Steve Stebbing

Breaking down all things pop culture

Revenge – Coming from first-time feature writer and director Coralie Fargeat, this is a film you will not forget and one I may have sitting in my top ten at the end of this year. A film in the vein of I Spit On Your Grave but with a “never say die” feminist edge, this movie kicked my ass with its unrelenting blood and violence coupled with its beauty, both in the savage sense and the awesome vibrancy it gives off. The story follows a rich man’s mistress who, while at his beautiful remote mansion in the wilderness, is sexually assaulted by his friends and, when she threatens to tell his wife of their activities in an ultimatum to get airlifted back home, things get ugly. He ends up tossing her off the cliff where she is impaled on a tree and, believing that she is dead and their problems are over, the trio goes on their planned hunting trip. Our main, played by Rings’ Matilda Lutz, is definitely not dead and hunts our three hunters down and to say they get their due might be an understatement. Textured in a way that is both gorgeous at times and horrific at other times, Revenge is a film that felt absolutely satisfying in the art film sense, has the gore to abate those craving it and one of the most bad ass women on screen since Imperator Furiousa.

The Little Prince – Talk about a beautiful film for all ages that was completely lost in a petty studio shuffle. This movie was an adaptation of a beloved French children’s book, one that many in the know were looking forward to, and then, just one week before release, the distributor Paramount Pictures drops the film entirely. This is totally tragic as the film is gorgeous, inspiring and contains a beautiful message for the whole family to pick up on. Loosely, the film follows a little girl whose mother constantly pushes her to be the best in all of her academics leaving her no time for imagination. Her neighbor, an old aviator, tries to open her mind to the possibilities locked within by introducing her to the stories of the Little Prince and his world. The good news is now, thanks to great minds at Netflix, this movie will be available as of Thursday the 17th of May on the streaming service. I do believe that with a good theatrical push this movie would have found a sizeable audience but now it has a new opportunity to find this and more through the discussion I hope it will bring.

Black Panther – Wakanda piece would this be if I didn’t mention that the highest rated solo superhero film was now on Blu-Ray? Definitely, one that reused that overused pun, which I apologize for, but the opportunity to own this fantastic actioner from the Marvel Cinematic Universe should be a no-brainer. Director Ryan Coogler makes the third film in his stellar career, following Fruitvale Station and Creed, but this one is his biggest yet and kind of the new standard to hold him by. This is the first to solely focus on a black hero in this long list of Marvel films and does it with such original flair that it really sets itself apart from what came before. It does suffer a bit from origin film tropes but Chadwick Boseman continues his great command of T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, and main Coogler staple Michael B. Jordan creates a villain that is not only completely devoid of the one dimensional MCU bad guy problem but makes one that in another light could be the hero. Other than the actual movie being the main seller of why to pick this up, it features extensive behind the scenes features, a gag reel, a look at the upcoming Ant-Man & The Wasp, as well as, my personal favorite, feature commentary by Ryan Coogler himself. If nothing, this will definitely tide you over until Infinity War hits the shelves.

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