Thursday, November 30, 2017

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Luc Besson's Visuallly-Captivating, Sci-Fi Spectacular Comes to Home Video

In 1997, Luc Besson released The Fifth Element, a visually-captivating sci-fi adventure which netted four Cesars, including Best Film and Best Director. A couple of decades later, Luc is back with Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, an even more innovative, outer space odyssey, if that's possible. The groundbreaking extravaganza is based on "Valerian and Laureline," a comic book series written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mezieres.

The futuristic tale is set in the 28th Century, and stars Dane DeHaan in the title role as a time/space traveling military officer for Alpha, a city with a thousand planets. Straitlaced Major Valerian patrols that universe with Laureline (Cara Delevingne), a Sergeant well-versed in virtual reality operations. 
He also happens to have a crush on his relatively-rebellious sidekick, although she routinely rebuffs his romantic overtures. And they report directly to Commander Arun Filitt (Clive Owen) who, in turn, answers to General Okto Bar (Sam Spruell) as well as Alpha's Minister of Defense (Herbie Hancock). 
The film unfolds on Mul, a utopian paradise inhabited by a peaceful species of bald, bejeweled, barely-clothed creatures. It isn't long before their carefree frolicking is irreversibly disrupted by an unprovoked attack on the planet by an unknown army of hostile aliens. 
The picture abruptly shifts from this devastating apocalypse to a serene scenario worlds away where we find Valerian and Laureline relaxing on a sandbar and soaking up rays. He awakens from a bad dream, a subtle suggestion that everything that we've just witnessed might've merely been a figment of his imagination. 
It would be criminal for me to spoil your cinematic experience by divulging any further developments. Suffice to say that the protagonists proceed to embark on a breathtaking, intergalactic roller coaster ride worth way more than the price of admission. 
Along the way, they cross paths with an array of colorful characters ranging from a space age pimp (Ethan Hawke) to a solicitous stripper with a heart of gold (Rihanna). But people mostly serve as distracting interruptions in this eye-popping, special f/x-driven spectacular to remember. 
All I can say after watching it is, "Wow!"

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for action, violence, suggestive material and brief profanity
Running time: 137 minutes
Production Studio: EuropaCorp
Distributor: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Citizens of Imagination: Creating the Universe of Valerian (a multi-part documentary); Enhancement Pods; The Art of Valerian Photo Gallery; teaser trailer; and the final trailer.

To see a trailer for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, visit:

To order a copy of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit: 


Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Film Review by Kam Williams

Frances McDormand Delivers in Dark Comedy Reminiscent of "Fargo"

Twenty years ago, Frances McDormand won an Academy Award for Fargo, a delightful whodunit set in a tiny Minnesota town inhabited by a cornucopia of colorful local yokels. In that Coen Brothers' black comedy, she played a dedicated police chief who was tireless in her efforts to crack a murder case, despite being pregnant. 
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is a similarly-dark mystery set in the Midwest that's also full of folksy characters. But this go-round, McDormand plays Mildred Hayes, the mother of a teenager (Kathryn Newton) whose beaten and raped corpse was found lying in a ditch along a lonely stretch of road. 
It's been seven months since the slaying, and the Ebbing police seem to have lost interest in apprehending the perpetrator. So, in order to light a fire under the department, Mildred rents a trio of billboards near the murder scene on which she asks Chief Bill Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) in 20-ft.high, block letters why he hasn't yet made an arrest.

Unfortunately, the ploy backfires. Yes, it embarrasses the chief. However, it also generates public sympathy for him, given how everybody in the tight-knit community knows he's been battling pancreatic cancer. 
Undeterred in her quest for justice, Mildred subsequently prevails upon Willoughby's dimwitted deputy (Sam Rockwell) to pick up the ball. But Dixon's a revenge-minded racist who'd rather hassle than help the mom in mourning while arresting African-American citizens for minor infractions of the law. 
Written and directed by Oscar-winner Martin McDonagh (for Six Shooter), Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri is a thought-provoking social satire which paints a chilling, yet plausible, portrait of just what it might be like to fight an entrenched patriarchy comfortable with a status quo favoring white males. 
Look for Frances McDormand to land another Oscar nomination for a superb performance where she convincingly conveys the profound distress of a grief-stricken mother desperate for answers.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for violence, sexual references, ethnic slurs and pervasive profanity
Running time: 115 minutes
Studio: Blueprint Pictures
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures

