Black Panther

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of May 13th, 2018 – Sixty Percent of the Time, It Works Every Time

Here we go. It’s been nearly two months since a blockbuster movie people might actually be excited about hit Blu-ray. Of course, it’s another Marvel superhero flick, because that’s pretty much all anyone cares about anymore. Still, it’s one people really seemed to like!

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (5/15/18)?

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New Releases (Blu-ray)

Black Panther‘ – The past couple of years have really challenged the conventional Hollywood thinking about what types of action heroes mainstream audiences will pay to see on cinema screens. The first big-budget MCU entry fronted by a primarily black cast fulfilled a market need that studio executives previously underestimated, and was rewarded with overwhelming acclaim and success. Domestically, the film beat out ‘The Avengers’ to become the top-grossing comic book movie of all time (and isn’t too far behind internationally). In fact, it’s still in the box office Top 10 even as it hits home video. Disc options include a Digibook at Target or SteelBooks for both Blu-ray and Ultra HD at Best Buy. As has sadly become the norm for Disney, 3D is only available overseas.

Samson‘ – While everyone else wisely steps out of T’Challa’s way, the only challenger foolish enough to face off against him is the famed Biblican strongman. Of course, as a Pure Flix production, expect the low-budget historical epic to have embarrassingly amateurish acting, scripting, and production values.

UHD

Black Panther‘ roars onto Ultra HD simultaneously with the standard Blu-ray release.

Yippee-Ki-Yay! The action classic ‘Die Hard‘ has been in need of a video remaster for over a decade. Hopefully the UHD edition provides a good one.

Also upgraded to 4k are ‘Braveheart‘ and ‘Gladiator‘, two of the most undeserving Oscar winners of all time. (Go ahead, post your complaints in the Comments if you must.)

Catalog Titles

Coinciding with the 4k version is a 30th Anniversary Edition of ‘Die Hard‘. Be warned, the disc is just another repackage of the old Blu-ray from 2007 and does not offer the UHD’s remastered video or any new bonus features. The movie is also available at Best Buy in ugly Pop Art SteelBooks either individually or in a 5-Movie Collection with all of its sequels.

The SteelBook reissue for the WWII drama ‘The Longest Day‘ is fortunately not plauged with any Pop Art nonsense and has a fairly nice design. Again however, it’s just an old Blu-ray inside the case. In fact, this one is notorious for having one of the worst video transfers on the Blu-ray format. Don’t get conned into buying it.

More SteelBooks come from Shout! Factory, which now offers its Collector’s Edition copies of the cult classics ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure‘ and ‘The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension‘ in metal case form. (The discs for these are supposed to be pretty good.)

Scream Factory delivers triplets with a box set for all three movies in schlockmeister Larry Cohen’s ‘It’s Alive‘ trilogy of monster baby horror flicks.

Criterion journeys to ‘The Other Side of Hope‘ and finds the 2017 deadpan comedy from Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismäki.

Universal dons the Power Glove and boots up an NES for ‘The Wizard‘, a 96-minute Nintendo commercial masquerading as a coming-of-age drama starring Fred Savage. Rad!

Flicker Alley revisits the Cinerama travelogues ‘This Is Cinerama‘ and ‘Windjammer‘ for new Deluxe Editions featuring video restorations said to be improvements over the prior Blu-ray editions.

Television

Straight from TV, we have the third season of ‘Rick and Morthy‘ and the respective second seasons of MTV’s ‘The Shannara Chronicles‘ and the British crime drama ‘Unforgotten‘.

My $.02

I have the 3D SteelBook for ‘Black Panther’ on order from the UK, but that won’t be released for a few weeks.

In the meantime, this is actually a pretty big week for other titles. If I could scrape together enough money, I’d buy the ‘Bill & Ted’ and ‘Buckaroo Banzai’ SteelBooks, the ‘Die Hard’ UHD, and both Cinerama movies. That’s more than I can afford to get all at once right now, unfortunately.

What do you have your eye on this week?

19 comments

  1. Guy

    I’m intrigued by the notion of seeing Black Panther again because I simply did not care for it to the degree that many others did. I need that second viewing reassessment. Aside from the story/action itself, some of those CG backgrounds in Wakanda looked bad for significant stretches of minutes. Is this going to be a case where the higher fidelity of disc resolves an issue by selling the illusion or exacerbates it? I fear the latter for those waterfall scenes especially.

  2. Chris B

    I’m not here to champion Bravheart, but what would you have given the BP statue to in 1996 Josh? Sense and Sensibility? Babe? Apollo 13? It was kind of a weak year overall.

    • William Henley

      I would put Braveheart and Apollo 13 in the same league in terms of quality. Braveheart is a good movie, but not great, same with Apollo 13. I have Apollo 13 in 4k, had Braveheart preordered. But while I liked the movie, I don’t feel like its worth defending of Josh wants to rip it apart.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      I agree that the selection of Oscar nominees for that year were very weak. The Academy really dropped the ball.

      The best film of 1995 was Heat, which didn’t get a single nomination in any category. I find that unconscionable. IMO, Toy Story, Casino, and Nixon should have also been nominated for Best Picture. (Toy Story received a Special Achievement Oscar, but that’s not the same thing.)

      12 Monkeys and Se7en are not really “Oscar movies,” but were certainly far better than Braveheart.

      • Deaditelord

        Heat definitely got screwed out of a best picture nomination. I would have kicked out Babe, Sense and Sensibility, and Il Postino for Toy Story, Heat and Se7en. However, I can’t agree with Heat being the best film of 1995. I liked it, but I thought Se7en, Braveheart, and Apollo 13 were all better films. For me it’s a toss up between Se7en and Braveheart as to which one was my favorite of 1995.

