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: “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning, Part One”
Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie has made the “Mission: Impossible” franchise his own since joining the series with 2015’s “Rogue Nation,” but after two largely successful installments, McQuarrie has hit his first major road bump with “Dead Reckoning” due to a mediocre script that misuses its legacy characters (namely Rebecca Ferguson) and introduces a lame AI villain. The stunts themselves are also a bit disappointing after all the buildup — the cliff jump is impressive, but the train sequence is far more exciting — while Hayley Atwell’s new heroine pales in comparison to the other female characters, including Pom Klementieff’s ruthless henchman. “Dead Reckoning, Part One” is still pretty entertaining thanks to its ensemble cast, but it’s a big step down from 2018’s “Fallout” that spells concern for “Part Two” and the franchise as a whole.
Extras include an audio commentary by McQuarrie and editor Eddie Hamilton, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at making the movie. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
Also Out This Week:
“Blue Beetle” — It’s hard to get excited about a big superhero movie when the studio involved doesn’t even seem to care about it, but that’s the situation that Warner Bros. placed itself in by announcing a new cinematic universe before its remaining stable of films from the old universe even hit theaters. For what it’s worth, Angel Manuel Soto’s “Blue Beetle” is one of the better DC films of the past few years, but it’s still a largely mediocre affair that boasts an engaging lead performance from “Cobra Kai” star Xolo Mariduena and little else. Even the action, which is solid but fleeting due to budgetary constraints, is marred by some of the lamest, most underdeveloped villains to date. Though “Blue Beetle” shows more potential than some of Warner’s other comic book properties, it’s clearly been made under the same broken system that sunk many of the previous DC films. Extras include a four-part documentary on making the movie, as well as additional featurettes on the Blue Beetle’s scarab and the Nana character. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” — It took more than a decade to get a sequel to 2002’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” off the ground, and though it didn’t perform as well as the original (netting $90 million worldwide), it was obviously enough to warrant a third entry in the series. Unfortunately, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” is just as bad as its predecessor, once again failing to recapture the magic of the original. Though Nia Vardalos, pulling triple duty as writer, director and star, tries to shake things up by transporting the characters to Greece, without Michael Constantine (who passed away in 2021) and Lainie Kazan (who only appears in two brief scenes), it just doesn’t feel the same. It’s also poorly written and edited, causing “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” to feel less like a movie than a bunch of loosely connected scenes haphazardly strung together. Extras include an audio commentary by Vardalos, a making-of featurette, deleted scenes, a gag reel and more. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
“King of Killers” — Grindstone Entertainment may be the king of cheap direct-to-video B-movies starring the likes of Bruce Willis, Nicolas Cage and Mel Gibson, but this low-budget action-thriller is even worse than the usual dreck. Supposedly based on a graphic novel of the same name by writer/director Kevin Grevioux (though no actual evidence can be found of its existence outside its mention in the film’s marketing), “King of Killers” is a bottom-of-the-barrel DTV movie plagued by bad acting, hokey dialogue and amateurish direction. Frank Grillo (another Grindstone regular) is the only one in the cast who doesn’t come off completely wooden, though that hardly counts for anything when the rest of the film is so embarrassingly bad. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
Disclosure: Bullz-Eye was provided a copy of the above titles for review purposes.