As the long Labor Day weekend comes to an end, we begin the laborious process of digging through the huge volume of new Blu-rays scheduled for release this month. You may have a rough time finding something worthwhile, but keep your eyez peeled and, umm, leavey no stone unturned.
Yes, please groan. I’m sorry about that and will try to do better next week.
New Releases (Blu-ray)
‘Rough Night‘ – Scarlett Johansson’s second box office disappointment of 2017 is a raunchy comedy clearly pitched as ‘Bridesmaids’ crossed with ‘Very Bad Things’. A group of girlfriends wind up in deep trouble after accidentally killing a male stripper during a wild bachelorette party. Despite a great cast also including Ilana Glazer, Kate McKinnon and Jillian Bell, audiences apparently got enough of this sort of thing with last year’s ‘Bad Moms’.
‘All Eyez on Me‘ – The huge success of ‘Straight Outta Compton’ paved the way for a Tupac Shakur bio-pic next. Newcomer Demetrius Shipp, Jr. bears a striking resemblance to the real man and is said to deliver a pretty great performance, but the film as a whole was criticized for feeling overstuffed and unfocused. The real Jada Pinkett-Smith, who was a friend of Tupac’s and is portrayed in the movie by another actress, called its embellishment of the facts “deeply hurtful.” 50 Cent had some harsher language for it.
‘Megan Leavey‘ – Kate Mara stars in the (undoubtedly heavily fictionalized) true story of a Marine corporal who, after being wounded and discharged, fought to have her bomb-sniffing service dog retired to her care rather than put down. Oh, the feels! The feels! Can’t you feel those tears flowing already?
‘Score: A Film Music Documentary‘ – The title pretty much tells you what you need to know, doesn’t it? John Williams, Danny Elfman, Thomas Newman and other notable composers are interviewed about their profession. Whenever any of them starts to speak, Hans Zimmer drowns out their dialogue with a BRAAAAAHHHHHHMMMMM…
Of the day-and-date titles, only ‘Rough Night‘ gets an Ultra HD Edition.
More importantly, Ridley Scott’s sci-fi landmark ‘Blade Runner‘ makes its 4k debut with a new HDR transfer and Dolby Atmos soundtrack that our reviewer Matthew was blown away by. Unfortunately, only the Final Cut is included. If you want the older versions of the movie, you’ll have to hang on to your regular Blu-ray copies.
Other catalog titles getting upgraded to UHD include ‘The Cabin in the Woods‘, ‘Minions‘, ‘RED‘ and ‘RED 2‘.
Alfred Hitchcock’s first American feature and his only Best Picture Oscar winner, ‘Rebecca‘, was released by MGM on a pretty respectable Blu-ray back in 2012. The Criterion Collection hopes to do that one better with a new 4k restoration and a bunch of new supplements.
The Cohen Media Group took over the rights to the Merchant-Ivory catalog recently and put out a Blu-ray of ‘Howards End’ last year. The label follows that up by backtracking a little to 1987’s ‘Maurice‘, also adapted from a novel by E.M. Forster.
Sydney Pollack asked ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?‘ in his acclaimed WWII danceathon drama, now available via Kino.
Arrow Academy makes a big cut with Robert Aldrich’s 1955 noir ‘The Big Knife‘.
Shout! Factory pampers the 1983 Michael Keaton comedy ‘Mr. Mom‘ with a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray.
In anticipation of the impending sequel, Fox is reissuing ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service‘ in a so-called Premium Edition that comes packaged with a book and some art cards. The exclusion of the Ultra HD copy of the movie (released last year) makes this seem a lot less “premium” than it could be.
This week brings another big batch of TV product. New box sets include the second season of ‘Narcos‘, the third season of ‘The Flash‘, the twelfth season of ‘Supernatural‘, and the twentieth season of ‘South Park‘.
Also available is the HBO TV movie ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks‘, starring Oprah.
I’m still not equipped for Ultra HD yet. If I were, ‘Blade Runner’ would surely be a must-buy. In the meantime, ‘Rebecca’ and ‘Maurice’ will go on my wish list.
What do you have your eyez on this week? (I know! I can’t help it!)