To see a trailer for Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri, visit:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Crown Heights

DVD Review by Kam Williams

DVD Features True Case of Justice Delayed

In the spring of 1980, Colin Warner (Lakeith Stanfield) was wrongfully accused of murder on the streets of Brooklyn by a 15 year-old juvenile delinquent (Skylan Brooks) who picked him out of a photo lineup provided by the police. That supposed "eyewitness" testimony was the only evidence linking Colin to the crime, but it didn't prevent a jury from convicting the 18 year-old in spite of a credible alibi and the absence of a motive, weapon or connection to the victim.

Soon, he was sent up the river where he began serving a life sentence for a crime he didn't commit. Truth be told, the only thing Colin was guilty of was being born poor and black in the inner-city, which meant he was very vulnerable to a criminal justice system totally indifferent to the plight of an innocent, indigent, African-American defendant.

And he would very likely have merely wasted away behind bars forever were it not for the commitment to his cause of his BFF (Nnamdi Asomugha). Lucky for Colin, Carl King would remain obsessed with reversing the miscarriage of justice even after his appeals ran out and his attorneys, family and other friends had given up hope.

Written and directed by Matt Ruskin, Crown Heights is a riveting courtroom drama which recounts the events surrounding the shameful case. We watch Carl settle on his career as a paralegal with the goal of one day exonerating his lifelong friend. We also see the toll that that devotion would take on his marriage. 
Fortunately, Carl did ultimately get Clarence Lewis to recant his testimony and admit that he'd lied under oath for orange juice and a candy bar. Too bad, that it took over 21 years to clear Colin's name. 
A sobering indictment of the legal system that'll leave you wondering how many other Colin Warners might be incarcerated by a heartless prison-industrial complex routinely doling out a color-coded brand of criminal justice.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity, sexuality, nudity and violence
Running time: 94 minutes
Production Studio: Washington Square Films
Distributor: Broad Green Pictures
DVD Extras: Feature film commentary with director Matt Ruskin and producer Nnamdi Asomugha; and the story behind Crown Heights.

To see a trailer for Crown Heights, visit:

Kam's Kapsules for movies opening December 8, 2017

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun  
by Kam Williams



Just Getting Started (PG-13 for profanity, suggestive material and brief violence) Unlikely-buddies comedy about a retired FBI agent (Tommy Lee Jones) and a former Mafia lawyer (Morgan Freeman), both residing in a luxurious Palm Springs resort, who reluctantly join forces to take on the mob. With Rene Russo, Joe Pantoliano and the late Glenne Headley.

The Shape of Water (R for violence, profanity, sexuality and frontal nudity) Cold War suspense thriller, set in Baltimore in 1962, about a lonely, mute janitor (Sally Hawkins) working in a top secret government laboratory whose life is changed forever when she and a sassy colleague (Octavia Spencer) make a shocking discovery. Support cast includes Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins and Michael Stuhlbarg. (In English, Russian and sign language with subtitles)


Big Sonia (Unrated) Bittersweet biopic about great-grandmother, businesswoman and haunted Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski who, after losing her tailor shop's lease at the age of 91, recounts for posterity the horrors she witnessed at Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen and Majdanek, which included watching her mother being marched into the gas chamber.
Hollow in the Land (Unrated) Suspense thriller revolving around a woman's (Dianna Agron) effort to clear her murder suspect brother's (Jared Abrahamson) name after he flees from the scene of the crime. Supporting cast includes Shawn Ashmore, Rachelle Lefevre and Jessica McLeod.

I, Tonya (R for violence, pervasive profanity, and some sexuality and nudity) Warts-and-all biopic recounting the rise and fall from grace of Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie), the American figure skater whose bodyguard (Paul Walter Hauser) and ex-husband (Sebastian Stan) hired a mobster (Ricky Russert) to break the legs of her primary rival, Nancy Kerrigan (Caitlin Carver), weeks before the two were set to compete against each other in the 1994 Winter Olympics. With Allison Janney, Bobby Cannavale and Julianne Nicholson.

