Every week we will be bringing you some highlights of the new Blu-ray and 4K UHD releases coming to home media. We won’t feature every release because there may be more than you think. Especially true if you are normally just used to what you see in Best Buy or Target on your trips. For a full list of releases please take a look at our coming soon release list. For now, kick back and see what releases we here at TNM think you should take a look at. We’ll also note which of those we already have reviews for or any upcoming. These are the New Blu-ray Releases for the Week of 2/27/18.
20th Century Fox
From Fox, we have a pair of generally well-received films from last year. First up is Murder on the Orient Express where Kenneth Branagh directs and leads an all-star cast, including Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penélope Cruz, Judi Dench and Leslie Odom, Jr., in this stylish, suspenseful and thrilling mystery based on the best selling novel by Agatha Christie. Everyone’s a suspect when a murder is committed on a lavish train ride, and a brilliant detective must race against time to solve the puzzle before the killer strikes again. It’s available in both 4K UHD and the standard Blu-ray. If you liked the film, this home media release had a huge trove of special features.
Next up this week is the surprise hit Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, which grabbed a lot or awards considerations around the globe. Award-winning actress Frances McDormand (Fargo) delivers a stunningly powerful performance in this darkly comic drama that has been hailed as one of the year’s best films. A murdered girl’s defiant mother (McDormand) boldly paints three local signs with a controversial message, igniting a furious battle with a volatile cop (Sam Rockwell) and the town’s revered chief of police (Woody Harrelson). Three Billboards will also be available in 4K UHD and standard Blu-ray. A film like this with some controversy would be best served by some special features, but unfortunately what they have is minimal.
Arrow Video / Arrow Academy
If you keep up on Arrow, you probably remember Frank Henenlotter’s earlier release Brain Damage. Well, his earlier work Basket Case will be coming out this week to join it. A twisted tale of two brothers. Duane Bradley always carries a wicker basket with him. It contains Belial, the mutant conjoined twin that was removed from Duane’s side and left for dead when they were born. The two brothers are still connected telepathically and have come to New York City to take revenge on the surgeons who separated them. Featuring a brand new 4K restoration from the original 16mm negative by MoMA. There is also a new commentary and a host of other features. Certainly looks to be the definitive edition and worthy of upgrading your previous ones.
A deranged plastic surgeon, who has probably murdered his wife and who definitely has murdered his daughter’s boyfriend, is distressed when he learns of his father-in-law’s will. Rather than leave any money to the transparently awful son-in-law, the man leaves his entire (very large) estate to the surgeon’s daughter. The only problem is, the girl has run away. He hits on the scheme of re-creating his daughter face from the ruined features of a go-go dancer, and with her cooperation bilks the estate of several disbursements, growing increasingly deranged as time goes on.
If you love the stuff Arrow puts out, then Scalpel from 1977 should fit in with the rest. We will also have an in-depth TNM review coming up very soon of the Blu-ray in the next day or so.
From Arrow’s Academy line comes Jean-Luc Godard + Jean-Pierre Gorin: Five Films, 1968-1971. After finishing his film Weekend in 1967, Jean-Luc Godard shifted gears to embark on engaging more directly with the radical political movements of the era, and thus create a new kind of film, or, as he eventually put it: “new ideas distributed in a new way.” This new method in part involved collaborating with the precocious young critic and journalist, Jean-Pierre Gorin. Both as a two-person unit, and as part of the loose collective known as the Groupe Dziga Vertov (named after the early 20th-century Russian filmmaker and theoretician), Godard and Gorin would realize “some political possibilities for the practice of cinema” and craft new frameworks for investigating the relationships between image and sound, spectator and subject, cinema and society.
Included here are five films, all originally shot in 16mm celluloid, that serve as examples of Godard and Gorin’s revolutionary project. If you are interested in French film then this set should be of interest. Garrett will be doing a review of all five films in the coming weeks. I say weeks but Garrett is a writing machine and may have his review up sooner than you would think.
Disney likes to take some time off and then hit you with a ton of releases at once. Besides multiple releases, a few per usual, have all sorts of different packaging editions. We’ll start with Coco so I can give you my mini 3D rant. I know 95% of people do not care one bit about 3D releases anymore and that is fine. My problem is that the films still come out in 3D to make extra ticket money but the home media gets shafted. However, that is really only true in the US. Disney still puts out 3D releases in all the other countries they distribute and Disney Blu-rays are region free. So why leave the US out? I’m not saying they need to be in retail stores, but why not a Disney Movie Club version? You already have the discs made up and encoded, so why not provide for those that still love the format?
