On DVD & Blu-Ray: October 3, 2017


The public consensus seemed to very clearly be that there was no need for yet another Pirates of the Caribbean movie especially when considering the bad taste left by the last installment, 2011's On Stranger Tides. There was no need to roll out Johnny Depp's most iconic character only for the purposes of likely tarnishing the legacy of Captain Jack Sparrow further. Of course, considering the fact On Stranger Tides still made over a billion dollars worldwide despite the lukewarm audience reaction and even worse critical reception it was almost guaranteed we'd be getting another pirate adventure at some point. Well, that day has finally come and the question this fifth installment in the franchise was going to need to answer first and foremost was that of, "Is this necessary?" It seems screenwriter Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can) understood as much and thus kicks off his attempt at a Pirates movie by re-introducing us to Henry Turner, son of William (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Turner (Kiera Knightley), as he vows to his father to figure out a way to free him from the confines of The Flying Dutchmen; a ship that carries souls to the other side and only allows its captain and crew to set foot on land for one day every decade. It seemed the fates of William and Elizabeth were sealed given that post-credit stinger in At World's End, but with great power comes great responsibility and Nathanson clearly felt the importance of intertwining such fates as those of the Turner's with that of Captain Jack's. This certainly doesn't hurt and the script sets the main objective up clearly enough that we can get on board without much need for hesitation; this is especially true if you weren't a fan of the direction original screenwriters Terry Rossio and Ted Elliott took the first trilogy of films in as Dead Men Tell No Tales essentially undoes every complexity that original trilogy worked to accomplish. While that rubs me something like the wrong way given I have great admiration for what Gore Verbinski and his team accomplished the fact Dead Men Tell No Tales ends up being a rather enjoyable action romp makes me feel slightly better about Nathanson's change of course. And so, while Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales certainly feels more significant to the overall legend of Captain Jack than the bland and generic previous film it is still unable to recapture the majesty of those first three adventures. Video review here. Full review here. C

It's not what A Ghost Story is saying. It's how A Ghost Story says it. Like chimes gently rustling in the wind or chills slowly creeping up your arms A Ghost Story somehow manages to give a sense of being so distant you're not one hundred percent sure what is causing the noise or the feeling, but at the same time it feels so deeply personal and so intimately cutting that deep down in your soul you know what it is. You know it's the wind, but you imagine something more ethereal. You know it's the melody of the song you're listening to, but you imagine it's because the singer is speaking directly to you; into your ear. It's difficult to describe past these dumbfounded attempts at articulating something meaningful just how much A Ghost Story hits you-that is, if it hits you. While it's difficult to describe all of the emotions and thoughts this latest film from David Lowery (Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Pete's Dragon) left me with I realize it will be just as difficult for some people to understand what the movie is, what it's trying to do, or what the big deal is at all. And in many regards, this is understandable. This is a very quiet film-a film where people don't communicate and we, the audience, must discern what is happening and what is being felt from that non-verbal communication. We must allow Lowery and his 4:3 aspect ratio images to wash over us in a way that requires a fair amount of patience. If patient, the film seemingly speaks to you. If not, there is no need to waste your time on it. For me though, A Ghost Story worked in stages in that at first I was curious; never knowing where the story might lead or what might happen to the characters we see come in and out of the picture. Then, once the structure began to take shape, it became about the ideas-the themes of subjective spirituality, the concept of time and how it's the one thing we can't get more of no matter how rich we are, or the pain of dealing with loss and death and the inevitable nothingness everyone's future is likely to be, but that we hope and pray it's not. It's bleak. It's very bleak and it's very sad in how it captures small truths about life and the relationships we form while we're here. It's a film I find difficult to comprehend fully and thus is likely the reason it continues to resonate with me even days after seeing it and having watched several other films since. I keep returning to images, to sounds, and to the thoughts it instigated in my brain. It's a movie not for everyone, but if you find it's for you it's something pretty special. Full review here. A

Jay Baruchel makes his feature directorial debut with this six-year later sequel to 2011's Goon that starred Sean William Scott as a bouncer who overcomes long odds to lead a team of under performing misfits to semi-pro hockey glory, beating the crap out of everything that stands in his way. In this sequel, Goon: Last of the Enforcers, Scott returns as Doug Glatt who is now plagued by injuries and is confronted with the possibility of retirement when a tough new player challenges his status as the league's top enforcer. I haven't seen either of these films, but have heard nothing but promising things over the years and need to just give in and have a double feature one night now that the sequel is available for cheaper on streaming services.