Miracle Mile – Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, girl and boy make a date, boy oversleeps and misses date, boy intercepts a phone call saying nuclear war has begun…boy needs to find girl again and possibly escape the city before everybody dies, if in fact the phone call is for real.
Full of specific locations to the eponymous midtown L.A. neighborhood, this is a cult classic from the late ’80s starring Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham, little-seen and (as I recall) indifferently reviewed at the time, but well-liked by most people who’ve come across it since on video or cable. There’s a reason nuclear war films tend to do better on TV – nobody wants to pay good money for a movie with the inevitable downer of an ending such stories eventually have, and if viewers feel baited-and-switched, thinking they’ve come to see a romantic comedy (which this sort-of is too), they might rebel. Now, though, it’s a period piece that still packs power but can be placed at more of a remove to be enjoyed for what it is.
Blu-ray features include two new commentaries, an Edwards-Winningham reunion featurette, an alternate ending, deleted scenes, outtakes, bloopers and a reunion of many of the movie’s secondary characters, including Denise Crosby, Kurt Fuller and Brian Thompson. Highly recommended. In fact, since the last time I saw it was before living in L.A., I very much need to see it again myself.
Home – Jim Parsons voices what looks to be an annoying alien who befriends a young Earth girl (Rihanna) as they try to save the planet from annihilation. I shouldn’t judge movies based on trailers, but when it’s a Dreamworks cartoon and it makes a lame reference to pop song lyrics, I fear I know what to expect.
Justice League: Gods and Monsters – The animated feature about an alternate-reality Justice League with questionable morals (as opposed to Zack Snyder’s version…how?). Before anyone starts penning me a large missive about how it actually is different because it features a completely new timeline and different secret identities and all that, you should probably be aware that I know. I was making what’cha call one o’ them “rhetorical questions.”
No Game No Life – This sounds timely, in more ways than one: sibling gamers with massive social anxiety disorder must save the world by playing the toughest video games of their lives…and no Adam Sandler or Kevin James anywhere in sight!
Helix: Season 2 – I started watching the first season of this virus/pseudo-zombie series because all y’all were talking about it on weekend threads, but I fell behind and then Julia accidentally deleted the last few episodes from the DVR. It’s probably telling that I felt no urgent need to catch up – loved the hammy Billy Campbell, but the rest felt like Resident Evil all over again. I didn’t realize season 2 was already done and that there won’t be a third. Oh well. Season 2 was set on an island rather than a snow base, but aside form that I don’t know how different it was or wasn’t.
Cherry 2000 – Also from Miracle Mile director Steve De Jarnatt, this is a futuristic tale of a man (David Andrews) who ventures to the desert town of Glory Hole to hire a female bounty hunter (Melanie Griffith) who can help him procure a new sex-bot to replace the one he just broke. Not as fun as it sounds, but that may be because I’ve really just never been a Melanie Griffith fan. Includes a director’s commentray and an interview with villain Tim Thomerson.
Ghost Town – 1988 horror-western about a cursed town full of ghost cowboys. Could be fun, or the skeleton on the Blu-ray cover could be the best thing about it. The total lack of special features suggests the latter.
Zone Troopers – World War II-era American troops trapped behind enemy lines team up with an alien to fight Nazis. Yes, nowadays every movie on Kickstarter has that plot, but in 1985, it was novel. Every special feature on the disc involves Tim Thomerson.
The Erotic Rites of Frankensten – A metallic-skinned Frankenstein monster is stolen by a naked bird-woman as a gift to a Warlock, who wants to mate it with a female Frankenstein to create a master race. if you know cult director Jess Franco, you know this is par for the course.
Those are my weird picks this week – what else are you looking for?