Easter coincides with April Fool’s Day this year, and the combination of the two holidays has apparently inspired most of the home video studios to take the week off. The month begins with very few notable Blu-ray releases, even fewer of which look worth spending money on.
We don’t even get any Ultra HD discs this week.
‘Insidious: The Last Key‘ – The title of this fourth entry in the budget horror franchise suggests that it will be the last, but the movies keep making money so that seems unlikely. This one focuses on the backstory of psychic ghostbuster Elise (Lin Shaye), whose death at the end of the first movie didn’t stop her from appearing three more times. Technically, the movie is a prequel-sequel that takes place after the events of ‘Chapter 3’ but before the original film. If that makes sense to you, you’ve been paying far more attention to this franchise than I have. Reviews were pretty bad, but when have horror fans ever cared about reviews?
‘Father Figures‘ – When brothers Kyle and Peter (Owen Wilson and Ed Helms) learn that their mother (Glenn Close) lied to them their entire lives, they go on a road trip to find the father they thought was dead. The only problem is that Mom used to be a tramp, so none of them is even sure who the dad is. Potential candidates include J.K. Simmons, Christopher Walken or Terry Bradshaw. Wacky hijinks are meant to ensue in what was supposed to be the raunchy comedy hit of this past Christmas season, but reviews were dire, the trailers looked awful, and nobody went to see it.
‘Permanent‘ – Colette Burson, creator of HBO’s ‘Hung’, directs an indie comedy about the many humiliations faced by a teen girl (Kira McLean) who makes a very poor hair-styling decision. Rainn Wilson and Patricia Arquette play her parents with dubious coiffures of their own. As a period piece coming-of-age story, the movie was vastly overshadowed by ‘Lady Bird’ last year. Not helping matters, it failed to find much support from critics and withered away in limited release.
‘Sweet Virginia‘ – I suppose the title’s meant to be like ‘Chinatown’ or ‘Fargo’. The indie crime thriller actually takes place in Alaska, where a former rodeo rider (Jon Bernthal) and a pair of widows (Rosemarie DeWitt and Imogen Poots) get wrapped up in a revenge plot involving a deranged drifter (Christopher Abbott) and an insurance scam. Phil wasn’t impressed.
Now that James Ivory has finally won an Oscar, the Cohen Media Group offers a new restoration of ‘Shakespeare Walla‘, the Merchant-Ivory filmmaking team’s second feature and the first to bring them to the attention of the international art film scene. The 1965 movie follows an English acting troupe performing Shakespeare plays in India and struggling to retain an audience whose interest is drawn away by Bollywood.
Mill Creek follows up its recent release of the family classic ‘Benji’ with the film’s 1977 sequel ‘For the Love of Benji‘, in which the adorable pup gets lost in Greece and somehow gets entangled in a complicated spy plot. I suppose that sounded like a good idea in the ’70s.
I bailed on HBO’s alleged “comedy” ‘Ballers‘ after the first episode. How the show has survived three seasons, I neither understand nor care.
I’ve typically been lukewarm on most of the Merchant-Ivory output, but I have some interest in checking out ‘Shakespeare Walla’. That’s it for the week, unfortunately. Otherwise, I’m happy to save my money.
Does anything here look more appealing to you?