Blu-ray Highlights: Week of May 8th, 2016 – Dead and Loving It

Redemption, thy name is Ryan Reynolds. After several failed attempts, the actor finally headlined a successful (very successful) superhero movie this year. It hits Blu-ray and UHD this week. Beyond that… well, isn’t one big title enough to tide you over for a while?

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (5/10/16)?

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New Releases

Deadpool‘ – It’s neat trick Ryan Reynolds pulled off, convincing Fox studio execs to let him not only reprise his character from the disastrous ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’, but base a whole movie around him. The botched misconception of Deadpool was one of the worst things about that movie (though fans never blamed Reynolds himself for that), and the further failure of ‘Green Lantern’ left the actor’s star power in much doubt. Nevertheless, he persevered and got the film made – doing it the right way with a more faithful take on the character and a hard-R rating to allow for plenty of comically gruesome violence, swearing and sex. Honestly, even with a reduced budget of only $58 million, this was a pretty big risk for the studio that could have really wrecked its future plans for the ‘X-Men’ franchise. Fortunately, the fans loved it. The movie was one of the biggest hits of the year, and set a record for the highest-grossing R-rated movie. In addition to the standard Blu-ray, it’s also now available in a SteelBook edition exclusive to Best Buy or on UHD Blu-ray.

The Boy‘ – Horror movies about evil dolls are a curious genre to have lasted so far into the modern age. Do kids today even play with creepy porcelain dolls anymore? Does anyone still make them? Lauren Cohan from ‘The Walking Dead’ attempts to establish a feature film career playing a woman hired as a nanny for a child that in fact turns out to be a doll. Are the parents just wackadoo, or could the doll be possessed by something supernatural? Oh, the suspense is killing me…

Where to Invade Next‘ – Ever since ‘Fahrenheit 911’ failed to prevent George W. Bush from getting re-elected to a second term, Michael Moore’s status as a playful troublemaker and Liberal firebrand took a steep nosedive. His last few movies have been far less successful than his early works, with declining grosses from picture to picture. Hopeful to prove his relevance, Moore’s latest provocative documentary has the audacity to suggest that perhaps the United States of America is not the most flawlessly perfect nation in the entire history of mankind, and (worse!) that other countries may actually do things differently that might be worthwhile for us to adopt. How dare he?

Mustang‘ – France’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar this year was arguably really a Turkish movie, shot in Turkey in the Turkish language with Turkish stars. (The director, though born in Turkey, was raised in France. The film was also co-written by a French woman and co-produced by the French studio Canal +.) A coming-of-age tale about five orphan girls forced into arranged marriages by their conservative Muslim guardians, the movie was both acclaimed for its naturalistic performances but also criticized for its cultural xenophobia and simplification of complex issues.

Regression‘ – After being accused of molesting his daughter, yet having no memory of doing such a thing, a man undergoes psychological treatment that dredges up suppressed memories related to a vast conspiracy and a Satanic cult. That sounds like quite a bummer. Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson star in this thriller from Alejandro Amenábar, the director of ‘Abre los Ojos’ (the Spanish basis for ‘Vanilla Sky’) and ‘The Others’. The movie seems to be going direct-to-video, which probably isn’t a good sign.

Catalog Titles

Twilight Time offers new limited editions for a couple of Westerns (Lee Marvin in ‘Cat Ballou‘ and Gary Cooper in ‘Garden of Evil‘), Judy Garland’s final musical ‘I Could Go On Singing‘, Nicolas Roeg’s enigmatic gold prospecting period piece ‘Eureka‘, and the 1974 Italian erotic drama ‘Appassionata‘.

The Criterion Collection visits with Humphey Bogart and Gloria Grahame ‘In a Lonely Place‘ – the 1950 noir directed by Nicholas Ray.

The Warner Archive pays due respect to the ‘Father of the Bride‘ (the original Spencer Tracy version, not the Steve Martin remake).

Hot on the rollerskate-clad heels of the ‘How Did This Get Made?‘ podcast episode about it, Kino dredges up the bizarre sci-fi debacle ‘Solarbabies‘, in which Jason Patric and Jami Gertz skate through the post-apocalyptic desert in search of a magical lacrosse ball that may be a messiah. (It makes about as much sense as that sounds.) From the same year of 1986, a high school kid builds a nuclear bomb for ‘The Manhattan Project‘ yet still barely passes the class with a C.

Television

For TV content this week, we have the recent BBC miniseries adaptation of ‘War & Peace‘, or the first season of Syfy’s cheesy ‘Killjoys‘. I cannot imagine that these two things would have any crossover audience.

My $.02

I have the SteelBook copy of ‘Deadpool’ on preorder from Best Buy. After that, I’ll add ‘In a Lonely Place’, ‘Father of the Bride’, ‘Eureka’ and ‘Cat Ballou’ to my wish list. What are you up to this week?

21 comments

  1. ‘Solarbabies’? Never heard of it. I never knew Patric & Gertz made another movie together, apparently even BEFORE ‘The Lost Boys’. Their chemistry was excellent (electrifying, even), so I’m curious to see ‘Solarbabies’.

    • Bolo

      If you like cheesy 80’s kids movies, it’s worth seeing at least once for the novelty of all the elements they try to jam to together.

