Your time is short. We know this. So in order to expedite your buying and Netflix decision making, we provide you with a list of the cool and not-so-cool titles coming out for movies, television and everything in-between. So put your feet up, grab some popcorn and check out this week’s selections.
22 JUMP STREET – The sequel to the unlikely hit, 21 JUMP STREET, does a good job of not changing too much of the formula that made it successful. In fact, they go out of their way to point out in the movie how what you are about to see is pretty much the same movie just with new characters and a new location but with the same overall plotline. That’s what made the original so good, that the film realizes how preposterous the whole set up is but just wink and nods to the camera that they are with you in that realization and go with it. 22 JUMP STREET returns with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return as Jenko and Schmidt, bumbling cops that happen to get a big bust during a high school drug sting, this time going to college to do the exact same damn thing. Along the way they rush a frat, get involved in standup poetry, join the football team and do a bunch of other hilarious things that has nothing to do with the drug bust until they stumble into the solution to the problem and somehow win the day. Not spoilers, since as stated before, this is the exact same movie but with a new location. But that’s actually OK because it works.
Oh, and you have to stay for the credits as it is one of the funniest parts of the movie where if you didn’t realize they were poking fun at themselves the entire time, they drive it home with a stake in the heart with a “preview” to a dozen more sequels to the franchise. 22 JUMP STREET is a worthy follow up and if they do decide to keep it going, if they keep making them like this, will be a welcome sight.
INTO THE STORM – The disaster movie genre has toned down a bit from a few years ago when they were coming out what seemed like every week with DEEP IMPACT, ARMAGEDDON, THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW and many others that showed nature is one big bad motherf***er and we should never just assume life will go on as usual when a giant tidal wave, or asteroid, or ice age is just around the corner. INTO THE STORM is almost like a TWISTER for the next generation. If you remember TWISTER it was about a group of storm chasers that follow a brutal storm in the Midwest producing nasty tornados that the team gets caught up in and puts their own lives in dangers (not to mention cows). INTO THE STORM is pretty much the same damn movie. The thing that makes this better than TWISTER is the special effects. The storyline being virtually the same, the real kicker is the CG that shows just how far things have come in a decade. Also really worth seeing this in high definition as it makes the difference. As far as disaster movies go, this is a fun flick with little to nothing being original but that doesn’t mean it is unworthy of checking out.
RAGNAROK – A decent enough monster flick from Scandinavia about an archaeologist that goes knee-deep in his research after his wife dies of cancer so much so he becomes almost an absentee father. When an archaeologist friend returns to his wife boast new evidence of Viking lore, he packs up the family and heads to the Northland regions of Scandinavia in order to go on “vacation” or in reality search for evidence of a Viking queen and any mythology they can uncover. Unfortunately, they uncover the living, breathing RAGNAROK – which may sound familiar given it is the title of the next THOR film – which turns out not to usher in the end of the world (as what it says in mythology) but instead is a ginormous sea beast that in ancient times ate a slew of Vikings and spat their bones in a hole in the side of the Earth. With a decent audio dub (see QUEENS OF THE RING below for why this is important), some decent acting and a pretty good, albeit slow at times, storyline it may feed your need for a monster feature as you await something fresher to come along.
RECLAIM – Joh Cusack as seemingly found his post-success acting niche as a scumbag hitman/mobster/bank robber/etc. It seems as if the last 12 movies I’ve seen him in the once great comedic and heartthrob has settled into dirtbag status in Hollywood. Unfortunately, most of these roles tend to have been in the direct-to-video market meaning things aren’t necessarily looking great for Cusack (see below at DRIVE HARD for further confirmation). However, Cusack usually does a serviceable job in the role and in RECLAIM he is serviceable at best. RECLAIM is the story of a young couple Ryan Phillippe and Rachelle Lefevre that lost the ability to have children in a car accident. They fly to Puerto Rico in order to adopt a Haitian girl they hope will be the daughter they have longed to join their family. But it goes all wrong as they are caught in a scam to get their money and it turns into a fight for survival as Cusack and his cronies kidnap the couple and try to squeeze even more cash out of them. RECLAIM isn’t a bad thriller but there is little new here so it might be good for a whirl on Netflix.
