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?