There are several interesting films out this week, although some of them will be in limited release. The classic Terminator 2: Judgment Day has been reprocessed into 3D, and there are now a couple generations of Terminator fans who have never seen it on the big screen in the first place to enjoy it. Birth of the Dragon tells some of the Bruce Lee story, although according to his daughter they completely bypassed his philosophy of both Martial Arts and storytelling, so she bailed on the project as not representing her dad. Unleashed is a modern fantasy about a woman whose cat and dog were turned into handsome male humans, it has been winning awards all over the festival circuit and looks very amusing. There is a new French animation called Leap!, original title Ballerina, also coming to theaters on Friday. France has been at the forefront of international film making since the 1890s, and has been creating some amazing animations at least since WWII. They may only have a few movies which break across the language barrier each year, but the ones that do are usually minor (and sometimes not so minor) masterpieces. If you live within driving distance of one of the larger Megaplex theaters, one of them may be carrying The Villainess, a South Korean movie about a woman trained from youngest childhood to be an assassin for a criminal organization. When a government agency offers her freedom and a place in society if she works for them for a decade, she jumps at the chance to escape. When they betray her in turn, the vengeance train goes off the rails and rampages down main street. And one more that I really want to see is the Bollywood film A Gentleman. A RomCom where a case of mistaken identity changes everything!
The best western option this week is Gotham: The Complete Third Season, and I do love how each season is a little more twisted than the last. The related DCU release is DCU: Batman and Harley Quinn, a road trip story where the two are tracking down Poison Ivy, and Batman is losing it still more by the minute! And then there is Killing Hasselhoff, possibly the strangest and funniest movie of the actors career. Anime releases include Bakuon!!: Complete Collection, plus Beyond the Boundary, and finally Rainbow Days: Complete Collection.
The actress Cara Delevingne sings the song I Feel Everything from the Luc Besson masterpiece Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Sadly we probably won’t be getting anything additional from that comic book universe any time soon, because the movie cost around $150,000,000 to make, but they only pulled in just over $115,000,000 in its 4 week run. If you were one of the luck few who got to see it (they put it in the tiniest theater in each of the various megaplexes with a low number of screenings, while Dunkirk had half the screens, including 100% of all IMAX showings, and started every 45 minutes) you know what how good it was. They should get funding for the second one in about 25 years, when this film is a Cult Classic.
The genre entry is Dave Made a Maze, and indie fantasy which has been quietly winning awards at film festivals for a while now. I suspect it won’t be getting a lot of screens across the country, so you may have to hunt for it if you want to see it. The Hitman’s Bodyguard isn’t genre (beyond the fact that it looks like it is straight out of a comic book), but it does look like it will be silly fun. Decisions, decisions…
This week brings the latest in the long running franchise with Alien: Covenant. By the time this one hit the theaters I had seen everything I needed to see of that universe, so I haven’t seen it yet, and feel no compulsion to do so now. I do love every one of the films that has Sigourney Weaver in it, though. I am going to have to include the TV series Riverdale: Season 1 this time, because it is so different from the comic books I remember reading that it seems like something from another world to me. I did enjoy it quite a bit, and am happy that Season 2 will be on the air in October.
Anime has the continuation of two long-running favorites with Fairy Tail: Collection Nine, and One Piece – Season Nine, Voyage Two. We also get Food Wars! Complete Collection in both a regular and limited box sets.
The animated choice this time is The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature which is good silly fun, as you would expect. But the live action option has to be Once Upon a Time, the Chinese epic fantasy about love across the incarnations and across time. It looks like the live action version of Tokyo Ghoul is being released as well, but not in this country.