July 19, 2013
“42” — It has been way too long since we had a baseball biography, and this profile of Jackie Robinson fills the bill nicely. The film follows his journey from the Negro Leagues into Major League Baseball, where he broke the color barrier when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Most of the history is accurate, for a change, and the cast is wonderful. Chadwick Boseman is superb as Rogers, and he is in good company with Harrison Ford and Christopher Meloni. However, the most fearless performance award goes to Alan Tudyk (“Serenity”) as the racist manager of a fellow ballclub.
“Alphas: Season 2” — It never fails. Every time the SyFy Channel comes up with a decent show, they cancel it. This effort mined the “Heroes” format and focused on a people with super abilities working for the government. In season one, that government’s paranoia led to betrayal and now an uneasy alliance exists. the team opts to work for the Government against a group of rebels that were unjustly imprisoned. The conflicts are many and the fight scenes are pretty awesome. The team faces off against a guy whose power has kept him alive for centuries and it is a great game of cat and mouse. Too bad it ended too soon like “G vs. E” and “Farscape.”
“Evil Dead” — This remake of Sam Raimi’s horror opus forges its own trail. Once again, you get five dopes releasing demons in a cabin in the woods, but all bets are off this time. This remake opts for more gore and less humor. They also tell a decent story without appearing too much like the original film. An excellent take on one of horror cinema’s best entries.
“Solomon Kane” — The creator of “Conan the Barbarian” also came up with this story that focuses on a Pilgrim who kills supernatural entities in the name of the lord. Kane is a disgruntled warrior who fought for the Queen, but soon renounced his ways to serve God. Unfortunately, dark forces are gathering and he must pick up the sword again. Lots of cool action sequences ensue in this story that manages to mix elements of Christianity and fantasy. James Purefoy (“Rome”) makes for a solemn Kane and here’s hoping the DVD profits give this prospective series a second chance.