New Blu-rays this week put a peculiar focus on hotels and the number eight. I feel like there’s a secret Masonic code in there that we need Dan Brown to crack.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Hotel Artemis – For her first acting appearance since 2013’s misbegotten Elysium, Jodie Foster plays a nurse running a secretive hotel/emergency room for criminals. Bad stuff goes down there. In other words, she’s basically the Night Nurse character from Daredevil moved to a knockoff John Wick universe. Why Foster had to (or wanted to) wear old-age makeup for this is puzzling to me. Other famous names in the cast include Dave Bautista, Sterling K. Brown, Sofia Boutella, and Jeff Goldblum, among others. Word of mouth was mixed-to-negative and the film’s box office was weak.
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation – Adam Sandler and his friends score another easy paycheck for recording a few hours of voice work in one more middling animated comedy. These things keep making money, which I suppose is good news for Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky.
Skyscraper – Remember the wave of Die Hard knockoffs that transplanted that movie’s premise to new locations? “Die Hard on a plane!” “Die Hard on a boat!”, etc. Well, now Dwayne Johnson goes Die Harding in… a tall building? Isn’t that literally just the plot of Die Hard again? Oh, wait, this building is, like, really tall. Totally different thing, I guess. Of the star’s two big action spectacles this year, this one didn’t do nearly as well as Rampage, but brought in enough money internationally to turn a profit. In a rarity, Warner Bros. is releasing a 3D edition in the United States. Best Buy has a SteelBook for the 4k version.
Eighth Grade – Comedian Bo Burham makes his directorial debut with a coming-of-age drama about a young girl struggling to endure the most awkward phase of adolescence in the modern social media age. Critics adored it and the movie was a big indie hit.
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot – The latest from Gus Van Sant stars Joaquin Phoenix in a bio-pic about paraplegic cartoonist John Callahan, based on his memoir. The buzz out of Sundance wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as hoped, which means that the movie didn’t get much of a release afterwards.
Debuting day-and-date with regular Blu-ray are Ultra HD editions of Skyscraper, Hotel Artemis, and Hotel Transylvania 3.
Warner Bros. brings the animated Constantine: City of Demons and Justice League Dark to the format as well.
I imagine that, somewhere off in the Canadian hinterlands, our site’s former reviewer Luke is losing his mind over the prospect of watching Steven Spielberg’s Hook in 4k HDR. RUFIOOOOOO!!
Also getting an upgrade is Sam Raimi’s original 1981 The Evil Dead. Will the movie’s micro-budget 16mm photography hold up to high resolution playback? I guess we’ll see.
The Criterion Collection only has one release this week, but it’ll take you the length of four regular movies to watch Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s miniseries melodrama Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day.
Bob Fosse’s Oscar-winning musical Cabaret gets reissued through the Warner Archive. I’m not sure whether the disc will differ at all from the prior Blu-ray released in 2012 or is just a repackage.
The Cohen Media Collection reports on The Official Story, the 1985 Argentinian drama that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Amazon listing for Fox’s Planet of the Apes: 9-Movie Collection is all messed up. The page has no photo and claims that the product is 4k, but Best Buy and Target confirm that the discs are actually standard Blu-ray. Doing the math, the set must include the original run of five movies, the 2001 Tim Burton remake, and the recent reboot trilogy.
Shout! Factory swashes some buckles (or buckles some swashes) with a 20th Anniversary Edition of the 1998 adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ The Man in the Iron Mask, starring a young Leonardo DiCaprio freshly debarked from Titanic.
Scream Factory preps for Halloween with Collector’s Editions of the 1999 House on Haunted Hill and the 2008 Trick ‘r Treat.
Fox also tries to get in the holiday spirit by repackaging a bunch of old discs into Halloween-themed SteelBooks with truly ghastly Pop Art designs that have little to nothing to do with the movies in question.
It’s been a decade since Sony put the teen comedy Can’t Hardly Wait on Blu-ray, at which point the film was 10-years-old itself. Mill Creek can’t hardly wait to reissue it as a 20 Year Reunion Edition.
MVD adds the 2003 Denzel Washington thriller Out of Time
and a so-called Ultimate Edition of John Woo’s war epic Windtalkers to its Marquee Collection. [Update: Windtalkers has been delayed to November 6th.]
The first season of BBC America’s Killing Eve and the fifth season of The CW’s The 100 are now available for your binge-watching pleasure.
The Warner Archive digs further back to 1974 for the creepy made-for-TV thriller Bad Ronald.
I don’t plan to buy anything this week, but Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day will go on my wish list and Eighth Grade looks like a good rental. I can also see myself watching Skyscraper or Hotel Artemis when they hit cable or Netflix.
What will you check out this week?