Two years after the Ghostbusters fiasco, the latest attempt to reboot a previously male-dominated franchise with an all-female cast was met with a little less virulent misogynistic outrage (though there certainly was some of that) and more of a shrug. I guess that’s progress. That movie and a few others come to Blu-ray this week.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Ocean’s 8 – No, it’s not a prequel, just a spinoff with fewer characters, because women are expected to do 1.4x more work than men for the same pay. Sandra Bullock plays Debbie Ocean, sister of George Clooney’s Danny Ocean, who follows in her brother’s footsteps to assemble her own rat pack of accomplices (Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, and Awkwafina) to pull off a heist caper during the Met Gala. Replacing Steven Soderbergh as director is his pal Gary Ross, and I suspect that the results might have been better embraced had a woman helmed. Instead, the response from most critics (including our Deirdre) and viewers was lukewarm, citing it as another middling movie from a filmmaker who mostly specializes in such.
SuperFly – Even less successful was the attempt to update the Blaxploitation classic Super Fly by a music video auteur calling himself “Director X.” Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, and a bunch of rappers (Big Boi, Rick Ross, Lecrae and others) star. The most enthusiastic reviews called the movie “competent!”
Hearts Beat Loud – In a feel-good charmer from Sundance this year, Nick Offerman plays a middle-aged dad who bonds with his daughter (Kiersey Clemons) by forming a band with her during the summer before she goes off to college. Most critics approved of the results, except our Jason, who wasn’t having it. If you can be patient, I’m sure this will turn up on IFC in no time at all.
Ocean’s 8 steals an extra spot or two on retailer shelves with an Ultra HD copy and a SteelBook at Best Buy.
Sony really seems to be thumbing its nose at collectors who purchased the quickly-sold-out Twilight Time limited edition Blu-ray of John Carpenter’s Christine back in 2010. Not only did the studio take back the rights and put out its own lower-priced Blu-ray a few years later, now we get a 4k upgrade with a Best Buy SteelBook. Is the movie really that beloved? I remember it as a pretty middle-of-the-road (har har) Stephen King adaptation.
Also making the leap to 4k are Ridley Scott’s dire Robin Hood reboot from 2010 and the animated features Batman: Assault on Arkham and Batman: The Killing Joke.
The Criterion Collection continues its love affair with Terrence Malick, providing his 2011 metaphysical opus The Tree of Life with a 2-disc Special Edition. Among its bounty of bonus features is an all-new extended version of the film described as less a Director’s Cut than an entirely new movie.
Another longtime favorite of the Criterion staff is Olivier Assayas, whose early feature Cold Water now joins Summer Hours, Carlos, Clouds of Sils Maria, and Personal Shopper under the Criterion imprint.
The Warner Archive hangs ten with Big Wednesday, the 1978 surfing drama directed by John Milius, of all people.
On tap from Scream Factory are the 1988 Demi Moore horror thriller The Seventh Sign and the 1990 Brain Dead, featuring both Bill Paxton and Bill Pullman in the same movie.
MVD offers Ice Cube fans reissues of Barbershop and Barbershop 2, as well as the Blu-ray debut of the Queen Latifah spinoff Beauty Shop. Apparently, the label hasn’t yet gotten the rights to Barbershop: The Next Cut yet.
Also exploding onto disc is the eleventh season of The Big Bang Theory.
The Tree of Life received such a divisive reaction from other viewers that I never got around to watching it. Perhaps the Criterion edition will give me an excuse to finally do that. Otherwise, this week doesn’t do much for me. I’ll wait for Ocean’s 8 and Hearts Beat Loud to hit cable.
Does anything steal your attention this week?