Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of April 22nd, 2018 – Mazes and Monsters

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Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (4/24/18)?

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New Releases (Blu-ray)

Maze Runner: The Death Cure‘ – The YA dystopian sci-fi franchise that nobody cares about closes its allegedly epic trilogy with a finale that cost more than the previous two entries and grossed a lot less in return, to few people’s surprise. The series is still pretty low-budget by the standard of these things, and the international box office was a lot stronger than North America, so the studio is probably not too disappointed. Still, was anyone really clamoring for an end to this story?

Paddington 2‘ – American audiences were even more disinterested in the follow-up to 2014’s family-friendly charmer based on the beloved children’s books about an adorable talking bear. This one’s something of a conundrum, because I was under the impression that most people who saw the first one liked it. Critics were also over-the-moon for the sequel, which still has a rare, perfect 100% aggregate score on Rotten Tomatoes. Overseas audiences loved it, especially in Europe. Are British accents really that much of a turn-off for American families? My kids don’t seem to mind them when they watch ‘Peppa Pig’.

Den of Thieves‘ – Gerard Butler, 50 Cent, and Ice Cube Jr. star in a generic heist thriller that looks like it ought to have gone straight to Netflix but somehow proved to be a modest hit with surprising staying power in theaters earlier this year. Reviews were mostly negative and the trailers were pretty lame, so I’m not sure what people saw in it.

Hostiles‘ – Christian Bale reunites with his ‘Out of the Furnace’ director Scott Cooper for a dark-and-gritty Western about a racist Army captain assigned to escort a dying Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) back to his tribal lands in Montana. Bad things happen on the journey, forcing the captain to evaluate his beliefs. Reviews and word-of-mouth were mixed, many complaining about the film’s turgid pace and excessive length even while praising its performances and strong visuals.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story‘ – In her heyday in the 1940s, Austrian-born actress Hedy Lamarr was widely regarded as one of the most beautiful women to work in Hollywood. She was also a genius inventor whose hobby of tinkering with electronics led to the development of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Her fascinating story is told in a new documentary.

The Word

Paramount heads back to Rydell High with a 40th Anniversary remaster of ‘Grease‘ on both Blu-ray and Ultra HD. The ‘Grease Collection’ SteelBook box set doesn’t have the 4k disc, but marks the Blu-ray debuts for the unloved sequel ‘Grease 2’ and 2016’s ‘Grease Live!’ TV remake.

Fans of the original movie tend to act like ‘Grease 2’ is some sort of atrocity, which I find funny because it’s basically the same movie with a better lead actress. I’m not particularly a fan of ‘Grease’ to start, but I actually did think that the live TV musical was very well staged and entertaining.

Other UHD

Also arriving in 4k are ‘Maze Runner: The Death Cure‘, ‘Hostiles‘, and a 25th Anniversary Edition of ‘A Few Good Men‘.

Catalog Titles

Somebody at the Criterion Collection must be in a morbid mood this week, pairing up Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Dead Man‘ with Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Virgin Suicides‘.

In addition to standalone copies for ‘The Death Cure’, Fox bundles that movie with its two predecessors in the ‘Maze Runner Trilogy‘ box set.

If you missed out on the Twilight Time limited edition of Walter Hill’s 1975 boxing drama ‘Hard Times’ before it went out of print, the film has been reissued as part of Mill Creek’s budget ‘Charles Bronson: 4- Movie Collection‘ along with 1972’s ‘The Valachi Papers’ and 1973’s ‘The Stone Killer’, which are still in print from Twilight Time for a lot more money than Mill Creek is asking. (The fourth title is 1975’s ‘Breakout’.) Whether the quality is comparable, I can’t say. I wouldn’t put it past Mill Creek to compress all four movies onto one disc.

Olive Films offers John Boorman’s Oscar nominated WWII drama ‘Hope and Glory‘.