Miss Kiet's Children (Unrated) Poignant profile of Kiet Engels, a schoolteacher who has dedicated her career to helping recent refugees make the cultural adjustment to life in Holland. (In Dutch with subtitles)

November Criminals (PG-13 for profanity, mature themes, teen sexuality, drug use and brief violence) Adaptation of Sam Munson's young adult novel about a couple of high school seniors (Ansel Elgort and Chloe Grace Moretz) who attempt to solve the senseless murder of a classmate (Jared Kemp). With Catherine Keener, David Strathairn and Cory Hardrict.

The Pirates of Somalia (Unrated) Adaptation of journalist Jay Bahadur's (Evan Peters) best-selling memoir of the same name recounting how, in 2008, he embedded himself with African hijackers holding Western ships for ransom. Support cast includes Melanie Griffith, Russell Posner and Barkhad "I'm the Captain Now!" Abdi. (In English and Somali with subtitles)

Quest (Unrated) Inspirational documentary, shot over the course of a decade, chronicling an African-American family's struggle to survive in a North Philly ghetto. 
The Rape of Recy Taylor (Unrated) Civil rights documentary, set in 1944, recounting a black rape victim's quest for justice in the Alabama courts with the help of the NAACP's Rosa Parks (Cynthia Erivo). With Robert Corbitt, Tommy Bernardi and Alma Daniels.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Hitman's Bodyguard

Blu-ray Review by Kam Williams

Unlikely-Buddies Action Comedy Available on Home Video

World-class bodyguard Michael Bryce's (Ryan Reynolds) services were in great demand when a Japanese tycoon (Tsuwayuki Saotome) was executed on his watch. That botched operation ruined not only his professional reputation but his romantic relationship with Interpol agent Amelia (Elodie Yung). In fact, his career took such a hit that a couple of years later we find him homeless and reduced to chauffeuring clients around in a beat-up jalopy for a fraction of his former fee. 
A shot at redemption and at winning back the object of his affection arrives when Amelia surreptitiously approaches him for help protecting Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson). He's the key prosecution witness in the trial underway at the International Court of Justice of Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), an Eastern European dictator accused of committing genocide. 
Amelia has determined that there's a mole inside of Interpol who has compromised Kincaid's safety. So, the only hope of getting him to court alive is by hiring someone outside the organization. 
Trouble is Darius is no altar boy, but a vicious hit man who has murdered hundreds of people. Despite being disgusted by the assassin's grisly resume, Michael grudgingly agrees to escort him from a British prison to The Hague where he's scheduled to testify in less than 24 hours. In return for his cooperation with authorities, Darius bargained for the release of his wife Sonia (Salma Hayek) who is herself sitting behind bars for slitting a guy's throat in a gruesome bar fight. 
That is the point of departure of The Hitman's Bodyguard, an unlikely-buddies comedy directed by Aussie Patrick Hill (The Expendables 3). Superficially, the film unfolds like a high-octane, action adventure where a pair of protagonists prove to be impervious to harm from bullets, explosives, pyrotechnics or boat and car crashes . 
The production works primarily because of the palpable screen chemistry generated by veteran thespians Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds. However, it does help immeasurably that each of these indestructible characters has been somewhat humanized by their vulnerability to a fetching love interest. 

But the guys mostly exchange lighthearted barbs while having a close brush with death every other minute or so as they negotiate their way through a neverending gauntlet of bloodthirsty goons. 
An eye-popping, stunt flick chock full of implausible fight and chase scenes orchestrated in accordance with the laws of cartoon physics.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity
Running time: 118 minutes
Distributor: Summit Entertainment
Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack Extras: Outtakes; deleted scenes; extended scenes; alternate scenes; Hitman vs. Bodyguard; The Hitman's Bodyguard: A Love Story;
Dangerous Women; ''Big Action In A Big World'' featurette; and feature commentary with Director Patrick Hughes.

To see a trailer for The Hitman's Bodyguard, visit:

To order a copy of The Hitman's Bodyguard on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, visit: 


Ray Fisher

The “Justice League” Interview
with Kam Williams

Superhero Cyborg: Body by Fisher!

Ray Fisher was born in Baltimore on September 8, 1987, but raised in Lawnside, New Jersey, where he developed an interest in acting while still in high school. After graduating, he attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy before launching his career.

