SteelBook Alert: Pop Goes the Artwork

I’ve complained a fair amount about Pop Art Blu-ray cases in this blog, but the truth of the matter is that some of it is better than others. Or, perhaps a more accurate way to put it is that there are degrees to which some of it is tolerable.

‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’

Video Formats: Blu-ray/DVD (No 3D, no UHD)
Available at: Best Buy (USA)
Release date: November 21, 2017
Price: $24.99

Video Formats: Blu-ray/3D/UHD
Available at: Amazon UK
Release date: November 27, 2017
Price: £29.99

When it was announced, Luc Besson’s new mega-budget space opera sounded like it might be a return to ‘Fifth Element’ glory for the director. Then it was released and was a massive flop. Nevertheless, it’s the type of VFX spectacle that might be more appealing on home video.

I wouldn’t be surprised if many people look at this SteelBook and are immediately put off by it. Honestly, I think it could be worse. The movie is based on a comic strip and is already something of a gaudy assault on eyeballs. It could be argued that this goes along with that. However, it doesn’t particularly look like the artwork from the original comic, which I think would have been a much smarter idea.

Valerian SteelBook

Valerian SteelBook back

Valerian SteelBook inside

Valerian SteelBook Best Buy

‘The Dark Tower’

Video Formats: Blu-ray/UHD
Available at: Best Buy (USA)
Release date: October 31, 2017
Price: $34.99

The long-delayed Stephen King adaptation, intended to be the first entry in a major franchise spanning more movies and TV shows, also failed to set the box office on fire.

The SteelBook looks like somebody sneezed onto a paint palette and accidentally splattered random splotches of black and red onto a canvas.

The Dark Tower SteelBook

‘From Hell’

Video Formats: Blu-ray
Available at: Zavvi
Release date: October 23, 2017
Price: $21.75

Gah! This is just altogether awful. Again, the movie’s based on a graphic novel. Would it really have been too expensive to license the rights to use a panel from the source as the cover art? Instead we get this atrocity.

From Hell SteelBook

From Hell SteelBook back

From Hell SteelBook inside

Plenty of other hideous SteelBook editions of catalog titles were announced or released recently, but this one pretty much epitomizes the laziness and artistic bankruptcy of the Pop Art trend at its worst.


  1. Csm101

    The cover for From Hell is the most offensive of these, but the back panel art is lovely, IMO. I love the cobblestone floor. If one were to remove those cut and paste flames from the front, and add some red gradients to the light being cast, it might be decent too.

  2. Guy

    The other two aren’t great, but I dig The Dark Tower artwork. Pop art covers work best when they embrace minimalism in design and color and that’s what we get there. In (mostly) two colors and some negative space we get Roland and the Tower with the keyhole logo and Jake snuck in there. The floating gun’s a little weird but something had to go in that spot. There’s a bit of a Japanese aesthetic to it which I like in the context of a story about a cowboy ronin.

    I didn’t see the movie because of the terrible buzz, but if they plopped a cowboy hat on Roland and added a field of roses along the bottom, I’d deem this absolutely great artwork for the series as a Dark Tower book fan.

  3. NJScorpio

    Is that what the interior of the ‘From Hell’ case would look like, or does look like. If you held it open all the way, would the image be flat? Or does it have that tapered look like the image above, were in order for the image to look proper you’d have to have it partially opened?

  4. eric

    I don’t understand why the insides of the cases art style doesn’t match the outside… seems short sided or lazy to me.

    I don’t remember fire in this movie, or not at least as a main point of any kind. It seems like the artist just read a description of the movie and the title of the movie and said I will add fire because… Hell has fire.

    If you are going pop art on the outside go popart on the inside too. Or vice versa.

    Seems to be an identity crisis here. Where they going for 50’s movie poster art or Spaghetti Western… or F it, some of both.

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