Shout! Factory charges ahead at flank speed with the 1978 Charlton Heston naval thriller ‘Gray Lady Down‘. And yet it’s the silly 1983 Dan Aykroyd pimpin’ comedy ‘Doctor Detroit‘ that gets added to the prestige Shout Select line.

Meanwhile, the Scream Factory label goes full cheese with a Collector’s Edition of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s 1989 sci-fi debacle ‘Cyborg‘.

Fans of schlock horror will delight in Arrow Video’s Special Edition of ‘Killer Klowns from Outer Space‘ and Full Moon’s Limited Edition of the original ‘Puppet Master‘. The latter comes in a VHS-style box and includes an action figure toy.

Kino presents the 3-D Film Archive’s new restoration of the 1953 horror chiller ‘The Maze‘.

Finally, Disney Movie Club members have access to a Blu-ray edition of the 1998 remake of ‘The Parent Trap‘ starring Lindsay Lohan.


TV content this week includes the eighth season of Showtime’s ‘Shameless‘ and the first season of the British mystery drama ‘Unforgotten‘.

My $.02

I don’t think I’ll run out to buy anything right away, but ‘Hope and Glory’, ‘Dead Man’ and ‘The Maze’ will go on my wish list for later. I’d also like to see the ‘Bombshell’ documentary if I ever run across it on Netflix or cable.

Is your money begging to be spent on anything this week?


  1. Chris B

    How are Mill Creek allowed to release blurays of some of the same movies Twilight Time does? Doesn’t that violate the exclusivity agreement TT usually makes with the studios?

      • Chris B

        That makes sense in the case of “Hard Times” which was one of TTs earlierst releases and is long OOP, but “The Valachi Papers” only came out last year….it’s puzzling.

        • DaMac80

          The agreements go from when TT licenses it, so maybe for some reason they licensed Valachi 3 years ago but didn’t release it until last year.

  2. Csm101

    On the way: Cyborg, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, The Boneyard (it was delayed from a few weeks ago). As soon as I get some finances in order, I really want The Maze as well. Dead Man and Dr. Detroit are of interest. Daughters of Satan sounds cool.

  3. Is this the first time Parent Trap has been released on Blu-Ray? I also find it odd that Disney keeps rereleasing the 1998 version (at least on DVD), but finding the original is tough (I know that eventually they did release it on DVD, but it was a limited run or something). It’s like Disney is embarassed of their live action movies and just wants people to forget about them, or something. Luckily, they have released many on iTunes, which is where I have gotten the majority of mine from.

    Grease 4k was a preorder for me. I am not crazy about the movie like many of my friends are, but I still have fun with it. I don’t really recall much about Grease 2, but I never thought it was bad – it just didn’t really have anything that made it special.

    A Few Good Men is tempting, but not sure if I would watch it enough to justify the cost. It’s one of those movies that I like, I am just rarely in the mood for it.

    Sailor Moon Super S I will probably end up picking up eventually. I don’t know, Sailor Moon was my introduction to anime, but going back and watching it now after watching Sailor Moon Crystal is painful. I got Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon R, and haven’t even made it all the way through the original series yet since buying the Blu-Rays. I honestly did not remember the show being that bad!

    Maze Runner 4k is possible, but I should go back and rewatch the first and watch the second (for the first time). I learned my lesson after Divergant – I liked the first movie, bought the second, but never opened it until the third one came in the mail. Man, they should have just left it with one movie. The Maze Runner, after the first movie, felt that the second movie was either going to be awesome or awful, so I still haven’t gotten around to watching it yet (sitting on the shelf unopened). Finals in college are next week, then I got almost three months until classes start back, so I hope to get through some of my backlog of movies!

    Holy Mountain sounds interesting, but I have never seen it, so not sure if I want to blind buy it

  4. JERP

    I’ve decided to order the Bronson Collection since the price point is low, Product info indicates that the movies are on two BD-50’s so I’m hoping the video quality will be OK. However, the audio is listed as LPCM 2.0 which sucks.

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