The world teeters on the edge of apocalypse. A conspiracy of sinister forces has ascended to power, putting the lives of most of the planet’s population in grave peril. Also, coincidentally, the new ‘Da Vinci Code’ sequel comes out on Blu-ray this week. Interesting timing.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
‘Inferno‘ – ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was a terrible movie. I sometimes feel like I’m still trapped in the theater waiting for it to end. The sequel, ‘Angels & Demons’, was even worse, I’m told. (I’ll never see it.) Now Tom Hanks returns for a third go-round as author Dan Brown’s puzzle-solving action hero, Robert Langdon. Could this be the good one? Fool me once and all that… The movie was a big flop in domestic theaters, where audiences decided that they’ve had enough of this series. However, it did pretty well internationally, enough to turn a tidy profit. Co-star Felicity Jones had a little better luck with another movie later in the year.
‘The Light Between Oceans‘ – Michael Fassbender and his real-life flame Alicia Vikander star in an adaptation of the bestselling weepie romance about a lighthouse keeper who discovers an abandoned baby in a rowboat and raises it as his own. To be clear, Vikander plays his wife, not the child. The movie received mixed reviews and didn’t do much business, but has some passionate defenders. With ‘Blue Valentine’ director Derek Cianfrance at the helm, I’m inclined to believe this must be better than the Nicholas Sparks claptrap the trailers made it look like.
‘USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage‘ – The true story of the USS Indianapolis, an American warship that was sunk during WWII and left hundreds of its crew stranded in shark-infested waters, is the type of harrowing survival tale that could easily inspire a rousing and inspirational movie. From all accounts, this is not that movie. Director Mario Van Peebles (when’s the last time you gave him any thought?) somehow scraped together $40 million for it, yet the results look like a sub-par TV movie. Nicolas Cage stars, which is also not a good sign. The film played theatrically in the Philippines but went straight to iTunes and Amazon streaming here, with many user reviews comparing it to the type of cheapie that The Asylum regularly cranks out for the Syfy network. Honestly, I’m not sure why Lionsgate would even bother with a Blu-ray release.
The only movie to get a 4k edition this week is ‘Inferno‘. Best Buy has an exclusive SteelBook, if that makes it any more appealing for you.
Perhaps as a commentary on these racially divided times, the Criterion Collection offers ‘Black Girl‘, an acclaimed 1966 African film about a poor villager from Senegal who travels to France to work for a rich couple, only to face harsh treatment and discrimination from white society.
Criterion released Nicolas Roeg’s sci-fi mind-bender ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth‘ on Blu-ray back in 2009. The film’s rights have now reverted to Studio Canal, whose titles are distributed in North America by Lionsgate. The new Limited Collector’s Edition was no doubt prompted by star David Bowie’s death last year. The disc features a new 4k remaster and a different assortment of extras.
Audrey Hepburn received her fifth Oscar nomination for playing a blind woman terrorized in her own home by very bad men in the classic thriller ‘Wait Until Dark‘ – now available through the Warner Archive.
Arrow Video has a thing for 1980s slasher movies. The label’s latest is ‘Blood Rage‘.
The only notable TV release is the fourth season of BBC’s ‘Sherlock‘, which continues to disgruntle fans with its ongoing slide in quality.
I’m working on a review for the new edition of ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth’. Other than that, the only title I’m excited for is ‘Wait Until Dark’.
Do you have a burning desire to buy anything this week?