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Thor’s Blu-ray/DVD Reviews: Jan. 28

Thor Diakow | posted Tuesday, Jan 28th, 2020

Hit the movie titles for trailer links.

January 28, 2020: Parasite, Pain and Glory, Terminator: Dark Fate, Motherless Brooklyn, Zombieland: Double Tap.


SYNOPSIS: In PARASITE, meet the Park family, the picture of aspirational wealth and the Kim family, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kim’s sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks.

Simply put, this was the finest film of 2019. Bong Joon-ho’s brilliant dark comedy is a masterclass in moviemaking as it balances some tricky tonal shifts while providing razor-sharp wit and insightful social commentary. Throw in some gorgeous lighting, glorious production design, a riveting cast, and you’re left with an instant classic for our modern times that will be remembered for years to come and sets a new benchmark for South Korean films on the world stage.

•Q&A with Director Bong Joon Ho

Pain and Glory

SYNOPSIS: PAIN AND GLORY tells of a series of re-encounters experienced by Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas), a film director in his physical decline. Some of them in the flesh, others remembered: his childhood in the 60s, when he emigrated with his parents to a village in Valencia in search of prosperity, the first desire, his first adult love in the Madrid of the 80s, the pain of the breakup of that love while it was still alive and intense, writing as the only therapy to forget the unforgettable, the early discovery of cinema, and the void, the infinite void that creates the incapacity to keep on making films. PAIN AND GLORY talks about creation, about the difficulty of separating it from one’s own life and about the passions that give it meaning and hope. In recovering his past, Salvador finds the urgent need to recount it, and in that need he also finds his salvation.

Almodóvar is back with perhaps his most personal film to date. Lush visuals, a strong script, and a career-best performance from Antonio Banderas make this an unmissable addition to the director’s already storied list of accomplishments. Pain and Glory features a sensational and tender story – with real-world parallels – and represents a filmmaker working in top form and in clear command of his craft.

•Q&A with Director Pedro Almodóvar & Antonio Banderas – Antonio Banderas, Director Pedro Almodóvar, Composer Alberto Iglesias, and Producer Agustín Almodóvar discuss the creative process and genesis of PAIN AND GLORY.
•Pedro Almodóvar: In His Own Words – Pedro Almodóvar on La Movida Madrileña, his visual style, early inspirations, and his lengthy collaborations with Antonio Banderas and Penélope Cruz.

Terminator: Dark Fate

SYNOPSIS: Decades after Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) prevented Judgment Day, a lethal new Terminator is sent to eliminate the future leader of the resistance. In a fight to save mankind, battle-hardened Sarah teams up with an unexpected ally (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and an enhanced super soldier to stop the deadliest Terminator yet. Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance in this action-packed thrill ride from Tim Miller, the director of Deadpool, and producer James Cameron.

The reunion many Terminator fans have been waiting for is finally here! While Dark Fate‘s plot becomes convoluted at times, it’s still full of satisfying action and it’s admittedly fun to watch Arnie back in the franchise. It’s the ladies who steal the show in this one though; Linda Hamilton is sensational and she’s backed by an ass-kicking Mackenzie Davis and ‘star in the making’ Natalia Reyes. Just try to overlook the unfortunate John Connor prologue.

•Deleted and Extended Scenes
•A Legend Reforged
•World Builders
•Dam Busters: The Final Showdown
•VFX Breakdown: The Dragonfly

Motherless Brooklyn

SYNOPSIS: Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely guarded secrets that hold the fate of New York in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York’s power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honour his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.

A dense and sprawling crime saga, Motherless Brooklyn requires some patience from viewers but is ultimately engaging. Norton tackles double duty (triple if you count his producing credit) as director and star and is backed by a solid ensemble cast, including a surprisingly effective Bruce Willis. The film gets occasionally bogged down by familiar tropes but is a worthy addition to the neo-noir detective mystery genre and represents the kind of intelligent moviemaking seldom seen from major studios these days.

•Making-Of: Edward Norton’s Methodical Process
•Commentary with Director Edward Norton
•Deleted Scenes
•Making-Of: Edward Norton’s Methodical Process

Zombieland: Double Tap

SYNOPSIS: Set one decade after the events of the first film, ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP finds Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), and Wichita (Emma Stone) working together as a well-oiled, zombie-killing machine with a new home in the now-vacant White House. These four slayers must face off against the many new kinds of zombies that have evolved since the first movie, as well as some new human survivors. But most of all, they have to face the growing pains of their own snarky, makeshift family.

While not as original as…the original, Double Tap is still tons of fun and features plenty of great zombie kills along with lots of laughs. The committed cast seems to be having a blast, the simple plot and tight pacing ensure things don’t get tedious, and a scene-stealing Zoey Deutch is a comedic marvel to behold!

•Extended Bloopers & Outtakes
•Alternate & Extended Scenes
•“The Doppelgangers”: From stunts to special effects, this in-depth piece breaks down doppelgangers Flagstaff and Albuquerque and comes complete with interviews, demonstrations, and multiple cameras to snag all the action in their wild scenes.
•“The Rides of Zombieland”: From the Beast to Big Fat Death (and a hated Pontiac Trans Sport in between) this short focuses on the rides that get our main characters around Z-land.
•“Rules of Making a Zombie Film”: It takes a lot of rules and a lot of people to make a zombie film!
•“Making Babylon”: Explore the climactic third act location in the film known in Zombieland as Babylon.  Part fortress, part freshman dormitory, Babylon is the safe-place for a generation of misguided peace-loving retro-hippies.
•“New Blood”: Rosario Dawson, Zoey Deutch, and Avan Jogia join our zombie-slaying cast.
•“Single Take Doppelganger Fight”: Ruben Fleischer shares the camera monitor during the Doppelganger fight sequence.
•Commentary with Director Ruben Fleischer
•“Zombieland Ad Council”