As a non-fiction writer, Nick Hornby writes passionately and magnificently about the things he loves. I’ve utterly enjoyed his writings about music, reading, and even football. When he incorporates those passions into his fictional novels, he’s quite good. But when he leaves those things aside, his books tend to get sappy, preachy and uninteresting, at least to this reader. I was very happy to see that with Juliet, Naked he had returned to his musical roots.
It tells the story of Duncan, a man obsessed with reclusive singer-songwriter Tucker Crowe, and his long-suffering girlfriend Annie. When Annie meets and develops a relationship with Tucker, it drives Duncan completely crazy. It's a return to form for Hornby and I’m pretty excited to finally watch the movie adaptation. It stars the always wonderful Chris O’Dowd as Duncan, Rose Byrne as Annie, and Ethan Hawke as Tucker Crow.
Much like his books, movie adaptations of Nick Hornby stories have been pretty hit or miss, but this one looks good. I’m happy to make it my pick of the week.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
The Blood Island Collection: Severin Films presents this collection of horror films from the Philippines that pushed the envelope of how much violence and nudity movies could have in the 1960s. Includes Terror is a Man, Brides of Blood, Mad Doctor of Blood, and Beasts of Blood, all with new 4K transfers and loads of extras.
The Meg: This summer popcorn flick finds Jason Statham fighting against the biggest, hugest killer shark the film's producers could create.
Preacher: Season 3: I really enjoyed the first season of this based on a comic book TV show, but I’ve not gotten around to watching the rest of it. This gives me a good opportunity to catch up.
Star Trek Discover: Season One: This series takes place ten years before The Original Series. It was created by Bryan Fuller, whom I love and was well regarded by fans. Unfortunately, it was only available on CBS’s All Access streaming service which I’m not about to subscribe to. So now’s my chance to see if it's any good.
Mile 22: Mark Wahlberg and Ronda Rousey star in this action flick about an elite intelligence officer who is aided by a top-secret tactical command unit as he tries to smuggle a mysterious police officer with sensitive information out of the country.
Pixar Short Films Collection: Volume 3: Includes 13 of the short films Pixar typically includes in front of their full-length features.
The Crown: Season Two: This British drama focus on Queen Elizabeth II when she is 25, a newlywed, and still trying to figure out what it means to be Queen. The wife and I are only a few episodes in to Season One, but we love it.
Perversion Story: Mondo Macabro bring Lucio Fulci’s giallo from 1969. It is about a man on death row after he is convicted of killing his wife in an insurance scam.
Take It Out In Trade: Ed Wood’s Soft-core comedy from 1970 was thought to be lost, but a single 16 mm print was found last year and now American Genre Film Archive is releasing it on Blu-ray.
Bogart & Bacall: The Complete Collection: This repackages the four films that Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made together (To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo). There is nothing new here, but the movies are great and it's priced to sell.