Here we go again, another round of new Blu-ray releases. One will surely rake in money, money, money. As they say, the winner takes it all. That’s just the name of the game. When all is said and done, will you take a chance on something this week?
(For the record, I hate myself for writing that paragraph.)
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again – A decade later, the inexplicably popular jukebox musical gets a sequel that looks virtually identical in every respect, right down to the fakey green-screen backdrops behind every scene. It even seems to reuse most of the same ABBA songs on the soundtrack, as if the band didn’t have a huge catalog of other tunes to choose from. Cher joins the cast playing a campy caricature of herself, which seems like something the target audience will appreciate. I have nothing to add beyond that. Best Buy offers a SteelBook copy (regular Blu-ray only).
Sorry to Bother You – Hip hop artist Boots Riley makes his directorial debut with a wild, surreal satire about telemarketing, corporate culture, racial identity, selling out, code-switching, and some other crazy things that are probably best left unspoiled. The film was an indie sensation this year. Although not everyone was in love with Riley’s scattershot approach and messy narrative, the majority of reviews were raves. The movie it’s most often compared to is Robert Downey, Sr.’s audacious Putney Swope, which is not something you’d expect to see anyone try again.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again debuts in eye-searing 4k HDR so you can appreciate every gaudy detail in its sparkly costumes and production design.
Confession: I actually saw Twilight in the theater in 2008. I recall it having exceptionally dull and muddy photography. Maybe that was just a bad print, but I haven’t had a desire to revisit it. Will an Ultra HD upgrade do the movie any favors?
Horror for Halloween
In addition to the UHD copy of the original film, Lionsgate is reissuing the entire Twilight Saga on standard Blu-ray. Most of these are extended editions, except Breaking Dawn – Part 2. I’m aware that the longer versions of the first three movies were previously released as a triple feature in 2015, but I believe this may be the Blu-ray debut for the extended cut of Breaking Dawn – Part 1. (Note: The UHD of the first movie appears to be the theatrical cut only.)
Brian De Palma’s 1973 horror thriller Sisters will join his Dressed to Kill and Blow Out as part of the Criterion Collection.
Scream Factory gives George Romero’s Creepshow a Collector’s Edition, and repackages the 1988 Night of the Demons in a SteelBook.
Sony revisits the 2013 Evil Dead reboot with a new unrated cut, while reissuing the 1990 Night of the Living Dead remake under its own banner. Hopefully the latter will be an improvement over the problematic (and long out-of-print) Twilight Time Blu-ray from 2012.
Lionsgate adds Stephen King’s only directorial effort, 1986’s Maximum Overdrive, to its Vestron Collector’s Series.
The rights to Mario Bava’s giallo thriller Blood and Black Lace transition from Arrow Video to VCI. Whether the latter offers anything new, I’m not sure.
Speaking of Arrow, that label’s latest acquisition is the so-called “blood-drenched cult classic” Deadbeat at Dawn.
Other Catalog Titles
Since the TV spinoff with Chris O’Dowd and Ray Romano just finished its second season on the Epix network, Shout! Factory thought this would be a good time for a Collector’s Edition of Barry Sonnenfeld’s 1995 adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Get Shorty, starring John Travolta and Danny DeVito.
Terence Davies’ acclaimed period drama Distant Voices, Still Lives makes its Blu-ray debut through Arrow Academy.
Hen’s Tooth Video offers Sam Peckinpah’s WWII thriller Cross of Iron.
The Kino double feature of Age of Consent and Cactus Flower that I mentioned a few weeks ago seems to have been postponed and is now on this week’s calendar.
Warner Bros. uses the upcoming animated feature reboot as an excuse to reissue the 1966 version of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas in an Ultimate Edition. This marks the third time the 26-minute TV special has appeared on Blu-ray.
The complete series box sets of Community and Rescue Me were pushed back yet again. At the time of this writing, they’re scheduled for this week, but don’t be surprised if that’s not final.
Sorry to Bother You will go on my rental queue. I’ll also try to catch up with Sisters and Distant Voices, Still Lives at some point.
Does anything make you want to yell “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” this week? (I’m so sorry, really.)
A Programming Note
I have to travel for a funeral this week. As a result, blog posts may be a little sparse and I won’t be around much to moderate comments. Please try to behave yourselves.