Saturday, August 18, 2018

Top Ten DVD List for August 21, 2018

Image result for Deadpool 2 blu-ray
by Kam Williams


This Week's DVD Releases

Deadpool 2

Bluebloods: Season Eight

First Reformed

God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness

Action Point

The Walking Dead: Season 8

Sir Edmund Hillary: Everest and Beyond

Bleeding Steel

Show Dogs

The Terror: Season One

Friday, August 17, 2018

Kam's Kapsules for movies opening August 24, 2018

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun  
by Kam Williams  


OPENING THIS WEEK

WIDE RELEASES

A.X.L (PG for action, peril, suggestive material, mild epithets and mature themes) Epic sci-fi adventure about the unlikely friendship forged between a kindhearted loner (Alex Neustaedter) and the top secret, robotic dog he finds hiding in the desert. With Becky G, Ted McGinley and Thomas Jane.

The Happytime Murders (R for crude humor, graphic sexuality, drug use and pervasive profanity) Crime comedy about two private eyes, one human (Melissa McCarthy), one puppet (Bill Barretta), who grudgingly join forces to find the serial killer targeting cast members of a popular puppet show from the 1980s. Cast includes Maya Rudolph, Elizabeth Banks and Joel McHale.

Searching (PG-13 for profanity, sexuality, drug references and mature themes) Hi-tech whodunit revolving around a desperate father (John Cho) who looks on his missing 16 year-old daughter's (Michelle La) laptop computer for clues to her sudden disappearance without a trace. With Debra Messing, Joseph Lee, Alex Jayne Go, Megan Liu and Sarah Sohn.


INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN

Blue Iquana (Unrated) Crime comedy about a couple of ex-cons (Sam Rockwell and Ben Schwartz) working in dead end jobs at a NYC diner when a British lawyer (Phoebe Fox) walks in and makes an offer they can't refuse. With Simon Callow, Amanda Donohoe and Frances Barber

The Bookshop (PG for mild epithets, mature themes and smoking) Romance drama, set in England in 1959, about a free-spirited widow (Emily Mortimer) who opens a bookstore in a conservative coastal town where she meets resistance from a local grand dame (Patricia Clarkson) but also finds an ardent admirer in reclusive widower (Bill Nighy). With James Lance, Harvey Bennett and Frances Barber.

John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (Unrated) Tennis retrospective revisiting the final match of the 1984 French open between McEnroe and Ivan Lendl. Narrated by Mathieu Amalric. (In French and English with subtitles)

An L.A. Minute (R for sexuality and profanity) Hollywood spoof taking a satirical look at fame and fortune in Tinseltown while revolving around a love affair between a best-selling author (Gabriel Byrne) and an avant garde performance artist (Kiersey Clemons). Supporting cast includes Ned Bellamy, Ed Marinaro and Bob Balaban.

Papillon (R for profanity, nudity, violence, bloody images and some sexuality) Charlie Hunnam plays the title character in this remake of the 1973 classic based on unjustly-convicted Henri "Papillon" Charriere's memoir recounting his and a fellow inmate's (Rami Malek) daring escape from an infamous penal colony on Devil's Island. With Tommy Flanagan, Eve Hewson and Roland Moller. (In English and Spanish with subtitles)

Replicas (PG-13 for violence, nudity, sexual references, disturbing images and mature themes) Sci-fi thriller about a grieving biologist (Keanu Reeves) who becomes obsessed with bringing his family members back to life after they perish in a tragic car accident. Featuring Alice Eve, Thomas Middleditch and John Ortiz.

Support the Girls (R for profanity, sexual references and brief nudity) Ensemble comedy chronicling a day-in-the-life of the nurturing manager (Regina Hall) of a sports bar with scantily-clad waitresses. Cast includes Haley Lu Richardson, Zoe Graham and Dylan Gelula.



