Isle of Dogs

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of July 15th, 2018 – I Love Dogs

One of the few movies I saw (and loved) at the theater this year comes out on Blu-ray this week. Though I have no doubt it will be an excellent disc in all technical respects, I’m left torn about whether to buy it now or wait for the inevitable Criterion edition.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (7/17/18)?

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New Releases (Blu-ray)

Isle of Dogs‘ – Wes Anderson returns to stop-motion animation with a fanciful tale about a dystopian future in which all dogs are exiled from Japan and abandoned on a nearby island. Anderson’s fan base, especially anyone who enjoyed his ‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’, should find this utterly charming and delightful. The Blu-ray looks a little light on bonus features, no doubt because Anderson is holding back content for a Criterion Collection release in a couple years. In the meantime, Fox offers a collectible gift set with some adorable action figures. I’d say that doesn’t really look to be worth $100, but the figures have been selling for multiples of that on eBay.

Rampage‘ – Dwayne Johnson, playing a primatologist who of course also happens to be a Special Forces badass, fights to save Chicago from an invasion of super-sized animals created by a genetic experiment gone wrong. Loosely based on an old video game, the movie offered enough VFX destruction-porn spectacle to be a solid box office hit this spring. Disc offerings include standard Blu-ray, 3D, or UHD, with a Best Buy SteelBook for the latter.

I Feel Pretty‘ – Amy Schumer is still struggling to recapture the magic of her breakout hit ‘Trainwreck’. Her subsequent star vehicles haven’t exactly flopped, but also haven’t been nearly as successful with either audiences or critics. This time, Schumer plays a woman with body image insecurities, who gets conked on the head and suddenly develops extreme self-confidence, believing herself to be exceptionally beautiful and sexy. That premise might have some relevant things to say about society’s preconceptions about beauty, but the head trauma-induced personality change is a very lame old comedy trope and reviews were mixed-to-negative.

You Were Never Really Here‘ – An unexpected sensation at the Cannes Film Festival, the new thriller from Lynn Ramsay (‘We Need to Talk About Kevin‘) stars Joaquin Phoenix as a vigilante who rescues human trafficking victims and dishes out brutal vengeance to their captors. The plot description sounds a little rote, but critics described the film as masterfully crafted and almost unbearably intense.

Super Troopers 2‘ – Having failed to ever produce anything nearly as popular, the Broken Lizard comedy troupe returns to its first hit with a decade-too-late sequel that looks to simply rehash all the old jokes.

Truth or Dare‘ – No, not the Madonna concert film. In a Blumhouse horror cheapie, a group of idiot teens play an extreme version of the title party game to deadly results. The naysaying of critics couldn’t stop this from making money.

Traffik‘ – Paula Patton and Omar Epps are terrorized by evil bikers who apparently can’t spell.


Rampage‘ is the only day-and-date title to smash its way onto Ultra HD.

From the catalog vaults, Paramount gives a 4k upgrade to the 2014 ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles‘, Sony exhumes Sam Raimi’s goofy 1995 Western ‘The Quick and the Dead‘, and Lionsgate finally follows through on that overpriced “EndoArm” gift set for ‘Terminator 2‘ that it promised months ago.

Catalog Titles

Steven Soderbergh’s debut feature ‘Sex, Lies, and Videotape‘ was instrumental in kicking off the 1990s indie boom. The film now joins several of the director’s later works as part of the Criterion Collection.

Coming out of the Warner Archive this week is John Huston’s quirky 1972 Western ‘The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean‘, starring Paul Newman. Screenwriter John Milius reportedly hated what Huston did with his script.

Three years after their Oscar-winning ‘The Apartment’, director Billy Wilder reunited with stars Jack Lemmon and Shirly MacLaine for the romantic comedy ‘Irma la Douce‘, adapted from a French stage musical but without any of the songs. The Blu-ray comes from Kino.

Twilight Time’s latest limited editions put a spotlight on stars Jane Russell in ‘The Revolt of Mamie Stover‘ (1956), Omar Sharif in ‘Genghis Khan‘ (1965), James Caan in ‘Cinderella Liberty‘ (1973), and Chow Yun-fat in ‘The Children of Huang Shi‘ (2008).


Syfy may have canceled the excellent sci-fi drama ‘The Expanse‘, but Amazon rescued it and will produce new seasons soon. While waiting for that, the Blu-ray version of Season 3 should offer far better picture quality than Syfy’s broadcast, plus uncensored swearing.

