Are any exciting new Blu-rays headed our way this week? My spidey sense is tingling…
New Releases (Blu-ray)
‘Spider-Man: Homecoming‘ – People complained when Spider-Man got rebooted with Andrew Garfield just five years after Tobey Maguire, yet he’s already been rebooted again just three years since Garfield’s last movie and everyone seems fine with it. Maybe the takeaway here is that superhero fans really don’t like Andrew Garfield. In any case, following up on his appearance in ‘Captain America: Civil War’, the character is now fully integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Tony Stark/Iron Man has a prominent role in this alleged standalone story, which puts Peter Parker (Tom Holland now) back in high school. Both Marvel fans and Spidey fans were pleased with the results, driving the movie to be one of the biggest box office hits of the year. On disc, you can get it in 2D, 3D or Ultra HD, with a SteelBook at Best Buy or a goofy “Mask Case” your kids can wear at Halloween.
‘Girls Trip‘ – Audiences had no interest in watching Scarlett Johansson and friends go wild through Miami in ‘Rough Night’ earlier this year, but put Queen Latifah and Regina Hall in a very similar scenario in New Orleans and apparently you’ve got a big sleeper hit on your hands.
Sony floods the Ultra HD market with as much Spider-Man as it possibly can. In addition to the new ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming‘, all the old Spidey flicks also get upgraded to 4k in “Limited Edition Collections” containing, respectively, the three Tobey Maguire movies or the two Andrew Garfield movies. The Maguire set even includes a new so-called “Editor’s Cut” for the much-maligned ‘Spider-Man 3’, which is actually a couple minutes shorter than the theatrical cut. If you’re a dedicated web-head, the Best Buy “Legacy Collection” SteelBook has all five movies (minus ‘Homecoming’, which you must buy separately).
After that, Universal puts a coat of HDR polish on Joss Whedon’s ‘Serenity‘ as well as Ron Howard’s ‘Apollo 13‘ and (ick!) ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas‘.
Criterion has opted not to send us a review screener for its new edition of David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me‘, perhaps out of fear that we’ll point out how much the disc is redundant to the copy of the movie in the ‘Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery‘ box set from 2014 (also repackaged in 2016), which most fans of ‘Twin Peaks’ surely already own. Aside from a couple of new interviews, the Criterion copy appears to feature the same video master and other supplements, and likely only exists to further the label’s working relationship with the director.
More in need of Criterion attention is Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Barry Lyndon‘, the prior Blu-ray for which was fairly underwhelming and made a controversial change to the director’s intended aspect ratio. Criterion fixes that issue with a new 4k remaster and plies the movie with a wealth of new bonus features. Unfortunately, as much as I’m a fan of Kubrick’s other films, I’ve found this one deadly dull every time I’ve tried to watch it.
As far as I can tell, Universal’s 17-disc ‘Alfred Hitchcock: The Ultimate Collection‘ box set seems to be a repackaging of the 15-disc ‘Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection‘ from 2012, with the addition of ten episodes from the ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ and ‘The Alfred Hitchcock Hour’ TV series. Sadly, photos on the Amazon listing page suggest that the TV episodes are on DVDs, not Blu-rays.
In anticipation of ‘Justice League’, Warner’s ‘Batman / Superman Anthology‘ box set bundles the four ‘Batman’ movies between 1989 and 1997 (from Michael Keaton to George Clooney) with the five ‘Superman’ movies between 1978 and 2006 (from Christopher Reeve to Brandon Routh). Note that ‘Superman: The Movie’ is only the Special Edition cut from 2006, while ‘Superman II’ is only the Donner Cut.
North American distribution rights for the Studio Ghibli animation catalog have shifted from Disney to GKIDS, which is rolling out reissues of the Hayao Miyazaki classics ‘My Neighbor Totoro‘, ‘Kiki’s Delivery Service‘, ‘Princess Mononoke‘, ‘Spirited Away‘, ‘Howl’s Moving Castle‘ and ‘Ponyo‘. Early reports suggest that the discs are largely similar to the prior Disney editions, with some corrections to the movies that previously only had lossy Japanese audio or “dubtitles.” Whether that’s worth the high asking price ($29.95 MSRP each) may be a tough sell for fans who already bought the movies in the first round.
New limited editions from Twilight Time include Tyrone Power in the 1947 swashbuckler ‘Captain from Castile‘, Christopher Lee in the 1962 ‘The Pirates of Blood River‘, Michael Caine in the 1969 WWII adventure ‘Play Dirty‘, and Jeff Bridges in Walter Hill’s 1995 Western ‘Wild Bill‘.
