One exception aside, this week’s new selection of Blu-rays is decidedly less than fantastic. Your mission, which will certainly not be impossible, is to sort through the duds and find what may be the last major disc release of the year.
‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation‘ – When all else fails in his career, Tom Cruise can always rely on the ‘M:I’ franchise to perform dependably. Our theatrical reviewer Phil wasn’t a big fan of this fifth entry, but he seems to be in a minority. The film was generally well received by critics and fans. Its box office receipts were also about on par with the franchise-high ‘Ghost Protocol’. The Blu-ray has a Dolby Atmos soundtrack, and Best Buy offers an exclusive SteelBook edition.
‘Fantastic Four‘ – Also known as ‘Fant4stic’. (Yeah, really.) On the other end of the spectrum, it’s about time for Fox to stick a pin in its weakest superhero series and let the rights revert back to Marvel. After two really bad movies starring Jessica Alba and Michael Chiklis, the studio rebooted the whole thing with a younger cast and somehow made it even worse. This project was clearly doomed from early on. The film was plagued by production troubles, and the “dark and gritty” tone of the trailers turned off fans of the characters. By the time Fox dumped it in theaters, everybody knew it would be a bomb. Sure enough, it tanked.
‘Ted 2‘ – Lightning did not strike twice for Seth MacFarlane. The sequel to his surprise blockbuster about a foul-mouthed teddy bear fizzled out upon release. I think the problem is that the first movie played the joke out about as far as it could go, and the trailers for this one just looked like more of the same.
‘The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials‘ – The first of these Young Adult, dystopian future ‘Hunger Games’ knockoffs was produced for a low budget and did well enough for the studio to churn out a sequel just one year later. The follow-up cost twice as much to make and grossed less at the box office, but was still solidly profitable. I have no doubt that a third will come along shortly to complete the epic trilogy, because everything has to be an epic trilogy these days.
To appease the contingent of collectors who despised Criterion’s brief foray into dual-format releases that bundled Blu-rays with DVDs in the same package, Criterion is reissuing Michael Mann’s 1982 heist caper ‘Thief‘ this week as a single-disc edition with just the Blu-ray. Meanwhile, new to the Collection is the 1983 documentary ‘Burroughs: The Movie‘, about author William S. Burroughs. This should make an interesting pairing with ‘Naked Lunch‘.
In the mood for some ’70s cheese? Shout! Factory takes the B-movie classic ‘The Car‘ for a spin in high definition.
With the assistance of acclaimed film restoration expert Robert A. Harris, Synapse attempts to put one of the most controversial and yet influential movies ever made, Leni Riefenstahl’s infamous Nazi propaganda documentary ‘Triumph of the Will‘, into its proper historical context.
TV offerings are pretty sparse this week. All we get are the second season of CBS’s dopey ‘Extant‘ and the first season of Netflix’s ‘Marco Polo‘.
I preordered the ‘Rogue Nation’ SteelBook and expect to receive that soon. Strictly for its historical value, I might consider buying ‘Triumph of the Will’, but that’s the sort of movie I’d have a really hard time justifying if a friend or family member ever spotted it on my shelf.
Beyond that, there’s not much to see this week. What interests you?