Blu-ray Highlights: Week of August 26th, 2018 – You’re It

Weeks like this are exhausting. I spent hours cleaning up our site’s Blu-ray disc listings for the huge volume of releases this week, and then putting together the poll and writing summaries of notable titles for this post, and at the end of it, honestly, I don’t see much I’d personally want to spend money on. Do you?

No fewer than 75 new discs will hit the market this week, and yet there’s not a single 4k Ultra HD on the list.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (8/28/18)?

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New Releases

Tag – Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Hannibal Buress, Jake Johnson, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones and, oddly, Jeremy Renner (who’s not exactly known for his comedic chops) come together for a zany comedy about a group of friends since childhood who continue to play a never-ending game of Tag well into adulthood. Supposedly based on a true story. Renner claims that he broke both of his arms early in production and the arms you see in some scenes are CGI. Reviews were mixed-to-positive and the movie made decent money, but I bet most people have already forgotten it even existed. Wait a few weeks and I’m sure it’ll turn up on HBO.

Upgrade – Leigh Whannell, creator of the Insidious franchise and co-creator of Saw, directs a sci-fi revenge thriller about a guy (Logan Marshall-Green) who’s paralyzed during a mugging and agrees to become half-cyborg in order to exact vengeance on those who hurt him and killed his wife. That plan is complicated when he discovers that he doesn’t have total control over his own body anymore. This is a low-budget flick that didn’t get much of a theatrical release, but most of those who saw it (including our Deirdre) considered it a fun B-movie.

American Animals – Evan Peters and Blake Jenner lead a small group of friends who believe they can pull off the perfect heist to steal a valuable collection of rare books because they’ve watched Ocean’s Eleven and other movies of its ilk a bunch of times and figure it’d be a lot of fun to act one out in real life. This half-assed plan does not go well for them. That’s a nifty premise, and the movie was hotly buzzed at Sundance earlier this year, but like most Sundance hits it couldn’t find much of an audience in later release.

Book Club – Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen are women of a certain age who somehow find reading Fifty Shades of Grey to be a life-affirming experience and take its lessons about self-actualization to heart. Amazingly, this was not directed by Nancy Meyers.

Mary Shelley – Elle Fanning plays the Frankenstein author in a bio-pic replete with opulent costumes and period detail. Sadly, buzz from the festival circuit was largely negative, with many reviews comparing it to a poorly-researched book report.

RBG – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is given a loving hagiography that traces her journey from humble attorney to pop culture icon. The film was produced by CNN and will air on the network next week if you’d rather watch it for free.

Catalog Titles

Universal is extremely busy cranking out horror franchises this week. Nearly a year after releasing the entire Chucky series in a big box set, the label breaks out standalone editions of Child’s Play 2, Child’s Play 3, Bride of Chucky, and Seed of Chucky. Next are reissues of Psycho II, Psycho III, and Psycho IV, all reclaimed from Scream Factory.

If you’re a completist for the studio’s Classic Monsters movies, you can now round out your collection with Legacy box sets for The Invisible Man and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. A separate copy of Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man is also available on its own. Or you can just buy them all in one shot with a massive Universal Classic Monsters: Complete 30-Film Collection set.

Scream Factory delivers a cheesier form of horror with 1994’s Brainscan, starring Edward Furlong.

Now part of the Criterion Collection is the 1968 Cuban drama Memories of Underdevelopment.

Just hearing the title, I expected The Naked and the Dead to be something very different than a war movie. The WWII drama directed by Raoul Walsh makes its way out of the Warner Archive this week.

Despite a handful of Oscar nominations in its day, Tucker: The Man and His Dream remains one of Francis Ford Coppola’s most underrated movies. Lionsgate brings it to Blu-ray.

Revisiting the lesbian crime thriller Bound now that its creators have transitioned from brothers to sisters may throw the film’s gender dynamics into a whole new perspective. The Wachowskis’ first feature is the latest addition to the Olive Signature line.

Kino has an interesting pairing this week of heartland farming dramas starring Jessica Lange. The actress received an Oscar nomination for 1984’s Country, and was apparently so convincing in the role that Congress actually called her to testify about farm foreclosures. Much less acclaimed, unfortunately, was 1997’s A Thousand Acres, a contemporary reworking of Shakespeare’s King Lear that critics did not care for one bit.

