Who says Hollywood is out of ideas? A major studio made a buddy action flick about an Uber driver this year. Take that, skeptics! I can’t wait for the GrubHub movie.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Stuber – Comedian Kumail Nanjiani attempted to cash in on all the good will he earned for The Big Sick by starring in a dumb action comedy about an Uber driver who has to chauffeur a beefy cop (Dave Bautista) around to fight a drug gang. The trailers looked awful and reviews mostly confirmed that impression, but the movie had a low enough budget that it may have eked out a small profit.
The Art of Self-Defense – After getting mugged, a milquetoast accountant (Jesse Eisenberg) starts taking karate lessons and falls under the influence of a charismatic sensei (Alessandro Nivola) who seems to embody all the worst aspects of toxic masculinity. The dark comedy was warmly received by critics and played well at festivals.
Crawl – Piranha 3D director Alexandre Aja returns to the creature feature genre with the tale of a girl (Kaya Scodelario) being terrorized by a couple of meanspirited alligators while trapped in her flooding house during a hurricane. Paramount was afraid to screen the movie for critics over the summer, but most who saw it actually thought it was good, cheesy fun.
3 from Hell – Rob Zombie couldn’t resist the urge to make a trilogy out of his House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects. The third installment comes 14 years after the last one and is being released direct-to-video. I think it goes without saying that this is for Zombie’s hardcore fans only.
Both Stuber and 3 from Hell get Ultra HD releases day-and-date with regular Blu-ray.
Universal is on a gangster kick with 4k upgrades for Brian De Palma’s Scarface and Ridley Scott’s American Gangster. The overpriced Limited Edition package for Scarface comes with a gaudy gold statue that I’m sure nobody wants, but also contains an exclusive copy of Howard Hawks’ original 1932 film on Blu-ray.
First announced for release back in March but postponed for undisclosed reasons, Sony finally brings Guillermo del Toro’s 2004 Hellboy to UHD after Universal (which has Hellboy II) and Lionsgate (which has the reboot and the animated spinoffs) already put out the rest of the franchise. Best Buy carries it in a SteelBook that appears to have the same art as the normal keepcase version.
Criterion pulls out another unusual obscurity with Häxan, a 1922 silent film about medieval witches that’s described as part horror movie, part fantasy, and part documentary.
If you’re not equipped for 4k yet, Universal is also reissuing Scarface in a so-called Gold Edition on standard Blu-ray. Sadly, it does not contain the Howard Hawks film.
The Warner Archive summons Roman Polanski’s 1967 horror spoof The Fearless Vampire Killers (a.k.a. The Fearless Vampire Killers or: Pardon Me, But Your Teeth Are in My Neck).
Arrow Video indulges in a little nunsploitation with the 1979 Killer Nun, starring Anita Ekberg as a… well, the title kind of gives it away.
Paramount readies for the upcoming CBS All Access return of everybody’s favorite starship captain with the Star Trek: Picard Movie & TV Collection, which contains all four Next Generation movies and a pair of TV two-parters: The Best of Both Worlds and Chain of Command.
Kino previously released the 1923 silent comedy Our Hospitality as part of a now-out-of-print Buster Keaton Collection in 2012 and again in 2016. The standalone reissue features a new restoration and a bunch of bonus features.
Of some lesser note also from Kino is the 1994 Steve Martin comedy A Simple Twist of Fate, which was loosely based on the classic novel Silas Marner
The Blu-ray release of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House is labeled as an Extended Director’s Cut with three episodes expanded longer than the Netflix version. Hooray for physical media!
Just as rumors have started swirling that David Lynch may be planning a fourth season after all, Paramount bundles the three prior seasons of Twin Peaks (two on ABC and one on Showtime) into one box called Twin Peaks: The Television Collection. Notably missing is the Fire Walk With Me feature film. However, that will be included – along with 4k Ultra HD transfers for the original pilot and episode 3.08 – in another reissue called Twin Peaks: From Z to A that will hit on December 10th.
Music Box Films belatedly brings the second season of the French supernatural drama The Returned (a.k.a. Les Revenants) to Blu-ray five years after the first season.
BBC’s scattershot release strategy for classic Doctor Who now delivers the fourth season with the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee), in episodes from December 1972 to June 1973.
I’ve never been completely in love with Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers, but I’d like to revisit it. I’ll also grab the Hellboy UHD to support a friend of mine, who was a screenwriter on it. (Also, it’s a fun movie that I like.)
The Art of Self-Defense might be a rental, or I’ll catch it on streaming someday.
What will get you to hail an Uber and ride out to a store this week? (Yeah, I’m straining for a joke there. I know we’re all just going to order from Amazon.)