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?