Mill Creek pushed back Stephen Frears’ 1996 Jekyll & Hyde riff ‘Mary Reilly‘ (in which Julia Roberts plays Dr. Jekyll’s housemaid) from a couple weeks ago. Also on tap from the label this week is the 1988 Fred Savage/Judge Reinhold body-swapping comedy ‘Vice Versa‘.
Another ’80s comedy comes from Shout! Factory, which gives a Collector’s Edition of ‘Three O’Clock High‘.
Kino swings wildly from Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 political satire ‘La chinoise‘ to the schlocky 1986 Clive Barker horror flick ‘Rawhead Rex‘.
Rumored on the web for a couple weeks but only officially confirmed on the retailer’s web site yesterday, Target will carry an exclusive edition of ‘Stranger Things‘ Season 1 in a gimmicky VHS-style package. Weirdly, Netflix has still made no formal announcement about this, and there does not seem to be a standard edition in regular Blu-ray packaging anywhere else. It seems damned peculiar that such a high-interest title would be released with no promotion, on absurdly short notice and in such a limited fashion, but I suppose that… yes, groan… stranger things have happened.
Meanwhile, Lionsgate pays deference to the first season of the Starz network’s ‘American Gods‘, and Warner Bros. slashes through the belated fifth season of ‘Samurai Jack‘ (also bundled into a Complete Series box set).
I’m not a fan of the cartoony art on the ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ SteelBook, but lacking any better alternatives overseas, I preordered it anyway. As a completist, I also needed the Criterion copy of ‘Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me’.
Even though I don’t really enjoy ‘Barry Lyndon’ very much, it’s the type of movie I feel like I’m supposed to appreciate. I suppose I’ll probably give it another shot at some point in the future.
I wish I could afford all the Miyazaki reissues. I may have to evaluate which of those I’m in most need of replacing.
Which of this week’s releases will get entangled in your web?
Well, no buys this week – I already had Spiderman Homecoming off of Vudu in 4k, and the other Spiderman movies iTunes upgraded my digital copies to 4k, so no need to double dip. Apollo 13, The Grinch and Serinity are all of interest, not at over $20 each – these will probably be digital purchases for me (I had all of these on HD-DVD and never bought the Blu-Rays).
I am not double dipping on the Studio Ghibli titles. I had no problem with Disney’s dub or dubtitles – the “issues” were very minor and didn’t change the story at all. In fact, I haven’t even gone through all the Disney discs yet, a few are still sealed.
So, no discs for me this week, but, at least with Spiderman, I have them all in 4k in the digital versions, so I see no reason to rebuy.
Oh I did pick up a few discs over the weekend – picked up 4k discs of Harry Potter 5-8, Star Trek 11-13 and Batman vs Superman (didn’t have digital copies of Harry Potter and the digital versions on all services hasn’t been upgraded to 4k yet, and I had a steelbook of Star Trek 11-13 that didn’t have a digital code).
On their way to my home. Spider-Man: Homecoming 3d, Rawhead Rex, Three O’clock High, and Rolling Vengeance. I can’t believe you didn’t give Rolling Vengeance a dedicated 300 word paragraph, tsk tsk. Wish list items include, Barry Lyndon, American Gods, Twin Peaks: FWWM ( I forgot to check it ), and Wild Bill.
I dug Spider-Man Homecoming, but talking with a buddy of mine this morning, we both agreed that something very extremely forced about Peter’s circle of students he interacts with. The girl he likes, the girl outcast girl who “gets” him, and the rival/bully are all in the debate club? How small is this school? Also, how did the “bully” character get to that position within the school where he himself isn’t being picked on? How’d he become the “cool” kid? There isn’t a single jock? Nothing felt organic about any of that. His world in school felt way too contrived, like someone lifted a bad script from an 80’s teen drama, then filtered it through a team of writers looking to “update” it to be the contemporary ideal.
Sorry…I was watching Bob’s Burgers about debate club last night…..academic decathlon, then.
“how did the “bully” character get to that position within the school where he himself isn’t being picked on? How’d he become the “cool” kid? There isn’t a single jock?”
Only from 1 viewing, so I could be wrong.
It was some kind of special technology charter school that they went to. Probably had more science labs, music, and art; and no football team. That “bully” was the rich kid. He drove an Audi convertible. Money made him “cool.”
