The Lego Batman Movie

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of June 11th, 2017 – Brick vs. Wick

New Blu-ray and Ultra HD releases this week bring us two of the darkest, broodingest, scowlingest badasses to hit cinema screens this year. One of them happens to be an inch and a half tall… and also kind of a doofus.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (6/13/17)?

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New Releases (Blu-ray)

The Lego Batman Movie‘ – Will Arnett’s diminutive Batman was a highlight of 2014’s ‘The Lego Movie’. Now he gets his own dedicated spinoff. Even with directing duties passing hands from the team of Phil Lord and Chris Miller (still producers) to Chris McKay (‘Moral Orel’, ‘Robot Chicken’), both critics and audiences applauded the movie as a worthy follow-up. On disc, it’s available in 2D, 3D, a SteelBook at Best Buy, or on Ultra HD. Sadly, the 3D disc is the most expensive of all and isn’t bundled with either the SteelBook or UHD.

John Wick: Chapter 2‘ – Keanu Reeves’ first ‘John Wick’ was an unexpected treat a couple years ago, a stripped-down action thriller that was hyper-violent and loads of fun. Although the movie only did moderate box office in the United States, it was a decent hit overseas and found an appreciative audience on home video. The sequel brings back the inventive action and expands the world of the secret cult of assassins. Most fans approved of the results. A Best Buy exclusive SteelBook and an Ultra HD Blu-ray are also available.

Table 19‘ – Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson and Stephen Merchant are among the wedding guests who get foisted off to a table for misfits and losers at the nuptials of a mutual acquaintance. Story credit for this indie comedy started out with Jay and Mark Duplass (‘Cyrus’, ‘Jeff, Who Lives at Home’), but apparently any work they did on it was watered down by the time it wound up in the hands of TV sitcom director Jeffrey Blitz. Despite the strong cast, reviews were pretty brutal.

3 Generations‘ – Also widely panned was a capital-I Issue movie about a trans youth (Elle Fanning), his mother (Naomi Watts) and grandmother (Susan Sarandon) all moaning about how misunderstood and dysfunctional they are. The indie drama was picked up for distribution by The Weinstein Company as potential awards-bait, but got shelved for a couple of years when it became clear that critics held no love for it. Ultimately, it was dumped in a handful of theaters and vanished without notice.

Frantz‘ – French auteur François Ozon (‘Swimming Pool’, ‘Potiche’) delivers a black-and-white period piece drama about the widow of a World War I vet who develops feelings for a mysterious stranger claiming to be a friend of her late husband. Phil was intrigued but a little unsatisfied with it.

UHD

Arriving in Ultra HD alongside their standard Blu-ray counterparts are ‘The Lego Batman Movie‘ and ‘John Wick: Chapter 2‘.

In preparation for the impending new sequel, Fox upgrades ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes‘ and ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ to 4k.

Catalog Titles

While you’re picking up the ‘Chapter 2’ SteelBook at Best Buy, you might as well grab the new SteelBook for the original ‘John Wick‘ too.

Also a Best Buy exclusive is the ‘Spider-Man Legacy Collection‘ SteelBook, which bundles both previous iterations of the character (the three movies with Tobey Maguire and the two with Andrew Garfield) to remind you of exactly why this franchise needed to be rebooted one more time. [Note: Sony originally announced a simultaneous UHD version of this, but that appears to have been pulled.]

Criterion’s release of ‘They Live by Night‘ should not be confused with Ben Affleck’s recent gangster flop ‘Live by Night’. This one’s a 1948 film noir that marked the directorial debut for Nicholas Ray (‘Rebel Without a Cause’, ‘Johnny Guitar’).

The Warner Archive goes cruising with the madcap 1976 car-racing comedy ‘The Gumball Rally‘.

Arrow Video opens the doors to the 1981 Italian slasher flick ‘Madhouse‘.

Twilight Time offers new limited editions of the WWII drama ‘The Bridge at Remagen‘, Samuel Fuller’s Cold War submarine thriller ‘Hell and High Water‘, the 1958 romantic political thriller ‘The Quiet American‘, the 1972 prison drama ‘The Valachi Papers‘ starring Charles Bronson, and a double feature of the early Jackie Chan classics ‘Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow‘ and ‘Drunken Master‘. Sadly, the cover art for the Jackie Chan movies is kind of hideous, and Twilight Time’s notes indicate the sections of the original Cantonese audio for ‘Drunken Master’ are missing and had to be replaced with the English dub.

Television

Finally ending their runs this year are ‘Grimm‘ and ‘The Vampire Diaries‘. Both are available in your choice of just the final season or a Complete Series collection. Meanwhile, ‘South Park‘ is still plugging along after 20 seasons.

Newer shows include the second season of Syfy’s ‘Dark Matter‘ and the third season of Starz’s ‘Power‘.

My $.02

I fear this could be an expensive week for me. I’m definitely down for the SteelBook editions of ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ and ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’. I’ve long been disappointed that the first ‘John Wick’ didn’t come out in a SteelBook, so I suppose I have to replace my copy of that one as well.