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Top Ten DVD List for August 14, 2018

 
by Kam Williams
 


This Week's DVD Releases

Avengers: Infinity War

Porcupine Lake

10 That Changed America: Season 2

Strike Back: Season Five

WWI: The War to End All Wars

To Auschwitz & Back: The Joe Engel Story

Suffering of Ninko

The Unborn

Return of the Living Dead: Part II

Arthur: D.W. and the Beastly Brithday



 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians

 
Film Review by Kam Williams



Heir Takes Fiancee' Home to Meet Picky Mom in Delightful Romantic Dramedy


Even though Nick (Henry Golding) and Rachel (Constance Wu) have been dating for a few years, they don't know much about each other's background. That's because they live in New York City where he's never bothered to reveal that he's from one the wealthiest families in Singapore, and she's never talked about her humble roots, having been raised by a single-mom immigrant (Kheng Hua Tan) to the U.S. from China. 
 
The difference in social status never affected their relationship, since Nick's so unassuming, and ambitious Rachel beat the odds by getting a great education en route to becoming an economics professor at NYU. In fact, they've gotten along so well that he's seriously considering proposing. He's even picked out a diamond ring. 
 
However, he'd first like to take her home to meet the folks, especially his domineering mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). An opportunity arises when Nick is invited to Singapore for the impending wedding of his best friend, Colin (Chris Pang). 
 
Rachel agrees to go and upon arriving finally learns that her beau is one of the island's most eligible bachelors. However, not only does she soon find herself unfairly accused of being a gold digger, but she's warned "You will never be enough!" by his disapproving mom.

Will class differences doom this fairy tale romance? Or will Rachel win over Nick's relatives and friends during her brief stay? That is the burning question fueling the fires of Crazy Rich Asians, a delightful dramedy directed by Jon M. Chu (Now You See Me 2). 
 
Based on Kevin Kwan's semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, the film features a colorful cast of characters played by a talented ensemble of Asian actors. Besides the love story at the heart of the tale, the picture features enough comic relief and intriguing subplots to hold you in its thrall from beginning to end. 
 
It's hard to fathom why it has taken Hollywood a quarter-century to mount another Asian-centric, big budget production like this, given the success of The Joy Luck Club in 1993. And don't let the title fool you. This engaging, cross-cultural saga is a surefire hit with universal appeal!



Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for profanity and suggestive content
In English and Mandarin with subtitles
Running time: 121 minutes
Production Studios: Warner Brothers Pictures / Ivanhoe Pictures / Starlight Culture Entertainment / SK Global Entertainment / Electric Somewhere / Color Force
Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures

To see the trailer for Crazy Rich Asians, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ-YX-5bAs0


Friday, August 10, 2018

Kam's Kapsules for movies opening August 17, 2018



 

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun  
by Kam Williams


OPENING THIS WEEK

WIDE RELEASES

Alpha (PG-13 for intense peril) Ice Age tale of survival chronicling the unlikely friendship forged between a lone wolf abandoned by its pack and an injured young man (Kodi Smit McPhee) separated from his tribe. With Leonor Varela, Jens Hulten and Natassia Malthe.

Crazy Rich Asians (PG-13 for profanity and suggestive content) Adaptation of Kevin Kwan's semi-autobiographical best seller of the same name revolving around the hostility encountered by a Chinese-American college professor (Constance Wu) when she accompanies her wealthy boyfriend (Henry Golding) home to Singapore for his best friend's (Chris Pang) wedding. Cast includes Gemma Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Dr. Ken Jeong and Awkwafina. (In English and Mandarin with subtitles)

Mile 22 (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Espionage thriller starring Mark Wahlberg as the leader of a tactical CIA team assigned to extract an asset with valuable information (Iko Uwais) from a foreign country before the enemy closes in on him. With John Malkovich, Ronda Rousey and Lauren Cohan. (In English, Russian and Indonesian with subtitles)


INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN

Alt-Right: Age of Rage (Unrated) Political documentary revisiting last summer's neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Virginia leading to the murder of counter-demonstrator Heather Heyer. Featuring commentary by Antifa activist Daryle Lamont Jenkins and white supremacist Richard Spencer.

Billionaire Boys Club (R for sexuality, violence, drug use and pervasive profanity) Remake of the 1987 of the fact-based crime thriller, set in L.A. in the Eighties, about a gang of preppies who murder an investor (Kevin Spacey) in their get-rich-quick Ponzi scheme. Co-starring Ansel Elgort, Taron Egerton, Bokeem Woodbine and Emma Roberts.

Do You Trust This Computer? (Unrated) Cautionary documentary warning of the perils of the impending Artificial Intelligence era in which self-learning computers are apt to control virtually every aspect of our lives.