Ooooh, okay, that actually makes a ton of sense, including Peter’s access to a chemistry lab of a caliber where he could work on his webbing without anyone noticing. One big element of Peter’s character has been that he is a regular kid (albeit smart) trying to live a regular kid life, while also being a superhero. Being at a tech school, something where the social structure is NOT a traditional high school, seems to be taking something away from Peter’s story. If he isn’t dealing with the full spectrum of a normal student body, wouldn’t it then be harder for regular high school kids reading his comics/watching the movie to relate to his “normalness” of being a high school kid? Simply the idea that there are bigger, stronger kids within a school where (to a degree) athletics is valued above academics, puts Peter in the position where he must weigh using his super powers to boost his social standing, or not. In Homecoming, it was just appearing at a party. In a more traditional high school, it could be stopping a bigger kid from beating up someone else.
Anyway, TL;DR, the specialty school made one of Peter’s greatest character aspects, his relatability as a high school student, and made him slightly less relatable.
Eh, they are modernizing the story, hence a reboot. 25 years ago he would have been in honors classes, 50 years ago maybe student body president in a small town high school. In the 21st century, he is at a charter school in suburban America that has enough schools in the district to justify a charter school. Sounds like most of present-day America, which would make him very relatable. Having a geeky kids in glasses beat up by a jock, while it probably still happens, is so 20th century. 🙂
I don’t really have a huge issue with this – but I also didn’t have an issue with the Lost In Space movie with them making the family feel more like a traditional 90s family – while it changed a few personalities around, it really didn’t change the dynamic of the show.
What I DO have an issue with is how often they reboot Spiderman – this is like the third origination movie in 15 years. Or reboot, or revisioning, or whatever it technically is. I get replacing an actor, but they did that in the 90s with Batman, and it worked. Different directors, different actors, different villians, some great movies, some awful. But it worked. Star Trek 11 worked, kinda, as it was an alternative timeline. But add in magical blood, instantanious warp and beaming across the galaxy in 12, and you shot yourself in the foot by futher dividing your fanbase.
I do see what you are saying there, I honestly wouldn’t know if Peter’s school setting is an accurate depiction of the type of school Peter would be attending. Also, now in a world where school bullying is treated FAR differently than it was in the 80’s, it would be very dangerous to depict Peter coping with an intimidating bully with violence. Having the fantasy of “I’ll show THEM when I come back to school with more power!” isn’t what it used to be.
As for rebooting/remaking a movie to reflect changes in the world around us…this is why I was okay with the ‘Poltergeist’ remake. We don’t have CRT tube TVs with static and OTA broadcasting anymore, so IMO that may have hindered enjoyment of the original for those who grew up after HDTV.
Wild Bill and FWWM are the only discs I’m interested in this week.
I have Barry Lyndon sitting on my PVR and any attempt I’ve made to watch it thus far has been a failure as the movie seems to put me to sleep within 30 minutes or less.
I’m a fan of Hellraiser and I’d like to watch Rawhead Rex, but I’ve heard such mixed things about the movie I don’t want to rosk a blind-buy.
I already have the Spider-Man movies on Blu-Ray. I will be picking up the ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ and I’ve pre-ordered ‘Batman vs. Two-Face (Target Exclusive)’.
I’ll need to rent ‘The Pirates of Blood River’ (Twilight Time), ‘Play Dirty’ (Twilight Time), and ‘Captain from Castile’ (Twilight Time) before deciding to buy…
Target exclusives of DC Animation are now lenticular slipcovers. Looks like Best Buy is getting the Steelbooks.
Josh: “but I suppose that… yes, groan… stranger things have happened.”
Oh, you would not have groaned if you first wrote it. Given your history of puns in this blog, that’s an absolute certainty.
Some puns are more groan-worthy than others.
Note that THREE O’CLOCK HIGH was directed by Spielberg Protege Phil Joanou (before U2: RATTLE AND HUM, and STATE OF GRACE). Spielberg was the uncredited exec producer.
Barry Sonnenfeld was the DP – and the camera is insane. (Think of the Sonnenfeld that shot RAISING ARIZONA- in fact he did this right after). And Joanou and Sonnenfeld make many homage shots to the famous Spielberg “dolly zoom” shot from JAWS.
This is High Noon by way of John Hughes with Raising Arizona camerawork.
I have never seen ‘Barry Lyndon’, but I’m fascinated by the ‘natural (candle) lighting’ technique. I have never seen ‘Three O’ Clock High’, but I like Casey Siemaszko (3-D from ‘Back to the Future’!). I have seen ‘Stranger Things’, so I’m hoping for a wider release.
