Castle Rock: The Complete First Season Is the Pick of the Week

Hope you have some Christmas money left because this week brings some interesting new releases.
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Over the last year or so, I’ve become quite the Stephen King fan.  I’d read some of his work before then and seen many of the cinematic adaptations based upon his words, but I’d never really engulfed myself into his stories. It started with the audio book of his recent novel Mr. Mercedes and blossomed from there. I’m currently in the middle of IT which, if my pace continues, I’ll finish sometime in 2021.  It's a really big book, and I’m a slow reader.  But I dig it.  I don’t know it that behemoth will cure me of my King fascination, but I doubt it.

One of the many things I love about Stephen King books is how they regularly reference one another.  He’s written straight-up sequels, but often times, one book will simply make a small reference to characters or events that happened in another book without making a big thing about it.  He’s created his own literary universe for his many characters to inhabit.

Hulu recently created Castle Rock, which is set in that fictional universe and developed their own series using new characters and old ones all within a familiar setting.  I caught the first few episodes when it first came out, but then I cancelled my Hulu subscription for some other streaming service, as is my want, and I never made it back.  If I weren’t about to switch back to Hulu, then I’d now have the ability to grab the Blu-rays.  If the series remains as good as those first few episodes, I just might buy them anyway. Read Lorna Miller's review.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

Mid90s: Jonah Hill wrote and directed this dramedy about a bunch of skateboard kids growing up in L.A. during the Clinton Era.

Let the Corpses Tan:  This French update on the spaghetti western is high on style and low on story. Its visually stunning and exhausting to watch. Read my review.

24 Frames (Criterion Collection): Iranian director Abbas Kiaorstami blended his two passions - filmmaking and photography  - into one art form by taking 24 still photographs and animating them into four and a half minute vignettes.

Hellfest:  A masked serial killer turns up at a horror-themed amusement park and and has a lot of fun.

The Purge: Season OneThe Purge series of films comes to the small screen.  There are seemingly an endless array of scenarios one could come up with inside the Purge scenario - 12 hours in which all crime is legal - but the reviews for this series have been pretty terrible.

Willie Dynamite:  Arrow Video brings this blaxploitation film made by an actual big studio about a pimp who decides to work real capitalist principles into his prostitution ring with mixed results.

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