Kneel Before VOD: August 22nd
One of my favorite comedies of the year is available to buy this week. Rough Night stars Scarlett Johansson, Jillian Bell, Zoë Kravitz, and Kate McKinnon as college friends reuniting for a wild party weekend in Florida. On the first night, they accidentally kill a male stripper and spend the rest of the night scrambling to cover it up. All of the stars get their time to shine and the film has plenty of stand-out sequences. The jokes didn't always land, but enough did to leave me satisfied.
Tupac Shakur's impact on the worlds of music and film is undeniable. What he was able to accomplish before he met his tragic end, at the young age of 25, is simply incredible, selling over 75 million records to date and starring in 9 feature films. His life & legacy has already been the subject of numerous documentaries, but All Eyez on Me aims to tell a dramatized version of the rapper from the beginning to his peak. For someone who so drastically changed the game, it's a shame that his biopic is about as by the numbers as it gets. Demetrius Shipp Jr. may be a spitting image, but the film attempts to show too much and thus he isn't allowed to really dig deep.
Universal Pictures released their reboot of The Mummy this summer, the first step in their aggressive attempt to launch the "Dark Universe," a cinematic universe consisting of the creatures on which the studio made its name. While in Iraq, treasure hunter Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) accidentally awakens Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), a Princess who, in an attempt to gain power, killed the rest of her royal family before being captured and mummified. She's loose and wreaking havoc, and it's up to Morton to stop her. There's very little of note here besides a few fun action sequences. It seems that audiences saw through this cynical launch, as the film underperformed here in the states, but you can buy it right now to prep for 2019's Bride of Frankenstein.
Netflix: The Defenders
For just over two years Netflix has been building up its roster of Marvel heroes with the hope of bringing them together as The Defenders. The disparate New York heroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the Iron Fist finally realize it's time to come together to take on The Hand, a radical mystic group hoping to gain immortality. Seeing these four finally come together is a lot of fun, the best elements of all of their solo shows mesh together perfectly. The action-packed and the show effectively plays as a small screen Avengers.
Amazon Prime: My Bloody Valentine (2009)
Tom Hanniger was a coal miner who accidentally started a cave-in that trapped six miners, one of whom, Harry Warden, killed the others to survive and ended up in a coma. Ten years later, Tom returns to town and people around him start to be brutally picked off by a miner who may or may not be Harry. This remake of the 1981 slasher is as dumb fun as they come. Great gore effects and a classic horror mindset make this one of the most successful horror reboots around.
HBO Go: Nocturnal Animals
One of the biggest sleeper hits of last year, Nocturnal Animals is a stylish and dark thriller directed by fashion designer Tom Ford. Susan Gallows (Amy Adams) is an art gallery owner who receives a novel from her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) that she becomes obsessed with whilst her current husband is out of town. The novel tells the story of three criminals who kidnap a local man's wife and daughter. The cast is undeniably brilliant, Michael Shannon was nominated for an Oscar and Aaron Taylor-Johnson won a Golden Globe for their roles in the novel inside the movie.
Also Streaming: Rules Don't Apply
Hulu Plus: Bloodsport
Sometimes there are days when there's nothing you want to do more than to watch Jean-Claude Van Damme beat up a bunch of people. If you're having one of those days, Hulu has you covered with Bloodsport, one of the craziest action movies the late eighties had to offer. Van Damme is Frank Dux, a U.S. soldier and expert martial artist who runs from his commanding officers to Hong Kong to compete in Kumite, an underground fighting ring featuring the best fighters from around the globe all vying for the top prize. The movie's main attraction is its fight scenes, all of which have their own fun gimmick and are filmed viscerally. Plus, you get a lot of good shots of Van Damme and his butt when they were in their prime.
One of the earliest and most influential horror movies ever made, Nosferatu is an unofficial adaptation of Dram Stoker's Dracula. This film tells the story of Thomas Hutter, a German businessman sent to Transylvania to visit a new client, Count Orloff, in his lavish castle. After arriving Hutter finds out that Orloff is actually Nosferatu, an evil blood-sucking creature with eyes on Hutter and his wife, Ellen. Hutter must now escape and get back to his wife before Orloff can reach her. Being made in 1922, it's frankly stunning how effective the effects can still be today. It's a gothic horror masterpiece that is a must for any film buff.