Juliet, Naked (R for profanity) Adaptation of the Nick Hornby novel of the same name about a diehard rock fan (Chris O'Dowd) whose jaded girlfriend (Rose Byrne) falls in love with the obscure musician (Ethan Hawke) he's become obsessed with. Supporting cast includes Jimmy O. Yang, Megan Dodds and Lily Newmark.

Minding the Gap (Unrated) Rust Belt documentary, set in Rockford, Illinois, chronicling a dozen years in the lives of three skateboarding BFFs from adolescence to facing adult responsibilities.

A Whale of a Tale (Unrated) Eco-expose' revisiting Taiji, the Japanese fishing village denounced for dolphin hunting in the 2010 Oscar-winning documentary, The Cove. (In Japanese with subtitles)

The Wife (R for profanity and some sexuality) Glenn Close plays the title character in this adaptation of Meg Wolitzer's best seller of the same name about an aging woman who comes to question the 40 years of self-sacrificing which enabled her husband (Jonathan Pryce) to win the Nobel Prize for literature. With Christian Slater, Max Irons and Elizabeth McGovern.






Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Meg



Film Review by Kam Williams



Disgraced Navy Captain Seeks Redemption in "Jurassic Jaws" Horror Homage


Five years ago, Captain Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) only managed to save half his crew when his research submarine was crippled by a massive, 75-foot long shark thought to be extinct. Because the Navy brass was skeptical about the existence of a Megalodon, he was dishonorably discharged and lost not only his career, but his wife, to boot. 
 
Ever since, he's disappeared from public view, and has been rumored to be drinking heavily in Samut Prakan, Thailand. That's where former colleague, Dr. Minway Zhang (Winston Chao), finds him after the prehistoric creature attacks again, leaving another submersible sitting on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. 
 
Dr. Zhang pressures him to sober up and take a shot at redemption, since he's the only person alive who has ever successfully completed such a dangerous, deep sea operation. "I don't dive anymore," Jonas declares, but changes his mind upon learning that his ex, Lori (Jessica McNamee), is piloting the otherwise doomed vessel. 
 
That is the compelling point of departure of The Meg, a harrowing horror flick which, despite being adapted from a novel by Steve Alten, might nevertheless be best described as a cross between Jaws (1975) and Jurassic Park (1993). The picture was directed by Jon Turteltaub (National Treasure) who walks a fine line here between lifting ideas from and paying homage to those two Spielberg screen classics. 
 
Scene after scene feels vaguely familiar, like the one where a pet pooch named Pippin is ostensibly swallowed by the monster. In Jaws, a dog named Pippet disappears while playing fetch with his owner. Another deja vu arrives when the Meg improbably flies out of the water and lands on the boat hunting it. Where have I seen that before? You get the idea. 
 
Provided you are willing to forgive such shameless supposed tributes, or are too young to have seen the originals, the film actually delivers a fairly riveting roller coaster ride. Since the genre has been dominated in recent years by the campy Sharknado franchise, Jurassic Jaws proves to be just the Rx needed to make sharks scary again!



Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated PG-13 for action, peril, profanity and bloody images
Running time: 113 minutes
Production Studios: Warner Brothers Pictures / Gravity Pictures / Maeday Productions / Flagship Entertainment Group / Apelles Entertainment / Di Bonaventura Pictures
Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures

To see the trailer for The Meg, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsLk0NPRFAc

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Top Ten DVD List for August 7, 2018

Image result for Breaking In [Unrated Director's Cut]
by Kam Williams


This Week's DVD Releases

Breaking In [Unrated Director's Cut]

Bye Bye Germany

Life of the Party

The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island

On Chesil Beach

Riverdale: Season 2

No Offence: Series 1

Elena Of Avalor: Realm Of The Jaquins


Kingdoms of the Sky

Digimon Adventure tri. [Coexistence]


Honorable Mention

Earth's Natural Wonders: Season 2 [Life at the Extremes]

Brotherly Love

Speed Walking

Saturday, August 4, 2018

BlacKkKlansman

Film Review by Kam Williams



Black Cop Infiltrates Klan in Fact-Based Dramedy from Spike Lee


Back in the Seventies, Ron Stallworth became the first African-American to join the Colorado Springs Police Department. The ambitious, young, college grad was soon promoted to detective, and his initial undercover case involved covering a Stokely Carmichael (Corey Hawkins) rally when the incendiary Black Power advocate was invited to speak at Colorado College.

