Just released on Blu-ray/DVD is Lionsgate’s taut action/thriller John Wick. A classic revenge tale to the core, first time co-directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch breathe new life into a familiar conceit with expertly crafted action sequences set against a criminal underground backdrop that’s equally as interesting as Keanu Reeves‘ titular character. The considerable amount of violence and the camera’s refusal to cutaway from kill shots will make Wick a hard sell for some, but I fully expect fans of the genre to embrace the film as a new favorite.
If you’ve paid any attention to our coverage of the movie then you probably know that Reeves plays a “retired” killer who gets pulled back into his old lifestyle when the things he holds most dear are taken from him. The setup is simple but credit screenwriter Derek Kolstad for allowing a 101 minute action film time to breathe. The first act has little violence, instead opting to show us the toll that Wick’s loss has played on his psyche while the reactions of those familiar with his past tell us all we need to know about the hell that awaits those responsible. The result is a slick, well paced action/thriller that builds in bloody crescendo and left me wanting to return to Stahelski and Leitch’s world as soon as possible.
Check out to go watch John Wick if you must. For those sticking around, let’s get to this week’s Top 5:
1. JUPITER ASCENDING Interviews and Review
I assumed it wasn’t a good sign when Warner Bros. pushed back the release of Jupiter Ascending about six weeks prior to its original release date of July 15th, 2014. With the film finally hitting theaters this weekend, it seems like those concerns were valid as the general consensus seems to be that the finished product is a bit of a mess. Regardless, I’ll gladly take original sci-fi work from The Wachowskis over a good percentage of the remakes/reboots/sequels/YA adaptations that Hollywood pumps out each year. Their proverbial floor may be low, but The Wachowskis ceiling is about as high as it gets. For more on Jupiter Ascending, check out Matt’s review, Steve’s video interview with Mila Kunis, and his print interview with The Wachowskis.
2. J.J. Abrams Talks STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
From now until December 18th, 2015 you can safely bet that any interview we run with J.J. Abrams in which he discusses Star Wars: The Force Awakens is going to make the Top 5. That very thing occurred this week when Steve caught up with Abrams at the Visual Effects Society Awards and landed this video interview on the red carpet. Watch that exchange and read about Felicity Jones being in talks to play the female lead in Gareth Edwards’ spin-off to get your Star Wars fix for the week.
3. First Trailer for the POLTERGEIST Remake
As it is for many, Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist is an all-time horror favorite of mine. Its scares are timeless and its fascination with the dangers of suburban living are relevant still today. If director Gil Kenan’s remake can tap into even a fraction of those things, then this generation of moviegoers are in for a treat. 20th Century Fox’s first trailer for the remake and, to a greater extent, this first international trailer show flashes of potential. Only time will tell if the finished product is indeed worthy of the name, though.
4. First Trailer for Netflix’s DAREDEVIL
Well, I’m sold. Netflix released the first trailer for its Daredevil series this past week and the minute and a half of badass Matt Murdock it contains tells me that the weekend of April 10th is going to feature a lot of me sitting in front of my television. For all of you early adopters out there, you’ll also be happy to know that Netflix will be streaming the series in 4K.
5. Jimmy Fallon Gives Us a SAVED BY THE BELL Reunion
There’s really not a lot of selling for me to do here. Jimmy Fallon got the gang of Saved by the Bell back together for an eight minute reunion sketch. Unless you’ve already exceeded your weekly limit of nostalgia, I trust you know what to do from here.