Transformers: The Last Knight

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of September 24th, 2017 – Before Knight Falls

Have audiences finally had enough of the Bayformers? The theatrical box office is starting to look that way. We’ll have to see how well the latest entry sells on Blu-ray this week.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (9/26/17)?

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New Releases (Blu-ray)

Transformers: The Last Knight‘ – Remember when Michael Bay said he was done making ‘Transformers’ movies after the third one? Here we are two more movies later and he’s still at it. This one somehow attempts to link the Robots in Disguise to medieval times and Arthurian legend, which sounds incredibly stupid but probably no more so than any of the prior films in this series. Mark Wahlberg is back as star. The box office for this outing was considerably down over the last few, in fact hitting a franchise low. However, it did well in China. It also still outgrossed Guy Ritchie’s competing ‘King Arthur’ movie, which I guess is something. Annoyingly, Bay has grown so fond of the alternating aspect ratio gimmick that he shot the movie in at least eight different ratios that flitter from one to another in half-second intervals, with black bars popping up all over different parts of the screen for no discernible reason. If you can suffer that, Paramount offers the sequel in 2D, 3D and 4k, with a couple of SteelBooks at Best Buy. (Note that Best Buy recently revised the cover to a Pop Art design rather than the version announced previously.)

47 Meters Down‘ – Mandy Moore and Claire Holt play a couple of morons who go scuba diving and get stuck in a submerged shark cage while hungry CGI sharks circle and wait for their oxygen to run out. Word-of-mouth on this was toxic.

David Lynch: The Art Life‘ – David Lynch is a fairly famous filmmaker, but you wouldn’t guess that from this puff-piece documentary profile that makes almost no mention of his movies, instead focusing on his painting and other artistic side hobbies. See my review for more details, and a likely explanation for how something so insubstantial wound up being fast-tracked to the Criterion Collection.

UHD

As mentioned, ‘Transformers: The Last Knight‘ gets an Ultra HD edition, along with a SteelBook.

With Halloween around the corner, Warner Bros. bumps the classic holiday special ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown‘ up to 4k.

Catalog Titles

Paramount uses the excuse of ‘The Last Knight’ to put together a new ‘Transformers: 5-Movie Collection‘ bundle. Best Buy has a SteelBook for this too.

Criterion takes lessons from ‘The Piano Teacher‘, Michael Haneke’s Cannes Grand Prix-winning drama about a masochistic music instructor (Isabelle Huppert) attracted to one of her students.

You can stop waiting for ‘Waiting for Guffman‘. The Warner Archive finally brings the hilarious Christopher Guest mockumentary to Blu-ray, along with Vincent Minnelli’s 1954 adaptation of the Broadway musical ‘Brigadoon‘.

The Princess Bride‘ is a gift that keeps giving for MGM, which has put it out on Blu-ray four times now. At first glance, the 30th Anniversary Edition appears to be identical to the 25th Anniversary Edition aside from the cover art.

Before the Bruce Willis remake comes out, Paramount has taken the original Charles Bronson version of ‘Death Wish‘ back from Warner Bros. for a reissue. It looks like it may be the same Blu-ray from 2014 (even with the same cover art), just now under a new label.

Its own remake impending, Mill Creek has shoved the dopey 1990 idiot-medical-students-kill-themselves-for-fun thriller ‘Flatliners‘ into a new SteelBook case.

I was introduced to French secret agent OSS 117 via the parody spoof that Michel Hazanavicius and Jean Dujardin (later both Oscar winners for ‘The Artist’) made in 2006. I thought that was pretty funny even without knowing much about the character’s long history dating back to pulp novels published in the 1940s and 1950s. Even since, I’ve been curious about the series of (non-comedic) ‘OSS 117‘ spy movies made during the 1960s. Kino has now compiled a box set of five of them.

Other Kino releases this week include the silly 1986 sci-fi adventure ‘SpaceCamp‘ and a remastered Special Edition of Walter Hill’s 1979 Western ‘The Long Riders‘.

Beatles or Bee Gees fans who passed over the very expensive CD + DVD/Blu-ray Super Deluxe Edition of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band‘ earlier this year may find Shout! Factory’s much more affordable standalone Blu-ray copy more appealing.

The latest burned BD-R in the Sony Choice line is Carroll Ballard’s 1992 sailing drama ‘Wind‘.

Aficionados of schlock movies can look forward to Jess Franco’s ‘Killer Barbys‘, the Ed Wood-scripted nudie zombie fiesta ‘Orgy of the Dead‘, or a SteelBook reissue of ‘Bride of Re-Animator‘.

Television

That complete series box set of ‘Friday Night Lights‘ I mentioned a couple weeks ago was pushed back to this week.

