Cars 3

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of November 5th, 2017 – You Drive Me Crazy

With Pixar’s latest hit racing to video and parents everywhere bracing for the impact on their wallets, this could be a big sales week for Blu-ray. In the meantime, robot cowboys take over our television screens.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (11/7/17)?

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New Releases (Blu-ray)

Cars 3‘ – My sons have watched Pixar’s first ‘Cars’ movie about 175 times. To date, they don’t know about the existence of the wretched ‘Cars 2’, and I’ve been trying to keep it from them. By most accounts, the third one is a return to form – that form being “lesser Pixar but mostly tolerable for adults to sit through.” If I show it to them, I just hope my boys don’t notice that the series skips from 1 to 3. They’re getting good at math, so that’s a concern. Disc options include Blu-ray or Ultra HD, with a SteelBook at Best Buy or a Digibook at Target (both 1080p). None offer 3D, which you’ll need to import from abroad.

The Glass Castle‘ – Brie Larson makes another bid for Oscar glory with an awards-bait drama, based on a popular memoir, about a young woman who was the product of a very dysfunctional family. (Isn’t that the plot of most awards-bait dramas?) Neither critics nor audiences were much impressed with the adaptation.

Ingrid Goes West‘ – Aubrey Plaza had a pretty good year in 2017, between her scene-stealing supporting role in FX’s ‘Legion’ and this indie dramedy about a vapid social media obsessive who moves to L.A. to stalk her favorite Instagram “influencer” (Elizabeth Olsen). The film made a big splash at Sundance and received mainly positive reviews. It didn’t go very far in general release, but few Sundance sensations do anymore. I suspect that it’ll probably have some shelf life on disc and streaming.

Patti Cake$‘ – Another Sundance breakout follows a down-on-her-luck Jersey girl (Danielle Macdonald) with big dreams of being a hip-hop star. Phil described it as “Precious meets 8 Mile with a little Rocky,” which he admits sounds insufferable but says is a lot of fun anyway.

Your Name‘ – Even for as little as I follow the anime market anymore, I’ve heard a lot of buzz surrounding the 2016 Japanese box office smash about a high school boy and girl from opposite ends of the country who somehow swap bodies. The film was highly acclaimed for both its animation and emotional impact.

UHD

Cars 3‘ zooms onto Ultra HD as well as Blu-ray. If I’m not mistaken, I believe HBO’s ‘Westworld‘ marks the first full-season television series to be released on the format. (Someone please correct me if I’m wrong about that.)

Also making the upgrade to 4k are the first four ‘Harry Potter‘ movies (the last four were released back in March), and a box set bundling all eight together.

Best Buy has an exclusive release of Sony’s ‘A Few Good Men‘.

Catalog Titles

Criterion brings more classic screwball comedy into the collection with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn in ‘The Philadelphia Story‘.

In addition to the UHD upgrades, Warner Bros. is happy to use any excuse to repackage all the ‘Harry Potter’ movies, this time with the first ‘Fantastic Beasts’ tacked on, into a 9-film box set called ‘J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World‘.

Out of the Warner Archive comes Robert Mulligan’s nostalgic drama ‘Summer of ’42‘.

The Godfather Trilogy‘ was first released on Blu-ray back in 2008. Later, the discs were broken out to standalone releases of the individual movies. Now they’re back together again in a new set called the “Omerta Collection.” As far as I can tell, all the discs are the same as before, but some trivia cards and Magnetic Poetry have been thrown into the box.

New indie label ClassicFlix received strong notices for its recent Blu-ray releases of ‘T-Men‘ and ‘You Only Live Once‘. Its next film noir effort is Anthony Mann’s 1948 ‘He Walked by Night‘.

Sam Raimi’s 1990 “The Shadow meets Phantom of the Opera” superhero concoction ‘Darkman‘ was not a particularly good movie, but it somehow had enough of a cult audience to spawn two direct-to-video sequels, both of which Liam Neeson wisely avoided. Shout! Factory seems to think they’re both worthy of Collector’s Editions. Receiving the same treatment is John Landis’ 1985 comedy thriller ‘Into the Night‘, with Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Pfieffer.

Kino brings Farrah Fawcett’s acclaimed domestic abuse TV movie ‘The Burning Bed‘ to high-definition with a choice of watching in the original 4:3 broadcast ratio or a 16:9 transfer.

Television

HBO’s lavish, big-budget spinoff of Michael Crichton’s amusement-park-robots-run-amok thriller ‘Westworld‘ was one of last season’s most fascinating, if sometimes frustrating, TV shows. If you’re not an HBO subscriber, the first season is now available on disc to puzzle over.

The first season of Netflix’s Emmy-winning drama about the young Queen Elizabeth II, ‘The Crown‘, is offered in both a regular box set and a fancier Platinum Edition gift set.

Lionsgate released a complete collection of the anime classic ‘Speed Racer‘ back in May of this year, but those discs only had English dub audio. Fans who desire the original Japanese versions of the episodes are expected to shell out $300 for FUNimation’s Collector’s Edition, stored inside a ridiculous character bust. One can only hope that a more sensible package will come down the road at some point.

My $.02

As a Pixar completist, I preordered the Zavvi-exclusive 3D SteelBook for ‘Cars 3’, which will be released next week. Remarkably, that disc hasn’t sold out yet and is still available.

