Three films out on DVD this week for your family viewing pleasure
plus an all-time favorite Thanksgiving movie.
Click here to hear this weeks’ DVD releases segment with
Steve Leader & GaryWolcott AKA Average Joe Movie.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles from 1987 casts Steve Martin and John Candy as two unlucky travelers ironically stuck together. This one is outrageously funny and is the best both actors have ever been. I would have given Candy the best acting Oscar for his performances. He’s wonderfully funny and plays one of those oh-so-pathetic characters who can almost make you cry.
If you can find it, watch it with the family. It’s timeless — sort of — and, by the way, make sure you have a box of kleenex or a couple of hankies handy.
First up for new releases: The Hitman’s Body Guard
Watch this one after the kids or grandkids go to bed. It’s the latest in a somewhat short line of delightful R-rated buddy flicks packed with raw language, gun fights and car chase. When they’re done right, almost no movie genre is more fun.
Ryan Reynolds is a bodyguard escorting Samuel L. Jackson’s hitman to an international court hearing. They’re old enemies. Jackson is going to testify against Gary Oldman’s evil dictator who — of course — is bent on killing them both before
Reynolds and Jackson have chemistry in spades and toss off zinger one-liners and hilarious bits of conversation that anchor the film’s action sequences. Humor always makes the unbelievable believable.
This is the year’s best guilty pleasure.
For the kids: Leap
This is a great mom/daughter or daughter/mom/grandma movie. Guys will like it, too. It has Elle Fanning giving voice a girl in French orphanage who dreams of life as a ballerina. Her best orphan buddy is a guy who prides himself on being the world’s next great inventor.
He ends up working on the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty. She gets a shot at being a ballerina.
Better than Disney or Pixar, it is brilliantly written, wonderfully animated and plants a smile on your face from the lighter-than-air opening sequences to the also soaring, lighter-than-air conclusion.
One of my favorites this year.
Last is the sci-fi piece Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
This is based on the popular French comic book series and costing $180 million it is the most expensive independent film in history. Done by director Luc Beeson it is an outrageous piece of work that steals bits of concepts from other films — like Avatar — and the technical style of his Beeson’s The Fifth Element and throws them all at the screen to see what sticks.
To Besson’s credit, most of it does.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles gets a 5 on the Average Joe Movie 0 to 5 scale, The Hitman’s Body Guard a 4, Leap a 5 and Valerian grabs a 3 1/2.
5 to 4 1/2: Must see on the big screen.
4 to 3 1/2: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 to 2 1/2: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 to 1: Don’t bother.
0:Speaks for itself.
Gary Wolcott has been a movie consultant for KXL since 2014. A lifelong fan of film, he’s been a film critic in radio, television and newspaper for 25-years. Wolcott catches a couple of hundred movies a year and he sees a great many of them so you don’t have to.