They say you can’t go home again, but Hollywood refuses to listen and keeps churning out sequels and knockoffs to once-successful movies. Some of those hit Blu-ray this week, along with far too many packaging variations for the new season of a hit HBO show.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle‘ – The 2014 James Bond riff ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ was really entertaining but had some problematic elements that left a sour taste in many viewers’ mouths. Matthew Vaughn returns to direct the follow-up, which reportedly doubles down on those issues. Though it made roughly the same amount of money, both critics and audiences were a lot less impressed with this one. Disc options include Blu-ray and Ultra HD, with hideous SteelBooks for both at Best Buy.
‘Home Again‘ – Reese Witherspoon has made a lot of bad rom-coms in her day. Here’s a new one, in which she plays a middle-aged woman who falls for a man half her age. The movie was written and directed by Hallie Meyers-Shyer, the daughter of rom-com power couple Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer (who between them are responsible for ‘The Parent Trap’, ‘What Women Want’, ‘It’s Complicated’ and more). Despite very closely following her parents’ rigid formula, no one had much interest in this.
‘Detroit‘ – Remember when Kathryn Bigelow was a B-movie director behind such cheese as ‘Blue Steel’ and ‘Point Break’? Now that she has an Oscar and is a figurehead for all women filmmakers, she apparently feels a responsibility to only make important Issue movies with a capital “I.” Her latest is a harrowing drama about the 1967 Detroit riots. Reviews were generally favorable but not quite as enthusiastic as those for ‘The Hurt Locker’ or ‘Zero Dark Thirty’.
‘All Saints‘ – John Corbett stars in a faith-based thing about a Christian pastor who teaches his congregation important lessons about trying not to be quite so racist after Burmese refugees have the audacity to move to their Tennessee town. See, white men really can make the world a better place! Aren’t white men just the best?
You can buy ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle‘ on Ultra HD either by itself or bundled with the first movie. Other 4k releases this week include Oscar winner ‘Moonlight‘ and the IMAX documentary ‘Mysteries of China‘.
The Criterion Collection brings us more Reese Witherspoon with Alexander Payne’s hilarious 1999 dark comedy ‘Election‘. The film was previously released on Blu-ray by Paramount in 2009. The Criterion copy features a new video master and new supplements.
The week’s other Criterion offerings are Barbet Schroeder’s landmark 1974 documentary ‘General Idi Amin Dada: A Self-Portrait‘ and a reissue of the 3-disc ‘The Complete Monterey Pop Festival‘ box set, which promises remastered video for all three features. A standalone copy of just 1968’s ‘Monterey Pop’ is also available.
Cohen Media digs up the 1983 travelogue romance ‘Heat and Dust‘ from director James Ivory (of the Merchant-Ivory team).
In addition to that ghastly SteelBook for ‘The Golden Circle’, Fox puts the original ‘Kingsman‘ in a matching ugly case (just Blu-ray this time, no UHD).
Arrow Video is quite busy this week. Broken out from their recent box set are the 1986 ghost story ‘House‘ and its sequel ‘House II: The Second Story‘. More horror schlock comes with the 1973 ‘Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood‘ and 1976 ‘The Premonition‘. The only Arrow title in this batch not on the horror theme is the 1972 crime comedy ‘Pulp‘, which reunites Michael Caine with his ‘Get Garter’ director Mike Hodges.
I don’t generally pay much attention to music titles, but the 1980 punk rock documentary ‘D.O.A.: A Right of Passage‘ (yes, the title misspells the word “rite,” which I guess is a punk thing to do) will make an interesting companion to the recent Criterion Blu-ray for ‘Sid & Nancy’.
‘Game of Thrones‘ fans are forced to choose between multiple versions of the show’s seventh season. Best Buy has not one but two SteelBooks (mostly the same design aside from a color difference), plus another exclusive with a slipcover. Target has an exclusive bonus disc, and Amazon adds in something called ‘Conquest & Rebellion’ which is described as an “animated history of Westeros.”
In case you don’t have Netflix, now you can catch up with the first season of Marvel’s ‘Luke Cage‘ on disc as well.
I’m working on a review for ‘Election’. ‘General Idi Amin Dada’ and ‘Pulp’ will go on my wish list. I can probably wait for the ‘Kingsman’ sequel to turn up on HBO.
Which discs get your vote this week?