A superhero and a super spy are featured in new DVD and Blu-ray releases.
“Blue Beetle” Grade B: Jaime Reyes (Xolo Maridueña) returns home from college full of hopes and dreams. Those get squashed when he learns the family business has been lost, they have to leave their home because big business is squeezing them out and his father had a heart attack.
There isn’t much time to deal with those problems because during a job interview, Jaime finds himself in possession of an ancient relic of alien biotechnology called the Scarab. This device latches on to Jaime’s spine and their symbiotic relationship creates the super being known as the Blue Beetle.
It would not be a superhero movie if there wasn’t some maniacal leader of industry who wants the Scarab. In this case, that would be Victoria Kord as played by Susan Sarandon.
“Blue Beetle” features an actor who understands how such roles should be played. Toss in a fun supporting cast and the Blue Beetle can save the DC comic book movie world from a serious case of the doldrums.
“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1”: Grade A: This is by far the best action movie of the year. You may need to see a chiropractor after seeing the film because of sitting on the edge of your seat for two hours and 43 minutes.
The action sequences in “Mission: Impossible” build from a standard gun battle to a massive train wreck. Director Christopher McQuarrie – a veteran of two previous “Mission: Impossible” films – gets extra points for shying away from computer generated scenes. The stunts are very real.
Where the “Mission: Impossible” franchise has risen above the standard action movie is with its cast. Cruise continues to play Hunt as a man with a moral compass super glued to the right direction while still dealing with enough emotional baggage to fill the train where he fights for his life.
“The Good Mother” Grade C-: Hilary Swank plays Marissa Bennings, a journalist in Albany, NY, who has had a series of tragedies in her life. The latest is the death of her son who is gunned down in the street. Through his very pregnant girlfriend, Paige (Olivia Cooke), Bennings learns that her son was involved in drug dealings that cost him his life.
Although Bennings and Paige have never been friendly, the two end up working together to find information related to the murder. The search takes both to some very dark situations.
All the pieces were there to create a good film. It ended up being too much wasted potential to be fully entertaining.
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” Grade D: The film has an opening title that reveals the name of the film. It also has closing credits. The problem is that there is little between the start and finish that justifies this being called a movie. It is little more than a vague attempt at a plot loosely connected by jokes that would have been old during the William McKinley presidency.
This is merely another example of what can happen when someone wears too many hats. Nia Vardolas is the writer, director, executive producer and star. Odds are she also did the catering.
Also new on DVD and Blu-ray as of Oct. 31
“Retribution”: Liam Neeson plays a man who must drive around town to save his family from a bomb planted under his seat.
“Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas”: The backstage story of Dolly’s desire to uplift the world’s spirits by sharing the unique “mountain magic” she has always found in and around Dollywood at Christmas.
“King of Killers”: Former Agency hitman Marcus Garan (Alain Moussi) attempts to unravel the mystery behind a tragic incident.
Available on digital platforms
“PAW Patrol: The Mighty Movie”: Magical meteor crash lands in Adventure City and gives the PAW Patrol pups superpowers. Will be available on DVD and Blu-ray starting Dec. 12.
“A Haunting in Venice”: Inspector Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is called in to debunk a spirited mystery. Slated for DVD release Nov. 28.