Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of October 1st, 2017 – Dead in the Water

Avast, ye mateys! Shiver me timbers, walk the plank and all that other nonsense. The pirates arrrr coming and it be time t’ sail the ocean Blu…

I’ll stop now, I promise.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (10/3/17)?

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New Releases (Blu-ray)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales‘ – Johnny Depp has debts to pay, which means that it’s time to trot out Capt. Jack Sparrow again. Javier Bardem joins the cast this time as the villain in the fifth (ugh) movie in a series that, let’s be honest, ran out of wind after the first one. As with ‘Transformers’, franchise fatigue finally set in with audiences, and the box office for this entry was down considerably from the last three. The movie nonetheless sets sail on a variety of formats and retailer exclusives, including SteelBooks for both Blu-ray and UHD at Best Buy. Because Disney has forsaken 3D in North America once again, you’ll have to import from abroad if that’s your fancy.

A Ghost Story‘ – Casey Affleck spends an entire movie wearing a white sheet with eye holes cut out, and Rooney Mara sits for five unbroken minutes to eat a whole pie on camera. Remarkably, many critics are calling this one of the best movies of the year. David Lowery, who helmed last year’s ‘Pete’s Dragon’ remake that nobody saw, takes a silly concept and treats it as a meditation on grief, loss, the passage of time, and the impermanence of all things.

The Book of Henry‘ – Somewhere between making one of the biggest blockbusters of all time (‘Jurassic World’) and being fired from the ‘Star Wars’ franchise, director Colin Trevorrow attempted to return to his indie roots with a small drama about a grieving mother (Naomi Watts) who sets out to assassinate her neighbor because her dead son left a note asking her to. This was not well received. Critics tore into it, calling it one of the most misguided movies ever made. Audiences ignored it. Trevorrow is currently not attached to direct anything else in the near future.

Goon: Last of the Enforcers‘ – That Sean William Scott hockey comedy that you sort-of half remember coming out a bunch of years ago, and maybe enjoyed if you saw it, gets an unneeded sequel that no one was very enthusiastic about.

Cult of Chucky‘ – The evil doll is back for more serial-killing mayhem, now in his seventh outing. Don Mancini (who wrote all of these movies and directed the last couple) is still at the helm. Brad Dourif (as the voice of Chucky) and Jennifer Tilly also return. Despite going direct to video, this entry arrives with a fair amount of buzz that it might be the best ‘Child’s Play’ sequel yet. Not that ‘Child’s Play’ was ever a masterpiece or anything, but that’s kind of crazy, isn’t it?

UHD

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales‘ heads out into 4k waters alongside its 1080p counterpart. Meanwhile, Sony offers Ultra HD upgrades to ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai‘ and ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula‘. Lionsgate does the same for ‘Kick-Ass‘ and ‘Warm Bodies‘.

Catalog Titles

The Criterion Collection sinks its fangs into Carl Theodor Dreyer’s surreal horror classic ‘Vampyr‘. The 1932 movie is lucky to still exist at all, and unfortunately what remains of it is in far from pristine condition.

The Warner Archive offers a reissue of ‘Superman: The Movie‘, this time containing the Extended Cut (previously available on Blu-ray) plus the extra-extended TV version that has never before been officially released on home video. Aired originally as a two-night miniseries, the TV version is padded with a lot of unnecessary filler footage, but should still hold some curiosity value for fans. Sadly, the disc does not have the movie’s original theatrical cut, which remains exclusive to the Superman Anthology box set.

Also escaping from the Warner Archive is Kyle MacLachlan’s 1987 sci-fi thriller ‘The Hidden‘. I haven’t seen it in years, but I remember this being a pretty tight bit of B-movie fun.

Suddenly Seymour… is getting reissued… The 1986 remake of ‘Little Shop of Horrors‘ (the one people remember and actually enjoy) was first released on Blu-ray in 2012 with Digibook packaging. I’m not sure what took so long for Warner to put that disc into a keepcase, but here it finally is.

