SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — The week is dominated by the digital release of "John Wick: Chapter 4," an incredibly entertaining action film that might not quite match the franchise's high marks but manages to be one of the best action films of 2023. On the physical side we have "Creed III" and "Shazam! Fury of the Gods." Neither film is a masterpiece; Nor are they a complete disappointment.
There's loads of other interesting titles to pick from. Go ahead, dive on in.
Studio Synopsis: John Wick (Keanu Reeves) uncovers a path to defeating The High Table. But before he can earn his freedom, Wick must face off against a new enemy with powerful alliances across the globe and forces that turn old friends into foes. (Available on Blu-ray and DVD June 13, 2023)
Studio Synopsis: Part crime thriller, part family farce, Louis Garrel’s The Innocent shows the dangerous lengths two men go to, and the outlandish lies they tell, for the women they love. Garrel stars as Abel, a museum educator and widower whose mother, Sylvie (Anouk Grinberg), marries Michel (Roschdy Zem), one of her drama pupils in the local penitentiary. Once on parole, Michel attempts to start a legitimate life for Sylvie’s sake but soon reverts to his old ways, with the suspicious Abel continually—and ineptly—spying on his stepfather until roped into one of the ex-con’s schemes. Complicating matters is Clémence (Noémie Merlant), the brazen coworker who convinces Abel to break out of his emotional and romantic shell by taking part in Michel’s planned heist. Directing from his own screenplay (as cowritten by Tanguy Viel and Naïla Guiguet), Garrel explores the comedic results of playacting’s intrusion into real life, as well as real life’s comedic tendency to transform us into what we never thought we could be, but perhaps always were.
Studio Synopsis: Set in the suburbs of Boulogne-Sur-Mer in northern France, "The Worst Ones" captures a film within a film as it follows the production of a feature whose director turns to the local Cité Picasso housing project for casting. Eager to capture performances of gritty authenticity, the director selects four working class teenagers to act in the film to the surprise and consternation of the local community, who question the director’s choice of “the worst ones.” As the director and crew audition, rehearse, film, and interact with their hand-picked cast, jealousies are stoked, lines are crossed, and ethical questions arise, with thought-provoking and at times darkly funny results. Winner of the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, "The Worst Ones" announces directors Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret as exciting new voices in French cinema. (Also available on DVD)
Studio Synopsis: For filmmaker Zoe (Lily James), dating apps deliver disappointment. Then her friend Kazim (Shazad Latif) chooses an arranged marriage. As Zoe films his journey, she wonders if she might learn something from another approach to finding love.
Studio Synopsis: Ruja (actress and model Chayanit Chansangavej) returns to Thailand from New York with her young daughter Rachel to settle her late father's estate. Included in her inheritance are two mysterious portraits of a bewitching woman that she is told are worth a fortune, if only they weren't damaged. Desperate to sell the paintings, Ruja hires Tim (K-pop star Nichkhun), an art restorer, to prepare the canvases for sale. But the cracks in the paint have begun to reveal long-hidden secrets, and as strange phenomena begin to emerge around them, Ruja and Rachel quickly realize their lives are in grave danger.
Studio Synopsis: Trapped in an abandoned house, a young man desperately searches for clues to how he got there. The answer is hidden within a series of disturbing viral videos - each of which begins to infect his mind.
Studio Synopsis: A former elite soldier is released from jail only to discover that the outside world has been taken over by a dangerous virus. Chased by hordes of the undead, he fights tooth and nail in a desperate attempt to reach his estranged family. Directed by Joey De Guzman and starring Brandon Vera, Pepe Herrera, MJ Lastimosa, Joey Marquez, and Ricci Rivero. (Available on Blu-ray and DVD July 11, 2023)
Studio Synopsis: After centuries of careful safeguarding, a sacred manual of deadly fighting techniques risks falling into the wrong hands, leaving its rightful guardian to battle the world’s greatest assassins to protect the ancient secrets. (Also available on Blu-ray and DVD)
Studio Synopsis: A troubled teen spends the summer with his grandfather in the Ozarks, where he’s free from his mother, but not her past.
Studio Synopsis: Travel back to the beginning of a 20-year Swan Princess journey to see how it all began! Before becoming queen, Uberta lived a humble life with her husband Maximillian when she is suddenly thrust into royalty. Through triumph and tragedy, she learns the lessons needed to become a beloved Queen, all while raising the next generation of rulers. When it's time for Uberta to pass the royal sceptre to Odette and Derek, rival Queen Wixom has plans of her own to ruin the kingdom's greatest coronation. (Also available on DVD)
Studio Synopsis: Two strangers, Blair and Tommy navigate their way across a barren landscape in a desperate attempt to find each other.
Studio Synopsis: After dominating the boxing world, Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) has been thriving in both his career and family life. When a childhood friend and former boxing prodigy, Damian (Jonathan Majors), resurfaces after serving a long sentence in prison, he is eager to prove that he deserves his shot in the ring. The face-off between former friends is more than just a fight. To settle the score, Adonis must put his future on the line to battle Damian – a fighter who has nothing to lose. "Creed III" is the third installment in the successful franchise and is Michael B. Jordan's directorial debut.
Studio Synopsis: Bestowed with the powers of the gods, Billy Batson and his fellow foster kids are still learning how to juggle teenage life with having adult Super Hero alter-egos. But when the Daughters of Atlas, a vengeful trio of ancient gods, arrive on Earth in search of the magic stolen from them long ago, Billy—aka Shazam—and his family are thrust into a battle for their superpowers, their lives, and the fate of their world.
Studio Synopsis: A thirsty teenager's home video leads to a series of horrifying revelations. Featuring five new stories from filmmakers Maggie Levin, Johannes Roberts, Flying Lotus, Tyler MacIntyre and Joseph & Vanessa Winter, V/H/S/99 harkens back to the final punk rock analog days of VHS, while taking one giant leap forward into the hellish new millennium.
Studio Synopsis: When a mysterious beast ravages the countryside, two unlikely heroes are called in to fight the evil. And now, their battle against dark, unspeakable terror is even more gripping with a daring extended version of the film that showcases more of the breathtaking martial arts action and hours of in-depth bonus features.
Studio Synopsis: Céline Sciamma’s follow-up to "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" transcends time and space to weave a delicate fable about grief, family, and connection across generations. In the wake of her grandmother’s death, eight-year-old Nelly (Joséphine Sanz) accompanies her distraught mother (Nina Meurisse) to her childhood home. There, Nelly’s encounter with another young girl (Gabrielle Sanz) brings mother and daughter together in a way neither could have ever imagined. Evoking childhood’s perpetual state of wonder through luminous, richly textured images, Petite maman takes viewers on a journey inward for a quietly miraculous tale of emotional time travel.
Studio Synopsis: Brimming with magical realism, sensuality, and humor, the final film by revered filmmaker Shohei Imamura is "an enlightening, even liberating, experience" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times) that tells the story of Yosuke Sasano, an unemployed salaryman who arrives in a remote fishing village following a rumor of hidden treasure. Instead, he meets Saeko Aizawa, a charming and unusual woman with a unique problem: a well of warm water inside her longing for release. Saeko faces both shame and adoration for her condition, which the local anglers believe feeds the river and its fish. Intrigued and enamored, Yosuke decides to take up a new life as a fisherman. Through their passionate affair, Imamura paints a picture of longing, fantasy, and the search for true happiness in the most unexpected of places that's both "nonchalantly freaky and uncommonly pleasurable" (Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice).