We return from the Labor Day break and start September off with the Blu-ray debuts for a couple of the most buzzed-about movies of the year – a horror flick and a documentary that happen to present two wildly different views on child-rearing.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
Hereditary – A rare Sundance hit that broke out to mainstream success as well, Toni Collette stars as the mother of a very troubled family that disintegrates after her own mother dies. Questions arise as to whether their home is being haunted by malevolent spirits or whether some or all of the family may be mentally ill. Whichever is the case, the problem seems to be passed down from one generation to the next. If you haven’t seen the movie (and I haven’t), I’m told that it’s best to go into it cold without knowing much about the plot beforehand. Our resident horror fanatic Deirdre loved loved loved it, and the movie went on to become indie distributor A24’s biggest box office success to date.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – In these deeply depressing and cynical times, sometimes we all could use a reminder that genuine goodness can exist in the world too. The documentary profiling longtime educator and children’s TV host Fred Rogers digs up no dark secrets to sully its subject’s reputation or our childhood memories. Instead, the film shows him as a complex man dedicated to teaching the values of empathy and compassion to young children. The documentary received near-universal praise from critics. Even fifteen years after his death, Rogers’ work continues to live on. My own young boys are big fans of the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood cartoon spinoff from his show.
Adrift – Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin star in a survival tale about a young couple trapped in the middle of the ocean after their sailboat is damaged in a hurricane. Although that plot description sounds like the setup for a sequel to Robert Redford’s All Is Lost, it’s actually based on a true story. Reviews were mostly favorable, especially in regard to Woodley’s performance, but the movie didn’t do much business at the box office.
Godard Mon Amour – It’s interesting to me how quickly the world turned against French director Michel Hazanavicius after he won an Oscar for The Artist. The backlash against him and that film seems way out of proportion to any offense they may have committed. (Personally, I still love it.) His next movie, the 2014 war drama The Search, was a massive international flop. Hoping to get his mojo back, Hazanavicius returns with another light comedy about cinema history, this time focused on French New Wave icon Jean-Luc Godard’s affair with 20-year-old starlet Anne Wiazemsky on the set of their 1967 La chinoise. The result didn’t impress too many people, least of all Jean-Luc Godard, who called it a “stupid, stupid idea.”
Hereditary is birthed onto Ultra HD at the same time as its Blu-ray counterpart.
Meanwhile, as plans for a third movie keep moving in and out of development, Sony upgrades Michael Bay’s Bad Boys I & II to 4k in a double-feature set.
Speaking of Michael Bay, Paramount has packaged all of his Transformers pictures into a so-called Ultimate 5-Movie Collection on Blu-ray. I’m not sure what’s behind the delay (considering that all of the movies have already been released individually), but an Ultra HD edition of the box set is expected on November 6th.
Lest we forget, Michael Bay also has two movies in the Criterion Collection (both on DVD), which of course puts him on equal artistic footing with Ingmar Bergman, whose Scenes from a Marriage is sadly lacking either giant robots or explosions. Well, I suppose it has some emotional explosions, but that’s not quite the same, is it?
Arrow Video released a Limited Edition of the Dario Argento giallo thriller Deep Red earlier this year, and follows that up now with a more reasonably priced Special Edition.
The Arrow Academy imprint brings some attention to an obscure 1955 samurai tale called Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji.
Disney celebrates the 25th anniversaries for both the Tim Burton stop-motion masterpiece The Nightmare Before Christmas and the dumb Bette Midler witch comedy Hocus Pocus with new reissues, including exclusives at Target and Best Buy. As far as I can tell, the only new item The Nightmare Before Christmas offers is a sing-along subtitle track, though the glow-in-the-dark SteelBook is kind of nice and is very attractively priced at just $12.99 right now. As for Hocus Pocus, I’m perplexed at how anyone could even like that movie.
If you have nostalgia for crappy 1990s comedies, Kino has a trifecta with Blame It on the Bellboy, Once Upon a Crime, and Oscar. After bingeing on those, you can wind down with Universal’s Cop and a Half.
When it premiered back in 2005, could anyone have foreseen that Supernatural would still be running 13 seasons later? Original creator Eric Kripke didn’t. He bowed out after five.
Just starting its run is the Big Bang Theory spinoff Young Sheldon.
Hereditary looks worth a rental. I’m sure that Won’t You Be My Neighbor? will hit Netflix soon enough. Deep Red and Scenes from a Marriage will go on my wish list for some future Arrow and Criterion sales.
That’s all I have my eye on this week. What about you?
Nothing for me this week.
I ordered the Bad Boys collection on uhd. There is also a Best Buy exclusive steelbook for the Bad Boys uhd. I’ll check out Hereditary in the near future.
