The massive deluge of Blu-rays this week brings us a mutant apocalypse, airborne sharks and a farting corpse, among other weirdness. October is off to a crazy start.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
‘X-Men: Apocalypse‘ – I used to be a big fan of the ‘X-Men’ franchise, but I lost interest a couple movies ago. I think a lot of the audience probably feels the same, even those who continue to go to the new entries out of a sense of obligation. Of the glut of superhero movies in theaters this summer, this one felt like an also-ran. Although not a flop, it significantly underperformed box office expectations. Most reviews and viewer word-of-mouth found the movie to be a disappointment. If you’re still interested anyway, it’s available now in 2D, 3D, a Best Buy exclusive SteelBook, or UHD.
‘Into the Forest‘ – Director Patricia Rozema (‘Mansfield Park’) delivers a much lower key apocalypse tale with Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood playing sisters who try to ride out a global power outage at their isolated home in the woods. Reviews were mixed-to-positive, mainly praising the performances over a storyline that loses its focus in the last half.
‘Swiss Army Man‘ – How’s this for the weirdest movie premise of the year? Daniel Radcliffe is a magical farting corpse who comes halfway back to life to help a shipwrecked Paul Dano survive on a deserted island. Yes, that’s actually the plot description of a movie that was financed, produced and distributed to theaters. According to some viewers and critics, it’s even a good one. Others found its self-conscious quirkiness too much to take.
‘The Purge: Election Year‘ – Despite being built off an implausible premise, the ‘Purge’ franchise continues to be extremely profitable and to expand in scope and ambition with each entry. This third one is the most overtly political in theme (hence the title) and reportedly feels like it’s designed as a stopping point to end a trilogy. I wouldn’t count on that to prevent the studio from cranking out more anyway, of course.
‘Sharknado: The 4th Awakens‘ – The first ‘Sharknado’ is an enjoyably dumb guilty pleasure. I even had fun with the second one. That’s about as much ‘Sharknado’ as I need. I can’t believe we’re really up to four of these. The producers go for broke this time by moving the shark storm away from the coast and heading inland to Las Vegas. This seems like a perfectly logical progression for this franchise.
‘The Wailing‘ – In this theatrical review, Phil called this South Korean horror thriller, “an exorcism tale, a serial killer procedural, a quirky small town (or village) satire, a meditation on evil, a dissection of faith, a tragedy, and a comedy all at once.” That sounds pretty interesting to me.
‘X-Men: Apocalypse‘ debuts simultaneously on both regular Blu-ray and Ultra HD Blu-ray. As a tag-along, Fox has also up-rezzed ‘X-Men: First Class‘ to 4k. (‘Days of Future Past’, the franchise entry that falls between these two, was already released as a UHD launch title back in February.)
Warner Bros. digs into its catalog hoping to wring a few more dollars out of recent box office disappointments ‘Pacific Rim‘, ‘Jupiter Ascending‘ and ‘The Great Gatsby‘. Notably, all of these movies originally played theatrically in 3D (and both ‘Pacific Rim’ and ‘Gatsby’ are arguably best experienced that way), but unfortunately the UHD format doesn’t support 3D.
If you missed your chance to buy the Twilight Time limited edition of Brian De Palma’s sleazy erotic thriller ‘Body Double‘ before it sold out back in 2013, Sony has taken back the rights and reissued the movie under its own label. Be warned, however, that this title is part of Sony’s manufactured-on-demand service and will be burned onto a BD-R, not a normal pressed disc. As a result, the disc case is not allowed to display the official Blu-ray logo.
For a more traditional release, Sony also has a 80th Anniversary Edition Digibook of the Frank Capra classic ‘Mr. Deeds Goes to Town‘.
Remember all the hubbub that was raised when Warner Bros. announced an obscenely overpriced $800 box set collecting all of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ extended edition movies together? That’s still on tap (currently listed for an October 11th release), but it’s not the one available this week. The ‘Middle-Earth Theatrical Collection‘ has the theatrical versions of all six movies, stripped of all bonus features, for a much more reasonable price. Still, I can’t imagine who would want this. Any true fan already has all these movies and probably prefers the extended versions anyway.
More realistic is the ‘Prince Movie Collection‘, which bundles a new remaster of ‘Purple Rain’ with the new-to-Blu ‘Graffiti Bridge’ and ‘Under the Cherry Moon’ for around $20. All three are also available separately for about $10 a pop. Buying them that way isn’t as good a deal, but let’s be honest, nobody really wants to own ‘Graffiti Bridge’ or ‘Under the Cherry Moon’ anyway.
Universal is sending a very eclectic trio of titles to Best Buy exclusivity. First off is the 1953 3D B-movie ‘It Came from Outer Space‘. (1950s 3D was way more aggressive than modern 3D, and this is the latest painstaking restoration from the renowned 3-D Film Archive.) Following that are the goofy 1966 Don Knotts comedy ‘The Ghost and Mr. Chicken‘ and the 1999 coming-of-age drama ‘October Sky‘. These three movies have absolutely nothing in common with each other, beyond being priced at a bargain $10 each.
