Don’t get your hopes up for too many exciting new Blu-ray releases. It’s a holiday week – moreover, it’s the biggest holiday week of the year – and the studios have only let trickle out a handful of titles to be able to say that they’re still working and haven’t already checked out on vacation. Still, we have a few things to look at.
‘The Trip to Italy‘ – Stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, along with director Michael Winterbottom, continue their wacky shenanigans in this follow-up to the 2010 comedy ‘The Trip’. Much like that, this is a condensed feature version edited down from a six-episode season of their British TV series, in which Steve and Rob (playing slightly fictionalized versions of themselves) travel somewhere ostensibly to review restaurants and spend most of their time bickering with each other, as charmingly and wittily as possible. That doesn’t sound like too bad a way to waste a couple hours.
‘Pride‘ – The latest British “kitchen sink” comedy in which working-class heroes address a Very Important Social Issue (gay rights, in this case) and show how triumphant their human spirit can get. The Brits crank out dozens of these a year, and I’ll be damned if I can tell any of them apart anymore.
‘The Good Lie‘ – The first, and apparently lesser, of this year’s two Reese Witherspoon shameless Oscar bids finds the perky blonde rescuing Sudanese refugees. You go girl!
The busiest distributor this week is Olive Films, which has a quartet of nearly forgotten film noirs (‘Appointment with Danger‘, ‘Dark City‘, ‘Union Station‘ and ‘Rope of Sand‘) as well as a trio of lesser efforts from director Otto Preminger (‘Hurry Sundown‘, ‘Skidoo‘ and ‘Such Good Friends‘). I saw a 16mm print of ‘Such Good Friends’ years ago, back when the movie was unavailable on any home video format and was very nearly a lost film. I don’t recall it being great, but it was interesting enough that I’d watch it again sometime.
Our two TV box sets for the week offer the third season of the Canadian time-travel drama ‘Continuum‘ and the first season of Syfy’s angel-apocalypse cheesefest ‘Dominion‘.
Like most of you, I expect that I’ll sit this week out. ‘The Trip to Italy’ is probably worth a rent. Some of the Olive Film titles are fairly interesting, but unfortunately I don’t typically have a lot of faith in Olive’s quality standards.