        • Deaditelord

          I’m almost afraid to ask this since I think Josh might pick Mullholland Drive (which I HATED with a fiery passion), but what would you have substituted for Gladiator? Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Traffic, and Lord of the Rings were better and I would have kicked out Chocolat for Amelie, but overall 2001 was a rather weak year for movies too as I recall.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            The Oscars in 2001 were for movies released in 2000. Mulholland Drive, Fellowship of the Ring, and Amelie wouldn’t qualify because they were all 2001 releases.

            I would’ve gone with Crouching Tiger that year.

            Other favorites of mine from 2000 (in descending order): O Brother Where Art Thou?, Wonder Boys, High Fidelity, Traffic, Cast Away, and Almost Famous.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            For the record, I like Mulholland Drive but don’t consider it a masterpiece like its biggest fans do. (You’ll find that I was very critical of it in my Blu-ray review.) Amelie would have been my Best Picture pick for 2001.

          • Deaditelord

            Doh, I mixed up the years. I guess I need a little more caffeine this morning to get my brain going. 🙂

            Now that I’m thinking of the right year, I’d add Requiem for a Dream and Memento as films I enjoyed more than Gladiator, but I agree with you that Crouching Tiger should have won Best Picture.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Memento may be credited as a 2000 film on IMDb and Wikipedia, but it didn’t open in the U.S. until spring of 2001. It was nominated for two Oscars (Original Screenplay and Editing) in 2002.

          • Deaditelord

            I was not aware of that. After your comment about having the wrong year I pulled up the IMDB list again to look at the correct year and remembered liking both of them more than Gladiator.

          • William Henley

            I didn’t realize Cast Away was a Christmas 2000 movie – I saw it in February of 2001 in Prague (the only reason I can remember when I saw it, because I only saw 3 movies while living in Europe – Cast Away while visiting Prague, 13 Days in the Bath, UK, and Casablanca in Salzburg, Austria). I guess delayed international release was why I thought it was a new release when I saw it in February.

            2000 was a fun year for movies for me, and I was sometimes at the theater 2 or 3 times a week. However, few are Oscar material. From 2000, I would go with Best Picture being The Patriot or Coyote Ugly. Crouching Tiger was good, though. Gladiator I would not have even nominated.

  3. William Henley

    Expensive week for 4k fans. Braveheart for sure this week (and The Patriot next week – very similar theme wise, but I think that The Patriot is a far superior movie to Braveheart), with a strong possibility of Gladiator. I want to see Black Panther, but i am burned out on superhero movies. I finally started Captain America Civil War for the first time on Saturday. I only got a third of the way in when I fell asleep. I was all like “Meh! Its okay”.

    Die Hard I probably won’t double dip on it. I liked it well enough, but i think its overrated (I actually think the second movie was my favorite of them all, with the first being one of my least favorites) and just don’t see myself watching it enough times to justify a double dip. Here me out, I LIKE THIS MOVIE, I am not dogging it, but obviously most other people like it way better than I do. I got the set on Blu-Ray, I am good.

    The Wizard is an interesting movie – I loved this movie when I was a kid, but I haven’t seen it since – I am sure I would hate it now.

    I bought the season pass of Rick and Morty months ago, otherwise I would pick that up as well.

    I already have the collectors edition of Bill and Ted (the Rufus doll is sitting on my desk at the office), so no reason for a steelbook for me.

    I am on the fence for the Cinerama films. AFAIK, This is Cinerama is simply a compilation piece and I think I have the footage used in it on disc from other movies. Windjammer is a possibility, but the description is not making me jump on it (that said, based on the description of any Cinerama movie, I don’t think I would jump on it – they are eye candy movies, and a fascinating time capsule, but if you want an engaging story, you are going to be disappointed). A quick look makes it appear that there were a couple of older releases I missed, so I may pick up Holiday and Seven Wonders

  4. Deaditelord

    I missed out on Black Panther during its theatrical run because I was too busy with work, but I’m tempted to blind buy on UHD and then import the 3D version if I like it. Gladiator and Braveheart are definite pickups and I’ll likely buy Rick and Morty when it goes on sale. Die Hard I’m on the fence about. I’m not too worried about the transfer. However, I don’t want to buy the movie twice and I’m wondering if Fox will annoyingly lock the R rated version of Live Free or Die Hard behind a box set like they did when they finally released it on blu-ray. (Seriously, why can’t I buy this separately yet?) I’d rather wait a few months and buy the entire series in UHD than have to double dip.

  5. Csm101

    I should be getting in the mail sometime this week, Braveheart and Gladiator on uhd. It looks like Best Buy is going to be late again. I reserved the Steelbook for Black Panther on uhd and Die Hard on uhd at Best Buy as well. I will also be importing the 3d version of BlackPanther.

  6. I was really underwhelmed by ‘Black Panther’. I can’t fault its technical values, but the story left me unsatisfied and the last hour was just endless action. I have only seen a handful of MCU movies, so this may be a case of ‘I didn’t see the bigger (motion) picture’. ‘Creed’, also by Ryan Coogler, is the better movie.

  7. David Duprey

    I already pre-ordered the Black Panther (SteelBook), and will be picking up A Lady Takes a Chance. I’m a big John Wayne fan, and I’m upgrading my collection to Blu-Ray.

    I may pick up ‘K-9’ if I see it in the bargain bin. It was certainly the best of the K-9 series, and I like Jim Belushi.

    ‘Samson’ is on my rental list. It looked interesting from the trailers, but you never know with these films.

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