Ray received critical acclaim for his work on the stage for doing Shakespeare and for playing Tom Robinson in "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Muhammad Ali in an Off-Broadway production of "Fetch Clay, Make Man." On TV, he's played Captain Edward Dwight on the adaptation of the best-selling novel, "The Astronaut Wives Club," into a dramatic series.

In 2016, he made his screen debut as Victor Stone, aka Cyborg in "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice." Here, he talks about reprising the role in "Justice League" as well as in a planned 2020 spinoff for the DC Comics superhero tentatively entitled "Cyborg."

Kam Williams: Hi Ray, I'm honored to have this opportunity to speak with you.
Ray Fisher: Thank you, Kam. It's my honor and privilege.

KW: Congrats on landing the role of Cyborg for your feature film debut on the strength of your stage and TV work.
RF: Thank you. Yeah, I've been doing theater since I was 15, and I've been pursuing it professionally for about a dozen years now. There were a lot of days of grinding, Kam, a lot of days of trying to make something happen in New York City. I appreciate the opportunity to portray Cyborg in this way, and to have it be such an auspicious start, but it's not something I could have predicted, at all. If it weren't for [director] Zack Snyder and our crew on the creative side, I would not be here with you today.

KW: How did you prepare to play Cyborg and his alter ego, Victor Stone?
RF: When they told me about the role, they sent me just about every comic book that Cyborg was ever in, starting with his original iteration from back in the Eighties by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in the New Teen Titans. I would literally read myself asleep going through all those old comics. Luckily, there was a lot of material to study about the character, so I didn't feel like I needed to create him out of thin air. There were already established parameters for me to work within. On the physical side, before we started shooting the film, they put me in the gym with Jason Momoa [Aquaman], Ezra Miller [Flash], the whole crew and an army of Amazon women who would be in our film. We worked out about two hours a day, five days a week, on top of the five meals a day they would provide. It was a pretty intense experience.

KW: What's it like being a part of such an accomplished cast and a film series with such iconic characters?
RF: It was fantastic! Everybody was really down to earth. And that's a testament to Zack Snyder in terms of how he runs his set. I felt super welcome right from the outset. This is a team film, and everybody was there to play their part. There was very little ego involved. Luckily, I had two and a half years before we started shooting to get myself prepared. So, I managed to meet everyone way before the cameras even started rolling for Justice League. It was nice to get those introductions prior to stepping onto the set. That enabled us to develop some chemistry ahead of time instead of having to generate it on the spot the first time the director said, "Action!"

KW: What I find most impressive is the confidence the studio is showing in you by already planning for your character, Cyborg, to have his own stand alone film in a few years.
RF: Yeah, it's great to be thought of in that way. Things are in development right now. Knock on wood, things go according to plan and that comes to fruition.

KW: Were you already a fan of Zack Snyder, who has made hit after hit, from his spectacular debut in 2004 with Dawn of the Dead clear through Wonder Woman, earlier this year?
RF: Definitely! In fact, Dawn of the Dead was the first DVD I ever bought. I remember that very distinctly, as well as watching it a lot. And he and his wife/producing partner, Debbie, produced Wonder Woman. You're talking about a man who is so passionate about these characters and his craft that being directed by him never felt like work. I felt like a big kid playing pretend with my friends. It was kinda surreal.

KW: Are you a comic book fan? Who's your favorite superhero?
RF: Growing up, I didn't collect comic books, but I did watch every single superhero movie that came out and every superhero series on TV during the Nineties, which I consider the Golden Age of superhero animation. And Batman and Blade resonated with me the most.

KW: Is there a message you want people to take away from Justice League?
RF: I think so, particularly from Cyborg, because each of these characters is going through their own healing process and becoming part of a team for the greater good in order to stop this threat. The message I'd love for people to take away from Cyborg is that no matter how difficult your circumstances may be, whether physically or mentally, there's always a process by which you can heal. It might not happen all at once, but as long as you take those little steps forward, things can change for the better.

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: With so many classic films being redone, is there a remake you'd like to star in?
RF: Ooh... That's a really tough question. If they ever get a remake of Spawn off the ground, I'd love to see what that would be about.