Unfortunately, I was unable to do my DVD coverage last week, but here’s what you missed.
DRIVE HARD – DRIVE HARD is interesting more because of what it is not, rather than what the movie is about. It is not a good movie. What’s surprising is that it’s a bad movie but has two pretty big names attached to it in John Cusack and Thomas Jane. Jane stars as a former race car driver that gets conned into being the getaway driver for Cusack’s bank robbery. Pursued by the cops and the mob, the two must work together to then escape. The trouble is that both of these guys seemed to have just wanted a paycheck and phoned in their performance. It is literally painful to watch these two together trying to produce witty banter in an attempt to create some sort of buddy action drama. It fails on every front, from the bad acting, to the bad production and stunts, to a plodding storyline. Now Cusack it seems has fallen on hard times and keeps accepting these jobs as a bad guy/mob guy/hitman roles so this continues his downward trend but Jane has done some good stuff lately and it’s too bad he wasn’t able to do more with this.
THE DAMNED – This is a decent horror flick that takes place in Spain and is just one of those f**k you have the worst possible luck scenarios. A family reunites in Spain after some hard times and as they travel across the country they are hit by a flash flood causing their car to go off the road. Wet and road weary, they stumble across a house where they take shelter. Bad move. They soon learn a terrible presence has been captured there for a number of years taking shape as a little girl. What’s inside the girl is the evil essence of a witch that was killed. The witch knows all of everyone’s dirty little secrets and forces people to kill the person she inhabits. But the catch is once she is killed, her essence transports to the killer. When the family unleashes the spirit, all hell breaks loose as no one can trust each other and the kills mount in bloody fashion. As far as supernatural horror movies goes, this does more of the in-your-face terror rather than the short make you jump horror that has become a cottage industry in the horror genre. Come for the decent story, stay for Carolina Guerra (of DA VINCI’S DEMONS fame and hot as balls) … holy cow!
QUEENS OF THE RING – I’m not against importing other types of genres to the U.S. from overseas other than horror flicks, but at least make them have a good voice dubbing. QUEENS OF THE RING has maybe the worst audio dub I’ve heard since bad SPEED RACER. And I should have probably just watched this French film with subtitles but sometimes you just want to be lazy. Because reading! The movie itself isn’t too shabby. It centers on a mother that spent some time and jail and had her son taken away from her. In order to win back his trust and love, she gets involved in the one thing he loves – pro wrestling. Now the box art boasts this features current and former members of the WWE in the movie and it does but only for like 10 seconds so don’t think this is another WWE-produced film with major superstars in roles. The mother, a checker at a local French grocery store, gathers the butcher at the store and a few other clerks and they train to compete against visiting Luchadores from Spain. It goes about how you’d expect in these type of films but still if you love wrestling it might be worth your time.
TRUE BLOOD: SEASON 7 – Regardless of how you view the run that TRUE BLOOD had on HBO, no one can deny that it was definitely a show that changed how cable dramas operate. Unapologetic in many ways whether it came to baring naked women over and over again in sometimes misogynist ways. Or presenting shock moments sometimes just to shock (Bill hate f***ing his maker and turning her head EXORCIST style), sometimes to further the story. Or presenting gay sex in a believable manner with leaving little to the imagination. But the story wavered from season to season after the early going. Too often it got deluged in coming up with as many supernatural beings as they could instead of focusing on the core characters and their struggles. But in Season 7, TRUE BLOOD ended as it should with some good emotion, brutal character deaths, some great flashbacks (including 80s Eric and Pam) and a sendoff that not many longtime fans will probably put up a fuss over.
AGREE? DISAGREE? LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD – COMMENT BELOW!
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: 22 JUMP STREET Highlights this week in Blu-ray, DVD and VOD Releases