But his most unlikely mission involved infiltrating the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. Here's how that came to pass. Using his real name, he impulsively answered a classified ad recruiting new members, not knowing what to expect. 
 
When the organization subsequently contacted him by phone, Ron adopted a white accent and complained bitterly about his sister's dating a black man. That was all that it took for him to get invited to the next Klan meeting and to secure a membership card signed by Grand Wizard David Duke (Topher Grace). 
 
Instead of blowing his cover by showing up himself, Ron asked a Jewish colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), to attend and impersonate him. Despite several close calls, the two managed to closely monitor the Klan's movements over the next nine months.

That alternately comical and life-threatening assignment is the focus of BlacKkKlansman, a thought-provoking dramedy adapted by Spike Lee from Stallworth's memoir of the same name. The movie made quite a splash at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, where it won the Jury's Grand Prize. 
 
What makes the picture work is the way in which it mocks the small-minded Klan members' racist attitudes and behaviors. However, it simultaneously serves as a timely cautionary tale by juxtaposing that shameful chapter of American history with a closing credits newsreel of the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville last summer which culminated with the murder of Heather Heyer when a white supremacist plowed his car into a parade of peaceful counter-demonstrators. 
 
A sobering Spike Lee Joint suggesting that the Klan might very well rise again, especially given equivocating President Trump's frustrating refusal to take sides. Easily, Spike's best offering in ages!



Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for pervasive profanity, racial epithets, disturbing violence, sexual references and mature themes
Running time: 135 minutes
Production Studio: 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks / Monkeypaw Productions / Blumhouse Productions / QC Entertainment / Legendary Entertainment / Perfect World Pictures
Distributor: Focus Features


To see a trailer for BlacKkKlansman, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFc6I0rgmgY

Friday, August 3, 2018

Kam's Kapsules for movies opening August 10, 2018

 
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun 
by Kam Williams


OPENING THIS WEEK

WIDE RELEASES

BlacKkKlansman (R for pervasive profanity, racial epithets, disturbing violence, sexual references and mature themes) John David Washington (Denzel's son) stars as the title character in Spike Lee's Cannes Grand Prize-winning adaptation of African-American detective Ron Stallworth's memoir about infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan in 1979. With Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, Harry Belafonte, Alec Baldwin and Corey Hawkins.

Dog Days (PG rude humor, suggestive content and mild epithets) Ensemble comedy, set in L.A., revolving around a group of strangers whose lives serendipitously intersect with the help of their pet pooches. Cast includes Vanessa Hudgens, Eva Longoria, Nina Dobrev, Finn Wolfhard and Thomas Lennon.

The Meg (PG-13 for action, peril, profanity and bloody images) Sci-fi thriller revolving around a deep sea diver (Jason Statham) recruited by a research scientist (Winston Chao) to rescue the crew of a disabled submarine sitting on the ocean floor where it is being circled by a 75-foot long, prehistoric shark thought to be extinct. With Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson, Ruby Rose and Jessica McNamee.

Slender Man (PG-13 for profanity, terror, disturbing images, crude sexual references and mature themes) Adaptation of the creepy internet legend about a skinny stalker with a featureless face (Javier Botet) responsible for the mysterious disappearance of countless kids. Co-starring Joey King, Jaz Sinclair, Taylor Richardson and Talitha Bateman.

INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN

BuyBust (Unrated) High-body count crime thriller, set in Manila, about a narcotics detective (Anne Curtis) forced to shoot her way out of the city's most dangerous slum after surviving the slaughter of the rest of her squad by crooked cops and a drug cartel. With Brandon Vera, Victor Neri and Arjo Atayde. (in Filipino, Tagalog and English with subtitles)

Madeline's Madeline (Unrated) Newcomer Helena Howard makes her screen debut as the title character of this psychological thriller as a troubled teen actress encouraged by a theater director (Molly Parker) to allow her dysfunctional relationship with her mother (Miranda July) to influence her performance in a play. With Julee Cerda, Okwui Okpokwasili, Sunita Mani and Curtiss Cook.