Shout! Factory heads ‘Home for the Holidays‘ with Jodie Foster’s dysfunctional family comedy.

Sony forges a trail over the ‘Lost Horizon‘ for the 80th anniversary of the Frank Capra adventure yarn.

Arrow Video is very busy this week with four new titles. These include two giallo thrillers (Lucio Fulci’s 1972 ‘Don’t Torture a Duckling‘ and Sergio Martino’s 1975 ‘The Suspicious Death of a Minor‘) as well as new remasters of the hilarious 1988 John Cleese/Kevin Kline comedy ‘A Fish Called Wanda‘ and the schlocky 1984 Stephen King adaptation ‘Children of the Corn‘.

Just in time for creator Joss Whedon’s ostracization from the nerd community, Fox reissues the original movie version of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘ (the one with Kristy Swanson that most fans ignore anyway) in a 25th Anniversary Edition.

Universal tosses ‘Cult of Chucky’ into a new box along with the rest of the franchise for a ‘Chucky: Complete 7-Movie Collection‘.

Be warned that Mill Creek’s 50th Anniversary Edition of George Romero’s ‘Night of the Living Dead‘ has an atrocious video transfer from terrible Public Domain source elements. Check out Matthew’s review in the link above. Janus Films recently completed a more thorough restoration that received praise from director Romero before his passing earlier this year, which means there’s a strong chance the Criterion Collection may release it on Blu-ray. (Janus and Criterion are owned by the same parent company and have a close relationship.) Fans should probably hold tight for that.

Separately, Scream Factory has a Collector’s Edition double-dip for Romero’s sequel ‘Land of the Dead‘.

More scares arrive from Synapse, which serves up the 1991 horror comedy ‘Popcorn‘.

Television

Now collected for your viewing pleasure are Season 3 of ‘iZombie‘, Season 4 Part 2 of ‘Vikings‘, Season 5 of ‘House of Cards‘, and Season 6 of ‘American Horror Story‘.

HBO also sentences the Bernie Madoff bio-pic ‘The Wizard of Lies‘ to life on home video.

My $.02

I have a copy of ‘Vampyr’ in for review. I’m curious enough about ‘A Ghost Story’ to give it a rental. Wish list items for me include ‘Superman: The Movie’, ‘The Hidden’, ‘A Fish Called Wanda’ and ‘Lost Horizon’.

What treasures do you seek this week?

20 comments

  1. NJScorpio

    I’ve been pretty critical of the whole ‘Pirates’ series, but I found the last one to be one of the more enjoyable. It relegates two characters I never really liked to cameos (one without any dialog). The plot, while nothing great and a bit long, is more cohesive and more linear than prior ‘Pirates’ movies. For me though the highlight is the excellent ghost pirate designs this time around, the best of the whole series. If you ever enjoyed any of the ‘Pirates’ movies, I’d say it’s really worth giving this one a shot.

  2. Lord Bowler

    I already own The Bridge on the River Kwai’s Collector’s edition on Blu-Ray and won’t be upgrading to 4K, yet.

    Movies I may pick up this week are:
    ‘A Fish Called Wanda (Remastered)’ (Arrow) – Remember this fondly, but haven’t seen it in years. I may just blind buy this.
    ‘Sniper: Ultimate Kill’ (Sony) – I’m a fan of Tom Berenger and this franchise.
    ‘Justice League: The New Frontier – Commemorative Edition (SteelBook)’ (Warner Bros.)

    I didn’t even notice ‘The Hidden’ on the list, I remember catching this on TV years ago and thought it was a great movie. It is definitely worth a revisit.

    I might consider picking up ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer: 25th Anniversary Edition’ (20th Century Fox) later because it also includes Rutger Hauer among it’s excellent cast. The movie was pretty funny, and Paul Rubens was surprisingly funny in it.

