At Home : I Am Groot : Season 1, Prey, The Lost City 4K, Camping Trip & more!

Reviews of films on DVD, Digital and Streaming platforms this week

Warner Bros/Paramount/Disney


Digital.  Much has been written about Elvis Presley, from his over-doting mother to his young bride to his weight, but nothing you can find on the page can compare to Baz Luhrmann’s visual achievement. We discover that Elvis’s (Austin Butler) love for gospel music came at a young age, when he would attend revivals and “let the spirit” take over. It is also at these revivals where he studied, and mastered, movements that would soon earn him the nickname “the Pelvis.” It is by chance that Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks), a former carnival barker, happens on Presley during a performance on the radio show “Louisiana Hayride.” If the Colonel knows anything, he knows what the public wants and his eyes tell him that soon every young woman in America will want Elvis Presley.  – MS


I Dream of a Psychopomp

Terror Films Channel. A very thoughtful, mixed breed of genres here with a passion project inspired by filmmaker Danny Villanueva Jr’s grief.  Flipping the ‘ghosts are creepy sh*ts!’ template of films like Paranormal Activity, I Dream of a Psychopomp sees a man visited by his recently departed missus. Instead of rattling chains and sitting uneasily on the edge of his bed while he sleeps, she teaches him about the afterlife and what having a soul is. Deep and worthwhile. – ML


Camping Trip

Digital. A rather so-so horror-thriller, set and filmed during the pandemic, in which four pals encounter a couple of criminals while on a post-lockdown camping trip. Directors Demian Fuica and Leonardo Fuica show promise here but the languid pacing, cliched script, and poor characterizations aren’t enough to wake the film from its slumber.  – ML



Streaming. Quite possibly the best of the Predator films since the John McTiernan-directed original, this extremely well-written and crafted creature feature transports the ‘ugly mother f*cker’ back in time where he goes head-to-head with a Comanche warrior in training. The performance by lead Amber Midthunder is the stuff that makes career, Dan Trachtenberg’s direction is thoughtful but pacey, and a forgotten reminder that the ‘Predator is a hunter, merely on a hunt’ makes this an absolute winner. – CC


I am Groot : Season 1

Streaming.  An exceedingly cute, very well-made spin-off of the Guardians of the Galaxy films that has a young Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel in what must be the most thankless job of all time) getting up to different adventures over the course of several short films. Likely be best appreciated by ankle biters and toddlers but obviously films of the franchise will want to check it out too. The animation looks top-notch. – CC


The Lost City 4K-BD

4K/Blu-ray. Resurrecting the island movie – something Six Days, Seven Nights also attempted albeit unsuccessfully – The Lost City teams Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum as a mismatched duo skirting from a madman in paradise. The movie isn’t much chop, as it dances uneasily between some very forced comedy, gratuitously computer-generated sets, and Romancing the Stone riffs, but the 4k looks an absolute treat.  The colors pop, there’s significant detail in the frame, and the Dolby Vision plays well. The Atmos soundtrack is so-so but does the job. There’s a bunch of featurettes, some deleted scenes and bloopers.- CC

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