A couple of the worst-reviewed movies of 2018 hit Blu-ray this week. Both were also box office duds. I suppose it’s no surprise that their respective studios aren’t even bothering to release them on Ultra HD. Let’s see if we can help clue you in on something more to your liking.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Holmes & Watson – The prospect of Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly reteaming for a Sherlock Holmes spoof in full Victorian garb sounds like it ought to have some potential. Sadly, by most accounts, the two flail and sputter dismally without Adam McKay to direct them. Reviews for the comedy were brutal. The Razzies even called it the worst picture of last year. Could it really be that bad? I can believe that maybe it’s not very good, but the trailers looked innocuous enough to me. Then again, our Tom gave the movie zero stars in his Blu-ray review. Ouch.
Welcome to Marwen – The acclaimed documentary Marwencol followed a man struggling to recover from severe PTSD by creating an elaborate miniature town using dolls and turning it into an expansive art project. Robert Zemeckis gives that true story a heavily fictionalized and Hollywoodized gloss in a sappy, feel-good, inspirational picture starring Steve Carell and a ton of CGI gimmicks. It looked awful, critics trashed it, and the movie tanked at the box office.
On the Basis of Sex – Felicity Jones plays a young, sexy Ruth Bader Ginsburg in a bio-pic about the future Supreme Court Justice and cultural icon. Judgment on the movie ruled that it’s about as conventional and formulaic as bio-pics come, but the performances are pretty good.
Mega Time Squad – A low-budget Kiwi crime spoof with an ’80s throwback vibe finds a dimwit hoodlum in possession of a magical amulet that lets him travel back in time two minutes, but has the side effect of making a copy of himself every time he does it. The premise sounds fun and the trailer looks appealingly goofy.
Failing the release of any new movies on the format, the only title to get an Ultra HD edition this week is the 2012 Sam Worthington thriller Man on a Ledge. Who even remembers this, much less was clamoring for a 4k upgrade?
While putting the finishing touches on his new zombie comedy The Dead Don’t Die, Jim Jarmusch found time to work with the Criterion Collection on high-def editions of his 1984 breakout Stranger Than Paradise and his 1991 Night on Earth. (James Cameron could take some lessons from this guy. How long have we been waiting for him to approve transfers for The Abyss and True Lies?)
The largely-forgotten 2007 Don Cheadle disc jockey drama Talk to Me somehow talked its way into the Shout Select line.
Hammer Films meets the Shaw Brothers in the 1974 horror/kung-fu spectacular The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires, now available from Scream Factory.
Kino digs up a pair of Charles Bronson thrillers from 1970, Cold Sweat and Rider on the Rain. The label then stays in the ’70s for the sexploitation trilogy of the first three Emmanuelle films.
If Welcome to Marwen isn’t enough disappointment for you, Robert Zemeckis also produces the History network’s lame X Files knockoff Project Blue Book, the first season of which is now collected on disc.
I’ll be down for Stranger Than Paradise and Night on Earth at some future Criterion sale.
Do you detect anything worth your time this week?