  3. Csm101

    Lots of good stuff this week. I have Don’t Torture a Duckling, 976-EVIL, and The Hidden on order. I just watched my DVD of The Hidden a couple of days ago and it was fantastic. The DVD itself is plagued with edge enhancement. It looks like the characters are surrounded by semi invisible force fields. Can’t wait to see it on blu. I definitely want A Fish Called Wanda, my MGM blu is pretty rough looking. I only payed like five bucks for it. I have ordered the new Pirates movie from the U.K. so as to have it in 3d. I’ve never seen the original Buffy movie and have that on my to do list. Same goes with Little Shop of Horrors. The last dtv Chucky movie was pretty decent, so I’ll give this new one a try. Mary Reilly was a pretty good movie, I’ll check out my brother’s blu of that. I’m also kind of curious about that Book of Henry movie.

  4. Deaditelord

    Wow, a lot of interesting titles this week. I am in for Bridge on the River Kwai and Bram Stoker’s Dracula in 4K. A Fish Called Wanda and The Hidden I’ll grab during a sale. 976-EVIL, Don’t Torture A Duckling, and Cult of Chucky I’ll need to rent/stream first before deciding on a purchase. I’ll probably watch the latest Pirates of the Caribbean at some point too.

  5. I liked ‘Pirates 5’. It’s the best sequel, and Javier Bardem is an excellent villain. Love his Spanish accent, too. ‘Sparrrrow’. I don’t like the European subtitle ‘Salazar’s Revenge’, though. As a big fan of the original Disneyland attraction (that’s popular in Paris, too!), I can’t wrap my head around the name change. Importing from America JUST for the subtitle seems like a waste of money, however. What to do, what to do …

      • Actually different on screen. Highly disappointing. ‘Salazar’s Revenge’ is uber cliché (just like ‘Resurrection’ or ‘Revelation’), whereas ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ is cool.

          • Dave S.

            I’m guessing you haven’t seen it, but it’s shown in flashbacks that he’s an integral part of Jack Sparrow’s backstory (but no, we’ve never heard about him before).

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Point being that he was only introduced for the first time in this movie. It might as well be called “Pirates of the Caribbean: Revenge of Some Dude” for all anyone knows about it going in.

          • True, and it’s a point that would not have been brought up if they kept ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’, which is iconic, referencing the attraction, and sounds badass. The American title doesn’t assume viewers know who Salazar is, and whether or not he seeks revenge.

    • EM

      It’s bothered me all along that the first Harry Potter novel was renamed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the US market, as apparently a sorcerer is exciting and American kids (and adults) must be seen as too damned stupid to get excited about a philosopher or his bloody pebble. The film’s titling followed suit. Of course, in the novels the problem goes far beyond a mere title, as the American editions are reëdited entirely for greater conformity to American usage, perhaps also because of the considerable damage that such words as defence and centre and honour could do to young Yank minds. Too bad—the novels’ popularity could have provided an excellent springboard for exposing American schoolchildren to the breadth of English as a world language and a reminder of its history, even within America (e.g., read the earlier portions of the Constitution lately?). I had to give up on the Americanized novels after an awkward passage in #2, wherein a trunk (i.e., luggage) was being put in a trunk (i.e., a part of an automobile); realizing that the latter item must have been called a boot in the British edition, I read only the British editions from there on out.

      • Dave S.

        I don’t like it either. I remember an interview on Entertainment Tonight during the promotion for Licence to Kill, where someone involved with the film stated that it was going to be called ‘Licence Revoked’, but they didn’t think Americans would know what ‘revoked’ meant. That was the first time I was aware of the “dumb American’ stereotype and it always stuck with me.

        • And the stupid thing is, even IF some people didn’t know what the word ‘revoked’ meant, they would have learnt/learned thanks to the popular and accessible James Bond series. A win-win situation if there ever was one. I like it when a film, a book or a song teaches me new (English/French/Dutch) words. Makes the entertainment suddenly a little more educational.

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