is called upon by an old friend, Jim Reston (Paxton) to try and extract information needed by the megacorporation Reston works for from the mind of a brilliant mathematician who has seemingly gone insane.
To say anything further about Brain Dead is to ruin the insanely bizarre trip that is its story. Both Bill’s are excellent and having a great time with the outrageous script that bends reality and makes you wonder from scene to scene if what you are watching is even real. Pullman’s character is thrown into a situation where he starts to question not only his identity, but his entire reality. This is one bizarre film that must be seen to be believed. A lost gem to be sure.
Also of note this week is the new Nicolas Cage thriller Looking Glass, new MVD Marquee Special Editions of Barbershop, Barbershop 2 and Beauty Shop, and a new Collector’s Edition of the Billy Crystal comedy classic City Slickers.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday September 11, 2018
American Guinea Pig: Sacrifice
Barbershop – MVD Marquee Collection
Barbershop 2: Back in Business – MVD Marquee Collection
Beauty Shop – MVD Marquee Collection
Cartoon Network: Adventure Time: The Final Seasons
Chicago P.D.: Season Five
City Slickers – Collector’s Edition
Cold Water – Criterion Collection*
Diamonds of Kilimandjaro – MVD Classics Collection
Golden Temple Amazons – MVD Classics Collection
Hockey's Lost Boy: The Rise & Fall of George Patterson
House of Purgatory
Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders
Peyton Place: Part Five
Robin Hood 4K
Rolling Stone: Stories from the Edge
Scorpion: The Final Season
SpongeBob SquarePants: The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom
Televisions Lost Classics: Volume One
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Eleventh Season
The Paul Lynde Halloween Special
The Seventh Sign – Collector’s Edition*
The Tree of Life – Criterion Collection
*Catalog Blu-ray debut