Blu Tuesday: “Women Talking” and More

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Claire Foy and Rooney Mara in "Women Talking"

Blu Tuesday is a weekly column where we review the newest Blu-ray and 4K releases, along with a brief rundown of the included bonus material, to determine whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping.

Pick of the Week: “Women Talking”

It’s been 10 years since actor-turned-director Sarah Polley’s last film, but you wouldn’t know it from her latest effort because it’s arguably her best movie yet. Though it’s gone relatively under the radar compared to some of this year’s other Best Picture nominees, “Women Talking” is an extraordinary drama about the women of an isolated religious community and their paradoxical relationship with faith — namely, how the religion that has caused them so much pain and suffering is also what gives them their strength. Although based on the 2018 novel by Miriam Toews, “Women Talking” operates more like a stage play with its single setting and dialogue-driven narrative. That could have been a recipe for disaster, but Polley’s script is so well written, and the performances from the ensemble cast are so outstanding, that it makes for a riveting watch. FINAL VERDICT: BUY

Also Out This Week:

The Mask of Zorro” — When “The Mask of Zorro” originally debuted in theaters in 1998, it had been almost half a century since the iconic character’s last major film, so a big-screen revival was long overdue. Though the movie hardly lit the world on fire, it did fairly good business at the box office (enough to green-light an eventual sequel) and cemented Antonio Banderas’ status as a Hollywood star. Nearly three decades later, the film holds up remarkably well. Anthony Hopkins brings a necessary gravitas to the role of the original Zorro, while Banderas is perfectly cast as his successor, utilizing his charm and comedic timing to great effect. The film isn’t without its flaws, but thanks to its main cast and some solid direction from Martin Campbell, “The Mask of Zorro” succeeds as a fun throwback to the swashbuckling adventures of Hollywood’s Golden Age. Extras include an audio commentary by Campbell, a making-of featurette and some deleted scenes. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

Air Force One” — Wolfgang Petersen’s “Air Force One” is very much a product of its time. Like a lot of studio action films from the ‘90s, it’s based around a totally absurd premise that contains more plot holes than a slice of Swiss cheese, and it also features perennial villain Gary Oldman as the main protagonist. Oldman isn’t at his finest here — it’s a lazy Hans Gruber clone at best, which is fitting considering the obvious “Die Hard” influences — but he’s a good match for Harrison Ford’s resilient Commander in Chief, despite hardly sharing much screen time. Unfortunately, the two actors can only do so much to paper over the cracks in Andrew W. Marlowe’s flimsy script, resulting in an amusing but flawed action thriller that hasn’t aged as well as some of its contemporaries. Extras include an audio commentary by Petersen. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

Disclosure: Bullz-Eye was provided a copy of the above titles for review purposes.

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About Author

In addition to writing for Bullz-Eye.com, Jason is a proud member of the Columbus Film Critics Association (COFCA) and the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS).