Entertainment options run from ‘Cinderella’ to ‘Mortal Kombat’

Rick's Reviews

“Mortal Kombat” among new entertainment options. (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros.)

(KGET) — There is a wide variety of new entertainment options available this week.

“A Cinderella Story: Starstruck” Grade 3 stars: This series of films based on the Cinderella theme has featured some of the top young performers in the title role. None have brought as much energy and diverse talent to the work as Bailee Madison. She’s reason enough to pick up the new DVD offering.

Madison plays a young woman longing to be an actor who lives with her wicked stepmother on a farm where a movie crew has come to shoot a western musical.  This could be her big break but she must find a sneaky way to become part of the cast.

Not only does Madison handle the acting parts with ease but she shows that she can sing, dance and do rope tricks. Each challenge is faced with an infectious energy that makes this family-friendly film so much fun.

The cast of “A Cinderella Story: Starstruck” also includes Michael Evans Behling, April Telek, Lillian Doucet-Roche and Richard Harmon.

“Mortal Kombat” Grade 3 stars: in this new DVD and Blu-ray release, MMA fighter Cole Young (Lewis Tan) suddenly must deal with Sub-Zero (Joe Taslim), an otherworldly Cryomancer, sent to hunt him down. His only hope to save himself and his family is a group of people who have the same weird dragon marking that he has.

Young finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden (Tadanobu Asano), an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, where he finds out he is one of Earth’s greatest champions and must fight against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. They battle and battle and battle some more.

There’s obviously an appetite for the kind of action that dominates the “Mortal Kombat” world. There have been 11 incarnations of the video game and this is the latest big-screen adaptation. The less said about the 1995 version the better.

Simon McQuoid – who makes his feature directorial debut with “Mortal Kombat” – has embraced the elements that have made the game so popular. His direction isn’t fancy but does keep the focus clear – it is all about the bloody hits.

This latest film based on a videogame works because the special effects and choreography of the fight sequences are sharp and crisp. The prime focus of “Mortal Kombat” is mortal combat. Nothing more. Nothing less.

“Wrath of Man” Grade 3 stars:  An armored car gets robbed in a well-orchestrated attack that leaves three dead and a lot of money missing. Why this robbery occurred and what happens in its aftermath are revealed in two different storylines that eventually come together. It is easier to keep up with the twin plots now that the film is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

One storyline has a mysterious man of few words – known as H played by Jason Statham – landing a job as a cash truck security guard after the fatal heist. H barely passes the tests to get the job but once at work, he shows amazing skills during a robbery. His history with the fatal robbery becomes the driving force of one storyline.

Director Guy Ritchie fills in the blanks of how the robbery was planned and executed with the other storyline. It is the work of a well-trained team of ex-military played by the likes of Jeffrey Donovan, Scott Eastwood and Laz Alonso.

It is where these two elements come together that is the catalyst for the wall-shaking, teeth-rattling action finale. The combination of Ritchie’s unpredictable direction and Statham’s brooding machismo makes “Wrath of Man” a real killer.

New on DVD and Blu-ray

“Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten”: An examination of the massacre fueled by racism in Oklahoma that took place 100 years ago.

“Power of Moths”: Young people with disabilities participate in theatrical productions.

“Held”: A married couple has to fight to survive in a smart house.

“There Is No Evil”: Dissident director Mohammad Rasoulof delivers a piercing drama.

“Rose Plays Julie”: A woman learns a shocking secret when she finds her birth mother.

“Frontline: The Virus that Shocked the World”:  Documentary looks at the first year of the coronavirus pandemic through people all over the world.

“Pennyworth: The Complete Second Season”: The tales of the man who would become Batman’s butler continue.

“The Unicorn: Season Two”: Widowed man continues his search to find love.

Available through digital platforms

“The Green Sea”: American writer living a solitary life in Ireland is haunted by visions of her past which intertwine with the fantasy world of the novel she is writing.

“Spiral: From the Book of Saw”: Criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice.

“A Father’s Legacy”: Man running from the law looks for the father he never knew.

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