Cinemas & Home Entertainment this week…
GRIM PICKINGS this week includes key dates to dismember with a lauded action thriller sequel landing in cinemas while another sequel, in fact one of our favourite genre sequels in recent years hits home entertainment!
Thursday June 28th
SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO
2015’s cartel driven action thriller SICARIO was a tense and thrilling slice of heart-pounding drug-war tension – and the departure of director of Denis Villenvue and star Emily Blunt has done nothing to dampen the series success. SICARIO: DAY OF THE SOLDADO has been garnering some series praise for its white-knuckle tension and the chemistry between returning stars Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. Simply put, this argues well for the planned trilogy! In the drug war, there are no rules – and as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border, federal agent Matt Graver (Brolin) calls on the mysterious Alejandro (Del Toro), whose family was murdered by a cartel kingpin, to escalate the war in nefarious ways. Alejandro kidnaps the kingpin’s daughter to inflame the conflict – but when the girl is seen as collateral damage, her fate will come between the two men as they question everything they are fighting for.
Friday June 29th
This Chinese sci-fi film is based on an anime and stars Michael Douglasin a supporting role: a gonzo mix which explains the sheer insanity of the trailer (worth a watch in and of itself). Combining killer clowns, sleek gangsters and goo spewing monsters, this is the perfect fix for fans of outlandish Asian genre films! Kaisi has racked up several million in debt, having borrowed money from his friends. Lured with the promise of writing it all off, Kaisi boards a mysterious gambling cruise. But when all the players start playing dirty, the game quickly deteriorates into mayhem and Kaisi must battle save his own skin.
Wednesday June 27th
THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT
A worthy follow-up to the revered 2008 slasher THE STRANGERS, this instalment delivers on the chilling minimalism of its predecessor while adding a number of new elements. Among those are gruesome – even operatic – set pieces of violence, a vicious sense of style and a giddily over-the-top approach. Worth owning as a rare horror sequel that (arguably) surpasses the original. A family’s road trip takes a dangerous turn when they arrive at a secluded mobile home park to stay with relatives and find it mysteriously deserted. Under the cover of darkness, three masked psychopaths pay them a visit to test the family’s every limit as they struggle to survive.
COLD MOON is an intoxicating blend of genre elements – Southern gothic, neo-noir and ‘vengeance from beyond the grave’ – populated by familiar character actors like Christopher Lloyd and Tommy Wiseau. A solid horror B movie that works as a throwback to DTV gems, COLD MOON is ideally discovered and shared through home entertainment! In a sleepy southern town, a young girl disappears but all hopes of finding her alive are soon shattered by the discovery of a body in the river. But the end of the search is just the beginning of a waking nightmare. Traffic lights blink an eerie warning, a ghostly visage prowls in the streets, and graves erupt from the local cemetery in an implacable march of terror. Beneath the murky surface of the river, a shifting, almost human shape slowly takes form to seek a terrible vengeance.
THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN
A throwback to the revenge Western’s of old, this is a gritty and at times shockingly violent modern cowboy flick. Anchored by a soulful BILL PULLMAN, THE BALLAD OF LEFTY BROWN is worth revisiting on home entertainment not just as an ode to traditional Westerns but as a compelling revenge thriller in itself. When famed frontier lawman and Montana’s first elected senator Eddie Johnson is brutally murdered, his longtime sidekick and friend, Lefty Brown (Pullman), will stop at nothing to avenge his death.
Babak Najafi (LONDON HAS FALLEN) helms this retro-toned actioner starring Taraji P. Henson (HIDDEN FIGURES) in her second role as a hitwoman, following 2006’s SMOKIN’ ACES. Lethal, professional hitwoman Mary (Henson) works for the most notorious crime family in town, headed by Benny (Danny Glover). When Mary shoots a protected mobster in order to save a young boy, she must take on a rogues’ gallery of crime figures, from the Russian Mafia to those closest to her, including her former lover. Armed with her wits – and a closet full of guns – Mary must do whatever it takes to be the last woman standing in this energetic and explosive action thriller.
Grim Pickings is written weekly by Jarret Gahan.