I hope the Easter Bunny brought you a lot of good candy over the holiday weekend, because he didn’t bring many new movies on Blu-ray. Thankfully, some of the week’s catalog titles and 4k upgrades look promising.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Destroyer – Nicole Kidman demonstrates her range as an actress by playing someone who is… gasp!… ugly. This required her to slather on a mountain of latex prosthetics. The rogue cop thriller from director Karyn Kusama received some praise for Kidman’s performance, but less for the plot built around it. Audiences decided that they had no interest in seeing Nicole Kidman play ugly and skipped the movie.
Escape Room – Thinking it’ll be a fun game, a bunch of idiots get locked into a maze that’s really trying to kill them. Now they must work together and solve the clues to survive. Of course, most of them are going to die anyway. The biggest names in the horror flick’s cast are Deborah Ann Woll from True Blood and Tyler Labine. The movie was made on the cheap and easily turned a healthy profit despite negative reviews that its target audience was never going to read anyway.
Hal – I mentioned this documentary about late film director Hal Ashby earlier this month, but the release was pushed back a few weeks.
The Blu-ray edition of Alien first released in 2009 was pretty excellent aside from two issues: a teal-and-orange color makeover and some cropping on all four sides of the frame. Early reports claim that at least one of these (the zoom-in) and possibly both have been corrected on the Ultra HD remaster. Best Buy has a SteelBook.
Marvel continues to upgrade its catalog with new 4k editions of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. These also get SteelBooks at Best Buy.
Finally, The Witch (or The VVitch, as the posters and other artwork insist on spelling it) casts its spell on UHD. No metal case for this one, unfortunately.
The Criterion Collection finds A Face in the Crowd this week. I just can’t imagine why the label thought Elia Kazan’s 1957 drama about a con man’s rise to political power might resonate with today’s audience. It’s quite a mystery…
Allllll righty, then. Sony reissues Jim Carrey’s 1994 big-screen breakthrough Ace Ventura: Pet Detective for its 25th anniversary, and does the same for its quick-turnaround sequel Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls even though that one’s only 24-years-old.
Albert Brooks’ 1981 charmer Modern Romance is a very different style of comedy entirely from rubber-faced Jim Carrey, but also comes to Blu-ray from Sony.
I saw the Willem Dafoe/Mickey Rourke suspense thriller White Sands in the theater back in 1994, but the only thing I can remember about it is that I’m pretty sure the entire movie was shot with a Stedicam. That’s not much of an endorsement, I’m afraid.
Also from 1994 is the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee Farinelli, a Belgian period drama about an 18th Century castrato opera singer. Although officially classified as a bio-pic, the film’s historical authenticity regarding its real-life subject was called into much question. Cool costumes, though.
Kino offers a Vincent Price two-fer with 1940’s The House of the Seven Gables and 1970’s Scream and Scream Again. The latter was formerly a Twilight Time title.
The ninth season of Showtime’s Shameless marks the exit of stars Emmy Rossum and Cameron Monaghan. However, William H. Macy will be back for Season 10. He and his wife have a lot of legal bills to pay.
I’m interested in the 4k edition of Alien, but I’m going to try to hold out for a box set down the road. The third and fourth movies in the series need remastering more than the first two, anyway.
A Face in the Crowd goes on my Criterion wish list.
Does anything look good to you this week?