So far, April has turned out to be a pretty slow time for new Blu-ray releases. While this week doesn’t have a whole lot going on, fans of cult movies may find something of interest.
Despite casting Bill Murray as a philandering Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and despite reuniting the actor with his ‘Rushmore‘ costar Olivia Williams, the lighthearted (and frankly leightweight) period comedy ‘Hyde Park on Hudson‘ failed to generate any of the critical acclaim or awards recognition that it was obviously designed for. Most reviews ranged from tepid to scathing, and the film’s box office take was practically non-existent. Sadly, this is the only major day-and-date title of the week.
As far as I’m concerned, the most exciting title this week is the Criterion Collection’s release of David Cronenberg’s ‘Naked Lunch‘. Less an adaptation of William Burroughs’ unadaptable drug-trip freakout novel, the film is really a surreal depiction of the author’s own slide into insanity. With no thematic connection that I’m aware of, Criterion has paired this with the Oscar-winning 1953 samurai film ‘Gate of Hell‘, which also sounds pretty interesting.
Quentin Tarantino so loves the 1977 revenge thriller ‘Rolling Thunder‘ that he named his own production company after it. That should give you some clue to its splatter-schlock sensibility. Shout! Factory brings it to Blu-ray.
After his success with the Oscar-winning drama ‘Chariots of Fire‘, director Hugh Hudson made the curious career decision to follow that up with a Tarzan movie. Naturally, the movie he made (with the long-winded title ‘Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes‘) attempts to take the pulp character seriously and present a realistic version of how his story might play out. Amazingly, the film was well received and pretty popular. This one comes from the Warner Archive Collection.
Finally, in anticipation of this summer’s new sequel, Universal offers up reissues of all five previous ‘Fast & Furious‘ flicks.
Over on the TV front, Lionsgate brings us the second season of Kelsey Grammer’s political drama ‘Boss‘, while Image breaks out the first season of ‘The Dick van Dyke Show‘ (which was previously collected in a huge complete series box set) to a separate release. At current prices, the big box set makes a much better value.
‘Naked Lunch’ is a definite pick-up for me this week. Which titles catch your eye?