SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — It's a week without any theatrical blockbusters (unless you're willing to count the Jaws collection that doesn't include the original film). That said, there are some great series, a David Lynch, some Roger Waters and a Focus Features set that includes a few of my favorite films.
John Logan's "Penny Dreadful" was a Victorian gothic yarn featuring classic monsters and traditional scares. "Penny Dreadful: City of Angels" is radically different in that it swaps the dreary nature for something entirely more colorful and robust. Set in Los Angeles, 1938, the horror aspects of the narrative are built upon Mexican folklore and a shapeshifting demon played by Natalie Dormer and the occasional Nazi. It's radically different than its predecessor, but still stuffed to the gills with atmosphere.
Acorn is releasing the classic performance of Agatha Christie's "Death on the Nile" featuring David Suchet as Hercule Poirot with Emily Blunt as Linnet Ridgeway. Originally aired as part of t he ninth season of "Agatha Christie's Poirot" in 2004. Suchet is considered by many to be the definitive Poirot.
"DC's Stargirl" is a superhero drama about Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger), a high school student who finds a magical staff and discovers her connection to the disbanded Justice Society of America (JSA). Inspired, Whitmore takes on the role of Stargirl and reforms the JSA to fight against the Injustice Society of America. While not exactly part of the Arrowverse, "Stargirl" takes place on an alternate Earth, this version of the character was introduced in the epic crossover "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
Ethan Hawke as Nikola Tesla in Michael Almereyda's experimental biopic "Tesla." The film examines Tesla's unconventional process and his relationships with the likes of Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan). The film mixes truth with "what might have been," which makes it something of a strange watch. "Tesla," like the man, might be a little too unfocused and overly ambitious.
"The Legend of Tomiris" is a based on the epic story of Queen Tomiris of Massagetae and her female warriors (the real-life inspiration for the fictional Amazonians) and their efforts to fend off an invading Persian army.
Former Pink Floyd bassist and co-lead vocalist Roger Waters has released a new concert film "Us + Them." Known for his theatrical productions, Waters mixes classic Pink Floyd tracks with songs from his recent album "Is This the Life We Really Want?"
It's a little strange to release a Jaws collection that doesn't actually feature the original film, but that's exactly what Universal have done with their "Jaws: 3-Film Collection." This set includes the three sequels "Jaws 2," "Jaws 3" and the infamous "Jaws: The Revenge." Hardcore Jaws fanatics should note that this week also sees the release of "Jaws 5: Cruel Jaws," an Italian knock-off that really has nothing to do with the Universal films other than using the unauthorized use of Jaws footage.
Shout! Factory has released a special edition of the 2002 film "Ghost Ship." The film sees a salvage crew discover a seemingly abandoned ship with a cache of gold and a plethora of ghosts. The film is most remembered for its opening ballroom scene. Fans will find an extensive selection of bonus features including an audio commentary from director Steve Beck.
"Focus Features: 10-Movie Spotlight Collection" is an incredible set that includes a selection of the film studio's finest moments. "Lost in Translation," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Moonrise Kingdom" are among my favorite films. Other classics included are "Pride & Prejudice," "Brokeback Mountain," "Atonement" the Coen Brothers comedy "Burn After Reading" and the biopics "The Theory of Everything" (Stephen Hawking) "On the Basis of Sex"(Ruth Bader Ginsburg), and "Harriet" (Harriet Tubman).
The Criterion Collection expands their David Lynch collection to include his 1980 film, "The Elephant Man." Based on true accounts, the film sees a disfigured side-show performer(John Hurt) who becomes a subject of curiosity for a surgeon (Anthony Hopkins). Lynch is known for his unusual films, but there's a warmth to and sensitivity to "The Elephant Man" that garnered the film eight Oscar nominations including Best Film, Best Actor, and Best Production Design and was the catalyst behind the introduction of the Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
"Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project, No. 3" brings together another six under-exposed films from around the world. This set includes "Lucia," "After the Curfew," "Pixote," "Dos monjes," and "Soleil O."
We'll wrap up this week with Magnolia's release of the CNN documentary "John Lewis: Good Trouble." Fitting an entire life into 96 minutes is an impossible task. The life of John Lewis is worthy of a series of films that focus on different decades of his life. "Good Trouble" does a fine job of capturing the highlights of a great man's life.