Bushido Man – A warrior returns to his master to recount the tale of seven fights he had with seven masters of different fighting styles, all of whom were in possession of valuable scrolls that unlock the secrets of their discipline.
Alas, this is not some lost martial-arts cult classic, but a movie that appears to have been made by martial artists who wanted to be on YouTube. The production value is terrible, the story one that would have been better served in seven non-narrative online shorts (in fact, it can be seen that way, so why even buy the disc?), and only the fight choreography gives the viewer anything to pay attention to. Our “hero” is even kind of a dick, challenging people who weren’t giving him any trouble and stealing their prized possessions.
Towards the end, things get slightly more fun as realism goes out the window: wrist guns that fire when you punch are utilized, as are nun-chuks made from a severed arm and tendons. But it’s too little, too late, and you find yourself wishing the film itself would commit seppuku and be done with.
True Detective – Never having seen this show, I have gleaned everything I know of it from Twitter memes, and I must therefore surmise that involves an unlikely pair of detectives who will be replaced in season 2 by some combination of C-3PO, Mickey Mouse, Pennywise the Clown, Chris Hardwick, a McDonald’s Happy Meal, Salieri, Batman, Zombie Bill Murray and Cookie Monster.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey – That was fast.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – Take it from one who drinks: Chris Pine was pretty obviously hung over the entire time he was making this movie. Not that it would have been spectacular otherwise; it’s disposable entertainment that’s fine as a forgettable one-off, but fails at being a franchise reboot sufficient to make anybody excited about a part two. These six months since its release, its central plot seems even sillier – An evil Russian (director Kenneth Branagh) plots to tank the American economy. In real life we’d slap some sanctions on him and be done with it.
Non-Stop – Liam Neeson is tired of getting these motherfucking texts on this motherfucking plane, telling him people will die and stuff. The unfolding of the villain’s plot is pretty delicious in the way it manipulates Neeson into becoming the anonymous killer he’s trying to stop…but the ultimate reveal of said baddie’s identity is a letdown in its obvious political correctness.
Devil’s Knot – You may or may not have seen the eleventy thousand documentaries about the West Memphis Three: those metalhead teens accused of child murders they probably didn’t commit, supposedly railroaded by a town terrified of perceived Satanism. Well, now comes the drama version, directed by Atom Egoyan and starring Colin Firth, Reese Witherspoon, and OF COURSE Dane DeHaan as one of the scary teens.
Alan Partridge – the movie based on the obnoxious DJ character that made Steve Coogan famous but never really traveled to these shores. It’s gotta be better than Hamlet 2.
Maoyu – Anime in which a human sets out to vanquish a demon queen, but instead they end up making an alliance and solving their problems through economics. Sounds weirdly amusing, if potentially boring too.
And those are my Blu-ray picks for the week. What are yours?