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?
I’m going to try and pick up Matrix Reloaded on uhd and maybe Revolutions. I think the Criterion sale at B&N starts later this week. I originally only meant to pick up Naked Prey, but while I’m there I may as well grab the new master for Princess Bride. I don’t have the funds right now, but I definitely want Dragnet, 12 Monkeys (already own the Universal), Valley Girl, Blood Harvest, perhaps Torso which I also already own the BU version. I feel like I’ve done mostly double dipping this year, sheesh!! Last but not least, I really want The Batman animated series, but don’t really need all the fancy stuff. I’d like to rent The Spy Who Dumped Me and Mandy.
Double dipping doesn’t bother me at all when it’s a new 4k remaster. Happy to see so many classic lately get a huge video upgrade.
It’s been an amazing year for catalogue titles receiving quality upgrades. Predator, The Matrix movies, Die Hard, Dark Crystal, Halloween, etc, etc. Not to mention the upcoming Maniac, Zombie, Waterworld. I don’t mind double or even triple dipping at all, but what I’ve found out about myself this year, is that my need to see a movie in its best form has outweighed seeing new things and adding more variety to my collection. If I wasn’t so hellbent on seeing the new master for Matrix Reloaded (and also experiencing it in Atmos) plus other stuff I already own, I could’ve easily picked up Dragnet and or Valley Girl, which aren’t in my collection and haven’t seen in years.
I’ll definitely grab 12 Monkeys and Torso at the next AV sale since I refuse to pay full price for their releases since the go on sale so often.
Ive seen Mandy and liked it but think it’s overhyped tbh. You get the feeling its the case of someone setting out to make a cult movie as opposed to it just happenning naturally.
I have to disagree about Mandy…because I feel like it works doing what it is doing, which is a sort of 80’s heavy metal movie. While 80’s retro style is popular again, it doesn’t seem to have just been shoehorned into the movie. I watched it with someone who kept asking me what year it was made. I think that the last Nicolas Winding Refn movie tried too hard to be a cult film (The Neon Demon).
I’ll be picking up:
The Princess Bride (Criterion), I’ve only double-dipped once on Blu-Ray, and I like the Criterion Collection releases.
And, I’ll probably pick up Dragnet (1987): Collector’s Edition. I’ve seen this a few times and it’s still great.
I really want the Batman: The Complete Animated Series, but I think I’ll wait for the edition without the Funko Figures.
As for Macgyver, I’ve already got the boxed set, so I’ll wait for a Blu-Ray complete set before I decide to upgrade if at all. For a series not filmed in HD, I think DVD Is good enough to retain the quality of the series and an upgrade is not necessary, but we’ll see.
MacGyver was shot on film. An HD transfer should give an appreciable upgrade.
Well, seeing as 35mm is 6K resolution – yeah.
That’s debatable. And many TV shows are/were shot on 16mm. I can’t say for MacGyver specifically.
Then, I may upgrade when a full series boxed set ever comes out. I would love to see some commentaries or supplements involving more of the cast, particularly RDA.
Expensive week with Batman, The Matrix Trilogy, and 12 Monkeys being day one purchases. While I wish it was a 4K release, I’ll probably buy The Princess Bride too when the next Criterion sale begins. Torso interests me since it is a giallo, but I want to see it first so. Hopefully it will show up for streaming somewhere soon. Mandy is a definite rental.
Deadite, Torso is available on Prime streaming.
Thanks CSM, I did not realize that. Will give it a watch this week, maybe as a back to back with Mandy.
Big week for me: 12 Monkeys, Princess Bride, Dragnet, Matrix Trilogy UHDs and I also got 2001 A Space Odyssey UHD as well. Despite the delay it came Saturday, which I didn’t complain about. It looks amazing, FYI.
Had to put off Batman for cost reasons, which is fine as I’d rather have a standard edition anyway.
Just 2001: A Space Odyssey regular blu-ray for me, and possibly Happy Birthday To Me if my local Walmart has it.
Nothing for me. Just as well—I’ll be gorging on classic Halloween fare!
Celebrating Micky came out this week (or late last week, or sometime next month, depending on where you look). It showed up on my door on Tuesday from Amazon Prime, so I am assuming it released this week.
Also looking at the Matrix 4k collection, and possibly the Batman Animated Series.
This was one of those very, very few examples of a movie I bought digitally during it’s early release, and THEN bought the Blu-Ray when the disc was released. There is no doubt in my mind that this will become a cult classic.
FYI, the “Digital HD” code that is included with the Batman Animated Series Blu-Ray can only be redeemed through Vudu, and they only have the series as SD right now. If you pick up the set, don’t redeem the code until you see the show is available in HD.