Also from Kino is Straight to Hell, Alex Cox’s 1987 Spaghetti Western spoof starring a cast of musicians (including Joe Strummer, Elvis Costello, and members of The Pogues and the Circle Jerks) goofing around when a planned concert tour of Nicaragua fell through. The movie was viewed as a massive disappointment coming after the successes of Repo Man and Sid & Nancy, and is largely considered the beginning of Cox’s steep career decline, but has a small cult audience who might appreciate it. Note that the Blu-ray only includes the 2010 Director’s Cut that made significant changes to the film.


Fox’s Lucifer and ABC’s Once Upon a Time end their runs with their third and seventh seasons, respectively.

Meanwhile, The Flash is still running, though the fourth season is incredibly messy and frustrating.

My $.02

The only discs I’d consider buying this week are Tucker: The Man and His Dream and Bound, and even those I’m comfortable letting sit on my wish list for a while until they come down in price. I might also do a streaming rental for Upgrade.

I’m sure the Universal Classic Monsters discs are all quality products (and the 30-Film set is actually quite a value at the current asking price of $150), but I already have all the movies from that franchise I’m likely to ever rewatch.

Maybe I’m being too pessimistic. Are you more excited for some of this week’s releases?


  1. Csm101

    My most anticipated release this week will be The Creature From the Black Lagoon Legacy set. I’m giddily looking forward to watching Revenge of the Creature in 3d. I’ll probably pick up Child’s Play 3 sometime in the future. Upgrade might make a fun rental. Same goes for Tag. I also plan on getting The Invisible Man Legacy set in the near future.

  2. Bolo

    This week will be the biggest haul for me until October.

    The final ‘Zatoichi’ movie being released on its own like this is weird. I’m surprised Criterion weren’t able to negotiate the rights away from MediaBlasters, considering all they seem interested in releasing these days is hentai. But I’m really looking forward to getting this, hopefully MediaBlasters did a good with the presentation, the Criterion set had very good AV.

    ‘Angel Cop’ will be a blind buy. I doubt it will live up to its notoriety, but it should be worthwhile nonetheless. Looking forward to watching it this weekend.

    I’ll get this edition of ‘Bound’ even though the reviews of this disc call it a disappointing upgrade. I’ve wanted this film for a while and suspect this will be the last time it’s released on physical media and probably the best presentation.

    And I’ll probably grab ‘Bride of Chucky’. It’s the only Chucky movie I ever really liked, so I couldn’t justify buying that box set just to get one fun campy movie. But on its own, it’ll be worth the bargain bin price.

  3. Chris B

    I’d like to pick up Bound, too bad it’s an Olive release which are crazy expensive up here. Maybe I’ll grab it during a sale one day. I tend to like the Wachowskis more than most, i dig how they swing for the fences even if it always doesn’t work out in their favor.

  4. Lord Bowler

    I’ll be renting:
    Mary Shelley
    Tucker: The Man and His Dream
    The Naked and the Dead

    I’ll probably buy the Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man.

  5. DaMac80

    There’s also a Kino release of “Blast,” an early 90’s schlock Die Hard ripoff. Sadly I collect such things, so it just mailed from Amazon. I also ordered The Invisible Man and Black Lagoon collections. I doubt the sequels are movies I need to own (I was thoroughly bored for the Mummy and Dracula sequels, Frankenstein ones are a bit better) but the collections are cheap and I never owned the originals, so it works out.

    I had Bound pre-ordered but screencaps show it’s not much of an upgrade, and may in fact may look more processed. The Arrow UK release will do me fine. I would probably blind-buy “Upgrade” since it’s very up my alley, but it’s Blu-ray only and I feel like a 4k re-release might happen, so I’ll wait.

  6. Deaditelord

    Isn’t Bound a limited release? I thought I heard something about having a limited number of copies. If so, I do plan on buying it this week. I’m also somewhat curious about Devilman as I just recently watched the new series (maybe a remake?) on Netflix earlier this year, but I’ll wait for it to show up for streaming somewhere before deciding on it. Angel Cop is also a wait until it is on sale purchase.

  7. It has been a crazy couple of weeks, I can’t believe it is already Thursday and I am just now reading this.

    I had two that I nearly jumped on, until I realized I was misreading the titles. I am like “Oh is that the Wonder Woman television series? It has to be, the movie just came out a few months ago its too early for a reissue.” And, no, Wonder WOMEN.

    I did the same thing – “5 movies from the Golden Age Era? Oh cool, what is in it!” I almost clicked on the link until I saw it didn’t say Era, but said Erotica. Considering I am on the seminary’s WiFi right now, that would not have been good.

    So its a week of nothing for me.

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