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Review: You can run, but you can’t hide in this week’s releases (Includes first-hand account)

A scene from 'Fatale' - Sarah Gopaul
A scene from 'Fatale' - Sarah Gopaul

Fatale (Blu-ray & Digital copy)

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Lionsgate Home Entertainment

After a wild one-night stand, successful sports agent Derrick (Michael Ealy) watches his perfect life unwind when he discovers the mysterious woman he risked everything for is Police Detective Val Quinlan (Hilary Swank) who has entangled him in her latest investigation. Derrick desperately tries to put the pieces together, plunging him into a dangerously unpredictable game of cat and mouse that risks his family, his career, and even his life.

In the same vein as Fatal Attraction, a man has a one-night stand with a woman who decides to turn his life upside-down. However, she’s not your average stalker as she has the power and authority of a cop. Derrick and Val’s paths cross again unexpectedly when he’s the victim of a violent home invasion. Suddenly, what happened in Vegas has come back to bite him. Between trying to keep his wife from finding out about his infidelity and trying to figure out if someone is trying to kill him, Derrick is constantly stressed out. Val also has her hands full as she tries to balance disrupting Derrick’s life and trying to piece back together her own. In spite of the familiar story, the narrative isn’t entirely predictable… though viewers may be torn between which ending they prefer.

Special features include: commentary with director/producer Deon Taylor and producer Roxanne Avent Taylor; alternate ending; making-of featurette; “The Right Direction”; and “Cinematography: Finding the Killer Look.” (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

Rick and Morty: Seasons 1-4 (Blu-ray)

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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

After having been missing for nearly 20 years, Rick Sanchez suddenly arrives at daughter Beth’s doorstep to move in with her and her family. Although Beth welcomes Rick into her home, her husband, Jerry, isn’t as happy about the family reunion. Jerry is concerned about Rick, a sociopathic scientist, using the garage as his personal laboratory. In the lab, Rick works on a number of sci-fi gadgets, some of which could be considered dangerous. But that’s not all Rick does that concerns Jerry. He also goes on adventures across the universe that often involve his children, Morty and Summer.

In the first season, the character dynamic between Rick and Morty drew comparisons to the one between Doc and Marty in Back to the Future as the older scientific mentor travelled the universe with his young, naïve protégé. However, the comedy in this series is far more adult-oriented and Rick is far from a desirable role model. The first season still contains some of the most memorable episodes, including the revenge of Snuffles, introduction of Scary Terry, the surprising Anatomy Park, and their first encounter with the Council of Ricks. In season two, Jerry tags along for more adventures than Rick would like, but he also has an amusing solution to this problem. The “purge world” episode is fun, especially if viewers have seen the movie-inspiration, while the one in which Morty insists on freeing an incarcerated cloud has a killer ending. In season three, the family takes up in a Mad Max-style apocalyptic dimension, Rick becomes an infamous pickle, and Beth discovers her imaginary childhood escape wasn’t actually made-up. It took two years to get to season four, but it was worth it. From Rick’s obsession with his Zen bathroom on another planet to Jerry floating away thanks to his own incompetence to the great gift of snake jazz to talking cats and oversexed dragons, the show doesn’t disappoint.

Special features include: Season 1: commentaries for every episode; deleted scenes; animatics for every episode; and behind the scenes; Season 2: commentaries for every episode; deleted animatic sketches; animatics for every episode; and “Season 2 Premiere Party Featuring Chaos Chaos”; Season 3: commentaries for every episode; animatics for every episode; “Inside the Episode”; “Inside the Recording Booth”; and “Origins of Rick and Morty Part 1 & 2”; Season 4: “A Day at Rick and Morty: Inside Season 4”; “Inside the Episode”; “Creating Snake Jazz”; “Directing Rick and Morty”; “Samurai and Shogun”; “Prop Process”; “Character Creation”; and “Animation Challenges.” (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

Vanguard (Blu-ray & Digital copy)

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Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Tang (Jackie Chan) is the CEO of the covert security company Vanguard. After wealthy businessman Qin rats out his corrupt partner in an arms deal gone fatally wrong, he and his family become targets of the world’s deadliest mercenary organization — and the fighting power of Tang’s team is their only hope to survive.

This globe-trotting action movie features excellent hand-to-hand combat, high-risk gun battles and angry lions. One has come to expect quality stunt work in Chan’s films and this picture does not disappoint. The first sequence incorporates humour as the unarmed security duo need to improvise to take down a crew of attackers. Beginning in London, they travel to Zambia, India, an Arabian desert and Dubai as they rotate between tracking the mercenaries and trying to save their clients. The credit reel and bonus feature demonstrate how the incredible stunts were primarily performed practically, including an intense white water rapid chase. The actors do a great job creating engaging characters, while the thrilling narrative keeps audience’s attention from beginning to end. A sequel would be very welcome if they could bring back the same cast and crew.

Special features include: making-of featurette. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

Victor and Valentino: Folk Art Foes: Season 1 Volume 1 (DVD)

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Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Want to find out if the legend of the Chupacabra is real? Or explore a secret skatepark hidden in the jungle? Want to go on a trip to the underworld? Yeah, you do! So, come hang out with Victor and Valentino as these two brothers do all of this and much more in the supernatural town of Monte Macabre. Victor and Valentino are always down for fun and adventure, so…are you down?

This Mexican-American TV show takes the opportunity to put a spotlight on Aztec, Olmec and Maya mythologies. The Cartoon Network series has a similar look to Steven Universe, but it quickly establishes its own personality. Each 11-minute episode features a new Vic and Val supernatural adventure as the pair regularly disturb or awaken a mythological creature, who they then must contain before Chata, their grandmother, finds out. The episodes sometimes feel short, but they’re all very amusing. The show is fully immersed in Mexican culture as creator Diego Molano looks to explore the folklore, while providing a positive representation of Latinos on screen. The rich tapestry of colour and myth culminates in the half-brothers’ trip to the underworld where they must disguise themselves with skulls to watch a legendary luchador’s match.

There are no special features. (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)

Wrong Turn (Blu-ray & Digital copy)

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Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Backwoods terror and never-jangling suspense meet when Jen (Charlotte Vega) and a group of friends set out to hike the Appalachian Trail. Despite warnings to stick to the trail, the hikers stray off course — and cross into land inhabited by The Foundation, a hidden community of mountain dwellers who use deadly means to protect their way of life. Suddenly under siege, Jen and her friends seem headed to the point of no return — unless Jen’s father (Matthew Modine) can reach them in time.

In 2003, a movie with the same name that felt like a knock-off of The Hills Have Eyes with a larger budget was released. In short, attractive young people were chased through the woods and horribly murdered by inbred monsters. They’ve labelled this movie a reboot, but I think it deserves a different title all together. After a few understated warnings and a slow start, the three couples wander into the woods and disregard the warnings, leading to some horrible deaths and an unexpected confrontation. The film takes an interesting turn that makes the narrative more contemplative and gives it more weight than its preceding slaughter. The mostly unpredictable story caps off the picture with a strong ending that’s just missing a shocked, screaming bystander.

Special features include: commentary with director Mike P. Nelson; deleted and extended scenes; “Monsters Among Us: Making Wrong Turn”; and trailer. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment)

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Written By

Sarah Gopaul is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for film news, a member of the Online Film Critics Society and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved critic.

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