In contrast to last week, a genuine box office hit comes to both Blu-ray and Ultra HD this week. Plenty of people saw the movie in theaters. How many of them were actually satisfied with it is perhaps a different matter.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Glass – M. Night Shyamalan merges his characters from Unbreakable and Split to make an Avengers or Justice League style superhero crossover, albeit on a much smaller scale than either of those mega-budget productions. Scale was a common complaint from many critics and viewers, who felt that the trailers promised something more ambitious and exciting, only to find most of the action confined to a mental hospital setting. Reviews were predominantly negative, and though audiences generally had a better opinion of it, many were still underwhelmed. On disc, Target and Best Buy appear to have somehow gotten their exclusives mixed up, with the SteelBook going to Target while Best Buy has an Ultra HD with some art cards and a clear slipcover that looks like broken glass.
The Kid Who Would Be King – Eight years after the cult success of his Attack the Block, Joe Cornish returns with a bigger (and PG-rated) studio picture. The family adventure film transplants Arthurian legend to the modern day, with the tale of young boy who pulls a sword from a stone and fights to save England from an evil witch. Deirdre was among the many critics charmed by this, but the trailers failed to sell it to audiences and the movie was a big financial bust.
Replicas – Keanu Reeves plays a scientist who develops a way to extract human consciousness from a corpse and upload it into a new robot body, which comes in awfully handy when his wife and kids die in a car accident. As is typically the case in dumb horror movies, this plan doesn’t work out too well for him. The biggest mystery in the thing is how Reeves got roped into starring in a movie that was basically made for Redbox between John Wick entries. Isn’t he a bigger star than this?
Master of Dark Shadows – The 1960s cult vampire soap opera Dark Shadows and its creator Dan Curtis are celebrated in a feature documentary lookback narrated by Ian McShane. Fans will hopefully find that this finally washes away some of the bad taste from Tim Burton’s 2012 reboot/spoof.
Both Glass and The Kid Who Would Be King offer Ultra HD counterparts next to their standard Blu-rays.
Wax on, wax off… Sony upgrades the original 1984 version of The Karate Kid to 4k for its 35th anniversary.
The animated Justice League vs. the Fatal Five and Batman: Hush were both announced for disc this week, but Hush seems to be disappearing from retailer listings and may wind up getting delayed.
Walmart carries an exclusive bundle of Unbreakable, Split, and Glass in a box set called M. Night Shyamalan’s Eastrail 177 Trilogy.
Olivia de Havilland received her fourth Oscar nomination for 1948’s mental hospital exposé The Snake Pit, Mary Steenburgen won the Best Supporting Actress trophy for Jonathan Demme’s 1980 Melvin and Howard, and the 1954 CinemaScope romance Three Coins in the Fountain won for Best Cinematography. The 1966 Bing Crosby/Ann-Margret remake of Stagecoach, however, was nominated for nothing. All of these are now available from Twilight Time.
The Criterion Collection unearths Diamonds of the Night, a 1964 Czechoslovakian WWII survival drama.
Django star Franco Nero takes on another Spaghetti Western character in 1976’s Keoma, which gets a restored Special Edition from Arrow Video.
Universal panders to completist collectors with the Burt Reynolds sequel Smokey and the Bandit II and the mostly-Reynolds-less Smokey and the Bandit Part 3
Also from Universal is the 1992 Steve Martin/Goldie Hawn comedy Housesitter, directed by Frank Oz.
Kino takes a ride with Alex Cox’s 1991 Mexican cop drama Highway Patrolman.
Scream Factory scares up the 1978 evil fetus thriller The Manitou.
Last week, we missed a listing for Warner Archive’s release of the campy Frankenstein 1970, which was actually made in 1958 looking forward to the far-flung future. I’ve added it to this week’s poll.
Mill Creek does yeoman’s work by providing new 4k restorations of the 1980s action classics and Malibu Express and Hard Ticket to Hawaii. If your cinema education somehow lacks an appreciation for esteemed DTV auteur Andy Sidaris, get ready to bask in the magnificence of one of his finest set-pieces:
The third season of the British costume drama Victoria and a complete series set of Showtime’s The Big C front TV product for this week.
I still haven’t seen Split, so I’m in no rush for Glass. Maybe I’ll catch it on Netflix someday. In the meantime, I’ll add Melvin and Howard and The Snake Pit to my Twilight Time wish list. Hard Ticket to Hawaii is also damned difficult to resist at Mill Creek’s current super-low asking price.
What titles of interest do you see this week?