Arrow Video released the 1986 cult movie ‘Vamp‘, a sort-of combination ’80s sex comedy/horror thriller starring Grace Jones as a vampire stripper, on Blu-ray in Europe a couple years ago. The title now makes its way this side of the pond as well.
Finally, Criterion reissues Robert Altman’s ensemble masterpiece ‘Nashville‘ as a Blu-ray-only edition, dropping the DVD copy from the package.
TV shows available on Blu-ray this week include the first (only) season of ‘Constantine‘, the first season of ‘Preacher‘, the third (and final) season of ‘Penny Dreadful‘, Season 4 of ‘Banshee‘, the first half of ‘Vikings‘ Season 4, ‘American Horror Story: Hotel‘ (i.e. Season 5), the sixth season of ‘Venture Bros.‘, and a lower-priced reissue of ‘Dexter: The Complete Series‘ (eight seasons in all).
I think I’ll rent ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ and ‘Swiss Army Man’. Frank Capra’s ‘Mr. Deeds’ will go on my wish list for later, but I don’t need to buy it right away. For $10, however, the 3D ‘It Came from Outer Space’ is really appealing to me.
Will you start October by buying any Blu-rays?
I’d like to see Apocalypse, Im guessing it will be on Netflix within the next few months. If Body Double is reasonably proced I’ll pick it up. I’ve never seen it but DePalma is usually a pretty safe bet, his older stuff anyways. I like Altman but hate country music so no Nasville for me. Into the Forest sounds kind of cool, could be a rental in the near future.
Uh, the previous X-Men movie was Days of Future Past which was a big hit both critically and commercially. It’d an amazing film. First Class before that was pretty darn good too. This one unfortunately was indeed a disappointment, for various reasons.
This is a big UHD week for me. I took advantage of the Fox sale and ordered both the new XMen movies on UHD. As a super fan of Pacific Rim I had to order the physical disc of this for my shelf. I plan on ordering The Great Gatsby, but I will wait for the review before determining if this is upgrade worthy of just wait for a sale.
It Came From Outer Space is listed on sale for 7.99 at Best Buy. Whether they’ll actually have it in stores remains to be seen. They did not follow through on their supposedly exclusive Stephen King movies. They did a few months ago with Money Pit, Great Outdoors, and Dream Team. I’m wondering if they do better with Universal titles or if it’s a supply and demand thing or something else. Anywho, I really hope they have it because I want it. I’ll probably pick up x-Men Apocalypse 3D as well. Everywhere I look, Oscar Isaac seems to be there. I think I forgot to check it, but I would probably blind buy Swiss Army Man at a lower price, a few of my friends at work saw it and really enjoyed it. I just freakin bought Purple Rain on blu a couple months ago and now they do this. I’m sure the other two movies are terrible, but I kinda want to see them. My brother ordered these so maybe I’ll check his out before committing to a purchase. I’m curious as to the Purple Rain remaster, is it a complete overhaul or a touch up of the old blu? I think the one I own looks pretty solid, so it would have to be a big upgrade for me to pick it up. The second Purge movie I picked up before Black Friday at 9.99 so hopefully they’ll do it with this one. I’d like to pick up the UHD for Pacific Rim for when I go Atmos even though I’m not uhd ready. I would love to read a review for this uhd version with some audio comparisons. eNoize! Make it happen!
I’ll be picking up the:
‘Batman: Under the Red Hood – Graphic Novel Release’
‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ (Best Buy Steelbook)
I’ll pick up these at some point. I may wait for a Complete Fourth Season of Vikings.
‘Constantine: The Complete Series’
‘Preacher: Season One’
‘Vikings: Season 4 Volume 1’
I’ll pick up the Prince movie collection for sure. Not sure if I’ll get the UK or US edition yet, though. Or, maybe I’ll wait a bit to see if there will be a Norwegian release.
‘Under the Cherry MØØn’! 🙂
That might improve the movie, actually 🙂
The UK box looks like it’s a lot wider than the US edition, so I’ll probably order the US edition. If a review confirms it’s got Norwegian subtitles, I’ll order it immediately, instead of holding out for a Norwegian announcement (which is a bit ironic, as that would pretty much confirm a Norwegian release as well)
I ordered Miami Vice the purple rain remaster and Body double I’m very interested in this one I don’t care about the blu ray logo as long as it plays in my machine pretty big haul for me
The concern with BD-Rs is that they may not have the longeivity of pressed discs.
Hopefully it does work out with bd-r anyone have the Miami Vice series on Blu-ray yet it was supposed to be out on the 4th then it got pushed back to the 11