Hey everyone, get excited. That record-breaking big hit movie that everybody loved comes out on Blu-ray next week! This week though… Ehhhhhhhh…
New Releases (Blu-ray)
‘Fifty Shades Freed‘ – It’s the third entry in the franchise and allegedly the last, in which lovebirds and S&M aficionados Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele get married. I actually sat through the first of these out of morbid curiosity and it was pretty much exactly what I expected. I suppose I could dump all over this one if I felt up to it, but honestly, why even bother? I can accept that I’m not the audience for these movies. Those who are will already know what they’re in for. Despite being down a little from the second movie (which itself grossed less than the first), the finale still made over $370 million at the box office, which was a huge profit from its $55 million budget. Whether watching ironically or not, a whole lot of people went all-in on this franchise. I hope they get whatever form of enjoyment from it they desire.
‘Batman Ninja‘ – The latest DC animated feature sends Batman and most of his friends and foes back in time to feudal Japan to become ninjas and samurai – because sure, why not? As far as I can tell, Warner Bros. isn’t bothering to offer this one in Ultra HD even though the last few animated DC movies were. However, you can get it in SteelBook packaging.
I’m not sure whether 4k will really bring out any additional detail in the soft-focus lovemaking scenes, but ‘Fifty Shades Freed‘ debuts in Ultra HD anyway.
The UHD edition of Paul Thomas Anderson’s acclaimed ‘Phantom Thread‘ arrives a month later than the standard Blu-ray for unclear reasons.
I’m a little uncertain how I feel about the prospect of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Saving Private Ryan‘ getting a shiny new High Dynamic Range makeover. Originally, the film’s prints (not the negative, but the theatrical prints themselves) were subjected to Bleach Bypass processing, which deliberately produces a washed-out, faded appearance with desaturated colors for stylistic effect – basically, the exact opposite of HDR. This will have to be handled very carefully.
Also making the leap (a quantum leap, you might say) to 4k is Duncan Jones’ 2011 sci-fi thriller ‘Source Code‘. I’m less concerned about this disc. If the technicians at Lionsgate screw up the transfer, they can just do it again… and again… and again… and again…
Coinciding with the standalone release of the third film, Universal also, inevitably, makes a ‘Fifty Shades Collection‘ box set available.
The Warner Archive goes ‘Gun Crazy‘ for the 1950 noir classic.
Criterion’s sole title this week is another noir thiller, 1948’s ‘Moonrise‘.
Along the same lines as Lionsgate’s Vestron Collector’s Series, the MVD Rewind Collection celebrates VHS cult staples, such as the campy 1989 horror sequel ‘The Return of Swamp Thing‘.
The only notable TV release this week is the first season of the USA Network’s crime drama ‘The Sinner‘, starring Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman.
The only disc I’d be inclined to buy this week is ‘Gun Crazy’, though I’d also take a look at ‘Moonrise’.
I’m not enough of a schlock or sleeze enthusiast to comment on titles like ‘Puppet Master: The Legacy’, ‘The Creeps’, ‘Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals’, ‘Caged Fury’ or ‘Violence in a Women’s Prison’. If those stand out to you, tell me what I’m missing.