Some weeks, deciding which new Blu-rays to prioritize feels like an impossible task. This week, however, the choice looks pretty clear.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Six installments in, the M:I series keeps getting bigger and more successful. That’s a pretty remarkable achievement for an action franchise that has kept the same star over a 22-year run. In a first for the franchise, this one is positioned as a direct follow-up to the last entry and even carries over the same director. The movie was widely praised for the quality of its action set-pieces and stunt work, and seems to have left most fans satisfied and eager for yet another sequel. On disc, Best Buy has SteelBooks for both Blu-ray and Ultra HD. Sadly, even though a 3D version of the movie played theatrically, Paramount isn’t bothering with that format on home video.
The Happytime Murders – This really should have been great. Brian Henson, son of the legendary Jim Henson and a key player in keeping the Muppets franchise alive for the past couple decades, parodies his father’s work with a raunchy, R-rated comedy about a foul-mouthed detective investigating a string of murders in a world where puppets co-exist with humans. It looks sort of like a Muppet version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit with a South Park level of sex jokes and other obscenities. Melissa McCarthy is the primary human star. How could this go wrong? Well, apparently, it did. The movie received terrible reviews complaining about stale, lazy jokes, and was a box office bomb. It will probably end up being the only venture from the adult-oriented Henson Alternatives banner.
The Nun – As if the Catholic Church didn’t have enough else to apologize for, Taissa Farmiga stars as a young nun terrorized by spooky things in a haunted convent. If I have it right, this is another spinoff from the cinematic universe of The Conjuring and Annabelle, telling the origin story of an evil nun character from The Conjuring 2. Horror fans ate it up to the series’ best box office returns yet.
Operation Finale – American Pie and The Twilight Saga: New Moon director Chris Weitz makes a play for awards attention with a historical thriller about a team of Israeli spies (led by Oscar Isaac) hunting for notorious Nazi mastermind Adolph Eichmann (Ben Kingsley). The reaction from both critics and audiences was mixed.
Support the Girls – Regina Hall just became the first black woman to win a Best Actress award from the New York Film Critics Circle (how sad that it took this long) for playing the manager of a Hooters-style chain restaurant in a workplace dramedy from indie filmmaker Andrew Bujalski (Funny Ha Ha, Computer Chess). Hopefully that recognition plus other acclaim for Hall’s performance will bring a little attention to a movie that, while seemingly well-liked, flew under the radar this year.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post – Chloë Moretz is one of those actresses (much like Saoirse Ronan) who’s been in the spotlight for so long that I often forget how young she still is. When I see her playing a teenager in a new high school drama, my immediate reaction is that she should have outgrown these types of roles a long time ago, until I look up the details and realize that she’s actually just 21-years-old and is perfectly in the casting range for something like this. In the film, she plays a gay teen whose strict, religious parents ship her off to gay conversion therapy, where, needless to say, she isn’t treated too well. The movie won a major prize at Sundance, but didn’t get much of a release outside the festival circuit. I’m not 100% certain that it’s really coming out on Blu-ray this week, as the Amazon listing has no cover art or other details and a second listing for a “Special Edition” is dated for March 12th, 2019.
In addition to the standalone editions of Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Paramount also boxes up the entire series into a 6-Movie Collection on Ultra HD.
Meanwhile, The Nun prays for her own success on UHD.
Can you feel the love tonight? Just as the first trailer for the live-action remake gets the internet abuzz, Disney upgrades its animated classic The Lion King to 4k HDR, with a SteelBook at Best Buy and a different exclusive at Target.
Best Buy has another SteelBook for the second season of HBO’s Westworld.
Did you already buy a 4k copy of Superman: The Movie when it was released last month? If only you’ held out, you could have gotten one packaged with a Funko Pop! bobblehead, should that appeal to you at all.
If you’re not yet equipped for 4k, Paramount’s Mission: Impossible – 6-Movie Collection gets a regular Blu-ray counterpart too, but be warned that it only contains the very old, unremastered discs for the first three films with lossy audio and a really crappy video transfer on M:I-2.
Was that massive Ingmar Bergman box set from Criterion a couple weeks ago just too much for you to spring for? Arrow Academy has separate rights to the Swedish master’s depressing 1977 drama about alcoholism and suidice, The Serpent’s Egg.
Is Kino’s release of The Puppet Masters intended as a sly tie-in with The Happytime Murders, or am I reading too much into that synchronicity? The 1994 sci-fi flick doesn’t actually have anything to do with puppets, but rather is a body-snatchers tale loosely adapted from a story by Robert Heinlein.
Also from Kino is the 1982 cult documentary The Atomic Cafe, which compiles clips from 1940s and 1950s “Duck and Cover” propaganda films about the nuclear arms race.
Do people really like Pop Art SteelBooks? They must, or Best Buy wouldn’t keep stocking them. Newly desecrated this week are Baby Driver and Spider-Man: Homecoming, plus a double feature SteelBook of the two Jumanji movies that lazily recycles the poster art for the second one.
Now available for bingeing are the respective first seasons of the Paramount Network’s Yellowstone and Netflix’s animated Castlevania, the second season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and a Doctor Who collection of episodes from 1982 featuring the Fifth Doctor, played by Peter Davison.
