It’s been a whole two months since the last Marvel superhero blockbuster hit Blu-ray. You know what that means… Here comes the next one!
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Ant-Man and the Wasp – Between Black Panther and Infinity War (the top two movies of the year), Marvel has had a positively huge 2018. For its third – yes, third! – movie of the year, the studio dials down the stakes a little for a new adventure from its tiniest hero. With a narrative set chronologically before the events of Infinity War, this is a deliberately smaller scale picture with a lighter, breezier tone. Evangeline Lilly’s supporting character has also been bumped up to co-lead. Audiences responded favorably. Although it didn’t crack $1 billion, the movie was a sizable hit that made more money than the original Ant-Man, which is about as much as anyone could ask. Disc options include Blu-ray or Ultra HD, with a 4k SteelBook at Best Buy and another 4k exclusive at Target. Per usual, you’ll have to look overseas for the 3D version.
Unfriended: Dark Web – It would seem that the 2015 Blumhouse horror flick Unfriended made enough money to justify a sequel. As far as I can tell, none of the original cast returned. Neither did the audience. The franchise may stop here.
Whitney – Director Kevin Macdonald (Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland) aims his documentary lens at the life and career of troubled pop superstar Whitney Houston. The film was very well received at Cannes, where critics got so emotional for it.
In addition to the expected Ant-Man and the Wasp, a new Danny McBride comedy called Arizona also makes its debut in Ultra HD.
Universal gives the Coen brothers’ cult classic The Big Lebowski a 4k upgrade in two editions, either in a standard keepcase or a gimmicky bowling ball bag package. The Blu-ray of this had a problematic video transfer. With luck, the UHD will improve upon that.
Hoping that shoppers will see it on store shelves (or online listings) filed right next to Ant-Man, Universal unearths the mostly-forgotten Antz. You may remember this (if you remember it at all) as the other animated comedy about ants released around the same time as Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. Considering that the old molestation allegations against him resurfaced recently, this may not be the best time to dig up a children’s film in which Woody Allen voices the main character. Then again, when would be?
More family fare from Universal includes The Prince of Egypt and a selection of classic Rankin/Bass holiday specials. Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town are being reissued separately, or you can get them all together along with a couple others in the blandly-titled The Original Christmas Specials Collection.
The Criterion Collection’s latest addition is the 1975 Hal Ashby sex farce Shampoo, starring Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Goldie Hawn, and Lee Grant (who won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress). A big hit in its day, the film fell into obscurity for many years. I suspect that its sexual politics haven’t aged well.
Arriving in limited editions from Twilight Time are the 1954 noir thriller Black Widow (no relation to the Marvel Comics character), the colorful CinemaScope epic The Adventures of Hajji Baba, Hammer Films’ 1966 Robin Hood tale Sword of Sherwood Forest, and the 1971 giallo Short Night of Glass Dolls.
Olive Films reissues the original 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers as part of its premium Olive Signature line. According to our reviewer Matthew, the disc’s video transfer isn’t much different from the older Blu-ray from 2010, but the new copy has more bonus features.
Likewise, Shout! Factory brings the Billy Crystal comedy City Slickers into its Shout Select line with a Collector’s Edition double-dip. This one, at least, promises a new 4k remaster.
Just in time for the franchise’s new quasi-reboot to write them out of canon, Scream Factory scares up SteelBook editions of Halloween II and Halloween III that have reportedly also been freshly remastered.
More horror comes from the Warner Archive, which resurrects Hammer Films’ campy Dracula A.D. 1972.
Arrow Video finds some true Schlock with John Landis’ 1972 horror comedy directorial debut.
If Kino’s recent release of Cabin Boy wasn’t enough of Studio Classic for you, the label trots out It’s Pat and Kazaam this week.
Newly restored by the 3-D Film Archive is the 1953 romantic adventure Sangaree, the first feature shot in both 3D and Technicolor.
I’m baffled by Lionsgate’s so-called My Little Pony: 35th Anniversary Edition, which offers a double-feature of both films called My Little Pony: The Movie, from 1986 and 2017 respectively. It doesn’t take a math whiz to calculate that the oldest of those is only 32-years-old currently. Is this the 35th anniversary of the original toy line, maybe?
If you held out on buying the individual seasons of either Ash vs. Evil Dead or Black Sails, both are now available in Complete Series packages.
That Community box set I mentioned a couple weeks ago appears to have been delayed to this week.
The Zuni Doll segment in the TV movie Trilogy of Terror scared the bejeezus out of a generation of young viewers back in 1975. Kino brings it to Blu-ray.
I preordered the UK 3D SteelBook for Ant-Man and the Wasp, which won’t street until December 3rd. If I ever fully upgrade my home theater to 4k, I’ll probably want that UHD copy of The Big Lebowski. Because I never bought the older Blu-ray, I’ll also add the new edition of Invasion of the Body Snatchers to my wish list.
