It looks like July burned off the last of its fireworks already. The month ends without much excitement on Blu-ray. Notable titles include one of the most critically divisive films of the year and the cheeseball directorial debut that a future A-List filmmaker would prefer to forget.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Tully – Charlize Theron dresses-down and reportedly put on 50 pounds of weight to play a stressed-out mother who hires a nanny (Mackenzie Davis from Halt and Catch Fire) to alleviate some of her childcare burden. The film reunites Theron with the Juno and Young Adult crew of director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody. Although reviews were generally favorable, a number of critics took the movie to task for Davis’ portrayal of a Manic Pixie Dream Nanny and a plot twist they found derivative and infuriating. Audiences, by and large, just ignored the whole thing.
Overboard – I’m not sure that anyone was really begging for a remake of the 1987 rom-com that has been a staple of cable TV syndication for the last three decades, but if it needed to happen, I suppose Anna Faris seems like a good choice to take over from Goldie Hawn. She and Latino superstar Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included, How to Be a Latin Lover) flip the original’s gender roles to make the man the wealthy amnesiac bimbo who gets tricked into believing he’s married to a blue collar scammer. Reviews were not very kind to the results and I don’t recall the movie being advertised at all in mainstream sources, but Derbez’s fan base turned out and drove the picture to a very profitable $90 million box office take from a $12 million budget.
None of the day-and-date titles this week offer Ultra HD editions. The only movies making their way to 4k are the atrocious G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and its better but still mediocre sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation, both from Paramount.
James Cameron is one of the most successful filmmakers alive, responsible for both the #1 and #2 highest-grossing movies of all time, one of which put a couple of Oscars on his shelf. But he started his career working on low-budget schlock for Roger Corman, and made his directorial debut with the goofy monster flick Piranha II: The Spawning (which has next to nothing to do with Joe Dante’s original Piranha despite officially being a sequel). Cameron of course later disowned the movie, but Scream Factory resurrects it with a new video master for a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray.
From evil fish, we move on to evil children with the 1960 British horror chiller Village of the Damned, now crawling out of the Warner Archive.
For reasons unknown, Kino has chosen to dig up a pair of long-forgotten Jim Belushi comedies (both from 1990), Mr. Destiny and Taking Care of Business. The guy continues to work steadily, so somebody must like him.
The first season of Starz’s excellent sci-fi mystery Counterpart and the fourth season of the animated Star Wars Rebels make their way from TV broadcast onto disc.
Even though I’m sure I’d probably get a laugh out of Piranha II, that doesn’t seem like a keeper to me. I have mild curiosity for Village of the Damned but not enough to purchase. I think I’m going to sit this week out. How about you?
Mr. Destiny was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I haven’t seen it in probably two decades and am interested to see how it holds up. It’s up for sale for a surprisingly reasonable price of 14 bucks on Amazon so I’ll probably grab it sooner rather than later.
The House of the Dead sounds cool. I’ve never heard of it but love anthology horror so it’ll definitely go on my wishlist.
Nothing else this week.
I saw Piranha II on video tape back when and have wanted to revisit it. Now I will!
Village of the Damned: kind of essential for SF fanatics but upgrading the DVD is not high priority.
Murdoch: my wife must have it.
I’m hoping they’re releasing all those Belushi titles as a build up for the release of The Principal 😀. There’s a few titles of mild interest including Piranha, but I’m sitting this week out.
Ask and you shall receive CSM as there is now a listing on Amazon for The Principal on in September. 😀
That’s awesome, maybe I should of wished for a million dollars instead😀! Now I’m wondering since it’s Sony, if I should hold out for a 4k, but I doubt I’ll have the patience!
I quite liked ‘Tully’. It goes against the common (and comforting) belief that you figure life out better with age, so I can see it rubbing people the wrong way. I wouldn’t buy it, but enjoyed it when I saw it at the cinema.
Any theories on why Jason Reitman hit it big with both ‘Juno’ and ‘Up in the Air’, and hasn’t been able to catch a break (or a hit) since then?
‘Babel II’ sounds like a sequel to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s movie.
I still enjoy “Up in the Air” but have you tried watching “Juno” recently? It hasn’t aged well at all. It’s one of the most obnoxious movies of the last decade or so. Maybe Reitman was just a flash in the pan or maybe he’s just going through a rough patch, too early to tell at this point.
I rewatched ‘Juno’ in 2016, and still liked it back then. Lovely soundtrack, too. But, who knows, I might dislike it nowadays.
I thought ‘Young Adult’ was really good, but it (intentionally) doesn’t provide the type of comforting message or easy answers that would make it a big mainstream hit these days. Same can be said for ‘Tully’.
The Star Blazers titles look interesting. Would love to see the\is world in current animation!
I only have the DVD but it’s wonderful. Very faithful to the original but adds enough new to make it fresh.
What’s with listing a porn movie?!! (Liquid A$$ets)
Can we expect listings for Ron Jeremy classics now?!!!
Vinegar Syndrome specializes in vintage sleaze and exploitation movies. You can buy that one on Amazon.
Star Wars Rebels is my only purchase this week… And while that show never quite reached the heights of Clone Wars, it was still pretty great. Both series felt more like Star Wars than any of the recent movies.
Only Village of the Damned takes over my mind…and my wallet.
By the way, congratulations on adopting italics for movie titles. I noticed that last week. I’m still awaiting the formal announcement, à la the spelling of 3D without the hyphen.
Meant to respond to this earlier. We’re changing to italics to coincide with the redesign of the main site. I personally never much liked putting movie titles between single-quotes and would have preferred to use italics from the start, but that was the prescribed style at the time I joined the site, and consistency is something I find very important. Having done it that way for 8+ years here in the blog, changing now is difficult for me, which is why I resisted it for a long time even after Blu-ray reviews on the main site changed a while back.
I’ll complete my collection with Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season Four.
I may pick up the following:
Village of the Damned (1960)
Piranha II: The Spawning (Collector’s Edition)
Taking Care of Business
I really liked Jim Belushi back in the day.
Piranha 2 is somewhat tempting for the Cameron history, and since I own the original, but I’m trying to resist (especially at $23). Other than that a big zero week, which is good considering August looks a little heavy.