You know what it takes to release one of the most testosterone-fueled movies ever made on Blu-ray the same week a rival releases the controversial all-female ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot? It takes BRASS BALLS to do that.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
‘Ghostbusters: Answer the Call‘ – From the moment Sony announced that the ‘Ghostbusters’ reboot would have an all-women main cast, the movie became a focal point in our society’s increasingly toxic culture wars. It was decried and denounced before a single frame of footage was ever shown to the public. Director Paul Feig had a lot to overcome to win over skeptical viewers. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage it. The movie was a big box office disappointment, and even many supporters ultimately acknowledged that it wasn’t as good as they wanted it to be. Perhaps the new extended cut will play better? Note that the standard Blu-ray edition is 2D only. If you want a 3D Blu-ray, you have to buy the UHD combo pack. (The UHD itself is 2D, because that format doesn’t support 3D.) Best Buy carries really ugly SteelBook versions for both formats.
And yes, ‘Answer the Call’ is officially part of the movie’s title in the copyright notice in the end credits, even though the film was marketed as just ‘Ghostbusters’ during its theatrical release. Paul Feig explains here.
‘The Legend of Tarzan‘ – The last time movie audiences showed any interest in Tarzan was the Disney cartoon in 1999. Nevertheless, producers remain convinced that the property and the character are still viable. The latest revival for the King of the Jungle stars a shirtless Alexander Skarsgård and his rock hard, chiseled abs. The movie’s $316 million box office gross was a lot better than many analysts predicted, but it had a hefty $180 million budget to offset. Reviews were largely negative, and viewer reaction was mixed.
‘Ice Age: Collision Course‘ – The first ‘Ice Age’ movie was a cute enough distraction for kids, but hardly a classic. Its sequels grew increasingly lamer with each entry, but continued to be very profitable… until now. The fifth one was a straight-up bomb domestically. Family audiences were much more interested in Universal’s ‘The Secret Life of Pets’. The film did better overseas, but still came in as the lowest-grossing picture in the series. Its failure may finally, mercifully bring an end to this franchise.
‘Blood Father‘ – Mel Gibson continues his slow road to career rehabilitation by starring in modest B-movies designed to remind audiences of better times when they used to like him before his personal meltdown. This simple revenge thriller may not have made much money in its limited theatrical release, but scored respectable reviews and word-of-mouth.
‘Hillary’s America‘ – Political pundit and self-styled “documentarian” (a very loose usage of that word) Dinesh D’Souza would very much like for you to ignore the fact that he’s a convicted felon who pled guilty to committing campaign finance fraud when you watch his latest character assassination hit-piece which accuses Hillary Clinton of… umm… fraud and corruption.
As mentioned, the ‘Ghostbusters‘ UHD also comes with a 3D Blu-ray, and you can get it in a hideous “Pop Art” SteelBook at Best Buy. Other new day-and-date titles to go the 4k route include ‘Ice Age: Collision Course‘ and ‘The Legend of Tarzan‘.
Meanwhile, Sony tries to build excitement for the impending theatrical release of ‘Inferno’ by releasing ‘The Da Vinci Code‘ and ‘Angels & Demons‘ in the Ultra HD format. Sadly, the extra resolution and HDR sheen can’t disguise the fact that both are terrible movies.
Let me have your attention for a moment… Let’s talk about something important. David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play ‘Glengarry Glen Ross‘, a searing morality tale about the dark side of Capitalism, was adapted to screen in 1992 with a dream cast that includes Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce and a scene-stealing performance from Alec Baldwin. The film was criminally overlooked during its theatrical release, but Mamet’s endlessly quotable dialogue found an enthusiastic fan base on video. What took so long for Lionsgate to release the movie on Blu-ray, I don’t know. It’s been available overseas since 2012.
One of the signature movies of the New Hollywoood movement in the 1970s, Robert Altman’s revisionist Western ‘McCabe & Mrs. Miller‘ gets a much-needed new 4k restoration from the Criterion Collection.
Criterion also continues its working relationship with Richard Linklater by adding a double-dip reissue of his recent Oscar nominee ‘Boyhood‘ to the Collection. The film already got a pretty decent Blu-ray from Paramount less than two years ago, but the Criterion edition promises more and better bonus features.
Twilight Time has a pretty weird railroad fixation going on this week. Found among the label’s new limited editions are Jon Voight and Eric Roberts in ‘Runaway Train‘, Burt Lancaster in a reissue of John Frankenheimer’s ‘The Train‘, and Barbara Hershey and David Carradine in Martin Scorsese’s early feature ‘Boxcar Bertha‘. (Note that Sonny Chiba’s ‘Bullet Train’ was also announced for this week, but must have been postponed because it’s no longer on the schedule.) Unrelated to that theme (as far as I know) are Arthur Penn’s prison break drama ‘The Chase‘ and the Bette Davis/Olivia de Havilland melodrama ‘Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte‘.
Brian De Palma’s ‘Carrie‘ and John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing‘ had pretty underwhelming Blu-rays from MGM and Universal respectively. Scream Factory has licensed both to remaster and reissue in new Collector’s Editions. Let’s hope that both are improvements.
More horror comes from Arrow Video, which offers Wes Craven’s 1977 ‘The Hills Have Eyes‘ and the original Japanese version of ‘Dark Water‘ (from Hideo Nakata, director of ‘Ringu’).
I’m unclear whether Paramount’s new Platinum Anniversary Edition of the Frank Capra classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life‘ differs at all from the Blu-ray released in 2009 or its 2011 gift set reissue. My guess is that it’s probably just another repackaging of the old disc.
The next title in Sony’s manufactured-on-demand program is Sofia Coppola’s ‘Marie Antoinette‘. All Sony MOD discs are burned onto BD-R media, and will not be traditional pressed copies.
Good news, Peter Jackson fans! Warner’s ludicrously overpriced ‘Middle-Earth Limited Collector’s Edition‘ box set, which bundles the extended versions of all six ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ movies into one package that comes with its own bookshelf, has officially broken the $500 barrier at Amazon! That’s right, for the deeply discounted price of just $499.96, you can rebuy a bunch of discs you already own. What a bargain!
Mill Creek pushes some major nostalgia buttons with complete series box sets of the iconic 1980s TV shows ‘Miami Vice‘ and ‘Knight Rider‘. Considering the value pricing of both, I’d expect them to be sourced from existing HD broadcast masters and have only lossy Dolby Digital audio, until confirmed otherwise.
Lionsgate gathers the three seasons of Bryan Fuller’s amazing ‘Hannibal‘ spinoff into its own Complete Series package. This is definitely a show worth rewatching.
Newer programs to hit Blu-ray include the first season of ‘Feed the Beast‘, the third season of ‘The Musketeers‘, and the sixth season of ‘Adventure Time‘.
This week is chock-full of discs I want to buy. I need to own ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’, ‘McCabe & Mrs. Miller’, ‘Carrie’ and ‘The Thing’. The entire slate of Twilight Time discs will go on my wish list, as will the Criterion reissue of ‘Boyhood’. I’m tempted by the ‘Hannibal’ box set as well, since I never got around to buying the individual seasons. Unfortunately, I can’t afford all of these all at once.
I’ll probably rent ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Blood Father’.
Is your wallet screaming in pain like mine is this week?