Finally learning that bigger isn’t always better (see X-Men: Apocalypse and X-Men: The Last Stand), 20th Century Fox has moved away from the super-sized team film. With both Logan and Legion (FX’s new series based around the X-Men character of the same name), the X-Men universe is taking some interesting turns with a darker tone and smaller character-driven stories. Logan may not be as entertaining as Deadpool, but it definitely ranks as one of the better X-Men films (and easily the best of the Wolverine standalone movies).
When an unemployed gamer (Chang-wook Ji) is framed for murder, he and his friends put their skills to work to find the true killer. The South Korean action film opens in select cities on February 24th.
Adapted from Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, Walt Disney’s second animated film features a morality tale about a young puppet brought to life who struggles to learn lessons about right and wrong. Helping him, but not always being successful, is Jiminy Cricket who is drafted into service as Pinocchio‘s conscience by the Blue Fairy who instills life in the marionette after answering the fondest wish of his creator Gepetto. If Pinocchio can prove himself brave, truthful, and unselfish, he may become a real boy, but before that can happen he’ll make a few wrong turns along the way.
Paroled from the Disney Vault, Pinocchio is re-released on Blu-ray as part of the new Signature Series. Extras include all the previously-released features (behind-the-scenes featurettes, storyboards, deleted scenes, and more) along with a handful of new short featurettes on the film, music, and Pleasure Island, and a vintage black-and-white cartoon.
2014’s John Wick was a thoroughly-enjoyable throwaway action flick. A simplistic revenge story with style and some unforgettable stunts, director Chad Stahelski‘s film knew exactly what it was and just how to deliver. A callback to 80s-style of gun-toting heroes who shot first and asked questions later, the movie ignored modern trends of cutting action scenes into an unrecognizable mess and kept the camera still to allow us to see the awesome unfold on screen. Stunts we could actually watch and enjoy, imagine that.
Re-released on DVD, 1956’s The King and I brought the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II musical to the big screen in CinemaScope starring Deborah Kerr as schoolteacher Anna Leonowens who instructs more than just her students when she takes a job teaching the children of King Mongkut (Yul Brynner). Winning five Academy Awards (including a Best Actor Oscar for Brynner), the film holds up.
As has been stated in other corners of the Internet, the DVD version of the film is much crisper and cleaner than the Blu-ray release (where lighting and color are both inconsistent). Fans who don’t own the 50th Anniversary DVD should certainly think about adding this to their collection for the music, Brynner’s performance, and an impressive amount of extras.
Here’s the thing, anybody brave enough to head to the theaters in the dog days of February knows to lower their standards. The perennial post-Oscar dumping ground is the home of clusterfucks and misfit toys which studios either couldn’t or wouldn’t put the money behind. Keeping this very important caveat in mind, The Space Between Us is marginally entertaining as it wraps up your standard romantic dramedy in sci-fi trappings while hoping the strength of its cast will obscure its obvious flaws.