There are ways of telling which Blu-ray this week is the most promising. Logically, if the disc weighs the same as a duck, it’s made of wood. And therefore, it must be…
New Releases (Blu-Ray)
‘The Witch‘ – This period horror thriller about a Puritan family tormented by what they believe is a supernatural menace was one of the most buzzed-about movies from the January 2015 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Directing Award and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Nonetheless, the film didn’t secure a general theatrical release until more than a year later. When it finally arrived, it became a breakout hit and one of the best-reviewed pictures of the year so far. The trailers look incredible. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this for quite a while.
‘Dirty Grandpa‘ – Considering it from his perspective, Robert De Niro’s late-career shift into comedy makes perfect sense. Movies like this are easy paychecks for the actor. He doesn’t have to put a lot of thought or effort into them, and many of them have been inexplicably popular with audiences. Unfortunately, for the fans who know how much more he’s capable of, watching the once-great star of ‘Raging Bull’ and ‘Taxi Driver’ clown around as a horny and foul-mouthed senior who repeatedly humiliates his uptight grandson (Zac Efron) during a road trip is a truly painful experience. Given the scathing reviews and weak box office for this, one can hope that De Niro has finally hit rock bottom. Sadly, however, if ‘The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle’ didn’t already get him there, I’m not sure anything will.
‘A Perfect Day‘ – Benicio Del Toro and Tim Robbins play foreign aid workers in a mid-1990s Balkan war zone. While that subject matter may sound awfully heavy, the movie is played as a ‘M*A*S*H’-style satire of the bureaucratic red tape that makes such a job nearly impossible. Reviews were mixed.
Surely, if you didn’t buy the ‘Point Break‘ remake when it was released on Blu-ray back in March, you must have been waiting to experience its glorious teal-and-orange visuals in 4k HDR. That’s the only reason, right?
[Update: Sorry, looks like this has been pushed back to June 7th.]
The Warner Archive continues its love affair with Bogie and Bacall by releasing their third pairing (of only four) in Delmer Daves’ noir drama ‘Dark Passage‘. Currently, the only of the Bogart/Bacall collaborations not available on Blu-ray is the couple’s first, ‘To Have and Have Not’.
Criterion brings us the 1960 Japanese drama ‘The Naked Island‘, which chronicles the back-breaking struggles of a family who are the sole inhabitants of a tiny island in the Seto Inland Sea. The 96-minute film was shot in black-and white and completely without any spoken dialogue.
A prank phone call goes disastrously wrong in ‘I Saw What You Did‘, a 1965 chiller from gimmick master William Castle. The corny Joan Crawford vehicle arrives in high-def courtesy of Scream Factory.
If you don’t subscribe to Neflix but still want to binge on ‘Orange Is the New Black‘, the third season is now available on Blu-ray.
Aside from some anime that I know nothing about, the week’s only other TV release is the fourth (and final) season of PBS’ period drama ‘Mr. Selfridge‘.
I’m eager to rent ‘The Witch’. Meanwhile, ‘Dark Passage’ and ‘The Naked Island’ will go on my wish list for later purchase.
What’s your outlook for the week?