“The Conjuring” movie universe has been a horror lovers dream, but sadly a mixed bag of movies that all interconnect in some form. The core movies that started it all are fantastic, while the rest have been either abysmal or mediocre. Thankfully, there was still some momentum in the popularity of Annabelle to allow for “Annabelle: Creation” to restore the missed opportunity that was her spin off. “The Curse of La Llorona” is a nice departure from Ed and Lorraine Warren that digs deep in to the roots of “The Conjuring” universe. It’s a horror drama about parenting, grief, revenge, and a vicious maternal villain like the previous films, but this time the producers dig in to Latin folklore.
In 1989, Nintendo was beginning to take over the world, and had done so right out of the wake of the video game crash of the eighties. With arcades fading, Nintendo was one of the strongest competitors for home gaming consoles, and in 1989 they were juggernauts of pop culture. Back in that era, just about everything was TMNT, The Simpsons, and Nintendo, and the latter had taken the minds and hearts of gamers and tech geeks everywhere that loved a good challenging platformer or run and gunner. In 1989, Nintendo finally branched out in to the wider arena of pop culture by basically helping to fuel a kids’ movie that would become a cult classic.
After years of delivering a new style of animation for a new generation of DC and Warner fans, the DC animation department is going back to the well and reviving the classic Bruce Timm animation style for some brand new films. While they all haven’t been slam dunks, “Justice League vs. The Fatal Five” is a fine return to form for a part of DC Comics Entertainment that almost always delivers. It’s certainly better than the junky 2017 “Batman and Harley Quinn” movie, and even takes the time out to delve in to important overtones about PTSD, Mental illness, and overcoming our fears.
BOOTLEG FILES 681: “Jésus de Nazareth” (1942 Mexican film).
LAST SEEN: On YouTube.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Not to my knowledge.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A once-popular Mexican film that is virtually unknown outside of its home country.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Not in an English-subtitled version in the U.S. market.
In 1926, Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles sought to enforce a federal separation of church and state. But Calles’ virulent anti-Catholic sentiments resulted an excessively violent crackdown on the faith, much to the anger of many people. A popular uprising that became known as the Cristero War paralyzed the country for several years, and even Calles’ departure from office in 1928 failed to heal the scars created by his policies.
It says a lot about an actor’s abilities and skill to compel an audience in a movie that’s based almost solely around them and on them. Mads Mikkelsen has always been one of the most underrated actors of my generation and in “Arctic” he proves why. Much in the realm of “Castaway,” and “All Is Lost,” director Joe Penna sets down on a man who has lost just about everything and bases much of the dramatic and emotional weight on how he responds non-verbally. Mikkelsen is up to the challenge, suffice to say, and that’s what helps make “Arctic” a worthwhile outing for fans of survival thrillers. “Arctic” surely doesn’t re-invent the wheel, but it’s compelling enough to warrant at least one viewing.
Mill Creek Entertainment is getting the jump on the massive library of blaxploitation action and crime thrillers with a six pack collection of some of the finest and most notorious. With many of the titles from the sub-genre being re-released, it’s only fitting that “Soul Team Six” could act as a discount basic course for the sub-genre that managed to convey a unique voice in the sixties and seventies.
Hoping to market off of the momentum of “Captain Marvel,” Netflix releases Brie Larson’s 2017 directed film “Unicorn Store,” a movie I can describe as a delightfully cute, drama comedy for the dreamers and artists, but it suffers from a hazy message to its audience. I’m one of Larson’s biggest admirers and fans, but “Unicorn Store” is a filled with so much quirk that it forgets to come full circle and fill us in on what it’s trying to say. Is it best to sometimes abandon your dreams for better dreams? Is it fine to have dreams but embrace adult responsibility? Are dreams for some people, but not for others?
Adam Mason’s “I’m Just Fucking With You” is about business as usual for Hulu’s “Into the Dark,” the anthology horror series that’s given viewers a new episode every month. Like all episodes before this April entry, there’s a slow build up, a very good hour, and a final twenty minutes that drag in to a luke warm climax. All in all it’s another mediocre episode that never quite recovers once the second act is introduced. I think it’s time worth spent, don’t get me wrong, as one of the fun things about anthology films is the ability of the authors to convey social commentary. “Into the Dark” has covered social commentary in droves, whether it’s rabid consumerism (“Pooka!”) or the Me Too movement (“The Treehouse”), they’ve covered some interesting bases for the modern generation.