PORTLAND, Maine — Flying Guillotine 2 on Blu-ray: Let’s start with the best release of the week. Flying Guillotine 2 (aka "Palace Carnage") is a sequel to the 1976 film 'Master of the Flying Guillotine' which was one cited by Quentin Tarantino as his favorite film. This film has way WAY over-the-top kung-fu violence beyond just the eponymous flying guillotine (a basket contraption that fits on people's heads and then decapitates them). I'm not sure any clips of this film are fit to air, but for fans of the Shaw Brothers, this film is a can't miss.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on Blu-Ray: For those that remember the heated console wars of the 1990s, it's no secret that Mario won the video game side, but don't count the blue blur down because he is dominating the box-office side. This all-ages film brings in two more CGI friends to the Sonicverse (Tails the fox and Knuckles the echidna) and leans hard on what made the first film so charming: highlighting that Sonic is just a weird little guy. Fans of the 1990s will also love Jim Carrey's manic portrayal of Dr. Eggman and a surprise cameo from Pantera.
Crimes of the Future on Blu-Ray: The first science fiction film from body-horror master David Cronenberg since 1999! This one didn't get a wide release (and maybe didn't screen in Maine at all), so I am very excited to see it. Interestingly, Cronenberg has already directed a movie called Crimes of the Future in 1970, to which this 2022 version is not related in story or theme. Weird, right? Well, maybe not so weird compared to Naked Lunch or Videodrome or The Fly. Cronenberg is a weird guy.
Men: A more "traditional" horror movie from Alex Garland (Ex Machine, Annihilation) about a widower who goes to a quant small town to recover only to be tormented by a town full of people all with the same face. This is an A24 release, so you can expect it to be moody and aesthetic, and it is very, very dark.
Vivo: Okay, let’s end on a high note since this month has been pretty dark. Vivo is a movie featuring new original songs from Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, Encanto), and he also stars as music-playing kinkajou. How fun, right? Good clean fun. A great palate cleanser to any of the three movies above or as a double feature with Sonic.