New this week are the first season of NBC’s ‘Taken‘ spinoff series, the fifth season of ‘Longmire‘, and the seventh season of ‘Shameless‘.

My $.02

I’ve given up on ‘Transformers’. ‘David Lynch: The Art Life’ is already on my shelf courtesy of the screener I reviewed. I think ‘Waiting for Guffman’ is hysterical, but I’ve seen it a bunch of times and it shows up on cable regularly. (It’s also not the kind of movie where video quality is terribly important.)

That leaves ‘The Long Riders’ and the ‘OSS 117’ box set to go on my wish list.

How many of you completist collectors feel compelled to buy the new ‘Transformers’ against your better judgment? Will you pick up anything else to offset the guilt you feel over that?

35 comments

  1. Bolo

    Just for the sake of trivia, does directing all 5 ‘Transformers’ movies give Michael Bay the record for film series directorial domination? I know John Glen directed 5 James Bond films, but that’s just a fraction of the total series. The other directors I can think of who directed every installment in a series all have four entries (‘Scream’, ‘Lethal Weapon’, ‘Mad Max’, ‘Indiana Jones’).

    • NJScorpio

      Stallone directed Rocky II, III, IV, and VI…and I was shocked to learn Stallone didn’t direct the first Rocky, apparently that was just the fight choreography. I’d rather see more of Stallone’s Rocky movies than Bay’s Transformers movies.

    • EM

      Some other honorable(?) mentions:

      • 25 of the 48 Bowery Boys pictures were directed by William Beaudine, who also directed six of the 22 East Side Kids movies that preceded the Bowery Boys franchise. The next most prolific Bowery Boys director was Edward Bernds, with a mere eight.

      • George B. Seitz directed 13 of the 16 Andy Hardy features. (The last two in the franchise were made after his death; he had previously skipped #7.)

      • Frank R. Strayer, despite his name, directed the first 14 of the 28 Blondie movies. The next nine were directed by Abby Berlin; and the remaining five, by Edward Bernds (remember him?).

      • Arthur Lubin directed the first six of the seven Francis the Talking Mule pictures.

      • After their début in The Egg and I, Ma and Pa Kettle spun off into their own franchise of nine movies; five of them (including the first two) were directed by Charles Lamont.

  2. NJScorpio

    So I saw two of these this weekend…’47 Meters Down’ and ‘Transformers 5′. I found this to be one of the more tolerable Transformers movies, with less visual noise than some of the others. Still, so much of it was bad…so much…

    ’47 Meters Down’ was actually a lot of fun. I have NO CLUE if any of it goes against the science of sharks, or scuba diving, or anything else involved, but it made for a compelling late night horror movie.

  3. cardpetree

    “How many of you completist collectors”

    Josh, how many DVDs did you own before Blu-ray? How many Blu-rays do you own? When you do completely upgrade to UHD will you then start to collect UHD titles or are you satisfied with the video quality of Blu-ray?

  4. Deaditelord

    Nothing for me this week, although I’ll probably watch the new Transformers at some point just to confirm it’s as bad as advertised.

  5. Csm101

    Make no mistake about it. Transformers five was dreadful. I would say second worst after Revenge of the Fallen. That being said, I love 3d and Atmos and I’m sure this will not disappoint in that department. I fell asleep for the big climactic fight at the end so I’m looking forward to seeing it in my living room. I don’t own Waiting fur Guffman so that’s definitely a wish list item. 47 Meters Down will be a rental. My daughter LOVES killer shark movies so this will be a fun one for us. Actually, I think she may of seen it theatrically. I never picked up the first Death Wish flick, so I will be correcting that. Orgy of the Dead will also be a wish list item.

    • JudasCradle

      Why watch a piece of crap movie JUST because the sound and 3D are good?
      If it is a sh*t movie, I’m not watching -even if it has the greatest 3D and sound ever made.

        • Deaditelord

          Totally agree with you Csm. That’s why I plan on watching the latest Transformers evendors thought I’might pretry sure I won’the lIke it. If nothing else, the movie should look and probably sound fantastic. (I say probably because even though I have a Dolby Atmos receiver, my current living arrangements limit me to headphones.)

  6. Dougindustryvet

    Really depressing to see the studios holding back most of their ‘A’ titles from release on blue ray (especially UHD4K). It’s not to hard to see that the goal is to force the public into various streaming and cloud based services that the studios can develop into a new controllable ‘revenue source’. Collectors are starved for current high quality films and are (unfortunately) willing to pay 30 bucks (less than one dollar to manufacture complete with jewel case and artwork) or more to get a high quality uncompressed state of the art disc for their new UHD displays. Seriously, ‘Killer Barby’s’, ‘Orgy of the Dead’, ‘The Legend of the Holy Drinker’. Give me a freaking break! The studios are missing a great (and possibly last) opportunity to sell their ‘good stuff’, (both current releases and catalogue) to us yet again as UHD4K takes over the home market. Will they blow it? We shall see what happens during the Christmas selling season.