Oh, cool, Target does ship to Belgium. Hope shipping costs won’t be too high. Weird enough, it says ‘Stranger Things’ is “coming soon”. So, a sold-out first batch, then?
It has not opened for sale on the web site yet. The hope is that it will be available starting tomorrow. However, there have been some rumors that it might be an in-store exclusive, which will be very bad as scalpers are sure to swoop in first thing and grab them all.
I picked up a copy of Stranger Things in-store this morning. It’s pretty cool. I’m impressed with quality of the packaging. As expected, it’s much larger than a real VHS tape, but the faux tape is sturdy. A magnetic panel keeps it shut. When you open the face of it, a the two Blu-ray discs are in cardboard tray. The entire tray face lifts and the two DVDs are beneath it. Now we just need a 4K release so I can replace the DVD discs with the 4K discs. (I haven’t converted to 4K yet, but I’m still buying the 4K sets of new releases so I can have my bases covered.)
I went 4k in the bedroom. Wanted a bigger screen, and something better than the $219 Walmart Set I had in there (it worked and I ended up moving it to the guest room, but it just was not a great set). So, the price of a 55 inch GOOD Full HD set (not top of the line, just going middle of the road quality) was not that much different than going 4k. So I went ahead and jumped and got a set with HDR10 and Dolby Vision (its a Vizio). The picture quality is so much better, that I am getting to where I am watching more movies in the bedroom on the 55 inch and 5.1 soundbar than I am in the living room with the 125 inch 2.35:1 screen and projector with 7.1 sound. 4k projectors get cheaper every six months, so I may pick one up in a year or two.
I’ve only seen ‘Barry Lyndon’ once, but remember finding it pretty funny. The adversarial relationship with his step son yields the biggest laughs. The duel scene is the highlight of the film.
Play Dirty. Underappreciated film.
Correction to this: “Note that ‘Superman: The Movie’ is only the Extended Cut, while ‘Superman II’ is only the Donner Cut.”
Superman is the Special Edition from 2000, not the Extended Cut released a few weeks ago.
Opinion: it’s weird that the Donner Cut of Superman II replaces the theatrical cut. Lots to recommend the Donner Cut, but it isn’t a fully realized film like the theatrical cut, and for a first-time viewer it’s downright confusing (for starters, the Donner Cut has the exact same ending as Superman: The Movie!)
Correction made. Thanks for that clarification.
Josh: “(About Spider-Man Homecoming) a goofy “Mask Case” your kids can wear at Halloween.”
Don’t know how serious you were about this comment. The Amazon exclusive is the mask edition (pricing’s the worst at $46) and that CAN’T be worn by kids (or adults) on Halloween (or any other day).
Target’s exclusive (missing in Josh’s listing) is a digibook that comes with a $5 discount if also buying a toy Spidey mask (currently $6.29). Combined that would be cheaper than Amazon’s faux mask. Actually, any of editions: 4K, exclusive blu, regular blu, or DVD all give the extra mask discount. Your kids can wear this one.
I’ve added a listing on the site for the Target exclusive.
It’s perhaps a little late to add it to the poll, but I put an option for this at the bottom.
Not that you need to add it to the list or poll, but since we are on this subject…
For Batman vs Two-Face, you do list Target’s exclusive which has the lenticular slipcover, but this time not Best Buy’s Steelbook.
These retailer exclusives are damned hard to keep track of.
What is bad is when there is basically no announcement beforehand of a retail exclusive. There have been several times I just preordered from Amazon, just to find out after I already opened the movie up that there was a retailer exclusive edition that I didn’t know about that I would have much rather have had. 🙁
I have actually stopped preordering a lot of stuff, do to always having a backlog, so this allows me to pick movies up later on sales and have a better idea of which edition I want.
The sad thing is that if you collect 3D or SteelBooks or other niche editions of movies, they tend to be issued in small volumes now and you may only have a limited window to obtain them before they’re gone. I find that I have to preorder SteelBooks I like as soon as possible after they’re announced, because they often sell out before street date and there may be no chance to get them later.
I’m in for the Samurai Jack Complete Series and Apollo 13. While most of the Hayao Miyazaki’s movies on this week’s list were fixed with Amazon’s Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki box set, I would spring for Totoro and Kiki if the Japanese audio track is lossless 5.1 (the Amazon blu-rays were lossless 2.0). There’s also a chance that I might buy the new Spider-man and Batman vs. Two-Face movies, but I want to rent them first.