KW: The Morris Chestnut question: Was there any particular moment in your childhood that inspired you to become the person you are today?
RF: I don't think there was any singular moment, but a bunch of little moments that came together and created the mesh that is me. I've been blessed to work with some of the most talented theater people you've probably never heard of who aren't very visible. And I've also been fortunate to have the most supportive friends and family that a person could ask for.

KW: Ling-Ju Yen asks: What is your earliest childhood memory?
RF: I remember my mother buying me a strawberry milkshake from Mister Softee after being stung by a bee.

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?
RF: As I start to age, I feel that I look like my grandpa more and more.

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?
RF: No, I'm pretty approachable, so people ask me all sorts of stuff.

KW: Finally, Samuel L. Jackson asks: What’s in your wallet?
RF: A little gold card with a couple of inspirational quotes. It's been in my wallet since I was about 13. Let me read you one. "We're not all designed to be straight-A students, celebrities, world-class athletes or the CEO of a major corporation. But we're designed to make the most of the skills and abilities we do possess. Perhaps the most splendid achievement of all is the continuing quest to surpass ourselves."

KW: Sweet! Thanks again for the interview, Ray, and best of luck with the film.
RF: I appreciate your taking the time, Kam.

To see a trailer for "Justice League," visit:

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Top Ten DVD List for November 28, 2017

by Kam Williams

This Week’s DVD Releases

Alfred Hitchcock: The Ultimate Collection [15 Films and 10 TV Episodes]

The Defiant Ones: Dr. Dre & Jimmy Iovine [4-Part Documentary]

Lost in Paris [French Farce Featuring Mime and Slapstick]

Harmonium [Explosive Family Drama from Director Koji Fukada]

Logan Lucky [See How the Other Half Steals]

Heartworn Highways Revisited [Every Generation Has Its Outlaws]

Mario Lanza: The Best of Everything [Special Edition]

Candy Apple [An Eclectic Father-Son Saga]

Rememory [We Are Nothing More than the Memories We Keep]

Woodshock [Hypnotic Thriller Starring Kirsten Dunst]

Honorable Mention

Rosenwald: The Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African-American Communities [An Aviva Kempner Film]

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Kam's Kapsules for movies opening December 1, 2017

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams



Wonder Wheel (PG-13 for sexuality, profanity, smoking and mature themes) Woody Allen wrote and directed this ensemble drama, set on Coney Island in the Fifties, revolving around a carousel operator (Jim Belushi) whose waitress wife (Kate Winslet), falls for a strapping, young lifeguard (Justin Timberlake). With Juno Temple, Max Casella and Jack Gore.

24 Hours to Live (R for profanity, drug use and pervasive graphic violence) Action thriller about a recently-deceased CIA agent (Ethan Hawke who embarks on a revenge-fueled reign of terror after being mysteriously resurrected for just one day. Cast includes Paul Anderson, Rutger Hauer and Qing Xu.

Brotherhood of Blades II: The Infernal Battlefield (Unrated) Action-oriented tale of redemption, set in the Ming dynasty, revolving around a disgraced cop's (Chen Chang) attempt to clear his name by tracking down a fugitive (Mi Yang) who knows that he is innocent. With Yi Zhang, Shih-Chieh King and Jiayin Lei. (In Mandarin with subtitles)

The Disaster Artist (R for sexuality, nudity and pervasive profanity) Adaptation of Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell's memoir of the same name recounting the friendship forged in an acting class between Sestero (Dave Franco) and Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), and how the two subsequently traveled together to Hollywood to pursue fame and fortune. A-list cast includes Seth Rogen, Bryan Cranston, Zoey Deutch, Alison Brie, Zac Efron, Lizzy Caplan, Kristen Bell, Sharon Stone, Zach Braff, J.J. Abrams, Melanie Griffith, Judd Apatow and Kate Upton.

Gangster Land (Unrated) Mobster saga recounts the rise of Al Capone (Milo Gibson) through the eyes of his right hand man, Jack McGunn (Sean Faris), as well as the Chicago turf war which led to the bloody St. Valentine's Day Massacre of 1929. Supporting cast includes Jason Patric, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Mark Rolston.

Love Beats Rhymes (R for profanity and sexuality) Inspirational Hip-Hop drama about an aspiring poet/rapper (Azealia Banks) who finds her voice with the help of a demanding professor (Jill Scott). With Common, Method Man and Lorraine Toussaint.

