It’s time to say goodbye to Katniss and her friends as the finale of their blockbuster franchise comes to Blu-ray this week. After that, geek out and get your freak on with an exciting TV box set.
‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2‘ – In retrospect, splitting Suzanne Collins’ final book in the dystopian future series into two movies may not have been the wisest decision. During its theatrical release, many critics and viewers complained that the story felt needlessly extended and eventually just fizzled out. The last movie also had the lowest box office gross of the four. Still, the completist collector urge is strong with this one. I doubt that anyone who owns the first three movies on Blu-ray will be able to resist buying this one too. I know that the “H” section of my movie shelf won’t feel complete until I add the Best Buy exclusive SteelBook.
‘Daddy’s Home‘ – Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg made a great comedy team in ‘The Other Guys’. From most accounts, their reunion project, about a divorced dad vying for his children’s affections against their much cooler stepdad, isn’t half as funny. Too bad Ferrell’s frequent collaborator Adam McKay was too busy directing a big-time Oscar nominee to help him out again.
Taiwanese filmmaker Edward Yang made long but engrossing movies. His period piece drama ‘A Brighter Summer Day‘ clocks in at just under four hours. (‘Yi Yi‘, which is already part of the Criterion Collection, ran nearly three.) These are the sort of films you need to set aside a good chunk of time to invest in.
In addition to that, Criterion is also reissuing Charlie Chaplin’s ‘City Lights‘ and Yasujiro Ozu’s ‘Tokyo Story‘. Both were previously released as Dual-Format (Blu-ray + DVD) editions but have now dropped the DVDs.
The latest title to get dug out of the Warner Archive is Neil Jordan’s historical bio-pic ‘Michael Collins‘. It’s not Jordan’s best movie, but has some merits that the director’s fans should appreciate.
Arrow Video worships at the altar of Pam Grier with the Blaxploitation classic ‘Black Mama, White Mama‘.
Among Olive Films’ latest eclectic mix of titles are Roger Corman’s LSD freak-out ‘The Trip‘, David Gordon Green’s Southern-fried thriller ‘Undertow‘, and the mostly-forgotten ‘A Christmas Story’ sequel ‘My Summer Story‘ (a.k.a. ‘It Runs in the Family’).
Before he became a powerhouse movie producer, Judd Apatow struggled to keep his critically-beloved high school dramedy ‘Freaks and Geeks‘ on TV for a single season. Even though it only ran 18 episodes, the show launched the careers of a lot of big talents, including James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel. Shout! Factory has gone all-out with the Blu-ray collection, remastering every episode twice – once in their original pillarboxed 4:3 aspect ratio for the purist geeks and again in widescreen 16:9 for the screen-filler freaks.
The first season of AMC’s zombie spinoff ‘Fear the Walking Dead‘ didn’t come anywhere close to living up to its potential, but got renewed for a second season anyway. As we hope that the show gets better, now’s as good a time as any to catch up with the first batch of episodes in case you missed them.
Lionsgate almost didn’t bother releasing the eighth season of the family classic ‘Little House on the Prairie‘ on Blu-ray until disgruntled fans raised a stink about it. The show still has one season left. Although I’m not personally invested in this series, my fingers are crossed for its fans that the studio will do the right thing and see this through.
Also available is a collection of the fifth and sixth seasons of the dopey Canadian fantasy series ‘Lost Girl‘.
I have ‘Freaks and Geeks’ on DVD but definitely need to upgrade when funds are available. I’ve also preordered the SteelBook for the latest ‘Hunger Games’ and will put ‘Michael Collins’ on my wish list for some later day.
How about you?