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!
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.
‘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.)
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.
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‘.
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?