An odd week saw low key releases that you may have missed but included enough gems to make a trip to the rental store worth the gas.
“Batman: Assault on Arkham” — When the government needs information from Batman’s enemy, The Riddler, they recruit a team of villains to break into the titular location and steal it. They call themselves “The Suicide Squad,” but one of their number used to work for the Joker and she frees her old boss, which brings on the wrath of Batman. Good stuff with lots of action. Batman is voiced by Kevin Conroy, who did the honors for the 1990s animated Batman series.
“Mr. Majestyk” — When a Vietnam veteran tries to make an honest living as a melon farmer, he runs afoul of the mob and corrupt cops in this excellent 1970s actioner from the pen of Elmore Leonard (“Justified”). Charles Bronson stars and it’s one of his better roles, as he tussles with thugs like Al Letteri and Paul Koslo. Great dialogue as only Leonard could write it.
“Filth” — An alcoholic detective with a ton of vices begins to fall apart as he investigates the death of a Japanese student in Scotland in this comedy/drama by Irvine Welsh (“Trainspotting”). This is a fine adaptation of the novel. Unfortunately, you have to be in a dark mood to enjoy it, as the lead character makes the “Bad Lieutenant” look like Dudley Dooright. James McAvoy stars and is quite good as the twisted hero.
“Rage” — A retired criminal gets drawn back into the lifestyle after his daughter is kidnapped in this low key action/drama. Nicholas Cage stars as a man who left the criminal life when his wife died, so he could concentrate on raising his daughter and sparing her from the underworld lifestyle. Unfortunately, he must get knee-deep in it to get her back. This is no day at the beach, folks, and it doesn’t have the occasional laughs that “Filth,” does but it is worth watching if you are tired of squeaky clean Hollywood crime flicks.