BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A horrible superhero movie and a superb television series are part of this week’s new entertainment options.
“Morbius” Grade ½ star: The film – based on one of the most minor characters in the Marvel Universe – is the story of brilliant scientist Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) who has been battling a rare blood disease all his life. His efforts to find a cure include splicing the DNA of a vampire bat into human DNA. As you might expect, that doesn’t go as planned.
The film fails most dramatically because of the patchwork script by Matt Sazama (“Dracula Untold”) and Burk Sharpless (“The Last Witch Hunter”). It is as if they were so intent on filling the tale with elements of childhood friendship and trauma, a so-so love story, commentary on the ecology, moral superiority and a basic mystery that they never found one storyline strong enough to hold the attention of the audience.
Director Daniel Espinosa (“Life”) might have been able to save the day through the staging of fight scenes and the more human moments for Morbius. He does neither well.
Even cutting it some slack because it is not your typical comic book-inspired production, “Morbius” is the second worst superhero movie ever made. Yes, it is worse than “Green Lantern,” Ben Affleck’s “Daredevil” and Ben Affleck’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” But, it would take a film disaster of biblical proportions to surpass Shaquille O’Neal’s “Steel.”
“Hacks: Season One”: Grade 4 stars: Jean Smart is brilliant playing a comedy legend who is being devalued simply because she has gotten older. Her character of Deborah Vance is one of the most successful female standup comedians on the planet who has reached a point in her career where she has to face the reality of needing someone to help her find a younger voice.
That task falls to Ava (Hannah Einbinder), a 25-year-old comedy writer who can’t find work because of a joke that was deemed insensitive and out of line. The fact she speaks with no filter got her into trouble and the reason Vance hires her.
The way the characters played by Smart and Einbinder compare and contrast so spectacularly makes this not only one of the funniest shows on TV but also one of the smartest.
In addition to Smart and Einbinder, the cast of “Hacks” – seen originally on the streaming service of HBO Max – includes Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Kaitlin Olson, Christopher McDonald, Paul W. Downs, Mark Indelicato, Poppy Liu, Johnny Sibilly, Meg Stalter and Rose Abdoo.
Also new on DVD and Blu-ray as of June 14
“King Tweety”: The little yellow bird is crowned the ruler of the Canary Islands in this original film being released to mark his 80th anniversary. The release includes three bonus classic “Sylvester & Tweety Mysteries” cartoons.
“Ambulance”: Two brothers must escape through Los Angeles in a stolen ambulance after a robbery goes bad.
“Gold”: Two drifters dream of wealth when they stumble across the biggest gold nugget ever found. Greed quickly gets in the way.
“Father Stu”: Stuart Long (Mark Wahlberg) takes a second chance at life to help others by becoming a priest.
“Iron Cross: The Road to Normandy”: Captain Klaus Muller struggles to survive during WWll on the Eastern front fighting back-to-back with his brother and friends.
“Infinite Storm”: When a climber gets caught in a blizzard, she encounters a stranded stranger and must get them both down the mountain before nightfall.
“Vive L’amour”: The paths of three people cross in a series of precisely staged, tragic comic erotic encounters.
“Comedy Confessions”: Documentary examines the lives of three struggling comedians pursuing their dreams of careers in stand-up comedy despite being homeless.
“Hostile Territory”: Former P.O.W. is willing to move heaven and earth to be reunited with his children following the Civil War.
“Shadow of the Cat”: A young girl tries to untangle her family’s web of secrets.
“Magnum P.I.: The Complete Series”: All eight seasons of the series starring Tom Selleck are now available in this Blu-ray set.
“Scarf Face”: Documentary explores the world of competitive eating and the untold story behind the rivalry between America’s Joey Chestnut and Japan’s Takeru Kobayashi.
“Fear”: Widow’s life is changed when she saves an African refugee.
Available on digital platforms
“Echoes of the Empire: Beyond Genghis Khan”: The documentary offers a cinematic view of Mongolia’s past and present.
“Kamikaze Hearts”: Juliet Bashore’s quasi-documentary looks at the 1980s porn industry through the issues of misogyny, drug abuse and exploitation.
“Erzulie”: A reunion of four friends quickly goes awry when they find themselves face to face with the swamp mermaid goddess.
“End of the Line”: Political documentary about the New York City subway crisis and a long overdue reckoning on infrastructure.