That does it for me this week. What about you?
Early word is that ‘The Big Lebowski’ 4K is decent and the best the film has ever looked on home video, but not a presentation that would ever be considered impressive. I’ve ordered it. It’s one of my favourite films. I never bought the blu ray, both because it was considered a bad presentation, and because my local cinema routinely showed a 35mm print of it and so I could just do my annual viewing of the film there.
I never bought any of Mamoru Hosoda’s movies, but so I’ll pick up the collection of his films when it’s a good price. I really liked ‘Wolf Children’, thought ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’ was pretty good, and thought ‘Summer Wars’ was okay. I never got around to seeing ‘The Boy & The Beast’.
I know press releases love to bend the truth a little to drive sales. Regarding ‘It’s Pat’, the press information says “in the hilarious tradition of Stuart Saves His Family, Wayne’s World and The Coneheads comes another SNL sensation starring in a motion picture comedy. It’s Pat: The Movie catapults America’s favorite gender-bender to the big screen and delivers an outrageously funny adventure,”
Was it really an SNL ‘sensation’? Is Pat really ‘America’s favorite gender-bender’? This seems like extreme hyperbole.
Also seems pretty insensitive to the trans community.
The wording of “another SNL sensation starring in a motion picture comedy” makes me think that’s referring to Julia Sweeney as the sensation, not necessarily the character. Still seems like a stretch.
Indeed, now that you mention it, that’s probably the intention behind the wording. I’d say both ‘Wayne’s World’ and ‘The Blues Brothers’ could be considered movies made by SNL “sensations”.
Lots of SNL performers have starred in good movies, just very few that were adapted from an SNL sketch.
They should’ve made the press blurb for the Pat movie say “See the ‘Pulp Fiction’ star in her definitive role!”
“in the hilarious tradition of The Ladies Man, A Night at the Roxbury and Superstar…”
From the Wiki… “The film opened in only three cities (33 theaters). Its total gross was just $60,822. As a result, the film was pulled from theaters after its opening weekend.”
I remember promotions for the movie, but I don’t recall it ever getting released – this is probably why. I think this was one of those things where it was an enjoyable sketch, but no one really wanted a movie on it. The sketch was pretty much 3-5 minutes once every few weeks of an uncomfortable situation.
The Big Lebowski is probably the title I want most. Sangaree 3d. Ant-Man and the Wasp uhd (I’ll also order the 3d). I’d like to upgrade my DVD’s of Trilogy of Terror and maybe Prince of Egypt to bluray quality. Dracula A.D. 1972 and Schlock will am,e the wish list.
The Big Lebowski is a definite pickup. City Slickers is a potential buy too, although I may hold out in the hopes that the movie gets a UHD release in the future. I’ll rent/stream Ant-Man and Wasp at some point.
Just Ant-Man and the Wasp – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (SteelBook) for me. I’ve already pre-ordered this from Best Buy.
Nothing else for me. I’ve already got the individual releases of Black Sails.
III was never in the Michael Myers Halloween canon, was it? Indeed, as I recall, an ad for the first film plays during the third film.
No it is not. The thinking at the time was to try to spin off the series in a new direction. While Halloween III isn’t terrible, series fans were… let’s say… less than appreciative of the changes and so they returned to making Michael Myers the focal point in Halloween IV.
Ant-Man 2, Big Lebowski UHD and Body Snatchers for me. Body Snatchers doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade video wise, though it does have more grain and detail in the caps. Lots of good special features though!
Just Antz (which arrived yesterday) and Prince of Egypt (which USPS says arrived yesterday but its nowhere to be found) for me. I honestly don’t know why Amazon even bothers with the post office – every time they send me an item with USPS, it goes missing and I have to file a ticket with Amazon. The one time I filed a complaint with the post office over a one-of-a-kind item off of ebay, it showed up 3 days later, obviously opened, hastily restuffed, poorly taped up, and no note from post office saying it was damaged in the mail. It also mysteriously showed up overnight. Grrr, I hate the post office, mail is constantly showing up at my house for the wrong street, many times the wrong city, and once, even the wrong hemisphere (I live in Texas, it was addressed to Russia. HOw many things have to go wrong for that to happen?)
Anyways, back to movies, I always thought that Antz was a significantly better movie than A Bug’s Life, and much more technically advanced. And Prince of Egypt is a masterpiece – I don’t know why it took DreamWorks 12 years after the introduction of the Blu-Ray format to release these movies – I finally bought Prince of Egypt off of iTunes in HD about 3 years ago. And, in 2018, we get a Blu-Ray release, and no 4k.
I had purchased the 4K SteelBook for Ant Man and the Wasp, but the day after when I was in Target, I picked up their Digipak set. Before I even mention it was $8 cheaper, I liked the cover better and the overall package. So, the SteelBook got returned. Sorry Best Buy. I also picked up Antz and Price of Egypt. Other titles are on my wishlist.