My $.02

Every Wes Anderson movie winds up in the Criterion Collection eventually. The more I think about it, the more likely I’ll wait for that ‘Isle of Dogs’ double-dip. For now, I’ll try to pick up ‘Sex, Lies, and Videotape’ in the Barnes & Noble Criterion sale. ‘You Were Never Really Here’ sounds worth a rental.

What will you prioritize this week?

A Programming Note

I’ll be traveling with my family this week, and as such will probably not have much time to prepare blog content for a few days or to moderate comments. Please try to behave yourselves until I get back. Thanks!


  1. Bolo

    I definitely wasn’t expecting ‘The Quick & The Dead’ to ever get a 4K release, but I’m so glad it did! I never got around to buying the bluray, so it’s an easy choice to buy the 4K release. That movie is such a ton of fun! So many colourful characters in there, and Hackman gets some great screen-chewing villain moments.

    Sony is making some really offbeat choices in terms of the titles they’re bringing to 4K. I never would’ve thought they’d put ‘Christine’ out on 4K either, but I’ll be buying that in the autumn, too. It almost makes me feel it’s reasonable to hope they put out the 90’s version of ‘Little Women’, which they only ever released on that burn-on-demand format.

    • C.C.

      Also – we actually owe Sharon Stone for bringing Russell Crowe to Hollywood.
      She fought for getting him in the movie after loving Romper Stomper.
      It’s a fun movie. Hackman, DiCaprio, Lance Henrickson, Keith David, Gary Sinese, Pat Hingle, Kevin Conway, Woody Strode, Tobin Bell…. HUGE cast!

  2. Chris B

    Nothing I need to buy this week but I’ll probably rent Isle of Dogs. It took me a while to warm up to Anderson’s style but I loved MK and GBH. Hopefully this one doesn’t dissapoint.

  3. Deaditelord

    Might rent Rampage and Super Troopers 2 at some point, but nothing this week screams “must buy”. Enjoy your vacation Josh!

  4. Csm101

    Rampage 3d. I’m very excited to finally be able to watch in 3d. The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail is a fun little Giallo. Isle of Dogs and You Were Never Really Here are titles of interest. The Quick and the Dead from Sony should be a real nice upgrade.

  5. James

    Wes Anderson is my all time #1 Director That I Want To Like But Can’t. In my never ending quest, I streamed Isle of Dogs, paid the purchase price to get it early and everything.

    Same birdie finger to the rules against over-symmetry. same insufferable preciousness, and his formula of … I know not what … expressing emotions in a dry, subversive, too-cool-for-school way that is nevertheless calculated to … not exactly pull my heartstrings, but … thump them? Maybe? I don’t know what the hell he’s doing, but the tone is empty as hell to me. He conveys zero gravitas.

    I want to like him because he seems good-hearted, creative, and capable of staring into the void while keeping his chin up. I especially wanted to love this one because it’s so influenced by Japanese movies. But I’m so exhausted with the Wes Anderson aftertaste.

    • Bolo

      I liked ‘Rushmore’ and remember liking ‘Bottle Rottle’, although I don’t remember much about the latter movie itself. After that, he lost me for the reasons you describe. I stuck around for a few more outings, hoping he would reign himself back in and put his stylistic touches to a purpose beyond themselves, but I gave up on watching his films.

      He’s sustained his career far longer and more successfully than most other 90’s quirky indie filmmakers, and somebody at Criterion obviously thinks he’s a genius, so he must be doing something right. But I can’t even make through a trailer for one of his films without wanting vomit.

    • C.C.

      Well, to be fair – like all directors- not all of his films are the same.
      I love Bottle Rocket, and think Grand Budapest Hotel is a modern Classic – but most of the others fall somehwre in between. I actually can’t stand Rushmore, or Tennenbaums.
      So he has a typical great to bad curve like any other director.

    • Whoa, they are in season 3 now? I couldn’t get past episode 3, but many people have said that the first 4-6 episodes were garbage, then it got good, so I might go back and pick the series up. I just can’t believe 3 is already out on disc, it seems as if season 1 just aired last year

  6. photogdave

    It’s going to be a long wait for the Isle of Dogs Criterion if Grand Budapest still hasn’t come out!

  7. I never knew there was a movie about Judge Roy Bean – I always thought he was just locally famous here. I may have to check that out.

    The endoarm is cool, but I got T2 on 4K and 3D months ago, and the arm is really overpriced. It is cool, but that is WAY too much to pay for movie swag. I would be in for about $90 max, and that was if I could see it first to know what the quality was like.

    In the end, no buys this week (which is fine as I am about to leave for Europe and need to save money), but I will keep an eye out to see if Judge Roy Bean is available for streaming somewhere.

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