I’ve added a site listing for the Bad Boys SteelBook, but I think it’s probably too late to add it to the poll.
“The backlash against him and that film seems way out of proportion to any offense they may have committed. (Personally, I still love it.)”
What backlash, Josh? Wikipedia (I know, not the most trustworthy source) only talks about some Kim Novak brouhaha.
‘Bad Boys 3’ will be directed by two Belgians, by the way.
There’s been a huge backlash against The Artist, claiming that it didn’t deserve the Best Picture award.
‘Hobo With a Shotgun’ was flagrantly snubbed.
I see. Oh well. What else was nominated that year? ‘The Descendants’, ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’, ‘The Help’, ‘Hugo’, ‘Midnight in Paris’, ‘Moneyball’, ‘The Tree of Life’ & ‘War Horse’.
Even as a huuuuge Spielberg fan, I’d say ‘The Artist’ was the most deserving that year. ‘Hugo’ is awesome, but never stood a chance of winning Best Picture (it did win in most technical categories). ‘Midnight in Paris’ won its most important category (screenplay). ‘The Tree of Life’ was too divisive.
Didn’t know Chris Columbus is an Oscar-nominee thanks to ‘The Help’. Cool. ‘Academy Award nominee Chris Columbus presents … Home Alone Redux’.
Yeah, it’s weird. I had never heard of this huge backlash against ‘The Artist’ either. I constantly hear people gripe about ‘Gladiator’, ‘Crash’, ‘Chicago’ etc, but not that one. And looking back, 2011 was a pretty weak year for movies.
I too would probably think ‘The Help’ would be the biggest mainstream crowdpleaser. But then again I’ve seen way more backlash against that movie even existing at all than I have for ‘The Artist’ winning the top prize.
What is this like the 3rd or 4th time Arrow has released Deep Red on Blu Ray in some form or another? Jesus. quit milking the same cow already and give us some other Argento’s like his later 90’s work. It’s not on par with his best stuff but it’s still release-worthy.
From what I can see, Blue Underground released Deep Red in 2011. Arrow took over the license and put out a Limited Edition in April of this year, which included a poster, some lobby cards, and a second disc with something called the “Export Version” of the movie. (I’m not familiar with the movie and don’t know what that’s about.) The new copy is a streamlined Special Edition with the same Disc 1 in standard packaging – no poster, no lobby cards, no Export Version.
They’ve also released it a few times in the UK as well if Im not mistaken. So about 4 times total on blu and a few dvd releases to. Give it a rest guys! Lol
I don’t think those really count as separate releases. They’re the same editions, just released in Europe first.
I get tbat, I just tend to pay attention to North American and European releases since I have a region-free player and it’s just seemed like a deluge of Deep Red lately. Maybe it’s just my perspective.
I don’t dislike the movie (although it’s far from my favorite Argento), I just wish they’d release more of his later stuff.
This last release of Deep Red is from a 4k restoration they did in UK. That version was B locked and so they made this version for region A. From what I remember, that version sold out pretty quickly. I wish they would’ve included the soundtrack disc for us here in the states.
Just Bad Boys 4k for me. Cant go wrong with a Sony UHD. Wish I liked Deep Red (or gialli in general) but I don’t.
I know people say this all the time, but I really believe Gialli is something one must acquire a taste for. I went from being completely ignorant of it, to actively disliking it, to loving it over a period of a few years. The gateway film for me personally was Fulci’s Don’t Torture a Duckling with it’s obvious influences on Brian DePalma and thus Tarantino sticking out all over the place. I really think it takes time for most people to get into the proper mindframe to appreciate the subgenre, but once you do there’s so much to enjoy within it.
You’re probably right. I’ve watched Deep Red and a few others listed as classics. If I watched more, or rewatched those, I might get more into it. That said there’s only so many hours in the day, and only so much money to spend on discs. 😉
Oscar is a great comedy. Watch it again. A lot of Clue-esque DNA in there.
People just demean it because it seems an easy mark (Stallone and Comedy).
But, it has a killer cast and a great director – and set pieces that are hilarious. (Martin Ferraro and Harry Shearer as the Fenucci brothers are worth the price of admission alone)
Looking over everything John Landis has made since, say, Trading Places, I’m not sure that the “great director” label is quite accurate.
Your point is solid overall, except for Coming to America. That’s easily one of my favorite comedies of all time.
Also Innocent Blood is fun.
He’ll always be a great director to me. ‘The Blues Brothers’ is all-time top-10 material. I even like the sequel.
Well, I am a huge fan of Hocus Pocus, but I already own the movie. Same with Nightmare Before Christmas. So unless there is a stunning new transfer (which I doubt), then its nothing for me this week.