Despite appearances, new Blu-ray discs will indeed be released this week. You’d be forgiven for not noticing.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
‘A Hologram for the King‘ – This must surely be a contender for the short-list of worst movie titles of all time. Based on a book by Dave Eggers that I have no doubt is exceedingly precious, Tom Hanks stars as a failed American businessman who has fish-out-of-water adventures in Saudi Arabia. Tom Tykwer, of ‘Run Lola Run’ and one-third of ‘Cloud Atlas’, directed. Most reviews were polite but unenthusiastic, with a consensus that the movie is sweet and amiable but rather bland and tonally inconsistent. It made virtually no money at all at the box office. I’m sure it will turn up on cable soon enough.
‘Baskin‘ – The title of this one is Turkish for “police raid,” but when I hear it all I can think of are 31 flavors of ice cream. That doesn’t seem to be the intention. It’s actually a grisly horror thriller about a group of cops lured to an abandoned building that turns out to be a gate to Hell. When he saw this at TIFF last year, Phil was impressed by its craziness and depravity.
Making the upgrade to 4k Ultra High-Def this week are the sci-fi action flicks ‘Oblivion‘ and ‘Lucy‘, as well as Peter Berg’s “Rah Rah! ‘Murica!!” military action drama ‘Lone Survivor‘.
The Warner Archive has perhaps the best title of the week, with Richard Brooks’ adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof‘ starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman at the heights of their respective movie star power.
Assuming that Amazon has its release dates correct (which is never a guarantee), Arrow Video is having a very busy week. In addition to a new box set of the Japanese exploitation series ‘Female Prisoner Scorpion‘, the label is also breaking out all five individual movies in Kinji Fukasaku’s ‘Battles without Honor and Humanity’ gangster saga (released as a box set in 2015) into standalone editions. The titles are: ‘Battles without Honor and Humanity‘, ‘Hiroshima Death Match‘, ‘Proxy War‘, ‘Police Tactics‘ and ‘Final Episode‘.
Frank Henenlotter’s gory horror comedy ‘Basket Case‘ was released on Blu-ray back in 2011. If you’re a fan and have been awaiting the two sequels, ‘Basket Case 2‘ and ‘Basket Case 3: The Progeny‘, Synapse has you covered.
The box set release of ‘Supergirl: The Complete First Season‘ could just as easily be called “The Complete CBS Season.” After one year of disappointing ratings, CBS has shifted the show off to The CW, where its second season will air with a significant budget cut. The series is simultaneously a lot more fun than it might have been and never quite as good as it needed to be.
If you don’t subscribe to HULU but had an interest in its original drama series ‘11.22.63‘, adapted from the Stephen King novel about a man who goes back in time to stop the JFK assassination, now’s your chance to catch up.
If I were on-board the UHD train, I think I’d be very interested to watch ‘Oblivion’ and ‘Lucy’ in 4k HDR with Dolby Atmos. Since I’m not yet, I can wait.
Of more immediate interest to me is ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’. That will go on my growing wish list of Warner Archive titles I need to save up some money for.
Will you open your wallet for anything this week?