The Raid 2 - Sony Pictures Classics - Blu-ray and DVD
Director: Gareth Evans
Cast: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Arifin Putra, Oka Antara, Tio Pakusadewo. Full cast + crew
Everything you've heard about The Raid 2 is true. The action is absolutely insane, taking things to a level of ridiculous practicality that is flat-out missing from Hollywood action movies. The scope of the story is surprisingly large and dense, which in turn elevates the stakes of the action. There plenty of martial arts movies that have great action and silly plots. The Raid 2 eats those movies for breakfast.
It is also quite long, the plot is possibly a bit too dense for its own good, and the violence is just insane. But complaining about those elements in this scenario is kind of like complaining there's too much spaceship stuff in Star Wars.
Other Notable New Releases
This is a fantastic week for anyone who is a fan of movies that exist on the edge of the mainstream. You can opt for the long-awaited (at least on this end) Blu-ray release of Lake Placid, the classic 1999 tale of average Joes trying to trap, and subsequently survive, a giant, man-eating crocodile. This is the kind of creature feature/horror comedy that's all but extinct not just in Hollywood, but the world. It takes itself seriously, it's got great production value, and a more than capable cast that are all having fun. Sure, you can find dumb creature features on Syfy any day of the week, but none compare to Lake Placid.
And speaking of incomparable things, Jodorowsky's Dune is a wonderful documentary that chronicles the unmaking of one of the most important movies that was never made. It's a comprehensive look at how artists influence other artists, and how some movies were just never meant to be.
Jason Bateman fans will want to check out the dark comedy Bad Words, a movie he directed where he stars as an adult who uses a loophole to enter the spelling bee in order to finally win it. If you like comedies were grown-ups do inappropriate things around young, impressionable people, you'll love it.
Also out this week is the horror-comedy-musical Stage Fright, which is a slasher movie set at a musical summer camp. It's not a perfect movie, but there's more than enough here to entertain genre fans, and it's probably the best "whodunnit" slasher mystery to come along in a while.
Lastly we have both parts of Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac, so if you didn't feel comfortable seeing this long, sex-fueled black comedy in theaters, and didn't rent it on VOD, now is your time to check it out.
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