Flatliners 2017

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of December 24th, 2017 – Falling Flat

Did everyone have a nice Christmas? Wedged between two holidays, the final week of the year is rarely too lively. We kick things off with a Blu-ray release list that barely has a pulse.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (12/26/17)?

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New Releases (Blu-ray)

Flatliners‘ – Joel Schumacher’s 1990 ‘Flatliners’ was a pretty stupid movie that did not need remaking. That never stopped Hollywood from trying, of course. Ellen Page and Diego Luna take over from Julia Roberts and Kiefer Sutherland as med students who repeatedly kill and revive each other to find out what really lies on the other side of death. The Netflix series ‘The OA’ already took this same general premise and did something halfway interesting with it. By all accounts, the movie remake brings back the stupidity in spades and is somehow even worse than the original.

The Mountain Between Us‘ – In the unexpected quickie sequel to the year’s earlier ‘The Space Between Us’, Idris Elba and Kate Winslet fall in love after surviving a plane crash on a mountain. How this ties in with the story of the kid from Mars in the first movie, I’m not sure. Whatever. The film was poorly reviewed and fizzled at the box office.

Brawl in Cell Block 99‘ – Following his stint on ‘True Detective’, Vince Vaughn seems committed to reinventing his screen image as a badass tough guy. In the prison drama from ‘Bone Tomahawk’ director S. Craig Zahler, Vaughn plays a small-time thug who winds up behind bars, and then gets blackmailed into doing very bad things in there. From the title, you can tell that some chaos might break out. A film festival hit, critics called the movie a brutal but entertaining homage to grindhouse exploitation fare.

Mayhem‘ – Former ‘Walking Dead’ star Steven Yeun headlines a DTV horror comedy about a man trapped in an office building under quarantine for a virus that turns its victims into uninhibited rage monsters. The premise sounds a little similar to 2016’s ‘The Belko Experiment’. Reviews seem to be favorable as far as this sort of thing goes.

UHD

The action classic ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day‘ has had a checkered history on Blu-ray, with no editions that are entirely satisfying. Unfortunately, that trend continues right into the Ultra HD realm. Our reviewer E. says that, despite coming from a new 4k master approved by James Cameron, the video suffers some distracting DNR issues and an eye-sore teal-and-orange recoloring. (Note that even though the new master was created for this year’s 3D conversion theatrical run, Lionsgate isn’t bothering to release the 3D version of the movie in North America. You’ll need to import that from overseas, but only if you’re able to play a Region B locked disc.)

Other 4k titles this week include ‘Brawl in Cell Block 99‘, ‘The Mountain Between Us‘ and ‘Mayhem‘.

Catalog Titles

MGM released Billy Wilder’s bittersweet 1960 Oscar winner ‘The Apartment‘ on Blu-ray in 2012 with a disc that was pretty good for the time. Arrow Academy has the rights now and tries to improve on that with a Limited Edition featuring a video remaster and lots of new supplements.

Cleaning its slate before the new year, Universal dumps a batch of middling comedies, including Chevy Chase in ‘Fletch Lives‘, Steve Martin in ‘Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid‘, and Tim Allen in ‘For Richer or Poorer‘.

Mixed in with these is Ron Howard’s 1994 journalism dramedy ‘The Paper‘, which I imagine is trying to piggyback off publicity for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming ‘The Post’. I saw this in the theater and found it to be one of the few Ron Howard movies I’ve ever genuinely liked. However, I haven’t seen it since, so I don’t know whether that opinion will hold.

My $.02

I imported the 3D edition of ‘Terminator 2’ when that was released a few weeks ago. I’m not equipped for 4k yet, so I don’t need the UHD.

It looks like Amazon may have already sold out of the Limited Edition for ‘The Apartment’, but I’m sure that the same disc will eventually be reissued in simpler packaging. I can wait for that.

Otherwise, I’m all set. Will anything this week get you to spend a little extra money before the year runs out?

14 comments

  1. Csm101

    Jeepers Creepers 3 for sure. I might get the 4k version of T2. I also imported the 3d version, but I’m still not region free. I was hoping to cheat my way on that version like I did with Valeryian 3d, but it didn’t work. No worries. Brawl in Cell Block 99 looks pretty interesting, still on the fence about blind buying it. I did really enjoy Bone Tomahawk. I might make it an Ahnuld twofer with Killing Gunther.

  2. NJScorpio

    (Slight Spoilers)

    ‘The Mountain Between Us’ should be remained ‘Dog is a Very, Very Good Boy’. The love story between the two main characters is far less interesting than the story of Dog.

  3. Barsoom Bob

    I just watched the 3D T2 yesterday. It was my best Christmas gift that the movie, and the mod kit for my Oppo, both arrived early enough. Getting access to 3D Valerian initiated my purchase of the mod kit and I am very happy I did ! The 3D on these two films is terrific.
    I found the image on T2 to be little to bright, fixable with minor adjustments, but the 3D was stunning, it was like watching it again for the first time. I’m waiting on a Blu copy of Children of Dune to arrive and just for these three films I’m very satisfied with my $60 investment in the mod kit. Hope everyone had a good Holiday too

  4. Deaditelord

    How the hell does Lionsgate keep screwing up their T2 releases? I would love to buy it (my only copy of T2 is on laserdisc), but the problematic transfers have led me to skip each release. Couple that with no 3D option being available and I’m left wondering if Lionsgate even cares enough to deliver a comprehensive release of T2 that isn’t complete shit.

    Rant aside, I’m planning on renting Brawl in Cell Block 99.

  5. Deaditelord

    Just because I’m interested enough in the 3D version of T2 to import it, does anyone know if the Oppo hardware mod Josh wrote about works with the UDP-203?

  6. Chris B

    The original Flatliners had a pretty far-fetched premise but that didn’t make it bad. It’s actually a lot of fun and maybe the only decent movie Schumacher ever made.

    • NJScorpio

      I was going to chime in with “what about this” and “what about that”…and I realize that while he gets a lot of flack for Batman & Robin, he’s done a few films that I would include quite a few films I really liked. These were ones that I was quick to grab during the first roll out of DVD’s as “must haves” from my early teen years. In particular ‘Lost Boys’, ‘Falling Down’, and ‘8mm’. I did really enjoy ‘Phone Booth’, and I think I recall liking ‘A Time To Kill’, ‘Number 23’ was a very cool departure for Jim Carey. It seems his filmography is more solid than I realized.

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