Pacific Rim: Uprising

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of June 17th, 2018 – Gee, the Traffic Is Terrific

What happens when you make a sequel to a movie that was only marginally successful or well-liked the first time around, and strip away the few features that made it at all interesting? We find out in this week’s new Blu-ray releases!

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (6/19/18)?

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New Releases

Pacific Rim: Uprising‘ – The original ‘Pacific Rim’ was a frustratingly dumb, largely pointless movie. But with Guillermo del Toro behind the camera, it was at least very stylish and imaginative on a visual level, and Idris Elba helped sell the dopiest aspects of the plot. If not saved by a big turnout in China, the movie would have been a box office flop. Because it did wind up making money, a sequel had to follow. However, it didn’t make quite enough money to justify paying del Toro or Elba to return, nor star Charlie Hunnam (who probably won’t be much missed). Instead, we get TV producer Steven S. DeKnight (Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’) in the director’s chair with John Boyega (fair enough) and Scott Eastwood (ehhh…) in front of the cameras, and reportedly a significant reduction in the robot vs. kaiju punching action that fans would naturally expect to see. Unsurprisingly, it tanked. Nevertheless, Universal is making a full-court press on home video, with Blu-ray, 4k Ultra HD, and 3D options, a combo pack at Best Buy that puts all three of those formats in the same package, or a SteelBook at Target (Blu-ray only).

Midnight Sun‘ – If Clint Eastwood’s son can have a movie career despite a crippling lack of screen charisma, why not Arnold Schwarzenegger’s? In his first starring role, Patrick Schwarzenegger plays the love interest to a young girl (Bella Thorne) who won’t let her life-threatening allergy to sunlight keep them apart. (That sure sounds like basically the same plot as last year’s ‘Everything, Everything‘, doesn’t it?) Critics scoffed, but the low-budget YA romance captured the hearts of enough of its target audience to turn a comfortable profit.

Unsane‘ – Steven Soderbergh’s second feature since canceling his retirement is a very modest psychological thriller starring Claire Foy as a troubled woman whose mental health is not much improved by a stay at a mental institution. Is she really nuts, or are the doctors trying to drive her mad on purpose? Reviews were mixed and the box office was negligible, but it cost next to nothing to make. The whole movie was shot on an iPhone, because that’s the sort of weird experiment Soderbergh needs to get out of his system from time to time. (See also: ‘Bubble‘.) I’m not sure how well that will translate to 4k HDR, but Universal invites you to find out on UHD.

Catalog Titles

More relevant than ever with every new school shooting that continues to happen on American soil with distressing frequency, Michael Moore’s Oscar-winning activist documentary ‘Bowling for Columbine‘ gets inducted into the Criterion Collection. Remembering the volume of hate mail I received when I reviewed the movie on DVD back in the day, I expect our alt-Right readers to blow a gasket about this.

Criterion’s other release this week, the 1983 Spanish magical realist drama ‘El Sur‘, should be less politically divisive, one would hope.

Twilight Time is in a musical mood this month with Rita Hayworth and Victor Mature in ‘My Gal Sal‘ (1942), Janet Leigh and Jack Lemon in ‘My Sister Eileen‘ (1955), or Marilyn Monroe and Yves Montand in ‘Let’s Make Love‘ (1960). As far as I know, the 1970 romantic comedy ‘Take a Girl Like You‘ is not a musical, but it does feature former child star Hayley Mills in one of her first grown-up roles.

The Warner Archive spends ‘Two Weeks in Another Town‘ with the 1962 Vincente Minnelli thriller starring Kirk Douglas.

Searching for another Alfred Hitchcock movie to release on Blu-ray, Kino finds one ‘Under Capricorn‘. The 1949 film may be one of Hitchcock’s lesser efforts, but Ingrid Bergman can liven up almost anything.

Beware the ‘Night of the Lepus‘! The schlocky 1972 monster bunny horror flick hops onto Blu-ray courtesy of Scream Factory.


The third and final season of ‘Dark Matter‘ limps onto home video now that Syfy has canceled the show. (I struggled to get through one episode, personally.)

BBC brags that the ‘Doctor Who: Tom Baker – Season One‘ collection (episodes from 1975-76) have been “specially restored for Blu-ray.” Temper your expectations. The show was still shot on low-def video with a production budget of about $0.75 an episode. There’s only so good that fetching scarf can look when upconverted to HD.

My $.02

I’m working on a review of ‘Bowling for Columbine’ and bracing myself for the inevitable reaction that will receive.

I’ll probably watch ‘Unsane’ if I come across it on cable or Netflix, but it’s not a high priority for me.

That’s all I’ve got. How’s the week look to you?


  1. Csm101

    I’ll be picking up The Pacific Rim sequel 3d/4k combo from Best Buy. I’m also wanting to check out Unsane.

  2. Chris B

    I’ll probably rent Unsane in the next few weeks. Soderbergh is one of my favorite American directors and Clair Foy is great.

    A lot of people did indeed flip when Bowling for Columbine was announced for bluray few months back. Regardless of someone stands on the politics, it’s sort of inaccurate to refer to it as a documentary since it’s actually an opinion piece. Moore is great at what he does, but he creates propaganda, plain and simple.

    • Josh Zyber

      The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences settled this question when they awarded the film the Best Documentary Oscar. There’s no reason a documentary can’t also be an opinion piece.

