The Mummy 2017

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of September 10th, 2017 – Mum’s the Word

Is there such a thing as a week with too many new Blu-ray releases? I think we may have one on our hands. The release slate is clogged with 4k upgrades and other reissues of old titles. Also, Tom Cruise fights a sexy mummy.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (9/12/17)?

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New Releases (Blu-ray)

The Mummy‘ – After disavowing ‘The Wolf Man’ and ‘Dracula Untold’, Universal tries once again to launch a shared cinematic universe (now called the “Dark Universe”) for its classic monsters, starting with a reboot of the ‘Mummy’ franchise. Tom Cruise steps in to replace Brendan Fraser, which may have sounded like an upgrade on paper, but didn’t entice either critics or audiences. Reviews were overwhelmingly negative and the movie underperformed at the box office. (Domestically, it made less than any of the Brendan Fraser entries, even ‘Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’.) Nevertheless, Universal has too much invested this time to start over again and is pressing forward with a ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ remake. At least that one will have a real director (Bill Condon) at the helm, as opposed to hack screenwriter Alex Kurtzman. Maybe it stands a chance.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie‘ – DreamWorks gives the popular children’s book character an animated adventure optimistically described right in the title as the first in a presumed franchise. Whether further entries will actually follow is a little up in the air at the moment, as the box office wasn’t great and it got crushed by DreamWorks’ own ‘The Boss Baby’. However, this one also had a pretty modest budget and may still have been profitable. Ed Helms voices the title character, a school principal hypnotized by two troublemaking students into believing that he’s an underdressed superhero.

It Comes at Night‘ – Director Trey Edward Shults made a small splash in art house circles with his micro-budget family drama ‘Krisha’ in 2015. His follow-up stars Joel Edgerton as a father trying to keep his family safe in a house in the woods while they ride out a mysterious global pandemic. Sold perhaps misleadingly as a horror thriller, reactions to the film were split over a wide gulf between positive critics’ reviews and scathing audience response. Apparently, a lot of people were really pissed off that the title is metaphorical and nothing actually comes at night.

UHD

As expected, ‘The Mummy‘ gets an Ultra HD release side-by-side with the regular Blu-ray. To piggyback off that, Universal is also dropping standalone 4k editions of all three Brendan Fraser ‘Mummy’ movies (previously bundled in an “Ultimate Trilogy” UHD back in May), along with ‘Dracula Untold‘ and (seriously?!) ‘Van Helsing‘ for the hell of it.

Although lacking any classic monsters, ‘Get Out‘, ‘Split‘ and the trilogy of ‘The Purge‘ movies are all horror-themed, which I guess is close enough to ride the mummy’s coattails.

After you’re done seeing the re-release of ‘Close Encounters’ in a theater, you can head home watch Steven Spielberg’s much cuddlier alien invasion blockbuster, ‘E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial‘, on UHD.

DreamWorks’ ‘Captain Underpants‘ flies onto the format too.

Kathryn Bigelow’s harrowing Oscar nominee ‘Zero Dark Thirty‘ is also available via a Best Buy exclusive.

Catalog Titles

Monsters, monsters, monsters… Universal keeps the classic monsters coming with SteelBook reissues of ‘The Mummy‘ (1932), ‘Dracula‘ (1931), ‘Frankenstein‘ (1931), ‘The Bride of Frankenstein‘ (1935) and ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon‘ (1954). Not in a SteelBook but broken out from a franchise box set to a standalone copy is 1955’s ‘Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy‘.

Criterion’s sole title this week is the 1967 music documentary ‘Festival‘.

Kino gets ‘Swept Away‘ with Lina Wertmüller’s Oscar nominated ‘Seven Beauties‘, and then takes a side trip to hunt for treasure and dodge a volcanic explosion at ‘Krakatoa: East of Java‘.

This seems like a really terrible moment in time to dredge up Bill Cosby’s notorious 1987 flop ‘Leonard Part 6‘, but somebody at Mill Creek had the balls to do it. From the same year comes the only slightly more reputable star-studded legal thriller ‘Suspect‘.

Synapse released a Collector’s Edition SteelBook of Dario Argento’s ‘Phenomena‘ last year. That disc now gets reissued in a more affordable keepcase.

Also from Synapse is 2014’s ‘The Creep Behind the Camera‘, a part-documentary/part-biopic about dirtbag movie director Vic Savage. This is paired in a double-feature with the real Savage’s schlocky 1964 horror flick ‘The Creeping Terror’.

Finally, Fox dumps a ton of horror movies back on the market with new Pop Art covers for a so-called Halloween Collection.

