You thought you got all the Marvel superheroes you could take last week? One of the few who’s not (yet) part of the Avengers team follows right on their heels to both Blu-ray and Ultra HD.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Deadpool 2 – Despite looking like more of the same from the first movie, audiences were still eager for Ryan Reynolds’ smartass “Merc with a Mouth.” The irreverent R-rated superhero sequel was another smash hit. The Blu-ray and Ultra HD editions include both the theatrical cut and a new unrated extended version called the Super Duper $@%!#& Cut, which leaves me questioning which expletive the “$@%!#&” is supposed to represent. None of them sound quite right. Is there a joke about this in the movie? Whatever the case, Best Buy has SteelBooks for both formats.
Action Point – Repeating a formula that worked in his hit Bad Grandpa, Johnny Knoxville strings together a bunch of Jackass-style stunts around a fiction narrative. This one’s about a dumbass who runs his own low-rent theme park with dangerous rides. Knoxville claims that he was injured more times during the making of this movie than anything he’d ever done before. That effort may have been in vain because no one was particularly impressed. The comedy was drubbed by critics and was a box office flop.
First Reformed – Paul Schrader had been coasting on his reputation as the screenwriter of Taxi Driver for a number of years. His recent works as a director consisted of a couple Nicolas Cage DTV thrillers and the Lindsay Lohan debacle The Canyons. His latest feature, however, scored some of the strongest reviews of his career and has in fact been hailed as Schrader’s masterpiece. Ethan Hawke stars as a small-town priest facing a crisis of faith brought on by his counseling of a man who believes the world is heading rapidly toward Armageddon. Hawke’s performance has also been singled out for praise.
In addition to the day-and-date release of Deadpool 2 on its own, Fox also offers a bundle of both Deadpool movies in 4k.
Anticipating Amazon’s upcoming reboot series, Paramount upgrades the Jack Ryan: 5- Film Collection to Ultra HD. The first three of these movies (you know, the good ones) were poorly served by subpar transfers on Blu-ray, so one would hope the studio has taken the opportunity to properly remaster them, as was the case with the Mission: Impossible franchise recently. (Unfortunately, the included Blu-rays are almost certainly the crappy old discs.) Although breakout standalone copies of each movie were announced initially, those have disappeared from retailer listings and were presumably postponed, which means that you’ll have to be patient if you can’t countenance owning The Sum of All Fears or Shadow Recruit.
The Criterion Collection edition of the classic Ernst Lubitsch comedy Heaven Can Wait (the 1943 version with Gene Tierney and Don Ameche) should make a good pairing with the label’s recent release of A Matter of Life and Death, which has a similar premise.
Also from Criterion is Susan Seidelman’s 1982 punk music drama Smithereens.
Kino has a very interesting slate this week which includes Special Edition reissues of Stephen Sommers’ goofy monster flick Deep Rising, the notorious Bruce Willis erotic thriller Color of Night, and David Lynch’s surreal road movie Wild at Heart. Deep Rising and Color of Night were previously released on Blu-ray only as part of budget double-features from Mill Creek, while Wild at Heart had a pricy Limited Edition from Twilight Time that went out of print a few years ago.
Speaking of Twilight Time, the label’s newest additions are John Cassavetes’ 1980 crime drama Gloria starring his wife Gena Rowlands, the 1972 heist thriller The Hot Rock with Robert Redford, the 1969 military dramedy The Virgin Soldiers, and the 1992 action flick Rapid Fire. The latter was marketed as a breakout star vehicle for Bruce Lee’s son Brandon Lee, who would sadly die young on the set of his next movie.
The Mill Creek Psycho Biddy Double Feature I mentioned a couple weeks ago was apparently pushed back to late September. This allows the Scream Factory standalone release of William Castle’s Strait-Jacket to come out first, alongside a separate copy of Castle’s The Tingler.
It’s a busy week for TV content. Nobable box sets include the first season of AMC’s The Terror, the third season of NBC’s Blindspot, the third (final) season of Starz’s Ash vs. Evil Dead, the fourth season of Fox’s Gotham, the fifth season of Cinemax’s Strike Back, the eight season of The Walking Dead, and a complete series collection of Showtime’s Masters of Sex (delayed from earlier this month). Those should keep you busy for a while!
Because I take my job as an eminent taste-maker very seriously, I am currently hard at work reviewing Color of Night, which is just as deliriously awful as I remembered. Too bad the Blu-ray’s not much of an improvement over the old Mill Creek disc.
I’m also scheduled to review Wild at Heart, which I’ll compare against the Twilight Time copy.
I plan to purchase the Deadpool 2 SteelBook. Heaven Can Wait will go on my wish list for a Criterion sale. I’ll probably wait for the Jack Ryan UHDs to get broken out so I can pick up just the first three. If I can find the time, I’ll also try to rent First Reformed at some point.
How much $@%!#& will you buy this week?