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DVD Talk reviews for Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Old 08-21-19, 03:00 AM
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DVD Talk reviews for Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Highly Recommended
Night of the Creeps (Collector's Edition) (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison

THE FILM:

"Thrill me!" - Det. Ray Cameron

Shout! Factory brings cult favorite Night of the Creeps home in a new Collector's Edition package that should appeal to fans of the entertaining genre film. The action begins aboard an alien spacecraft, where two aliens attempt to stop a third from shooting some nefarious material into space. They fail, and the item later falls to earth, where it lands near a make-out spot popular for teens. One man is unprepared for the slug-like creature that soon appears leaps into his mouth. Night of the Creeps then moves forward 27 years to 1986, when nerds Chris Romero (Jason Lively) and J.C. Hooper (Steve Marshall) pledge a fraternity at Corman University. Beta Epsilon president Brad (Allan Kayser) tells the men he will consider letting them join if they steal a cadaver from the school's medical center. Chris wants ...Read the entire review »

The Andromeda Strain (Collector's Edition) (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison

THE FILM:

It is interesting to discover how technical and clinical a biohazard thriller The Andromeda Strain is. Based on the late science-fiction author Michael Crichton's 1969 novel of the same name and directed by Robert Wise (The Sound of Music), this documentary-esque thriller is a chilling portrait of a deadly alien organism on earth. A far cry from also-excellent Crichton adaptations Jurassic Park and "Westworld", The Andromeda Strain is intelligent, deliberate science fiction that never panders. Though its 130 minutes unravel much slower tha...Read the entire review »

 

Recommended
Cruising (Blu-ray)
by Ian Jane

The Movie:

Based on reporter Gerald Walker's novel of the same name, William Friedkin's 1980 thriller Cruising was, and still remains, a controversial and difficult film. It's surprising, considering the rough and explicit subject matter, that a major studio financed the film and it's just as unusual that a mainstream actor like Al Pacino would play the lead, but here it is. The fact that Cruising exists in the first place makes it remarkable.

When the movie begins, a severed arm is found floating in the Hudson River. This puzzles the cops but they're able to ascertain that this is probably the work of the same person who has killed two gay men already. Unsure of who the culprit could be and without any real leads to go on, Captain Edelson (Paul Sorvino) brings in a young and eager cop named Steve Burns (Al Pacino) to go undercover into New York City's homosexual und...Read the entire review »

A Vigilante (2018) (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison

THE FILM:

Olivia Wilde provides a brave, affecting, and largely overlooked performance in A Vigilante, from writer/director Sarah Daggar-Nickson. Those expecting Death Wish-style revenge porn will not find it here, as Daggar-Nickson is most concerned with focusing on the torment of an abused woman. We earn glimpses into protagonist Sadie's life as the lean, austere film moves forward, but are left with questions about her transformation into a violent guardian angel. Sadie's new career is helping abused women and children, and she travels from house to house making sure their abusers do not repeat their sins.

What Daggar-Nickson makes immediately clear is that Sadie - like many domestic violence victims - lives in constant torment. Her barren, depressing house is not a home; she sleeps with a k...Read the entire review »

 

Rent It
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (4K Ultra HD) (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison

THE FILM:

While I enjoyed the humor, action and family-friendly thrills of 2014's The LEGO Movie, this sequel is far less impressive, at least for adult viewers, offering only minor thrills and chuckles amid 107 long minutes of colorful visuals and noisy action. The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part loses directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who did write this screenplay, and picks up Mike Mitchell, of Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo fame, to wrangle returning voice talents Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett. Warner Brothers financed franchise spin-offs The LEGO Batman Movie and Read the entire review »

Captive State (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison

THE FILM:

The premise of Captive State is intriguing: Aliens invade Earth and take over complete governmental control, placing the populace under the unyielding rule of "Legislators." Ten years after the invasion, resistance fighters look to take back control from the invaders as the masses acquiesce to their demands. The movie is intriguing, too, to a degree, but suffers from uneven pacing, blunt political ideology and soulless characters. A rival to District 9 this is not, but Rupert Wyatt's (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) science-fiction drama is still worth renting even though it is ultimately a disappointment.

The opening minutes of Captive State caught my attention, promising a slick, thoug...Read the entire review »

 

Skip It
The Upside (Blu-ray)
by William Harrison

THE FILM:

Something about this movie just did not sit well. Culled from what I am sure is an inspiring true story that was made into a much better French movie, The Intouchables, this drama works overtime to tug on viewers' heartstrings without eliciting any genuine emotional response. The Upside is directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist) and stars Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart as a wealthy quadriplegic and his streetwise caretaker, respectively. Relying heavily on melodrama and expected genre clich s, The Upside is buoyed somewhat by its stars but remains an underwhelming, middling drama.

Newly paroled ne'er-do-well Dell Scott (Hart) does not support his son (Jahi Di'Allo Winston) or ex-wife (Aj...Read the entire review »

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