Blu-ray Highlights: Week of October 9th, 2016 – Attention, Interest, Decision, Action

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.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (10/11/16)?

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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.

Catalog Titles

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‘.

My $.02

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?


  1. Csm101

    Glengarry Glen Ross, The Thing, and Legend of Tarzan are on their way to being delivered to my mailbox. I can not wait for The Thing and all the bonus features. I broke down and watched my GlenGarry Glen Ross DVD two nights ago but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to watch the hell out of the BLURAY. I will be picking up the uhd version of Ghostbusters for 3d purposes, although I do want to see the extended version and probably watch that one with the family. I didn’t realize Ice Age was coming out so I may have to hold out on that one but I will definitely be getting the 3d version of that when I have $$$. Carrie is on my wishlist along with Runaway Train, Bloodfather, and The Hills Have Eyes. I would love to pick up Knight Rider but will wait to hear from a review if it is worthy to own or not.

    • Melvin

      I picked up Ghostbusters answer the call yesterday haven’t watched it yet and Miami Vice should be here tomorrow been looking forward to it I never bought it on DVD so it should be cool I don’t expect it to look like Star Trek the original series however no full restoration.

  2. William Henley

    This week could get expensive, but I am going to exercise self-control. The only movie I preordered was the Ghostbusters UHD Steelbook combo, mainly to get the 3D version. I quite enjoyed this movie at the theaters, and am looking forward to the extended cut. Hopefully the 3D version is also of the extended cut.

    Adventure Time is a must for me. I cut the cable, realizing it was cheaper to just buy the few shows I do watch by the season (or stream them).

    I never picked up It’s A Wonderful Life again since I had the fire, so I will probably do that here in the next few weeks.

    Miami Vice and Knight Rider are also future possibilities, but I want to finish Airwolf first (and Peewee, Battlestar Galactica and Lost In Space).

  3. I’m looking forward to Josh’s opinion on ‘Ghostbusters’, because a) I value his opinion as a film critic and b) he stated a few times in the past that he has faith in the Paul Feig. So, please, Josh, let us know what you think once you’ve seen it.

    I haven’t seen it myself, but – even as a nostalgic and massive fan of the original – I have not one problem with this reinterpretation. I still want to see it.

    • Chris B

      I value Josh’s opinion to, part of the reason I’ve the reason I’ve gotten so much more into film over the last 4 years or so is because I stumbled on his reviews and they seemed to really strike a chord with me.

      Hey Josh, have you ever considered writing a full-length book? Like a memoir of sorts? It could be about your experiences in film school, graduating and realizing you didn’t want to direct after all, all while mixing film criticisms in with the auto biographical content? I think a lot of us would read it…

    • William Henley

      I find Josh’s movie reviews fun. While I usually do not agree, he usually makes good points. I agree that I would like to see Josh review this film.

  4. Chris B

    Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to everybody! The Thing and McCabe are at the top of my liat this week. Glengarry, Runaway Train, Boxcar Bertha and Boyhood. will be future pick-ups. I’m curious to see if It’s a Winderful Life has a new transfer, if so I’ll buy. Huge week for interesting releases indeed…

    • William Henley

      And for those of us who are from the US, happy day of celebrating a man guilty of slavery, rape and mutilation, and who was carried back to Europe in chains. Why this day is on our calendars is beyond me. But its a bank holiday, so whatever.

      As for It’s A Wonderful Life, was there anything wrong with the old transfer? Both the Black and White and the Colorized version both looked fantastic to me.

      • Chris B

        The was nothing really “wrong” with the transfer, it looked pretty good. I actually watch the colorized version to be honest which I know is considered heresy to the purists out there. Sometimes movies are given a new transfer to films that aren’t really in need of it that bad but manage to improve on it slightly. Like Josh said though, this release is probably just a re-packaging as opposed to a restoration.

        • William Henley

          Ah, I am the same way about the colorized versions. I grew up with the colorized versions of It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and the Absent Minded Professor. I was in college before I realized the first two were shot in B&W, and only in the past year did I learn that the Absent Minded Professor was shot in B&W. Truthfully, the first time I saw Miracle on 34th Street in B&W (on SD television), I thought it had been sourced from a degraded film master or tape that the color information had degraded, and complained that they did not use a better source.

          There are several Shirley Temple movies that I had always seen colorized, and was very disappointed when I got the HD versions on iTunes to find out they were B&W.

