Well friends, it seems as if summer is upon us, bringing with it plenty of hot days and cool fun. And when it comes to cool things to do, nothing quite beats the joy of watching movies. This week’s new releases offer plenty of opportunities to do just that, with a diversity of titles that can please every film fan. See for yourself!
Reticent suburban dad Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) was everyone’s doormat, and life with his disappointed wife (Connie Nielsen) and kids bottomed out when he didn’t stand up to a home invasion. However, the incident triggered suppressed lethal training from his shadowy service days…and sent the sad sack-turned-super soldier into improbable but very violent conflict with the local Russian mob. Subversive actioner co-stars Christopher Lloyd, Michael Ironside, RZA, Aleksey Serebryakov.
Thumbing it after their plane gets repossessed, crop dusters Mike Edwards (Elvis Presley) and Danny Burke (Gary Lockwood) find themselves dropped at the Seattle World’s Fair. As they become sitters for their farmer lift’s little niece (Vicky Tiu), Mike finds himself falling for a pretty expo nurse (Joan O’Brien). Fun outing has Elvis singing such songs as “Cotton Candy Land” and “Happy Ending,” getting a great view from the Space Needle, and getting kicked in the shin by a young Kurt Russell!
German émigré Ulrich Mott (Christoph Waltz) wanted influence in Washington, and he found it through marriage to much-older, widowed D.C. socialite Elsa Brecht (Vanessa Redgrave). He seemed every bit the grieving spouse after his wife’s abrupt passing, but her law professor daughter (Annette Bening) wasn’t buying it–and he may be running out of lines to spin. Waltz’s directing bow, inspired by the Albrecht Muth/Viola Herms Drath case, co-stars Corey Hawkins, Caroline Palmer.
Night of the Sicario (2021)
The owner (Natasha Henstridge) and aged residents of an old folks home are in for more excitement than they’ve had since…ever when a DEA agent (Costas Mandylor) shows up with the daughter (Addison Kendall) of a federal witness, looking for a place to lay low from mercenaries dispatched by a drug cartel. Can the seniors help protect them from the cold-blooded killers? Intense (and somewhat unexpectedly) faith-based actioner co-stars Manny Perez, Roberto “Sanz” Sanchez.
Invaders of the Lost Gold (1982)
A group of treasure hunters will experience brutality and horror beyond imagination as they trek into the dense, steamy jungles of the Philippines, in this sleaze-filled exploitation adventure. Their quarry is a stash of World War II gold hidden 36 years earlier by Japanese soldiers–just after their comrades were savagely killed by a cannibalistic tribe. Stuart Whitman, Edmund Purdom, Woody Strode, Harold Sakata, Laura Gemser star. AKA: “Horror Safari.”
Early in his tenure prowling Gotham’s streets, the Batman (voiced by Jensen Ackles) was confronted with a mob war, as well as a serial killer who took out targets on both sides–one a month–on a holiday. His quest to stop the spree, and save the soul of DA Harvey Dent (Josh Duhamel), is covered in this first half of an epic-length animated take on the classic 1996 Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale story arc. Also with the voices of Billy Burke, David Dastmalchian, Naya Rivera, Troy Baker.
The Unholy (2021)
In New England chasing a dead end, disgraced journalist Gerry Fenn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) came upon a real story–young, deaf-since-birth Alice Pagett (Cricket Brown), who credited a visitation from the Virgin Mary with her sudden ability to hear and speak. As pilgrims seeking cures and Vatican investigators flock around her, Fenn finds–to his growing terror–the explanations might be other than divine. Shocker adapted from James Herbert’s novel “Shrine” co-stars Katie Aselton, William Sadler.
This nine-disc set of Christopher Lee classics includes Sherlock Holmes And The Deadly Necklace (1962), Challenge The Devil (1963), Castle Of The Living Dead (1964), Crypt Of The Vampire (1964), The Torture Chamber Of Dr. Sadism (1967), and Theatre Macabre (1971-1972).
Running a ramshackle saloon out in the frozen tundra for a handful of Inuit regulars, you’d think that Westerner Clint (Willem Dafoe) had run sufficiently far from the tormenting ghosts of his past…but it wasn’t enough. Guiding a team of sled dogs into the unknown horizon, he travels into a hallucinatory odyssey through space and time that might not offer a return. Abel Ferrara’s vivid study also stars Dounia Sichov, Simon McBurney, Daniel Giménez Cacho.
For Those Who Think Young (1964)
Upbeat beach comedy stars James Darren as Gardner “Ding” Pruitt III, a wealthy kid who has his sights set on the lovely Sandy Palmer (Pamela Tiffin), much to the consternation of his rich and powerful grandfather (Robert Middleton). And when gramps tries to close down the local teen hangout, he may find his past as a bootlegger coming back to haunt him. With Paul Lynde, Tina Louise, Bob Denver, Nancy Sinatra, and Ellen Burstyn.
Death in Texas (2021)
Paroled from the slammer, Billy Walker (Ronnie Gene Blevins) came home to a mom (Lara Flynn Boyle) in need of a liver transplant–and with no options to pay for it. He chose to try to muscle his way into the local drug trade…but the regional cartel boss (Bruce Dern) has violent means of dealing with those that mess with his market. Stunning action-drama also stars Stephen Lang, John Ashton, William Shockley, Sam Daly.
