Searching for an exciting new Blu-ray release this week is something of a long shot. You might say that the latest slate is kind of ugly, unless you’re a fan of classic movies. Even so, the selection is thin.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
UglyDolls – Because the Trolls movie was a hit, here comes a copycat. Kelly Clarkson voices the leader of a band of misfit toys rejected from the factory assembly line. Cue incessant pop songs on the soundtrack. Reviews were terrible and the movie flopped. If nothing else, you’d think that its hyper-colorful CGI animation would at least make a good candidate for 4k HDR, but Universal apparently disagreed and isn’t bothering to release it on that format. A Target exclusive Digibook copy was announced (including images of the cover with an “Only at Target” sticker), but is not currently searchable on the store’s web site and may have been canceled.
Long Shot – In what’s intended to be an inversion of rom-com tropes about awkwardly nerdy girls who really just need a good makeover to win over a dreamboat man, Seth Rogen plays a schlubby speechwriter who finds himself romantically involved with his boss, a powerful and stunning politician way out of his league (Charlize Theron). The trailers didn’t do much for me, personally, but critics were mildly supportive and mostly gave it a pass.
Domino – Nope, it’s not a remake of Tony Scott’s 2005 action flick with Keira Knightley and Mickey Rourke. Still struggling for a career comeback that continues to elude him, Brian De Palma directs a terrorist thriller starring Game of Thrones castmates Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Carice van Houten. Nobody seemed to like it very much, and the movie essentially went straight to VOD with a negligible run in theaters.
The only Ultra HD title this week is a 4k upgrade for Edward Zwick’s Civil War epic Glory.
Fans who have complained that the Warner Archive only rarely addresses the studio’s output from the 1930s should be thrilled about the new restoration of the delightful William Powell/Myrna Loy mystery comedy The Thin Man. Be advised, however, that the film’s original elements were in pretty bad shape and some damage still remains in the video transfer. Nevertheless, it should be a huge improvement over prior video editions.
Coming back into print via the Warner Archive are reissues of A Streetcar Named Desire and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?.
Kino rediscovers the 1995 Merchant-Ivory production of Jefferson in Paris, starring Nick Nolte as the American statesman prior to his tenure as President. Although not well received and an unexpected flop following the back-to-back successes of Howards End and The Remains of the Day, the film was the first to address Jefferson’s relationship with his slave Sally Hemmings (Thandie Newton).
Scream Factory is quite busy this week with new Blu-ray editions of the 1943 Val Lewton/Jacques Tourneur collaboration The Leopard Man and a trio of Hammer Films titles: the sci-fi horror of 1957’s Quatermass II and 1967’s Quatermass and the Pit (both sequels to the previously released The Quatermass Xperiment), plus the undead horror of 1971’s Lust for a Vampire. Not done yet, Scream Factory also reissues Roger Corman’s 1980 cheesefest Humanoids from the Deep in a SteelBook.
It’s morphin’ time! Shout! Factory revs up a Blu-ray edition of 1997’s Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie.
This week is not the actual street date, but a web site called networkonair.com claims to have exclusive rights to a new restoration of all 45 episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus for the show’s 50th anniversary. Details are sparse. Even the price or actual release date haven’t been announced yet, but a preorder period is supposed to open on July 29th for people who sign up for a mailing list.
Other TV content this week includes the first season of Syfy’s Deadly Class and a Season 1 & 2 collection of Netflix’s BoJack Horseman.
Glory is a good movie but not one that I rewatch very often. I’m not sure how much I need it in 4k. I’m much more interested in The Thin Man and (because I never bought the original release) What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. I’ve also heard good things about Quatermass and the Pit but have never seen it.
Will you give anything a shot this week?