Kong: Skull Island is the Pick of the Week

This week brings us another King Kong story, a couple of interesting looking TV shows, a weird-looking Tarkovsky film, and more.
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What is it about a giant ape wreaking havoc that enthralls us so?  Since his inception in 1933, King Kong has become one of the most iconic movie monsters of all time.  That original film was a huge success and remains a paragon of early special-effects movies.  It was rebooted by Dino De Laurentis in 1976 and again by Peter Jackson in 2005 and now he’s come to the big screen again with Kong: Skull Island.

It gets props for at least not telling the exact same story as the original did, though its not exactly a fount of originality.  In this one, a group of skilled military types head to a mysterious island where they discover an ancient world of dinosaurs, monsters, and Kong.  Apparently, there are no damsels in distress or havoc wreaking back on the mainland; just a bunch of grunts trying to survive against monsters.

Sounds like dumb fun to me.  Also since Hollywood can’t apparently make a film anymore that isn’t part of a larger franchise universe, this is a compatriot to the recent Godzilla movie and they plan to bring those two together in a battle royale in a couple of years.  I skipped Godzilla but if Kong is as fun as I hope, I’ll probably hit it up.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

The 100: The Complete Fourth Season:  A devastating nuclear apocalypse wiped out all humans living on earth nearly a century ago.  Some 1,000 people survived living on a massive space station orbiting the planet.  As the stations supplies are running low they send 100 people to Earth to see if it's habitable.  That’s a pretty cool concept.  I’ve seen the very first episode and it was enjoyable but a little too "CW" for my tastes.  I’ll probably check it out a little more to see if it gets better, but for those who do dig it, season four is now out on Blu-ray.

Stormy Monday:  Melanie Griffith, Tommy Lee Jones, Sting, and Sean Bean star in this crime drama about rival jazz-club owners.  Arrow Video is releasing it with their usual flair, and Roger Ebert wrote a wonderful review that you just have to read.

Free Fire:  Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy, and Armie Hammer star in this crime drama about an arms deal that goes spectacularly and explosively wrong.

Buster’s Mal HeartMr. Robot’s Rami Malek stars in this drama about a regular guy coming across a conspiracy-obsessed drifter leaves him on the run from the police and an impending event known as The Inversion.

The Expanse: Season Two:  A conspiracy theory detective show set in space.  Sounds fun.

Stalker (Criterion Collection):  Andrei Tarkovsky’s allegorical fantasy is a metaphysical journey through an enigmatic post-apocalptic landscape.  Sounds weird.

Crimson Kimono:  Samuel Fuller’s thriller about two L.A. cops, one Caucasian and one Japanese-American, who fall into an interracial love triangle with a woman they are protecting from a killer gets a nice limited edition set from Twilight Time.

Grantchester: The Complete Third SeasonMasterpiece Theater show about murder in a small English town and the vicar who solves it.  Stars Robson Green, who I always loved in Wire in the Blood.

The Promise:  Oscar Isaac and Christian Bales star in this period drama set in 1914 during the final days of the Ottoman Empire.  It's about a love triangle that develops between an Armenian medical student, an American journalist based in Paris, and an Armenian-born woman raised in France.

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