Blu-ray Highlights: Week of January 1st, 2017 – Raven Hair and Ruby Lips

Welcome to 2017. The fate of the world may be uncertain this year, but (at least for now) new movies keep getting released on Blu-ray. Perhaps not many this week, but you can’t expect much from early January.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (1/3/17)?

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New Releases

Blair Witch‘ – The original ‘Blair Witch Project’ was a box office sensation back in 1999, but (fairly or unfairly) is not remembered all that fondly by many people today. Its immediate cash-in sequel, the following year’s ‘Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2’, was considered a big dud yet still turned a fair profit (though much less than the first one). Nonetheless, it’s not terribly surprising that studio Lionsgate would eventually attempt to revive or reboot a horror franchise that still has some name recognition value. Directed by Adam Wingard of the cult hits ‘You’re Next‘ and ‘The Guest‘, the new movie is positioned as another sequel in which the brother one of the original protagonists visits the Burkittsville woods to investigate what happened to his sister, only to relive her experience. Our theatrical reviewer Phil was a big fan of this movie, but seems to have been in a minority of critics with that opinion. Because it was produced on a minuscule $5 million budget, the film’s $20 million box office gross was enough to put it in the black, but doesn’t hold a candle to the $250 million that the original made 17 years earlier.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life‘ – If your children have outgrown ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’, here’s a new attempted franchise starter pandering to the ‘tween set. Despite being based on a popular book series, the movie faltered with its target audience.

Denial‘ – Rachel Weisz stars in a true story bio-pic about Deborah Lipstadt, a historian who got entangled in a vicious courtroom battle against a notorious Holocaust denier. Mick Jackson, director of ‘The Bodyguard’ (yes, the Whitney Huston one), tries his hand at weightier subject matter. From all accounts, the result is a clumsy and overly self-important piece of failed Oscar bait.

Catalog Titles

After witnessing this week’s New Year’s Eve performance fiasco, perhaps you might be in the mood to revisit one of Mariah Carey’s previous disasters. Luckily for you, Mill Creek has licensed the rights to her infamous 2001 flop, ‘Glitter‘.

Other catalog titles this week are dominated by double-dip reissues. The most notable of these is a 20th Anniversary Edition for the Tom Cruise rom-com ‘Jerry Maguire‘, which is currently exclusive to the Best Buy chain. Director Cameron Crowe was closely involved with this disc’s production and has loaded it up with lots of new supplements, including almost an hour’s worth of deleted and extended scenes.

Hoping to hype its obviously doomed sequel, Universal has a new edition of the idiotic ‘Fifty Shades of Grey‘.


HBO’s ‘Girls‘ will start its final season next month, which should give fans enough time to rewatch Season 5 on Blu-ray.

My $.02

This isn’t a terribly exciting start for the new year, in my opinion. None of these titles do much for me. (I enjoyed ‘Jerry Maguire’ back when I saw it in the theater, but have never felt the need to own a copy.) My wallet is staying closed this week. How about yours?


  1. Csm101

    I’ll probably not get anything this week, but Blair Witch does interest me and when the price drops, maybe Jerry Maguire. The most interesting of all these titles for me is easily the post apocalyptic Road Warrior knock-off, Stryker.

  2. Chris B

    Isn’t the Al Pacino thriller “Sea of Love” out this week as well? I plan on picking it up in the near future. Other than that, not much else of interest.

  3. William Henley

    Nothing this week as far as movies goes. I just picked up a PS4 Pro a few days ago (my first current-gen console), and then spent another $200 on games, so I probably will have a heart attack when the credit card statement comes in.

    I am also working through my backlog. One of the main things I am doing is ripping my TV shows and putting them on my Plex server. This is really helping on watching across different devices, with helping me remember where I was in the series. It also lets me control the method of deinterlacing I want to use on interlaced material, and hunt down subtitles that may not have been on the original disc.

  4. Bolo

    I loved ‘You’re Next’ and quite enjoyed ‘The Guest’, but can’t muster any enthusiasm to see the same team tackle ‘The Blair Witch’. The original was a one-and-done film for me, I saw no potential for a series.

  5. photogdave

    The Last Flight of Noah’s Ark was a favourite of mine as a kid. Might be one of those cases where I’m better off with the memory…

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