Television

Television box sets include the fourth season of ‘Silicon Valley‘, the fifth season of ‘Orphan Black‘, the sixth season of ‘Veep‘, the tenth season of ‘The Big Bang Theory‘, and a complete series collection of the excellent ‘Friday Night Lights‘.

My $.02

Despite the huge volume of releases, my interests this week are pretty minimal. I’d like to check out ‘The Creep Behind the Camera’. That’s pretty much it. Are you more excited for anything?

30 comments

  1. NJScorpio

    I tried something new regarding ‘The Mummy’. I preordered just the digital code about a month ago for $6.50, and it will be emailed to me sometime tomorrow. That’s about the same cost as renting it in HD streaming from Amazon or Vudu. I don’t know if it somehow violates the Ultraviolet policy, but it doesn’t appear to. I picked up ‘Baywatch’ for about $2.50 the other day (still haven’t watched it).

    For big releases I’m excited about, I imagine I’ll still buy the Blu-Rays, but when it’s stuff like ‘The Mummy’, I’m going to go ahead and save myself $10 and get only the digital copies.

    • NJScorpio

      Got my digital code in the mail last night at about 10:00pm (Eastern Standard Time). Pretty cool that I basically got it a day early.

  2. Chris B

    I wouldn’t mind picking up The Fly since I’ve neglected to up until now. What’s the cover-art like on these “Halloween Editions”? Super ugly like the Mondo editions that come out ever once and a whilr.

  3. Csm101

    I’m interested in the Mummy when I find the 3d version. I saw it theatrically but it was one of the worst experiences ever. I’ll probably redbox it tomorrow if I get power back. It could of been much worse.

  4. cardpetree

    I kind of want that Jeepers Creepers and Poltergeist (Halloween Collection). No links available to order them though. Are they not going to be available on Amazon?

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Fox’s PR firm sent a press release announcing the Halloween Collection. It stated that the discs would be available at “major retailers” on Sept. 12th. The only one specified by name was Walmart, which also has an exclusive coloring book when you purchase the Blu-rays.

      However, as of this morning, I can’t find anything on the Walmart web site. Possibly an in-store exclusive?

      No sign of them on Amazon either.

  5. That ‘From Hell’ Blu-ray looks like a true vision of/from hell. Wowza.

    “(…) A ‘Bride of Frankenstein’ remake. At least that one will have a real director (Bill Condon) at the helm …”
    Funny, because Condon also made two Twilight movies that weren’t exactly excellent 😉 But yeah, at least he cares. I liked his ‘Beauty and the Beast’ a lot earlier this year.

    • EM

      Another movie Condon made is Gods and Monsters, a fictive telling of the last days of James Whale, director of the original Universal Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein (among other horror and non-horror films of note). Gods and Monsters clearly bespeaks a deep affection and respect for those films, particularly Bride. I really see no need to remake Bride of Frankenstein; but if it’s to be remade, having Condon at the helm somewhat increases the utterly minuscule chance that the result will be worthwhile.

  6. Plissken99

    Sooooo much repackaging. Just The Purge UHD trilogy for me.

    The Mummy might be the biggest piece of crap to come out all year, I don’t appreciate them trying to turn Universal monsters into an action/Marvelish franchise.

  7. William Henley

    The only one for sure is ET.

    I did not know about the several other titles getting UHD upgrades today. I will probably eventually pick up The Mummy movies, and possibly Van Heisling and Dracula Untold when there is a good sale going on on them

  8. Deaditelord

    Interested in E.T. and might pick up something from the Shout sale when I am able to return to Florida. (Thankfully my family is okay and our homes made it through Irma mostly unscathed.) Hopefully, the power won’t be out for too long. Did your mother make it through the storm okay Josh?

  9. Kyle

    Depending on the pricing with some of these Halloween releases, I may pick up a few that I don’t currently have in my collection. I’ll be picking up The Big Bang Theory for sure and I’ll be waiting for The Mummy (2017)

  10. EM

    Is some holiday season upon us? 🙂 Some of those Universal Monsters re-releases almost make me wish I didn’t have those films on Blu already. The Alex Ross cover paintings look nice, but I’d rather wait for the coffee-table book.

    Likewise, the E.T. release almost makes we wish I were into UHD4KBRD™ or whatever that’s called.

    Instead, I will have to try to content myself with Flicker Alley’s Blu-ray release of The Lost World (1925), featuring newly-discovered scenes and restored color effects. Its release date is September 12, but I received my preordered copy today.

  11. Has anyone had issues with orders of the Orphan Black S5 Blu-ray? I pre-ordered mine from Amazon and it still hasn’t shipped. I went to cancel it and order a copy for pick-up from Best Buy, but BB isn’t carrying any in stock. It’s only available for shipping. When I look at other vendors, none are stocking it.

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