Visions of Eight (Criterion Collection)(1973)
The award-winning documentary offers a unique view of the 1972 Munich Olympics, as eight noted directors (Milos Forman, Kon Ichikawa, Claude Lelouch, Juri Ozerov, Arthur Penn, Michael Pfleghar, John Schlesinger, and Mai Zetterling) turn their cameras on the world’s greatest athletic spectacle, the rigorous training that the competitors undergo, and the need to excel that drives them.
Diana at Sixty (2021)
A new insight into the “People’s Princess,” Lady Diana, with interviews from those who knew her best, looking at her life, loves, and where she might be today. This touching tribute reveals glimpses of how she grew to be an important figure worldwide, perhaps even bigger than The Crown itself.
Halifax: Retribution (2020)
Rebecca Gibney returned to her popular ‘90s Australian TV role as Melbourne forensic psychologist Jane Halifax for this mystery miniseries, as Halifax–having come to spend a quiet and comfortable generation as a college professor–is lured back to the investigative front lines by a serial shooter whose latest attack made the matter tragically personal. Anthony LaPaglia, Claudia Karvan, Jacqueline McKenzie, Rick Donald, Hannah Monson, Craig Hall also star.
Career Opportunities (1991)
John Hughes wrote and produced this comedy about Jim Dodge (Frank Whaley), a young loser who takes a job as an overnight custodian at a department store. On his first night on the job, Jim discovers that town beauty Josie McClellan (Jennifer Connelly) has been locked in with him. The two go on a storewide romp…before two crooks (Dermot and Kieran Mulroney) arrive on the scene. With John M. Jackson, Noble Willingham, William Forsythe, and an uncredited John Candy.
After a local hip-hop club owner is busted by the cops, mild-mannered rapper Albert (Chris Rock) transforms his group into the hottest in the country by adopting new identities as “gangsta rappers.” The newly-named CB4 indulges in non-stop partying and sells millions of records, but the hoods who inspired their success are soon on their trail. Uproarious comedy also stars Allen Payne, Deezer D, Chris Elliott, Khandi Alexander, and Phil Hartman.
The Paper Tigers (2020)
Back in the ‘90s, martial arts prodigies Danny (Alain Uy), Hing (Ron Yuan) and Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins) were solid friends and the pride of their dojo. Those days have long since given way to the sundry aches and pains of middle age–but when their onetime master is murdered, these creaky combatants have to find the will and the wind to take their vengeance. Affable action-comedy also stars Roger Yuan, Joziah Lagonoy, Matthew Page, Yoshi Sudarso.
Strike Commando (1986)
Separated from his platoon after a mission to blow up a Cong base goes sideways, Sgt. Mike Ransom (Reb Brown) is found by sympathetic villagers who alert him to a Russian Army presence in-country. Returning from his evac to find those who’d helped him slaughtered, he’ll wreak hot lead vengeance against the VCs, the Soviets, and the corrupt within his own upper ranks. Combat actioner from exploitation maestro Bruno Mattei co-stars Christopher Connelly, Alex Vitale, Luciano Pigozzi.
Strike Commando 2 (1988)
After his service days, Mike Ransom (Brett Huff) returned to Southeast Asia in an effort to find his long-vanished former CO Maj. Vic Jenkins (Richard Harris). Turns out that the major is very much alive, but in the hands of a Russian-backed drug operation…and the CIA wants Ransom to deliver the…well, okay, ransom and bring him home. Things won’t go at all smoothly in this fierce firefight follow-up from Bruno Mattei; Vic Diaz, Mary Stavin, Ottaviano Dell’Acqua co-star.
The Man Who Sold His Skin (2020)
Dislocated in Lebanon, Syrian refugee Sam Ali (Yahya Mahayni) was helpless as his true love Abeer (Dea Liane) was married off to a wealthy diplomat and sent to Belgium. With no resources, he’d enter into a bizarre gambit to reunite with her–as he allowed an eccentric artist (Koen De Bouw) to tattoo his back with a Schengen visa, and agreed to become an exhibit for the European art world. Fact-inspired opus co-stars Monica Bellucci, Christian Vadim.
What Happened Was… (1994)
In her Manhattan loft, nervous law firm secretary Jackie (Karen Sillas) prepped dinner for the arrival of an office colleague–older, reticent Harvard-educated paralegal Michael (Tom Noonan). Over the course of the evening, as the two socially stunted souls search for some common ground, they might wind sharing some darker sides to themselves than they could have anticipated, in director-writer Noonan’s sharply observed two-hander adapted from his play.
The Reason I Jump (2020)
Nonverbal autistic teenager Naoki Higashida’s best-selling 2007 account of life through his eyes served as the springboard for this remarkable documentary exploration, as passages from Higashida’s work are juxtaposed with shared testimonials from five young autistic individuals and their families from around the world–America, Britain, India, and Sierra Leone–to bring a telling perspective on a non-neurotypical existence’s causes and effects.
Includes Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007), and Shrek Forever After (2010)