    • William Henley

      Don’t worry, you are not missing much. I have never been able to get through the movie in one sitting – its pretty painful. Its a cheesy 80s movie with a weak story, horrible writing, and worse acting. If you are into that kind of thing, than pick it up, but I doubt it will get much excitement, which is probably why Kino is the distributor (well, that, and its an MGM movie). It was one of those movies that HBO and Cinemax would rerun again and again on Saturday afternoons in the late 80s and early 90s

    • Lord Bowler

      This is a movie I vaguely recall, but a lot of us who grew up in the 80s love. That said, I’ve only seen it once and it never made an impression on me since I can’t recall much of it.

      Unlike Labryinth, Goonies, The Last Starfighter and many others that stayed with me.

      It’s on my rental list to revisit!

    • HDD did a review of this a couple of weeks ago. Check it out. I liked it when I was younger, how I would respond today is questionable.

    • Thulsadoom

      I’ve got the DVD and may pick up the BD sometime in the near future. It’s a fun little 80s post-apocalyptic sci fi for teens. 🙂 Nowadays, I suppose it would class in the ‘Young Adult’ category. Put it this way, it’s still better than any Divergent movies lol!

  2. I wish the “Father of the Bride” release was the Steve Martin version. I love that movie.

    In a Lonely Place sounds interesting, bit I’m wary of blind-buying these old noir titles because I usually find the replay value to be pretty low. I’ll keep an eye on TCM and see if I can catch it on TV in the next few months.

    I’d like to see Eureka, Danny Boyle has hone on record raving about it and stating it’s probably Nicholas Roeg’s best movie. I may pick it up in August which is when I’m planning to grab a few TT titles anyway.

    Oh. and Deadpool. Yeeeeaaaahhh I dunno. I’ve heard lots of good things but I have a feeling the whole wiseass-antihero schtick could wear pretty thin after awhile. I just can’t seem yo get that excited about watching it for some reason….

  3. Bolo

    I enjoyed ‘Deadpool’, but I’m not in a rush to see it again. By the time I get a craving for some more Deadpool, ‘Deadpool 2’ will probably be coming out and I’ll just go see that.

    • Thulsadoom

      Same here. I enjoyed it enough, but it was a sort of “Yep! So that was that…” movie. I don’t feel any need to re-watch it. Certainly not any time soon. It doesn’t really have anything going for it, other than the humour, and a lot of that’s hit-and miss. Like you, it’ll probably be Deadpool 2 before I bother with any more Deadpool. 😉

  4. Csm101

    Deadpool, maybe UHD for possible future proofing if I can get it for 26.99. I did the same for The Revenant. I used to watch Solarbabies all the time on HBO but I can’t seem to remember a thing about it except for that I liked it and I definitely want to revisit it at bargain bin prices or at least at Amazon sale prices. Speaking of which, I will be playing catchup on some Scream Factory titles that are on sale on Amazon at the moment. I ordered Terror Train, Body Bags, The People Under the Stairs, and Motel Hell. Prices were from 10.99 to 13.99. I just might have to or order a few more later in the week. I kind of want to see The Boy, but it can wait for Redbox.

  5. William Henley

    I missed Deadpool in the theater, so I will probably pick it up (or at least rent it). Nothing else of interest this week, which is good because Airwolf should be coming in at some point (Looks like they didn’t press enough copies, preordered on Amazon, and it looks like I’m on backorder)

    • Jason Radcliff

      I gotta laugh at someone who just wrote about how Solarbabies is cheesy, with bad acting and writing and then later comment on how you have Airwolf preordered. Haha.

      • William Henley

        If it makes you feel any better, I was six last time I saw the show. It is probably more nostalgia than anything else – I remember me and my dad watching it together, so it brings back memories of safety and security.

  6. Lord Bowler

    I’ve already pre-ordered the ‘Deadpool (Steelbook)’ from Best Buy!

    I also want to pick up:
    ‘Cat Ballou’ (Twilight Time) – a great off-beat western comedy! I dislike Jane Fonda, but it’s hard not to like her in this film.
    ‘Killjoys: Season 1’ (Universal) – An excellent SyFy TV Series that was far better than I expected!

    On my Rental list are:
    ‘Eureka’ (Twilight Time)
    ‘Garden of Evil’ (Twilight Time)

    And, also on my rental lists are two movies I vaguely remember from my childhood but often confuse with other movies I enjoyed more.
    ‘The Manhattan Project’ (Kino) – I keep confusing this movie with Project X starring Matthew Broderick.
    ‘Solarbabies’ (Kino) – I keep confusing this movie with Prayer of the Rollerboys, I don’t know why.

  7. Mark

    Just the Ultra HD of Deadpool for me. My budget is tight this month so I can only get that or the Steelbook.

  8. Deadpool UHD Combo Pack for starters. Watch the BD now, have a UHD title on hand for when I get the setup! Will actually start doing this more often unless a 3D release is competing with this philosophy.
    Wishlist, as always an impulse buy or pull the trigger on a price I can’t miss out on: The Boy, Manhattan Project, Regression, Solarbabies, Symptoms, Synchronicity, War & Peace.

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