Naples '44 (Unrated) World War II docudrama recounting the exploits of a British spy (Benedict Cumberbatch) in Italy near the end of the conflict. featuring archival footage of Alan Arkin, Ernest Borgnine and Keenan Wynn. (In Italian and English with subtitles)

The New Radical (Unrated) Political documentary featuring interviews with young anarchists employing a variety of high-tech methods to further their anti-establishment agenda.

The Shape of Water (R for violence, profanity, sexuality and frontal nudity) suspense thriller, set in Baltimore in 1962, about a janitor (Sally Hawkins) working in a top secret government laboratory whose life is changed forever when she and a colleague (Octavia Spencer) make a shocking discovery. Support cast includes Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins and Michael Stuhlbarg.

The Tribes of Palos Verdes (R for drug use, sexuality and pervasive profanity) Dysfunctional family drama chronicling how a teenager (Cody Fern) turns to drugs while his twin sister (Maika Monroe) takes refuge in surfing to cope with their parents' (Jennifer Garner and Justin Kirk) disintegrating marriage. With Alicia Silverstone, Joely Fisher, Noal Silver and Milo Gibson.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Film Review by Kam Williams

Returning WWII Vets Forge Unlikely Friendship across Color Line in Searing Southern Saga

Dateline: Mississippi, 1946, which means many of the Magnolia State's soldier native sons are making the adjustment back to civilian life after serving overseas during World War II.. But the fighting isn't over for Sergeant Ronsel Jackson (Jason Mitchell), a black man reluctantly returning to the repressive Jim Crow system of segregation. 
After all, since he had been willing to die for his country, Ronsel figures it's reasonable to expect equality and all the rights of citizenship, racist traditions notwithstanding. So, when he arrives home, he boldly enters the local general store through an entrance reserved for whites.

But despite still wearing his Army dress uniform, the proud veteran is greeted with a hateful warning snarled by a seething customer. "You're in Mississippi now, [N-word]! Use the back door, if you don't want any trouble." Ronsel grudgingly obliges, ostensibly less fearful of direct harm from the elderly white man than of the veiled threat leveled should he have the temerity to cross the color line again. 
Ronsel can't afford to take any chances, because the intimidating bigot is Pappy McAllan (Jonathan Banks), the patriarch of the family which owns the farm where his parents (Mary J. Blige and Rob Morgan) presently reside as sharecroppers. Pappy's elder son, Henry (Jason Clarke), subsequently pays the Jacksons a visit, demanding an apology for the transgression.

The plot thickens when Pappy's younger son, Jamie (Garrett Hedlund), a decorated Air Force pilot, comes back to the plantation with some new notions about race relations. He's suddenly pro-integration after having fought alongside some brave Tuskegee Airmen. 

Thus unfolds Mudbound, a searing Southern saga based on Hillary Jordan's best-selling, first novel of the same name. The movie marks the sophomore offering from director Dee Rees who made her own impressive debut with Pariah in 2011. Here, she coaxes a career performance out of Mary J. Blige, who might very well be remembered come awards season. 
How did Nina Simone put it? 'Mississippi Goddam!'

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for nudity, ethnic slurs, brief profanity and disturbing violence
Running time: 134 minutes
Production Studios: Elevate Films / MMC Joule Films / Armory Films / Zeal Media
Distributor: Netflix

To see a trailer for Mudbound, visit:

Top Ten DVD List for November 21, 2017

by Kam Williams

This Week’s DVD Releases

Bob Hope: The Ultimate Movie Collection [21 Classic Comedies]

Holiday Inn [75th Anniversary Edition]

Time to Die [Arturo Ripstein's Landmark Mexican Western]

The Hitman's Bodyguard [An Unlikely-Buddies Action Thriller]

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets [Luc Besson Sci-Fi Thriller]

Crown Heights [Justice Delayed Docudrama]

Birth of the Dragon [Bruce Lee Biopic]

The Villainess [An Endless Vengeance Begins]

The Fall [Complete Collection]

Jonah: The Musical [Sight & Sound Theatres]

Honorable Mention

Saving Christmas [What If Santa Claus Came to Town... and Stayed?]

High School Lover [He Wanted True Love for His Daughter. She Found Danger]