I will try to pick up ‘The Philadelphia Story’ at this month’s Criterion sale at Barnes & Noble. (Yes, that started last week. I will try to put up a post about it soon.)

‘Your Name’ also sounds pretty interesting.

Which discs this week will you gas up and drive out to the store for?

23 comments

  1. Csm101

    I’ve ordered Cars 3 3d from U.K. I am picking up the Westworld 4k combo pack. HBO has followed the dickish move to only include Atmos exclusively on the uhd. Luckily I broke down and bought a cheap uhd player so that I may benefit from the audio portion of uhd and it has been quite rewarding. I think that’s all for this week, plus some Criterion titles from the B&N sale.

  2. William Henley

    Your Name has been preordered since it was first announced. That will be a day one watch for me (most movies set unopened for weeks or months before I get around to them (and, very scary, a few for years). I should seriously stop preordering and catch stuff on sale, I would save a fortune

    I bent and preordered Harry Potter on 4k. I picked up movies 5-8 several weeks ago on an amazing sale, and they looked so good in HDR, I preordered the first 4. This is the time of year that I always go through the Harry Potter movies, so they will get opened up pretty soon.

    My Sissi collection from last week finally shipped (after contacting Amazon customer service – it was not in stock on release day, so I had to authorize that I still wanted it, but the darn Amazon system would never update). So expensive week for me.

    On top of that, I picked up an additional 2 Harmony remotes with the Smart Hub (the smart hub makes all the difference), one for the bedroom (all my remotes won’t fit on the bedside table) and one for my parents (the IR blaster will be a huge thing for my parents). Also just picked up a second Amazon Dot on sale today, so I am panicking about how much I have spent. (Estimates are between $300-$400 this week. Amazon should GIVE me Prime for free with as much as I give them every year! I estimated that in 2014, I spent over $10k on Amazon!)

  3. Bolo

    I saw ‘Ingrid Goes West’. It’s one of those movies that never really commits in one direction. It goes between dark comedy to straight-up stalker flick resulting in a movie that’s neither terribly funny nor tense. It’s not awful, it just didn’t really have much impact with me. And its ending is a total cop-out.

  4. Chris B

    I’ve heard raves about “Your Name” so I’m definitely interested in seeing it. However, it’s from the same filmmaker as “5 Centimetres Per Second” which I found insufferably precious and melodramatic so I’m keeping my expectations in check.

    It’s a real shame the studio didn’t take this oppurtunity to re-master the Godfather trilogy. The first movie in the series looks awfully poor by today’s standards and I’m convinced the second one would benefit from a new scan as well. If these releases had improved A/V quality I’d pick them up day 1, as it stands I’ll keep hoping for an upgrade in the future and stick with my “Coppola Restoration” blu rays.

    Other than that, nothing else interests me this week.

  5. JOSH!!! I have the ultimate explanation for your sons! Tell them it’s a joke. A joke by Pixar, who are big music fans. The Traveling Wilburys did the same. Their only two albums are called ‘Traveling Wilburys Volume One’ and ‘Traveling Wilburys Volume Three’. Classic British George Harrison humor.

  6. Timcharger

    Josh: “With Pixar’s latest hit racing to video and parents everywhere bracing for the impact on their wallet…”

    Cars 3 will be a Black Friday $10 item. Confirmed at Target; other retailers may follow.

  7. Deaditelord

    Will buy A Few Good Men on UHD tomorrow when I go to Best Buy to pick up my pre-ordered Xbox One X. I’m also interested in the Harry Potter UHD box set and will buy it at some point when it goes on sale. I definitely want Gundam Wing, but am holding off for the December 12th Collector’s Ultra Edition of the series. I’ll probably catch Your Name at some point too because of all the positive buzz, but I have to admit that plot synopsis for the anime makes it seem incredibly boring.

  8. EM

    Thanks, Josh, for pointing out the Cars 3 3D import options. 3D is the only way I saw the movie in the theater, and I wanted the opportunity for home, too.

  9. William Henley

    For anyone on the fence about Your Name…

    Let’s just say that the positive reviews were right – I opened the disc last night, and was captivated by the story. While the individual elements in the story felt familiar and trite, having those elements blended together in the way they were lead to something that felt fresh and captivating, and because of the elements, left you wondering how the story was going to be resolved in the end. With the blend of elements, the movie fits multiple generas including romance comedy, romance tragedy, sci-fi, time travel, body swap, supernatual / divine intervention with Eastern religions, etc. I cannot remember the last time I found myself so emotionally attached to the characters in a movie. Its a fascinating movie, beautifully animated, both the English and Japanese voice actors give fantastic performances, if the subtitles are truthful to the Japanese, than the English dialogue is a pretty darn good translation. So not only is the movie itself fantastic, but Funimation has done a wonderful job bringing it to US audiences.

  10. Anyone looking to get the Harry Potter releases this week in 4K, there was a possible production issue and is therefore delaying Chamber of Secrets to later in the week and Sorcerer’s Stone (with no ETA yet.)

    Anyway, for me this week it is a little bit pricey.
    I preordered the 4 remaining Harry Potter 4K releases and “Your Name” deluxe edition and bought Cars 3 4K at Walmart.
    Wishlist: Few Good Men 4K, Westworld 4K, Attack Force Z, Darkman 2 & 3, Limehouse Golem, Mother Krampus, Satan’s Cheerleaders.

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