      • Chris B

        It skews the facts though, it presents a distorted view of reality to the viewer. A documentary is supposed to be a factual document of the truth. It’s possible for someone to present their opinion while at the same time maintaing their integrity with regards to the truth. Moore just blows right past the into the territory of being knowingly deceptive.

        I don’t begrudge anyone for likibg to movie, or for having strong political views, I just don’t accept people talking about it like Moore is presenting the truth because he’s not.

          • Chris B

            I get that. He’s openly Liberal and left-wing. There’s a difference though between having a personal bias, and then presenting information in a misleading way to allow the viewer to come to a fradulent conclusion. It’s a fancy way of lying to the audience.

          • Josh Zyber

            Almost all of those accusations were debunked. The film was vetted by teams of lawyers before release. The “moorelies” people (the most vocal detractors at the time) used their own deceptive and fraudulent tactics to misrepresent what is actually said in the film. If the movie were really so filled with lies and slander, you’d think Moore would have been sued into oblivion by the NRA and a thousand other right-wing groups. Yet not even a single suit like that has stood up to any scrutiny.

            I don’t think Bowling for Columbine is a perfect movie by any means. I have issues with it and with Michael Moore, which I will cover in my review when I finish it. However, the perception that it’s overflowing with lies and faked facts is pure BS spread by a well-funded smear campaign.

            Have you even seen the movie, and if so how long ago? The film isn’t even anti-gun or anti-NRA, ultimately. It does not say that gun control laws are the answer. Moore doesn’t have any answers in the end, just a profound sadness that our country has reached a state where mass-murdering children is a common occurrence that nobody in power (Left or Right) has made any real effort to understand or to stop.

          • Chris B

            I’ve seen the movie several times. Right when it was released and a few more times in subsequent years.

            I’m not saying the film is full of fake facts, but it IS edited extremely deceptively.

            I’d argue the movie is in fact anti-NRA, Moore spends a large portion of the film demonizing them and/or trying to link them to the Ku Klux Klan.

            I’m not a hard-core Liberal or Conservative, it’s just as I’ve gotten older it’s become more and more apparrent how misleading the movie is. I’ll stop arguing my point and wait for your forthcoming review.

            And of course we agree on your last point, the fact that these types of events continue to occur is tragic and needs to be dealt with asap.

          • William Henley

            I must say I understand what Chris is saying. I don’t remember if I ever saw this particular film, but I have seen a few of his films. I think deceptive is the wrong term, though – as Josh says, he is upfront about his bias, but still, his movies are edited in such a way that is is kind of stretching it to refer to them as documentaries. However, Moore is pretty well known, and I believe most people know what they are getting when they watch one of his films.

            Moore could almost be a genera unto his own, unless you want to throw him in with propoganda. I don’t like calling his films “documentaries”, but if that is what the Academy wants to do, then whatever. No one really pays any attention to the Academy anymore anyways, and as I said, people pretty much know who Moore is, so I say let them classify his films however they want – documentaries, fantasy / fiction, non-fiction, drama, I honestly don’t care.

          • Haha, William, you’re confusing ‘genre’ for ‘genera’ 🙂

            (unless I’m mistaken. I wouldn’t like to get caught correcting a native speaker).

          • William Henley

            For what it’s worth, Julian, spelling has never been my strong point. 🙂 And I always struggled with Latin based words. And I often joke that most people who learn English as a second language often speak it better than native speakers do. 🙂

            “Let’s take all Latin languages, Celtic languages, Anglo languages, and northern European languages, throw in some Greek and maybe a bit of Hebrew, throw them into a blender and see what we get!” Answer: “English!” Question: “And what set of rules should we use for this language?” Answer: “Let’s make up our own!” And then the Brits change their English

  3. ‘Bowling for Columbine’ left a great impression on me when I saw it in the theater at age 18. I even had plans for a follow-up on recreational drug use in Belgium called ‘Blowing for Columbine’.

  4. William Henley

    The only ones I preordered were Doctor Who and Paul an Apostle of Christ (for some reason, it didn’t register my vote for Paul – weird). I am looking forward to revisiting both of these.

    I did not realize that Dragon Ball Super was out yet in the West – I will have to check that out. Really, this is part 4? Where have I been?

    Pacific Rim is a rental for me – I LIKED the first one and own it, but I don’t feel this movie warrented a sequel, so I have low hopes for it.

  5. Lord Bowler

    I’ll be picking up Pacific Rim: Uprising. I loved the original, but missed this one in theater.

    I’ll also be picking up the excellent SyFy show Dark Matter: Season 3! I would have loved to see where they would have gone in season four, if they hadn’t been canceled.

  6. Deaditelord

    I’m tempted just to blind buy it to show my support for 4k/3D releases, but I’ll probably rent Pacific Rim: Uprising first given the mediocre reviews. Nothing else interests me this week which is just as well since next week is going to be expensive

  7. DaMac80

    I got Doctor Who mostly to support the idea of season sets for a normal price. I never got into the DVDs because of the insane prices. Hopefully this sells enough they do more seasons.

    • William Henley

      I watched the first episode last night, and was blown away at how good it looks. Yeah, you can tell its an upconvert (you cannot read the text on the phonebox in some of the wider shots)but there were several scenes where I was like “was this a film scan?” Actually, I think all exterior scenes of Doctor Who were shot on film, but I would be surprised if the BBC went through the trouble to do new scan of those. Still, it looks impressive – I want more of these!

      • DaMac80

        Well that’s exciting. I’ll try and watch Robot tonight. You’ve got me more enthused than I was about the visuals.

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