This final week of October may be something of a dumping ground for movies that underperformed at the box office. Luckily, some catalog titles and 4k upgrades may be worth your time.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
The Spy Who Dumped Me – Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon play BFFs who wind up entangled in an international espionage plot when Kunis learns that her ex-boyfriend (Justin Theroux) is a CIA agent. The action-comedy seems to tread similar ground to Melissa McCarthy’s 2015 blockbuster Spy, but wasn’t received nearly as well. Reviews were tepid and the movie was considered a disappointment financially.
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies – If DC Comics’ live-action superhero movies are frequently criticized for their overly dark and gloomy tone, the company’s feature film spinoff of the kid-oriented animated comedy series veers hard in the other direction, playing up the silliness and jokey humor. This worked well enough to turn a modest profit relative to the movie’s low $10 million budget, but no one seemed overly enthused about it.
The Darkest Minds – It feels like hardly a month can go by without another attempt to launch a YA adventure franchise, and most of them fail. This one is set in a world where most children died out due to a mysterious virus, and the ones who survived became X-Men-style mutants with superpowers. Nobody paid much attention. Critics scoffed at the movie and audiences ignored it.
Slender Man – The creepypasta internet urban legend about a disturbingly mis-proportioned supernatural bogeyman more or less already got turned into a horror movie with The Bye Bye Man in 2017. Director Sylvain White (The Losers, Stomp the Yard) makes an authorized version starring Joey King and Annalise Basso. Critics had no love for it, which is to be expected. Although horror fans tend to be more forgiving of movies that get bad reviews, the audiences who saw this one derided it as well.
Mandy – In what may be the midnight movie cult sensation of the year, Nicolas Cage goes full, balls-out Cage in a surreal revenge thriller from director Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow). A friend of mine described this as being like David Lynch and Stanley Kubrick got together to make a psychedelic Mad Max ripoff that climaxes with a chainsaw fight. He did not intend that description as a compliment, as he really hated the movie, but other viewers have gone nuts for it.
Both The Spy Who Dumped Me and The Darkest Minds debut in 4k simultaneously with regular Blu-ray.
Warner Bros. already upgraded The Matrix to Ultra HD back in May. The studio follows that up with both sequels, which you can purchase individually or as part of a trilogy box set. Best Buy also has laughably ugly SteelBooks for all three movies.
The box art for the BBC double feature of Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II is confusing labeled as “The Complete Collection,” which might imply that the original Planet Earth and Blue Planet miniseries are also included. As far as I can tell, that’s not the case. Still, 12 hours of stunning nature documentary footage in 4k HDR should keep you busy for a while.
As if MGM hadn’t already milked The Princess Bride with enough Blu-ray editions previously (no less than four), Rob Reiner’s delightful fantasy romance now joins the Criterion Collection for a fifth dip at the well. To be fair, Criterion released the movie on Laserdisc back in 1997, so this disc offers an opportunity to repurpose some of the vintage bonus features from that edition.
I’m surprised that Arrow Video managed to nab the rights to Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys considering that Criterion has a pretty close working relationship with the director. Although the supplements appear to mostly be recycled from the older Universal DVD and Blu-ray, Arrow promises a new 4k video remaster approved by Gilliam.
Also from Arrow is Sergio Martino’s 1973 giallo thriller Torso.
Shout! Factory adds the 1980s comedies Dragnet and Valley Girl to its Shout Select line.
The 2001 anime feature Metropolis (sometimes called Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis) was last released as a manufactured-on-demand BD-R disc from the Sony Choice program. Mill Creek has licensed the movie to reissue it as a regular pressed disc packaged in a SteelBook. This has never been one of my favorite anime films, but it has some eye candy imagery that ought to look nice in high definition.
I guess that Mill Creek’s 20 Year Reunion Edition of the teen comedy Can’t Hardly Wait could wait after all. I mentioned the disc a few weeks ago, but it appears to have been pushed back to this Tuesday.
Also delayed was MVD’s copy of the Denzel Washington thriller Out of Time.
Kino revives the Dennis Quaid/Meg Ryan thriller D.O.A., the 1988 remake of a classic film noir, made by Max Headroom creators Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel.
In case you haven’t squeezed in enough scary movies before Halloween, Vinegar Syndrome offers the 1990 neo-Blaxploitation horror riff Def by Temptation.
After years of clamoring from fans, Warner Bros. has finally remastered all of Batman: The Animated Series into high definition. The initial Deluxe Limited Edition package comes with a trio of Funko bobbleheads and a high list price. I’m sure that a streamlined version with more sensible packaging will follow later.
With their TV reboots now on the air, Mill Creek rolls out the original MacGyver (from 1985) and Charmed (from 1998), starting with the first seasons of each.
I’m down for the Arrow remaster of 12 Monkeys and Criterion’s The Princess Bride even though I already own the older Blu-rays of both. I might also consider purchasing the Metropolis anime while it’s available for a pretty reasonable price.
I can wait for a less “deluxe” edition of Batman: The Animated Series without the Funkos I don’t care about.
Mandy seems like something I’ll stream as soon as it hits Netflix.
What looks good to you this week?