It’s been a big couple of weeks for Blu-ray/digital releases, and I had time to get caught up on a few movies, one of which I’d never seen before, and the other which I caught in theatres earlier this year.
The Tomb Raider reboot starring Alicia Vikander was released a few months ago, and had a lot riding on it. The original video game for Sony PlayStation is a classic, and there have been other iterations that have remained popular now for decades. There was also the two-film series starring Angelina Jolie (the first of which did fairly well back in 2001, the second not so much), that cemented the character of Lara Croft as a pop culture icon. Fifteen years later, the combo of the character and the Oscar-winning Vikander was hopefully going to be a home run, as it tells the tale of Lara’s first tomb raid, in a quest to find her long-missing father. Unfortunately, while the actor does the best she can with the material, this new version of Tomb Raider wound up being fairly lackluster, as both an origin story and an action film. While there are some solid action sequences during the tail end of the film, and the series is grounded in reality for the most part, Tomb Raider just didn’t deliver the thrills it needed to totally reinvigorate the franchise. However, with close to $300 million made worldwide, there’s a chance a sequel could happen. If so, lets hope for a more epic film worthy of Lara Croft.
On the topic of epics, I did a rewatch of Ready Player One over the weekend and I found myself enjoying the film even more than I did when I first experienced it in theaters. The first time out, BBP’s Scotty G and I saw it in IMAX, where the magnificent special effects popped at every minute. However, looking back, I felt as though the character moments during Ready Player One, of which there are many, slowed down the proceedings somewhat. At home, those instances between Parzival and Art3mis actually worked so much better – I could appreciate the breathers they allow in between action set pieces. As for those incredible SFX, I’m happy to say that they still look wonderful at home. It helps if you have a big screen television, yes, but the wonder and grandeur of The Oasis is hardly minimized. Director Steven Spielberg, and screenwriters Zak Penn and (original author) Ernest Cline have created a truly fun film that holds up to repeat reviewing; as Scotty G said to me when I told him how much I was loving my rewatch, “I think the film will get more love as years pass.”
I couldn’t agree more.