  7. Nothing for me this week.

    On a side note, anyone know of a good place to sell your new and used discs? Now that I am getting into 4k, I am finding slightly used and even some unopened blu-rays of movies I am picking up on 4k. I used to sell on Amazon, but now they require you to be a distributor. Right now, it is looking like ebay is my only option. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

    • Deaditelord

      I’m curious about this as well. Now that I have the necessary equipment for 4K I’d like to sell a good portion of my blu-ray collection.

      • JudasCradle

        Don’t sell them unless the title has already been released on UHD. Many Blu ray titles will never get a UHD release. And UHD is by no means here to stay. (8K on horizon)

    • Online selling of your stuff, I keep seeing people posting secondspin.com but I cannot say yay or nay. When I lived out West I either went to Bookman’s or Zia Records. Up in the NorthEast we have Bull Moose.
      I’m drawing a blank of that other online company out of Texas… Starts with “H” I think – used movies, books, etc.

      • William Henley

        Hatings? They don’t exist anymore. 🙁

        In any case, anytime you introduce a middle man, you are loosing money. Movies that I could sell used for $10-$20 each are only fetching $2-$3 on movie tradein programs like Movie Trading Company.

  8. Lord Bowler

    I’ll be picking up the Longmire and maybe the Taken Season Blu-Rays.

    I’ll probably finally pick up “The Long Riders” on Blu-Ray, this looks like a great package of features!

    I am a completist, and will probably pick up Transformers 5 when the price hits bargain bin. It took me forever to finally pick up ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’. Die Hard should have stopped at 3, just as Transformers should have stopped at 3! While on the subject of series’ that have gone downhill, I don’t yet own all of the Pirates movies, only the first three still. It’s really hard to justify picking up these weak franchise outings…

    • Transformers should have stopped at 1. 🙂 But why would they, people just keep flocking to see them, and they are massively successful. Despite what we say here, it seems as if that IS what the majority of people want.

      I saw the Die Hard movies for the first time a couple of years ago, and watched them all within a few days of each other. I found the last two to be okay. I got like all 5 movies for something like 20 pounds from the UK.

  9. Elizabeth

    And Josh continues his quest to call every Steelbook with a hand-drawn look that he dislikes Pop Art.

    Transformers the Last Knight – not Pop Art.
    Wonder Woman – not Pop Art.
    Logan – yet again not Pop Art.

    • Al

      Agreed.

      It’s getting really annoying.

      Essentially, if Josh likes a SteelBook, it’s not pop art. If he dislikes a SteelBook, it’s pop art.

      • Al

        No; it’s not. That’s a fact. It’s absolutely not pop art.

        And you started calling every SteelBook that was hand-drawn pop art, long before Logan.

        • Josh Zyber
          Author

          They took a promotional still from the movie and repainted it into weird, garish colors. It’s practically an illustration from an Andy Warhol “How to Make Pop Art” book.

          Transformers: The Last Knight SteelBook

          Andy Warhol Pop Art

          • William Henley

            I’m with Josh on Transformers.

            Logan and Wonder Woman though….

            However, Tate.org.uk defines Pop Art from a quote from 1957 pop artist Richard Hamilton

            Pop Art is: Popular (designed for a mass audience), Transient (short-term solution), Expendable (easily forgotten), Low cost, Mass produced, Young (aimed at youth), Witty, Sexy, Gimmicky, Glamorous, Big business

            Using that definition, Josh’s classification of pop art is correct

    • Timcharger

      Congrats Elizabeth and Al!
      That’s an achievement better than any caption contest win.

      You got Josh to admit a wrong?!

      Josh: “You want to call the Logan and Wonder Woman cases comic book art instead of Pop Art, fine.”
      Josh, is everything okay? You feeling ill?
      🙂

  10. This week I will have to show great will power to avoid Transformers. Josh sums it up nicely – the completionist in me will want to buy it but sanity and logic say NO. IT being the 4K combo. Should I get a 4K multi pack and not pay to buy them over again? Should I say there’s little upgrade in buying them again? Without a doubt I will PASS on the hideous cover from Best Buy though. If I look internationally though I will not likely find a 4K Steelbook. Moving on, I just received Dance With Devils from Amazon. Everything else on the ‘ole wishlist or list of interest: 47 Meters Don, Dead Next Door, Devil’s Candy, Hype, It Stains The Sands Red, Longmire #5, Lycan, Mune, Puzzles & Dragons Part One .

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