On DVD & Blu-Ray: May 16, 2017


It is with great pleasure that I report xXx: Return of Xander Cage is as dumb and ridiculous as it should be. First and foremost I guess it is important to state that there was no need for this third outing in the xXx series, but as with so many franchises these days we get a lot of what we didn't think we needed, but that they're going to give to us anyway. It makes sense given the whole "brand recognition" line of thinking within the studio system at the moment, but while many of the fruits of this line of thinking yield final products as pointless and joyless as expected given their inherently unwarranted status it is nice that every once in a while such thinking yields something as fun and self-aware as xXx: Return of Xander Cage. It has been fifteen years since Vin Diesel took on the mantle of a James Bond figure via the X-Games in what was no doubt intended to be a spiritual successor of sorts to the original The Fast and the Furious as Diesel re-teamed with director Rob Cohen for xXx the year after The Fast and the Furious became a surprise smash. Like he did initially with the Fast franchise, Diesel opted not to return for the xXx sequel in 2005, State of the Union, which picked up Ice Cube as Darius Stone to fill Diesel's Xander Cage's spot in the xXx program with it being reported Cage died in Bora Bora a few years after the events of the original film. And now, as he did with Fast in 2009, Diesel has returned to a franchise he started and then abandoned after efforts outside such franchises haven't worked out as well as the actor/producer/social media champion likely hoped they would. It's hard to blame the guy as he approaches the age of fifty this summer and undoubtedly understands he won't be able to make such movies (or such money) for much longer. The persona Diesel pulled off as Cage at thirty-five already feels somewhat strained here-especially in scenes engineered to make Diesel look like the baddest dude on the planet-but director D.J. Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye) and his editors keep things moving along at such a quick pace and with so much energy it's difficult to get caught up on any one detail. It also doesn't hurt that F. Scott Frazier's (The Numbers Station) screenplay layers in multiple team members to take some of the pressure off Diesel carrying this entire thing on his aging shoulders while simultaneously becoming another casualty of the Avengers effect where it's now more lucrative and enticing to have a team of xXx-er's rather than a sole ambassador of bad ass. Video review here. Full review here. C

I haven't seen a single one of the Resident Evil movies and I certainly wasn't going to start this past January when the final film, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, debuted in theaters. I have no opinion of these movies other than the fact their trailers all blend together in my memory. I've never played the game and would have no reason or desire to see them other than if I simply had an excess upon excess amount of time on my hands which, even then, I don't know that I'd want to spend that time watching these. Over at Initial Reaction though, our camera crew decided to take a crack at the whole reviewing deal and you can watch their take here.







The Space Between Us is an interplanetary adventure, where a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet - never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot - an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. While searching for clues about his father, and the home planet he's never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa. When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he's eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars - from the most simple to the most extraordinary. But once his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner's organs can't withstand Earth's atmosphere. Eager to find his father, Gardner escapes the team...