          Same with the 1938 and 1951 A Christmas Carols. I also originally saw Holiday Inn (I had never heard of it before 2008) colorized.

          Going through the list on Wikipedia of colorized movies, I found out The Shaggy Dog is also colorized – I had no idea.

          So yeah, I just wish more studios would release both the B&W and the colorized versions together. I think on Blu-Ray, the only two movies that were are It’s A Wonderful Life and Holiday Inn

          • chris b

            Yeah I grew up watching It’s a Wonderful Life on an old VHS tape that my aunt and uncle had used to record the movie off an old television broadcast. For years I think it was one of the only ways to see the colorized version because of all the artistic furor of messing with the original film. Even today I only see the movie broadcast in it’s original B&W format. The Color version is what I know and love so I’m sticking with it, purist sensibilities be damned! lol

          • EM

            These tales of growing up with colorizations remind me of childhoods filled with alcoholism and domestic abuse. Break the cycle, guys!

  5. Timcharger

    Josh: “This week is chock-full of discs I want to buy. I need to own ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’”

    I’ve read that you may want to go to Target to buy this
    “need to own” title. Special in-store pricing. We’ll know
    more tomorrow.

    • Csm101

      Timcharger is absolutely right. Target has Glengarry Glen Ross for five dollars. I wish I could cancel my Amazon order, but it’s out for delivery as of this moment. 9.84 isn’t a bad price by any means, but it’s the principle of it.

        • Csm101

          I checked the website just like you last night and yes it states it as 9.99. I physically went to target this morning to pick up a few items and decided to go to the movie section because of what Tim posted, and sure enough at the bottom right with all the new releases, there it was for 5.00.

          • Timcharger

            Yup. And if you use Target’s
            Cartwheel App, there’s an additional
            15% off on top.

            This is the best release day pricing
            I’ve ever seen.

          • Timcharger

            For a catalog title without explosions,
            robots, superheroes, it makes sense that my
            local only had 3 copies when I got there. So
            to avoid disappointment, I suggest you check
            inventory online before going.

            Or you can purchase for $10 online and
            select the store pickup feature. And since
            you are at the Customer Service desk to pick
            up your item, tell them that the in-store price
            is $5. I think they need to void the online
            purchase, in order to sell you that copy for
            $5 (so it might be best to mention that
            before the Target employee finalizes the
            pickup confirmation).

    • cardpetree

      Took advantage of this yesterday at Target. With the Cartwheel discount, got Glengarry Glen Ross and Blood Father for 20 bucks. Preciate the heads up Tim.

  6. Nagara

    For anyone who never saw it, Hannibal is a must see. Nowadays I don’t but as much physical media as I used to, but this show warrants a purchase.

  7. Must Buy titles for the week, ouch wallet!!
    Ghostbusters (2016) UHD, Ice Age 5 UHD, Legend of Tarzan UHD, Knight Rider & Miami Vice.
    The cover art for the steelbook for Ghostbusters does NOT say “Answer the Call” – but that Pop Art crap isn’t for me!
    On the wish list: Angels & Demons UHD, Da Vinci Code UHD, Blinky Bill, Blood Father, Carrie, Dark Water, Nurse Jill, The Thing. If the review for Blood Father is as good as I have heard it might be a must buy.

  8. Lord Bowler

    I’ve already pre-ordered ‘The Thing: Collector’s Edition’ (Scream Factory) and I’ll pick up ‘Hillary’s America’.

    I might pick up:
    ‘The Legend of Tarzan’
    ‘Gregory Peck Centennial Collection’
    ‘The Train Encore Edition’ (Twilight Time)

    For TV, I might pick up:
    ‘Miami Vice: The Complete Series’ (Mill Creek)
    ‘Knight Rider: The Complete Series’ (Mill Creek)

    I’m really interested in Mel Gibson’s newest directed movie, Hacksaw Ridge, so I may blind buy ‘Blood Father’.

    • Lord Bowler

      I rented The Train on DVD to watch it first, before deciding to buy… Big fan of Peck, but not sure I want to buy Cape Fear, been many years since I’ve seen it.

      Tarzan was pretty entertaining in theater when I saw it, so I want to revisit it on Blu-Ray.

  9. chris b

    Just heard through the grapevine this morning that BestBuy stores in the U.S. are selling the Friday the !3th collection again (probably in light of the impending October 31st). From what I can tell this set has been OOP for some time, any word on whether any other retailers will be carrying it? especially in Canada?

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