You only have a few days left to get your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping lists in order. A healthy selection of new Blu-ray discs hit the street this week to vie for your attention. Assuming you’re not crazy rich enough to buy all of them, let’s see what we can prioritize.
Crazy Rich Asians – Who would have guessed that the director of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and G.I. Joe: Retaliation had such range, especially coming off the back-to-back flops of Jem and the Holograms and Now You See Me 2? Based on a bestselling novel by author Kevin Kwan, the jet-setting rom-com set in the glitzy world of the wealthy Asian elite (see title) hit at precisely the right time when audiences were demanding more diversity and representation in their cinema entertainment. By most reports, it’s also a pretty good movie in itself. (My wife liked it better than the book.) The film was a substantial sleeper hit and a sequel is in development now. [Update: Turns out there’s an Ultra HD edition of this that I missed when I first wrote the post and created the poll.]
Kin – A poor Detroit teenager (Myles Truitt) stumbles across a big-ass alien laser rifle and uses it to get his older brother out of trouble with gangsters. Although our Deirdre liked the movie, most critics didn’t and it was a box office bust. Nevertheless, Best Buy has SteelBooks for both UHD and standard Blu-ray.
Blindspotting – Broadway star and rapper Daveed Diggs co-wrote and stars in an indie drama about an ex-con barely out of the joint who witnesses a white cop shooting a black man in the back. This forces him to choose between his desire to keep a low profile and his need to speak out. The film was hotly buzzed at Sundance and scored numerous rave reviews.
Skate Kitchen – Crystal Moselle, director of the documentary The Wolfpack, branches out into fiction with a tale about teenage skater girls. Cast mainly with non-professional actors, most reviews praised the movie for its depiction of an interesting subculture, even if the acting and some of the drama were called into question.
Little Italy – Overflowing with more cultural stereotypes and clichés than a Big Fat Greek Wedding movie, Hayden Christensen and Emma Roberts star in a lame Romeo & Juliet rom-com about the forbidden romance of two wacky Italian-American kids whose families own warring pizzerias. No surprise, the Canadian production is going direct-to-video.
Either we had the date wrong or the release was delayed, but that Criterion edition of Some Like It Hot I mentioned last week is actually coming out this Tuesday, alongside the monstrous 39-film Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema box set. Interested fans should be sure to grab them before the Barnes & Noble sale ends on December 3rd.
The Warner Archive reissue of Cabaret was pushed back a few times. As I write this, it’s currently on track for this week.
Twilight Time has just three new limited editions this month. Charlton Heston made his directorial debut with the 1972 historical epic Antony and Cleopatra. The 1973 Oklahoma Crude stars George C. Scott and Faye Dunaway as wildcat oil drillers during the early 1900s. Robert Wagner plays the famous outlaw in Nicholas Ray’s 1957 Western The True Story of Jesse James. (Note that an announced release of John Ford’s The Iron Horse was removed from Twilight Time’s release calendar and appears to have been canceled.)
An early ’90s gem that unfortunately fell through the cracks, John Dahl’s noirish thriller The Last Seduction features a sizzling performance from Linda Fiorentino that was hotly tipped for an Oscar nomination at the time, but ultimately proved ineligible because the film aired on HBO before its theatrical release. The movie’s distribution rights have bounced around a bit over the years. It hits Blu-ray from Scorpion Releasing.
Shout! Factory repackages Streets of Fire and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey into SteelBooks, while giving new Collector’s Editions to the 1954 musical bio-pic The Glenn Miller Story and Leos Carax’s surreal Holy Motors.
Don’t say his name three times, or Candyman will terrorize you in a new Collector’s Edition from Scream Factory. Also from the label are Urban Legend and its sequel Urban Legends: Final Cut.
Severin shows us All the Colors of the Dark with a 4k restoration of Sergio Martino’s 1972 giallo thriller. That’s paired with a standalone release called All the Colors of Giallo that compiles three discs of trailers and featurettes about the genre. Both titles will apparently only open for sale on Black Friday on the Severin Films web site. Until then, they’re not even listed on the site. A general retail release will follow at some point in the future.
Sony gives us Blu-rays for Richard Lester’s Robin Hood tale Robin and Marian (starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn), the Brat Pack Western Young Guns II, and (also with Emilio Estevez) the cheeseball time-travel flick Freejack. For some reason, Amazon lists all these with a November 20th release date but claims they’re unavailable for order. It’s possible they may wind up getting bumped to another date.
MVD adds the 1988 Michael J. Fox drug drama Bright Lights, Big City to its Rewind Collection.
The sixth and final season of Longmire rides out of the Warner Archive, while Kino revists the second season of the classic The Outer Limits.
Some Like It Hot goes back on my priority list. I also have my eye on The Last Seduction and Robin and Marian. Meanwhile, Crazy Rich Asians and Blindspotting seem like rental candidates.
Will you buy any new Blu-rays this week, or is all your money going to other Black Friday purchases?