King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of August 6th, 2017 – Fall on Your Sword

Several movies that didn’t do particularly well at the box office hit Blu-ray this week. Who’s going to take the blame for this?

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (8/8/17)?

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New Releases (Blu-ray)

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword‘ – Guy Ritchie isn’t exactly the first name that might come to mind for directing a historical fantasy epic, but the filmmaker brings his particular brawny and irreverent style to bear on the legend of Camelot and the Round Table. On its face, this sounds like a bad mix. Then again, so did ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and that somehow worked out for him. This time, however, the trailers didn’t inspire anyone to see the movie, nor did critics care much for it. Warner Bros. had planned for it to kick off a franchise of five more sequels, but it was a big dud in theaters and those plans are undoubtedly dead now. After the back-to-back big budget failures of this and ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’, don’t be surprised if Ritchie scales down and retreats back to his fan base with another of the British crime pictures that established his reputation. In the meantime, you can get ‘King Arthur’ in 2D, 3D or UHD.

Snatched‘ – Ha ha, it’s a double entendre. Because it’s a comedy about women who get kidnapped, but also “snatch” is another word for… Umm, you know what, never mind. Amy Schumer’s second major star vehicle had nowhere near the success or critical support of ‘Trainwreck’. Goldie Hawn (in her first movie since 2002) seems really smartly cast to play her mother, though. The movie will probably have some shelf life on streaming and cable.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul‘ – For the fourth entry in its moderately popular children’s franchise, Fox replaced the entire cast. I doubt that Alicia Silverstone or Tom Everett Scott (as the title kid’s mom and dad, taking over from Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn) can be held to blame so much as growing disinterest from the target audience, but the movie did significantly less business than its three predecessors.

Kung Fu Yoga‘ – The title alone inspires groans. Long past his prime, Jackie Chan has apparently taken up the Adam Sandler business model of making new movies in exotic locations as an excuse to take a nice trip and write off the vacation as a business expense. Here, he goes to India for an ‘Indiana Jones’ spoof that Phil said has very little action and a lot of terrible comedy.

UHD

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword‘ and ‘Snatched‘ both get Ultra HD editions concurrent with their standard Blu-rays.

Catalog Titles

The newest addition to the Criterion catalog is Michael Curtiz’ 1950 noir ‘The Breaking Point‘, a remake of ‘To Have and Have Not’ that tries to stick a little closer to the original Ernest Hemingway novel than the previous movie with Humphrey Bogart did.

The Warner Archive goes cruising with ‘Freebie and the Bean‘, the 1974 action comedy directed by Richard Rush (who would later make ‘The Stunt Man’). James Caan and Alan Arkin play the title roles, and the movie has some memorable car chases.

Arrow Video resurrects Stuart Gordon’s gory and campy ‘Re-Animator‘, which was last released on Blu-ray by Starz/Anchor Bay back in 2012. Fans can hope that Arrow’s limited edition will improve on that reportedly middling disc.

After that, Arrow also collects a box set of Japanese cult auteur Seijun Suzuki’s ‘The Taisho Trilogy‘, a trio of supernatural dramas.

Shout! Factory has licensed the Coen brothers’ classic ‘Fargo‘ for a 20th Anniversary SteelBook edition. I’m not clear if the movie has been remastered yet again or how much the disc contents differ from the last Blu-ray release in 2014.

To honor the success of Jason Bateman’s new Netflix drama ‘Ozark’, Scream Factory bestows a Collector’s Edition upon the actor’s finest big-screen triumph, ‘Teen Wolf Too‘. For the sake of completists, the other ‘Teen Wolf‘ is available too, but that one stars somebody else.

There’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on this week at Kino, which offers the Elvis Presley musicals ‘Clambake‘ and ‘Frankie and Johnny‘.

Universal is dumping a bunch of 1990s catalog titles as Best Buy exclusives. These include ‘Problem Child‘, ‘Bowfinger‘, ‘BASEketball‘, ‘EDtv‘ and ‘For Love of the Game‘. I have some friends who swear by ‘Bowfinger’ as a comedy masterpiece, but I found it pretty mediocre back in the day.

