Mighty Jerome (iTunes) Criticize This! Pick of the Week – Harry Jerome was one the greatest athletes in Canadian history. He held many world records in sprinting, competed in the Olympics, helped get Nike off the ground, and was a member of the Order of Canada. And yet most people you ask have never heard of him. Why has it taken this long before someone documented his life? One reason could be because he was an African-Canadian, another could be because sprinting is not a major sport in Canada. Either way, Charles Officer’s Mighty Jerome is an important doc for Canada and should be required viewing in schools across the country. It’s also done very stylishly with elements of Officer’s last film, the feature Nurse.Fighter.Boy, coming through in the cinematography and music. Available on iTunes here. Film **** (out of 5 stars).
Underworld: Awakening (Blu-ray) – I’m one of the few fans of the Underworld films and feel the series does a great job at putting a new spin on vampire and werewolf mythology. They’re also visually cool, and one can never complain about watching Kate Beckinsale run around in a tight outfit kicking butt. After her absence in the third film, Rise of the Lycans, she’s back and more bloodthirsty than ever in Awakening. And Awakening is more action-packed and over-the-top than the other three films combined, and I loved it. This is the definition of a popcorn movie. It’s big, it’s loud, it’s violent as heck and it’s a lot of fun to watch. In short, it’s a badass flick. The Blu-ray release features an excellent 1080p image and the 7.1 DTS-HD sound mix should give your home theatre a nice workout. This is a must-have title if you’re fan. Special features include making-of featurettes, a blooper reel, audio commentary, and more. Film *** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).
Mother’s Day (Blu-ray) – Starring Rebecca De Mornay as a mother who will do anything to protect her three boys, Mother’s Day is a twisted little film that will have you cringing and squirming on your couch. Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III, IV, and Repo! The Genetic Opera), the film works better than I expected thanks to the fine performance by De Mornay and supporting cast Jaime King, Patrick John Flueger, and Warren Kole. Give it a chance on a rainy Friday night and you might dig it too. The Blu-ray has a decent image and sound mix, but is not required viewing. No special features included. Film *** Blu-ray ** (out of 5 stars).
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Top image: A scene from Mighty Jerome. Courtesy NFB.