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?
I have The Karate Kid uhd and the two Andy Sidaris flicks on their way to my mailbox. Thank you Josh for that lovely little snippet that solidifies I made a smart purchase. That may be the best 11 bucks I’ve spent in 2019 thus far. I have an interest in Glass, but I’ll probably rent it first.
If they put them all out, I’ll buy all the Sidaris movies up until Dona Speir exits the series. After that I think he starts phoning it in.
I’ve got the poster for ‘Picasso Trigger’ in my laundry room and anybody who sees it doesn’t believe it’s a real movie.
I’m hoping to expand my Andy Sidaris collection if more titles become available. I’ve only seen a few in my teen years, but I’m down for more.
Sidaris’s film ‘Seven’ (and yes, it is his take on ‘The Seven Samurai’/’The Magnificent Seven’) is available from Kino. It’s a middle of the pack entry from Sidaris as far as I’m concerned. It’s definitely more entertaining than ‘Malibu Express’, but not among the best of his output.
Does anybody have any word on when ‘Cold War’ will get a region A release and through which distributor? I thought it was easily the best film of last year.
I think Lionsgate have rights, which is promising because they give 4K releases to the most random movies. But it also seems like the type of fare that Criterion would go for, so maybe they’ll try to snag it. Either way, I’d love to have this film.
Normally I’d get Karate Kid and maybe Smokey and the Bandit 2, but saving some money for next week’s big UHD haul of Alien and Captain America 2 and 3. Will pick this week’s stuff up later. Kind of tempted by the Sidaris films as I love 80’s nonsense, but last time I tried to watch Malibu Express I just found it super boring rather than funny. We’ll see.
I just watched both of them last night and Malibu Express was by far the weaker of the two, but not without its charms. Hard Ticket to Hawaii was much more gonzo with a killer rubber snake on the loose. It also looks better.
‘Malibu Express’ isn’t really part of the main series as far as I’m concerned. It was Sidaris still figuring out his style and has a lot more Agatha Christie plot mechanics going on than any of the films that came after it. He figured out his “James Bond meets Baywatch” formula with ‘Hard Ticket to Hawaii’ and stuck to it after that.
I’ve always thought ‘Savage Beach’ actually has a pretty good plot and the best cinematography of the series. The execution is still loaded with all the lowbrow goofiness you expect from Sidaris, but I’d say that one comes the closest to feeling like it could’ve been a real movie.
What do you think of Do or Die? I have a nostalgic attachment to that one and would like to see that on blu the most. Like I stated though, I’m game for pretty much all of them.
That one is good. Of the ones with Dona Speir in them, her last outing, ‘Fit to Kill’ was the weakest for me and I thought ‘Guns’ tended to drag a lot in patches. The others with Speir in them are all Sidaris’s best work.
I think Millcreek is releasing them in order. They announced that ‘Picasso Trigger’ and ‘Savage Beach’ are coming, but I don’t think they’ve announced dated yet. I guess it would be ‘Guns’ and ‘Do or Die’ after that, provided these are selling well enough for them to keep them coming.
Had no idea the remastered Karate Kid UHD was coming out this week. Very strange how there’s been no pre-order options for it here in Canada. Hopefully Walmart will have it in stores tomorrow.
Canada doesn’t get a ton of UHD catalog stuff, you might have to import it.
I didn’t see it listed, but Target has a Steelbook for Justice League vs the Fatal Five:
Karate Kid in UHD for me. Part of me would love to hear the commentary tracks for the Andy Sidaris films, but not quite enough to buy them. Maybe if they go on sale for cheap.
They’re already cheap.
I was thinking like under $5 cheap. 🙂
I think youʼre cheap!
SUPERSTITION!!! Already received it from Amazon. Very happy!!
“Olivia de Havilland received her fourth Oscar nomination for 1948’s mental hospital exposé The Snake Pit …” AND SHE’S STILL ALIVE!!!! How (f-word) cool is that?
Never heard of Andy Sidaris, but judging by that clip, I’m missing out hard.
And she’s still in pretty good shape from I’ve heard. The Snake Pit is a great movie! I’ll be reviewing it as part of our Silents to the Seventies series.
Yup! She and Kirk Douglas (both are 102!) are amongst the last surviving stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood. True living legends – the word ‘legend’ is thrown around a lot these days, but these two really are. It really brings a big smile to my face to hold my Blu-ray of ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ from 1938 (81 years old), and realise its (female) star is still around. Similarly, I get a kick out of grabbing my LaserDisc of ‘20,000 Leagues Under The Sea’ and seeing 38-year old badass Kirk Douglas, and realizing he’s still alive. I love it.
I legitimately hope these two just never die. The Grim Reaper should just forget about them.
Picked up Kid Who Would Be King 4K. Might get Karate Kid 4K & Glass 4K. Also on wish list, Ancient Magus’ Bride Pt. 2, The Manitou.
Just a follow up post. WTF Universal??? Smokey and the Bandit 2 & 3 are not available for preorder, and now that they’re released, cannot be purchased any where. Best Buy says “Sold Out” and Amazon only has 3rd party sellers with a heft profit, probably not for the same disc either.