With that said I will provide you links to those 3D versions, the standard is available on Amazon and the Steelbook which seems to be the same as the Best Buy version below is available from Zavvi. And if for some reason you hate the UK and dumping their tea into the harbor wasn’t enough revenge, well then you can order from Spain, France, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, or China. Yep, all those places still get 3D editions and most of them have special packaging versions where the standard does not. Okay, rant over, well until the next time this happens. I think Thor comes out next week…
So you want to know about Coco? Well, despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
By most accounts, it’s a fantastic film and I’ll be importing a copy myself. For the majority of you readers, you are probably interested in what you can find readily accessible here in the states. Once again, Disney and Amazon are slap-fighting in the corner, so you’ll have to find an alternative if that is your normal purchasing ground. There is the standard Blu-ray edition. Best Buy has a collectible Steelbook® with some alternate art. Target has their storybook editions they have been doing for Disney items. Lastly, Coco also comes in a 4k UHD edition that you can probably find most places.
Also, releasing this week or should I say re-releasing is the classic Lady and the Tramp. It has been released before on Blu-ray and the actual picture hasn’t been changed. So if you are not a special feature person then you can probably find a cheaper version. If you are looking to upgrade then check out the news post we did which details what you get in the package. Some features are Blu-ray only and some are digital only. Like their other big releases, this comes in a variety of packaging editions. Besides the standard Blu-ray, there is also a Best Buy Steelbook® and a Target storybook. No 4K UHD yet, but don’t worry they’ll get you with that eventually.
To tie in with Lady and the Tramp, Disney is also releasing the sequel Lady And The Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure. It is a Disney Movie Club exclusive, so you have to be a member. As much as I rant about Disney at times, the Move Club is a decent idea and is generally well-executed. I’d rather have movies be produced in smaller quantities and be exclusive than never get Blu-ray releases at all. If you have never joined, be sure to search the web and forums for codes that have some nice introductory offers.
Also according to a few forums, Rocketman (1997) and Mighty Joe Young (1998) should both have 2oth anniversary Blu-ray editions releasing Tuesday as well. I can’t find links on the Disney Movie Club website like I can on Scamp’s adventure, so I’m not 100% on this. Only the DVD’s are showing up, so it might not populate until Tuesday.
Lionsgate only has one release this week and the only reason I am highlighting Hangman is that I will be having a review of it which should be up in a day or so. A serial killer is offing seemingly random people and playing a deadly game of hangman with the cops. Each victim has a letter carved into their flesh. I bet you think that the whole film will be trying to guess the word before the killer strikes again. You would be 100% incorrect. They don’t even bring up the end word and do not try to figure it out at all. The letters are essentially meaningless. It’s a fantastic mess and you’ll be able to read my full thoughts when the review goes final. Also, Pacino must have had the same southern accent coach as Steven Seagal, which if you have seen any recent ones of his, you know it’s ridiculous.
Edit: The full review is now live and somehow I wrote 1600 words about it, have a look here.
I tend to stay away from re-releases unless they bring something new to the table. As much as the Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider films are derided, many will still hold them as guilty pleasures. They have been released on Blu-ray before, but now they are coming in 4K UHD. Not only that, Best Buy has Steelbooks® for both. Even better the steels are cheaper than the regular 4Ks at the moment. So I’m sure these will interest someone. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in standard 4K UHD and Best Buy Steelbook®. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life in standard 4K UHD and Best Buy Steelbook®. Unfortunately, the steels have the same art.
One of our favorites here over at TNM. Their releases are usually the last Tuesday of the month and we made it to that! They have three different Blu-rays out this week, the first is from their “Adult” line so you know Seth has already ordered 5-10 copies for himself. Hailed by critics as one of the most erotic films of the 1970s, Bernard Morris’ MARY! MARY! is a quick paced and star-studded Faustian classic complete with a hilariously sexy car chase, cinematography by Henning Schellerup (Silent Night Deadly Night) and supporting performances from Sharon Thorpe, Jon Martin, Rene Bond and many others. Vinegar Syndrome presents MARY! MARY! newly restored in 2K from its original 35mm camera negative.
Co-starring Ernie Hudson (THE HUMAN TORNADO & GHOSTBUSTERS) and the one and only Mr. T (THE A-TEAM & ROCKY III), Jamaa Fanaka’s sequel to his acclaimed 1979 classic, PENITENTIARY II ups the intensity, ferocity, and outrageous action of the original. Vinegar Syndrome brings this early 80s action classic to Blu-ray, newly restored from its original 35mm camera negative and packed with explosive extra features. A non-slipcover version is available at Amazon.
While ostensibly a science fiction film, Norman J. Warren’s PREY is a brooding study in sexual desire and loneliness, punctuated by shocking violence and suspense. Equal parts bloody and erotic, Vinegar Syndrome presents this masterpiece of British horror on Blu-ray, in a brand new, director-approved restoration from its 35mm negative, and fully uncut for the first time since its 80s VHS release. A non-slipcover version is available at Amazon. Also our very own TNM reviewer Garrett reviewed Prey last week. Check out what he thought and if it’s worth a buy.
New Blu-ray Releases for the Week of 2/27/18
So that is it for this week. These are some of the Blu-rays we here at The Nerd Mentality will be picking up. Did we miss anything you wanted to see? Let us know what you’ll be picking up and be on the lookout for some reviews featuring some of these releases. Thanks for checking us out, we hope you enjoy watching and collecting Blu-rays as much as we do!