Blu-ray Highlights: Week of January 22nd, 2017 – Hell’s Bells

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.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (1/24/17)?

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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.

UHD

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.

Catalog Titles

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‘.

Television

The only notable TV release is the fourth season of BBC’s ‘Sherlock‘, which continues to disgruntle fans with its ongoing slide in quality.

My $.02

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?

21 comments

  1. William Henley

    Nothing for me this week, but a little tongue-in-cheek comment – I am going to counter Josh’s opening paragraph with saying that this would be an excellent week to rerelease The Patriot, God’s Not Dead, My Stepmother is an Alien, and this pass weekend was a perfect weekend to release The Founder on a large scale. 😉

    Of course, I am sure someone on the other side would say its a good week for Red Dawn or Olympus Has Fallen

  2. Chris B

    Nothin….not a goddamn thing. Then again, I’m finding less and less reasons to buy blu rays these days. Between the insane amount of stuff I own that I’ve never got around to watching, Netflix, Cable, the library and going to the theatre, I’ve started to question how practical it is to keep buying…I’m having a bit of a crisis of consumer faith so to speak.

    • Bolo

      They both involve a blind person being menaced in their home by criminals who are convinced the blind person has something valuable, but they’re not really alike.

      ‘Wait Until Dark’ is more of a con. The bad guys mostly use deceit theatrics to try and manipulate what they want out of Hepburn.

      ‘Don’t Breathe’ is more pure horror of the home invasion variety.

      They’re both good films though.

        • DarkMonk

          Which, by all rights, he SHOULD do! How this movie asks us to root for kids INVADING someone’s home illegally to STEAL from them is beyond me.

          • chris b

            DarkMonk, It doesn’t really ask the viewer to “root” for them, it just tells a story. Do you want movies to be made only about good people doing good things all the time?

  3. Csm101

    I’m interested in The Man Who Fell to Earth, Monster, Blood Rage, and Wait After Dark. I probably won’t get anything this week though. Maybe The Man Who Fell to Earth at a reasonable price.

  4. Lord Bowler

    I’ll be picking up ‘USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage’ starring Nicholas Cage. I have the NBC TV-Movie starring Stacy Keach about this ship that came out in the 90s. And, I love history.

    So, I’ll probably buy this as a blind buy. I wonder if this is based on the book “In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors” by Doug Stanton? Excellent book that was optioned for a movie years ago.

  5. Timcharger

    Josh: “The world teeters on the edge of apocalypse… Also, coincidentally, the new…”
    “Do you have a burning desire to buy anything this week?”

    (thumbs up emoji) Nice writing.

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