I have all the other Mission: Impossible movies in SteelBooks and am not about to miss Fallout. A part of me is debating whether to buy the basic Blu-ray SteelBook (for consistency) and then also purchase the 6-movie UHD box set as well.
I’m also curious enough to watch Happytime Murders when it eventually hits cable, but I’m not going to pay for it.
What’s your shopping mission this week?
I remember THE ATOMIC CAFE being a great, darkly funny documentary, but it’s been decades. I’ll see if I can rent it.
‘The Lion King’ is also the very first Disney Classic on 4K! Cool, a format-first. How much improvement can the 4K resolution bring? (My naïveté would assume hand-drawn animation has certain limitations in 4K)
Well, The Lion King isn’t entirely hand drawn. First of all the drawings and backgrounds were scanned and composed on computers, using CAPS. CGI was also used in the movie (most notably in the wildebeest stampede).
I think it’ll look stunning in 4K, and I intend to buy it, even if I don’t have a 4K TV (or player) yet.
True, the CGI stampede, that I did know. But was that natively rendered in 4K? Or did Disney re-render it?
Even if parts of the movie were animated with CGI, they were printed out to a film negative afterward for integration with the traditional animation. My expectation would be that Disney may have rescanned the film negative for this release, but I doubt they’ve re-rendered any CGI.
That said, Disney made a bunch of changes to the movie (crocodiles, waterfall, etc.) for the IMAX release and the Blu-ray, so I guess I shouldn’t rule anything out.
I’m super bummed that Mission Impossible Fallout is not getting a 3d release, but I’m extremely excited to see it. I’m just going for the standard packaging 4k for this one. I’m wanting to pick up The Nun, but only have enough for one this week. I gotta start my Christmas shopping. I’ll rent Happytime Murders.
I did not buy the Mission Impossible UHD films earlier this year just in case Paramount decided to do another box set with Fallout. I’m glad I waited. I also pre-ordered The Lion King Steelbook from Best Buy. Happytime Murders is a rental.
Yellowstone is listed as Unavailable at Amazon.
Finland still has a listing (and picture) of M:I – FALLOUT 3D blu ray. So there may be hope.
Just Westworld in Mission Impossible 6 for me, both on UHD. I’m half tempted to get Lion King but I don’t really collect animation. That was certainly a great movie though.
Lion King 4K SteelBook, Mission Impossible 6-movie 4K collection (Amazon says delivers by Friday the 14th!), Westworld Season 2 4K. Interests/Wishlist: Handmaid’s Tale Season 2, The Nun 4K, Howard Lovecraft, Serpent’s Egg. And what is Corpse Prison #2, what was the first one. Lame or cool?
Not buying anything thos week, but a friend of mine is picking up Mission Impossible: Fallout and has invited a bunch of us over to watch it on his 65” 4K TV on Wednesday night. It was one of my most anticipated movies of 2018 and I missed it in theatres so I’m really looking forward to it.
Why are you not buying anything, if Mission: Impossible – Fallout was one of your most anticipated films of 2018? It seems like a no-brainer, that you would buy it.
Tbh, I’m broke at the moment lol. But beyond that, I plan on eventually picking up the 6-movie pack it’s included in since I don’t own all the M:I movies on Blu Ray yet, but I’ll wait for the inevitable price drop of course. I bet by next summer it’ll be around 30-40 bucks on Amazon….
I’ve gotten out of picking things up on release day and paying full price when I can pay almost half if I’m patient.
Ahhh… gotcha… I’ve been there. That makes more sense.
I caved and bought the Mission: Impossible 6-Movie UHD set late last night when the price was down to $69.64. It shot up to $90.52 today. Amazon notified me that my copy won’t ship until December 17th, but for that savings, I don’t mind.
If it didn’t ship yet, cancel and reorder:
“Ending tonight, B&N has the Mission Impossible 4K UHD 6-Film Collection for $60.47 shipped after coupon BEMERRY”
Amazon actually wound up shipping a little early and I received my copy last week.
2 weeks ago, like you I would feel great about paying that price. Today, I feel horrible for paying $9 bucks more. The ability to “future-proof” your purchase for 30/45/90 days depending on the retailer, with a price adjustment or rebuy & return with old receipt; I choose brick & mortar retailer over online.
NOTICE: Tyler Foster at DVDTalk has confirmed that the 6-movie Mission: Impossible UHD set is missing 3 Blu-ray discs of bonus features (from M:I-3, Ghost Protocol, and Rogue Nation) that are included with the standalone UHD copies as well as the older Blu-ray editions.
I assume that the 6-movie Blu-ray version has the same problem.
Doctor Who arrived yesterday.
Lion King is something I am debating about. I have the 3D Blu-Ray, and am debating if I want to double dip or not. I am sure it will look amazing, but I am not sure if the jump in quality will be enough to justify the costs of a double dip.
Mission Impossible is a possibility, but I haven’t seen any since the second one yet. They are in my queue. I don’t know, since I don’t really follow the series, it will probably be a rental for me
Doctor Who is always arriving yesterday—or tomorrow.