A Prayer before Dawn (R for rape, violence, drug use, sexuality, nudity and pervasive profanity) Adaptation of British boxer Billy Moore's (Joe Cole) memoir about being forced to fight in Muay Thai tournaments to gain his freedom from a Bangkok prison. Supporting cast includes Komsan Polsan, Pornchanok Mabklang and Nicolas Shake. (In English and Thai with subtitles)

Pretty Bad Actress (Unrated) Crime comedy about a fledgling actress (Heather McComb) forced to save herself when she's kidnapped after an audition. Support cast includes Jillian Bell, Danny Woodburn, Amy Buchwald and West Liang.

Skate Kitchen (R for pervasive profanity, drug use, nudity and graphic sexuality) Coming-of-age drama about a suburban teen (Rachelle Vinberg) befriended by female skateboarders in NYC. With Nina Moran, Jaden Smith, Ardelia Lovelace and Kabrina Adams.

Summer of '84 (Unrated) Suspense thriller about a teenager (Graham Verchere) who recruits his friends to help monitor the cop next-door neighbor (Rich Sommer) he suspects is the serial killer terrorizing their town. Cast includes Judah Lewis, Caleb Emery and Cory Gruter-Andrew.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Eighth Grade


Film Review by Kam Williams

Teen Angst Explored in Poignant Coming-of-Age Dramedy

Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) is starting her last week of middle school, and graduation can't come soon enough for her. After all, the lonely, 13 year-old has just been voted "Most Quiet" by her classmates, despite being desperate to make friends. 
 
Nevertheless, she finds herself routinely ignored because she's overweight, pimply and not from a prominent family. So, between being ostracized by the popular cliques and going unnoticed by the cute boy (Luke Prael) she has a crush on, Kayla leads a very solitary and unhappy existence. 
 
It doesn't help matters that she's an only child, and that her well-meaning single-dad (Josh Hamilton) doesn't have a clue about how to connect with a daughter growing up in the Digital Age. The two barely talk to each other at the dinner table. She just scrolls through social media on her cell between bites while grudgingly giving monosyllabic responses to his questions about how her day went. 

However, we see a whole other side of Kayla as soon as she retreats to her bedroom where she hosts a show on her own Youtube channel. There, she doles out precocious advice daily to fellow teens on such topics as "How to be confident" and "Putting yourself out there," invariably signing off with the optimistic exclamation, "Gucci!" Too bad she has a hard time conquering her own fears in real life. 
 
For example, at her father's insistence, she reluctantly attended the birthday pool party of Kennedy (Catherine Oliviere), a mean girl whose mother had extended the invitation. Kayla felt so uncomfortable after being teased about the present she brought and about how she looked in a bathing suit, that she called home to be picked up early. 
 
Thus unfolds Eighth Grade, a haunting, coming-of-age dramedy marking the impressive writing and directorial debut of actor Bo Burnham (Rough Night). The film also features a breakout performance by Elsie Fisher who is oh so convincing as the beleaguered protagonist at the center of the story. One can't help but cringe watching her tortured character's palpable angst about being bullied. 
 
A la Thirteen (2003) and Lady Bird (2017), Eighth Grade paints a poignant portrait of a tormented adolescent awkwardly negotiating a rite of passage.


Excellent (4 stars)
Rated R for profanity, sexuality and mature themes
Running time: 94 minutes
Production Studios: A24 Films / Scott Rudin Productions
Distributor: A24 Films


To see a trailer for Eighth Grade, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8lFgF_IjPw

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Top Ten DVD List for July 31, 2018

Image result for kings dvd  halle berry
by Kam Williams


This Week's DVD Releases

Kings

Tully
https://www.amazon.com/Tully-Blu-ray-Charlize-Theron/dp/B07CPK34TZ/ref=ice_ac_b_dpb_twi_blu_2?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1532779721&sr=1-3&keywords=Tully

Murdoch Mysteries: Series 11

FRONTLINE: Myanmar's Killing Fields

NATURE: Shark Mountain

NOVA: Wonders [Season 1]

Across the River

Overboard

Nella: The Princess Knight [Royal Quests]

Rusty Rivets