This week’s Blu-ray releases land on the same date as the annual tax deadline here in the United States. Assuming that you’re all paid up and have any money left, the light release slate should go pretty easy on your wallet.
‘The Post‘ – A drama about a news media outlet working to expose the dirty-dealings of a corrupt U.S. President… Gee, I wonder what made Steven Spielberg think that story might be relevant again? Reuniting with Tom Hanks for the umpteeth time, the director recounts the Nixon-era Pentagon Papers scandal from the viewpoint of Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks) and publisher Kay Graham (Meryl Streep). Clearly, Spielberg was hoping this would be his ‘All the President’s Men’, but it seems that 2014’s ‘Spotlight’ may have fulfilled most people’s need for movies about print journalism. The film was made by a lot of smart, talented people, and I’m sure it’s perfectly good at what it tries to do, but I can’t help feeling that the whole thing seems very calculated for Oscar glory. Indeed, it was nominated for Best Picture and served as Streep’s mandated annual nomination, but ultimately won neither. Now it’s available in your choice of Blu-ray or Ultra HD.
‘The Commuter‘ – Liam Neeson takes another ill-fated trip with his ‘Non-Stop’ director Jaume Collet-Sera. This time, he plays a former cop who’s approached by a mystery woman (Vera Farmiga) offering to pay him $100,000 to find a specific passenger on his daily train commute. If he refuses, he’ll put his own family in peril. This sets off a convoluted conspiracy plot that leads to lots of shooting and train derailment. Collet-Sera specializes in making movies that are utterly ridiculous but somehow entertaining, and this seems to be in line with his previous offerings. As with ‘The Post’, it’s available in Blu-ray or UHD.
The Criterion Collection uncovers ‘The Awful Truth‘ with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in their classic screwball comedy.
After that, Criterion investigates ‘The Color of Pomegranates‘, a surreal Armenian film from 1969 that was suppressed by Soviet censors for many years.
Twilight Time zooms in on ‘Auto Focus‘, Paul Schrader’s 2002 bio-pic about ‘Hogan’s Heroes’ star and sex pervert Bob Crane. Other new limited editions from Twilight Time include the 1957 suburban melodrama ‘No Down Payment‘ with Joanne Woodward, the 1959 teenage pregnancy drama ‘Blue Denim‘, and French auteur Jacques Demy’s first English-language film, 1969’s ‘Model Shop‘.
The Warner Archive sings the praises of ‘Les Girls‘, a 1957 Gene Kelly CinemaScope musical with songs by Cole Porter.
Arrow Video offers up the second volume of its ‘Seijun Suzuki: The Early Years‘ collection, featuring five crime dramas and action movies made between 1957 to 1961.
Paramount lit up a Blu-ray edition of Cheech & Chong’s stoner comedy ‘Up in Smoke‘ just last week, and now follows that with a Deluxe Collector’s Edition that contains a vinyl soundtrack album, a poster, and assorted other bric-a-brac.
Eighteen years after they went off the air, the wise-cracking robots of ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000‘ return for an eleventh season courtesy of Netflix and Shout! Factory.
Other TV box sets this week include the respective third seasons of Syfy’s ‘Killjoys‘ and ‘12 Monkeys‘.
You really can’t go wrong with a Cary Grant screwball comedy, so I’m most excited about ‘The Awful Truth’ this week. I wasn’t a huge fan of ‘Auto Focus’ when I reviewed it on DVD back in the day, but I’d be willing to give it another shot. ‘The Post’ is probably also worth watching, but I can wait for that one to hit cable or Netflix.
What do you have your eye on this week?