Television

Aside from anime, the only notable TV release this week is the second season of NBC’s ‘Blindspot‘. I gave up on that about halfway through the first season.

My $.02

The ‘Fargo’ SteelBook is surprisingly reasonably priced, so I may need to check that out. I’m also interested in ‘The Breaking Point’ and ‘Freebie and the Bean’.

What do you make of this week’s selection?

15 comments

  1. Chris B

    Re-Animator will go on the wishlist for the next Arrow sale. I thought Bowfinger was hilarious when I saw it years ago so I wouldn’t mind picking it up. I’m not sure if those BestBuy exclusives are sold here in Cabada though 🤔. Will have to do some research…

  2. Csm101

    Ever since Capelight released its remastered Re-Animator, I’ve been kicking myself for not getting it, and salivating for that transfer. I hear Arrow corrected a few of the problems with that version. Mine should be at my doorstep tomorrow. Can’t wait!! I also ordered King Arthur 3d for 38 bucks, ouch!! The things I do for 3D….
    I might double dip on the first Teenwolf somewhere along the road and I’ll also pick up Teenwolf 2. I liked Edtv a lot back in the day and would consider upgrading from my DVD. I also checked Tenement: Game of Survival. I’ve had the DVD fo several years and still haven’t got around to watching it.

  3. Bolo

    So Guy Ritchie has made several cockney crime flicks, a Sherlock Holmes adaptation, a King Arthur retelling, and a mod spy flick. How many more British institutions does he have left? Hopefully he’ll reunite with Statham when he does his version of Hamlet. but his Jane Austen flick will be probably be his greatest challenge yet.

  4. Deaditelord

    Re-Animator is pre-ordered. Will probably pick up BASEketball and Bowfinger too. King Arthur I want to rent first, but could see myself buying it if I end up liking it. Sucks that there’s no UHD/3D combo available.

  5. King Arthur may get a rental from me. I am kind of surprised I hadn’t heard of it – I probably would have saw it in the theater. However, I have been pretty disconnected the past year, with going back to school to work on my Masters, and with cutting cable (I finally did get Sling about 2 months ago and am pretty happy with it), so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.

    In fact, come to think of it, I am thinking the last movie I saw at the theater may have been Fantastic Beasts or Rogue One. No, I take that back, I did see the new XXX movie. I have gotten to where I prefer watching movies at home (projector and 2.35:1 screen and leather reclining sofa in living room, 4k in the bedroom), so usually I end up just picking up or renting movies when they come out on Blu-Ray, 3D or 4k (PLEASE, studios, put your 4k and 3D discs in the same package!)

    I’ve been debating on going to see Dunkirk in Imax Film (two theaters within 30 miles have Imax Film and are showing the movie), but I haven’t done it yet, and if I don’t do it soon, I will loose my chance.

    So yeah, all that to say that King Arthur is a rental for me

  6. EM

    Re-Animator is the only Blu release that’s animating me.

    On a related note, I’m also looking forward to the same-day release of the book The New Annotated Frankenstein, edited and annotated by Leslie S. Klinger (whose New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft, incidentally, included “Herbert West—Reanimator” among its tales). Plenty of cadavers brought back to life by mad science this week!

  7. “To honor the success of Jason Bateman’s new Netflix drama ‘Ozark’, Scream Factory bestows a Collector’s Edition upon the actor’s finest big-screen triumph, ‘Teen Wolf Too‘. For the sake of completists, the other ‘Teen Wolf‘ is available too, but that one stars somebody else.”

    Man, I laughed so hard at this. Comedy gold by Josh.

    Hopefully, I can get a good deal on those Kino discs. My dad’s birthday is coming up, and he’s a big Elvis fan. Twilight Time is also releasing an Elvis movie in the near future.

  8. Bill Rodgers

    I’ll never understand the cult following for re-animator and fright night. I (like) them too, but to keep buying and watching them over and over……..really?

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