Those are my priorities. Wish list items for later include ‘They Live by Night’, ‘Hell and High Water’, ‘The Bridge at Remagen’, the Jackie Chan double feature, and perhaps ‘The Gumball Rally’.

What’s your plan for this week?

18 comments

  1. Chris B

    I plan on picking up JW2 eventually, but I’ll wait for the inevitable price drop. I’ve decided to get out of the steelbook collecting game due to the high cost. I can no longer justify spending 35 dollars to buy a movie on release day, when I know that same movie will be roughly 9.99 within a year and in a lot of cases show up on Netflix to boot.

    Madhouse will go on my wishlist for the next Arrow Video sale, and I’ll try and catch The Lego Batman movie when it shows up on cable or streaming.

  2. Lord bowler

    The items I want to pick up are:
    John Wick (SteelBook) and John Wick: Chapter 2 (SteelBook),
    The Twilight Time Selections (The Bridge at Remagen and Hell and High Water), and
    TV Shows (Dark Matter: Season Two and Grimm: Season Six)

    I may do a blind buy for ‘The Valachi Papers’ (Twilight Time), but I’d like to see it first.

    I’ll look at ‘Spider-Man Legacy Collection (SteelBook)’, but I already own all five Spider-Man movies.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Typical Best Buy incompetence, neither the John Wick nor Lego Batman SteelBooks are available for shipping or in-store pickup. They probably only produced half a dozen copies of each. 🙁

      • Lord bowler

        I saw that. Sometimes you can catch it the day of release with store pickup, but it’s not looking good.

        I’ll pick them up at Amazon if I can’t get the SteelBooks.

      • I’ve noticed that – most of the time – I have to wait until late Monday night before they show up as available for in-store pick-up pre-order. Check back tonight or early tomorrow morning.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            I checked again in the morning, and all three discs have opened up for in-store pickup. Guess my money’s going to Best Buy this week after all. I’d already earmarked some titles from this week’s Scream Factory sale I might have bought instead.

          • Lord bowler

            I was able to complete the order with both options available (In-store pickup or back-ordered Shipping)

            Since I didn’t purchase John Wick originally, I got both SteelBooks.

          • Timcharger

            Got my order in for in-store pickup this morning, too.

            Buying 2 gets an additional $5 discount. But I was able to resist on the John Wick 1’s Steelbook. Opted for the 4K UHD of the first film to combine with Chapter 2’s Steelbook. Willing to pay an extra $10 to get an UHD disc. Not willing to pay an extra $15 to just get a Steelbook case, since it’ll be a double dip.

            Going to wait for Lego Batman 3D to be on sale. Passing on the Steelbook.

      • Darkmonk

        I ordered all of those online and had them delivered.
        You have to order them a little bit earlier than a before a week before release.

          • Timcharger

            The assumption is that there will be future purchases of Steelbooks at Best Buy, Josh.

            Once you believe that, then all you do is add a gift card to your order for the amount that brings your total above the free shipping threshold. And when you received your gift card, you use it on your future next Steelbook pre-order. You never have to pay for shipping and you aren’t doing anything unsavory. Best Buy sees your additional gift card purchase as a win-win.

            Also, if you remember to. A week or two before release date, you can check your order status to see if you can amend it to in-store pickup. A few clicks, and then you may be able to pick up your Steelbook on Tuesdays.

  3. William Henley

    Interesting – currently, John Wick UHD is in the lead when I am voting.

    I preordered John Wick 2 UHD yesterday – good price, and while I have not seen one yet, the price was right for a blind buy. Plus, I like pretty much anything with Keanu Reeves.

    I also have Lego Batman on preorder, but I ordered it so long ago, I don’t remember if i preordered the 3D or the 4k. Sucks that you have to choose. Truthfully, I wouldn’t mind if I got the 3D on disc and they gave me a Vudu code for the 4k, since UHD Vudu is Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Or throw the 4k and 3D together. I just don’t like having to double dip to get a movie in both 3D and 4k, and them packaging them together would reduce packaging costs for them.

  4. Csm101

    Lego Batman 3d is making its way to my house. Again, it looks like Warner’s new model is no ATMOS for 3d. I’m grateful for 3D, but frustrated with the decision to not include the enhanced surround with it. I’m definitely picking up John Wick 2 in uhd just in case I ever upgrade. Kill, Baby, Kill and Madhouse are also for wish list.

  5. Deaditelord

    Expensive week for me. Pre-ordered John Wick 2, and both Planet of the Apes films on UHD along with the Jackie Chan double feature and Outlaw Star collector’s edition. While it annoys me that there is not a version of Lego Batman that includes both the UHD blu-ray and the 3D blu-ray, I’ll probably buy one of the two versions in the near future.

  6. James

    Been streaming Lego Batman for a couple weeks and it’s better every time. So much going on, you catch something new constantly. Can’t wait to see it in HD (my Internet speed is … isn’t…)

  7. EM

    I’d like to see The Lego Batman Movie sometime, but I doubt I’ll ever buy a copy.

    I saw Frantz recently. It wasn’t bad…but I have no need to see it again.

    Every time I see a listing for Kill, Baby, Kill!!, I think of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, which is awesome. 🙂

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