NOW YOU SEE ME 2 – The first NOW YOU SEE ME was a fun romp that mixed high profile magic with the possibility it was real mixed up in a caper involving good and bad magicians as well as some revenge elements. It ended with a finality of any one-off movie but this being Hollywood, something that becomes successful usually means it gets a sequel and here we are. Luckily, it isn’t bad albeit quite a bit different from the first. Instead of grand magic acts that are complex and amazing we instead get some tricky and slight-of-hand. Instead of an interesting plot regarding a secret magicians cabal we get Harry Potter being a douchebag. And while at the end we get the sort of grand performance we were looking for, it is the only one and that’s a shame considering that’s what made the original fun. Still with Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, Jesse Eisenberg back along with the addition of Lizzy Caplan it makes for a fun movie just not as good. Daniel Radcliffe and Michael Caine play the bad guys which is just weird on a lot of levels with Morgan Freeman in tow for good measure. Lots of talent here so it would be a surprise if it didn’t work and luckily it is good enough to offer a recommendation to see.
EQUALS – EQUALS should be based on some YA-book given its subject matter and romance but it actually is a take on George Orwell’s infamous 1984. A dystopian society where emotions have been erased and everyone is equal in every way. Starring Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult, the film presents a society that is incredibly beautiful – everything is white, pretty, clean and simple. It is a great atmosphere for a society such as this. But underneath these emotionless people, these two find each other and learn that emotions aren’t all that bad. Love isn’t all that bad. It turns into an interesting romance flick with elements of science fiction and some nice thrills. Both Hoult and Stewart do a good enough job especially with limited dialog. The music really makes the atmosphere and society come to life and the visuals are pretty damn good considering this isn’t a bid budget triple-A title. Luckily, it doesn’t follow the shtick of these other dystopian films which also helps a lot. Worth checking out.
HARD TARGET 2 – This is a straight-to-video (Blu-ray and DVD) action flick that employs a familiar theme of a mixed martial artist that gets tricked into thinking he’s fighting in a high purse fight and instead finds himself fighting for his life as he becomes the target of a group of heavily armed bad guys in a hunt. Since THE RUNNING MAN, the idea of humans hunting other humans has been a theme in a lot of action movies some good and some bad. This is half decent flick with Scott Adkins in the starring role as the good guy that is hunted throughout the film and must use his skills to survive. It also has PRISON BREAK alum Robert Knepper as the main bad guy and he does his usual good job. Also has Rhona Mitra that starred in the surprisingly good apocalypse flick DOOMSDAY. So not a bad cast and the action is good enough to entertain you.
URGE – It is an interesting time in acting. Traditional actors that don’t really play bad guys are turning around and doing legit jobs at playing nefarious, even evil, individuals. Take Patrick Stewart’s turn in GREEN ROOM for example – he’s absolutely a monster in that and plays it awesomely. Now, in URGE, Pierce Brosnan turns in a decent performance as a drug pusher who gets a bunch of gullible dolts to take a new drug called, yep, Urge. The thing is you can only take it once. If you take it again, you give in to your urges and sometimes it ain’t pretty. It’s in the title of the drug people. It isn’t called Bath Salts where you might confuse it with a relaxing time and then go full zombie. It is called Urge. Not his best performance, but decent enough and different enough that it makes you wanna see what happens. It is a decent take on a thriller with some twists.
THE FLASH: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON – After the first season of setting stage of the television version of the Flash and setting up how Barry Allen protects the citizens of Central City from many of the villains that were created after the S.T.A.R. Labs Particle Accelerator explosion, Season 2 ramps up the action and mythology with the conclusion of the vortex storyline that was swallowing Central City and then fast forwards six months to the aftermath and we see Team Flash not doing that great with Barry grief stricken over the events. In the following episodes we see how the Flash regains his confidence and desire to protect people once again with a nice combination of fighting bad guys with developing new relationships. Loads of cool extras on the Blu-ray including the Comic-Con panel from 2015, behind the scenes visual effects featurettes on every episode, digital comic books, a featurette with Kevin Smith, deleted scenes and much more.
CSI: CYBER – THE FINAL SEASON – The final swan song of the CSI franchise comes to DVD for the last time. The problem with CSI CYBER wasn’t with the cast as Ted Danson was already on CSI and did a fair job, Patricia Arquette and Peter MacNicol has always been steady actors that can handle what is given to them. The main issue is that the storylines never were able to balance the technology aspect with the procedural television aspect. It is scary to see how technology can hurt us and be used by criminals but on the other hand if you don’t have anything more than that, it is hard to make entertaining television. Not surprisingly, CBS cancelled the series and thus CSI ends its run as a main television staple CBS.
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Article: NOW YOU SEE ME 2 highlights Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Releases for Sept. 6, 2016