When we last saw Captain America (in his own movie), he was battling his best friend Bucky and the government in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. When we last saw the Avengers, they were taking on another alien menace that was set on destroying mankind while destroying yet another city and themselves in the process. The residual effects of these storylines are brought to bear in the latest Marvel Studios action flick Captain America: Civil War.
As doc subjects go, 2014’s When Bette Met Mae (MVDVisuals / Reel History Films / Indie Rights), narrated by Sally Kellerman and now available on DVD, is pretty specific. As a “young man of 27, just out of optometry school,” writer/director Wes Wheadon met the iconic Bette Davis and Mae West. Familiar with their films, but less so about their private lives in the days before social, Wheadon had the privilege to get to know them. He was also present the night they met.
Director Richard Linklater can’t ever be accused of being lazy, churning out a remarkable number of films over the past 25 years but with his critical success, he still resides in a sort of niche for his mostly small, intelligently written, carefully cast, meticulously directed movies. He has gotten some mainstream notice with movies like Dazed & Confused, the Before Sunrise series, and School of Rock and he made a big splash last year with the 14-years-in-the-making Boyhood.
Robert Zemeckis, a director better known for his bombast (see the back to Back to the Future trilogy) than his sense of camp, pulls out all the stops in Death Becomes Her (Shout Factory / Universal), the classic over-the-top comedy oozing with special effects, newly available on blu-ray.
I think Melissa McCarthy is a very talented comedienne, wowing movie audiences with her supporting role in Bridesmaids and her first appearance on “Saturday Night Live” as well as in her supporting role on Gilmore Girls and lead role on the recently cancelled Mike & Molly. She’s got the chops, no question about it, but she’s fallen into a trap of playing the same slovenly, unpleasant character in almost every movie she makes (and did basically that same character on her second, dreadful SNL hosting gig) that she and her husband Ben Falcone have a hand in. Where she has truly shone is in her three movies with director Paul Feig: the aforementioned Bridesmaids, The Heat, and last year’s hilarious Spy. This track record actually gives one hope for the upcoming Ghostbusters remake/reboot/revival... whatever it is.
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