We begin this week with a box office blockbuster in a franchise that keeps on kicking with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Three years after the park from Jurassic World closed, the world is abuzz with news that a once dormant volcano on the island is ready to erupt and will take the lives of all the dinosaurs living there with it. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is determined to do whatever she can to save as many of them as possible with the help of a rich tycoon Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) and the reluctant help of Owen Grady (Chris Pratt). But the men recruited by Lockwood’s assistant Eli (Rafe Spall) have other plans that don’t include Claire and Owen’s help, and it may cost more than just the dinosaurs lives to discover their plans.
It is pretty incredible that a franchise on its fifth film can still keep things fresh, fun and exciting. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is no exception with some fantastic action set pieces, and a nice focus on the human characters instead of empty action. Pratt and Howard are both great and have really cemented their characters into the franchise, and the addition of Cromwell, Spall, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Geraldine Chaplin, and an impressive debut by young Isabella Sermon as Lockwood’s granddaughter make for a well-rounded and interesting cast. And story wise it is different and takes some really interesting turns that keep you guessing and laid the groundwork for a very curious premise for another movie. Overall, another hit for the Jurassic franchise.
Next up is Lethal Weapon: The Complete Second Season. Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford) and Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) are reluctant LAPD partners that end up becoming good friends as they take on tough cases and navigate the issues in their own lives involving Roger’s wife and teenage kids, and Riggs trying to find purpose after the death of his wife.
Lethal Weapon is based on the classic 1987 Richard Donner film of the same name and even though this was a tough adaptation to have new actors play such beloved characters but the amazing thing is they actually pulled it off. Wayans is a very different Murtaugh and is funny with some great dramatic moments, but it is Crawford that really shines in Lethal Weapon. He embodies Riggs as well as Mel Gibson’s classic unhinged performances in the original films and gives him a really grounded and very emotional core that anchors the show. Crawford has since been let go from the show due to behavioral issues so it will be interesting to see if the show can maintain the level of quality without him. But in the meantime, this season is well worth checking out.
Lastly this week is the Blu-ray debut of a near forgotten 80’s film, Bat 21. The great Gene Hackman plays Lt. Col. Iceal Hambleton, a weapons countermeasures expert whose aircraft is shot down over enemy territory in Vietnam. Knowing well that the area is scheduled to be carpet bombed, Hambleton must find a way out of the area with the help of Air Force reconnaissance pilot Capt. Bartholomew Clark flying overhead. Hableton must face rugged territory, enemy forces and more as he maps out his escape route with the clock ticking.
Bat 21 is a fantastic war thriller anchored by a great performance by Gene Hackman. And it feels unique due to the familiar Vietnam setting but with a very different story of survival instead of the usual Vietnam action movie storyline. Danny Glover gives an impressive performance as well, especially considering the majority of his role is seating in the cockpit of a plane. A unique thriller that deserves a look.
Also of note this week is Sicario: Day of the Soldado starring Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, the 80s horror Scream for Help making its Blu-ray debut, and the new Keanu Reeves thriller Siberia.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday September 18, 2018
Cabin Boy: Special Edition*
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys - Season Six
Horrors of the Malformed Man*
Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom
Lethal Weapon: The Complete Second Season
Madam Secretary: Season Four
My Man Godfrey* - Criterion Collection
Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead
Phantasm IV: Oblivion
Platoon Steelbook Edition
Scream for Help*
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Supergirl: The Complete Third Season
The Hired Hand*
The Looming Tower
The Pajama Girl Case*
The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection: Volume 3*
The X-Files: Season 11
Transformers: The Ultimate Five Movie Collection
*Catalog Blu-ray debut