A very heavy catalog week with one big new release, Solo: A Star Wars Story. In the second of the franchises stand alone films, we follow a young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) as he joins a band of thieves after being kicked out of the Imperial Flight Academy. In order to help his former love Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke), Han, along with new partners Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando (Donald Glover) must steal a large amount of a precious hyperfuel known as coaxium for a deadly crime boss, Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany).
Solo: A Star Wars Story may have ended up being the lowest grossing Star Wars movie, but it was far better than anyone rightfully expected it to be. Alden Ehrenreich is fantastic as the galactic swashbuckler, carrying the same attitude and swagger as a young Harrison Ford without ever resorting to mimicry. The feel of the movie is much lighter and more fun than most with the stakes being considerably smaller, and it works well. It is more of a space heist movie than a saga installment. The entire supporting cast make the whole thing work brilliantly, especially Donald Glover stealing every scene he is in as Lando Calrissian. Solo: A Star Wars Story is tons of fun and a great little side trek in the Star Wars universe.
Next up is a new box set from Shout Factory of all the [REC] horror films, The [REC] Collection. The [REC] series starts off with a reporter Ángela (Manuela Velasco) doing a news piece on a local fire department and going with them to a call at an apartment building. The call soon finds them all locked inside the now quarantined building as a vicious plague hits all the inhabitants turning them into raging monsters intent on killing anything in their paths. The three sequels that follow take various routes. [REC]2 goes further into the building investigation from the first film while the third and fourth films follow new stories at a wedding and on a ship respectively as the same plague hits new people.
The [REC] series is one of the most entertaining horror series out there with a nice variation of story and themes throughout the four films but all of them loaded with tense suspense, some impressive gore and solid performances throughout. The real standout for me is [REC]2 which I consider to be one of the greatest sequels in film history and one of the most imaginative and terrifying horror movies ever. It is told at a breakneck pace and mixed in unexpected twists that you never see coming. These Spanish flicks are very highly recommended for the horror fans out there and this new box set comes absolutely packed with tons of special features for all four films.
Lastly this week is the Blu-ray debut of a little seen gem from 1990, Quigley Down Under. Tom Selleck plays Matthew Quigley, an American sharpshooter in the old west hired by an Australian rancher, Marston (Alan Rickman) to protect his property. But when Quigley finds out he was hired to kill Aborigines, he refuses and the rancher attempts to kill him. Quigley escapes along with a woman who was being attacked by Marston’s men (Laura San Giacomo) and vows revenge.
Quigley Down Under never really hit it big upon its original release but has been a cult favorite ever since. The uniqueness of a western set in Australia is one of the films charms, but it is also the stellar casting of Tom Selleck and Alan Rickman as adversaries. Both men prove why they are the stars they are delivering fantastic performances along with great action set pieces in a rollicking and entertaining adventure.
Also of note this week is a new Blu-ray Collector’s Edition of the trainwreck of a horror classic Exorcist II: The Heretic that features new transfers of two cuts of the film plus tons of new bonus features, the new indie comedy Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town, and the Blu-ray debut of The Bride starring Sting and Jennifer Beals.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday September 25, 2018
A Raisin in the Sun* - Criterion Collection
American Psycho 4K
Andrei Rublev* - Criterion Collection
Angel Town* - MVD Rewind Collection
Billions: Season Three
C.B. Strike: The Series
Chōjin Sentai Jetman: The Complete Series
DC's Legends of Tomorrow: The Complete Third Season
Dynasty: Season One
Exorcist II: The Heretic Collector’s Edition
Fraggle Rock: The Complete Series
Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town
Jersey Shore Family Vacation: Season One
Joaquim Pedro de Andrade: The Complete Films*
MST3K: The Lost And Found Collection
Police Story: Season Three
Punisher War Zone 4K
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Quigley Down Under*
Solo: A Star Wars Story
The [REC] Collection
The Day of the Jackal*
The Farmers Daughter*
The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday*
The Punisher 4K
The Trip to Bountiful*
Welcome to the Dollhouse*
X-Men Trilogy 4K
*Catalog Blu-ray debut