Streaming might be the future, but physical media is still the present. It’s also awesome, depending on the title, the label, and the release, so each week we take a look at the new Blu-rays and DVDs making their way into the world. Welcome to this week in Home Video for ! This week’s home video selection includes Deep Impact in 4K, a new title from Radiance Films, and more. Check out our picks below.
Pick of the Week
Deep Impact [4K UHD]
What is it? A comet heads towards Earth, destined to kill us all.
Why see it? 1998 saw two disaster epics hit screens about space debris colliding with Earth, and audiences ensured that the loudest, silliest, and cheesiest one became the blockbuster. That’s not a knock on Michael Bay’s box-office hit, but it is a knock on audiences who chose to avoid Mimi Leder’s more thoughtful tale of humanity’s impending extinction. The film features plenty of money shots, but its focus is more on the characters, science, and situation of it all. Is one or the other the better film? Hard to say as they approach the topic in such different ways, but Leder’s film — now newly restored and released on 4K UHD — is a beautiful look at the things we choose and the things that choose us.
[Extras: Commentary, featurettes]
The Assassination Bureau [Arrow Video]
What is it? A prequel to John Wick?
Why see it? I kid about this late 60s action/comedy being a prequel to the Keanu Reeves franchise, but the bones are there! The bureau of the title is an elaborate organization handling international assassinations with top hitmen, specific rules, and unique terminology, and it feels every bit like a template for the kind of meta world that is John Wick. All of that said, the film works on its own merits as Oliver Reed is a delight as that bureau head who finds himself targeted by his own killers. We get some fun action beats, a budding romance with Diana Rigg, and plenty of laughs. The film’s not nearly as well known as it deserves to be, and Arrow’s new Blu-ray gives it a solid new life.
[Extras: Commentary, video essay]
80 for Brady
What is it? Four best friends show Alzheimer’s symptoms.
Why see it? I kid. Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Rita Moreno, and Sally Field play football fans who travel to Superbowl LI and witness history. It’s a comedy of sorts about the importance of friendship and refusing to settle for what society deems you fit for — just because you’re old doesn’t mean you’re washed up and destined to die alone in an apartment filled with cats. There’s no arguing with the cast as all four leads are major talents, but you’d be lying to think this amounts to much of anything worthwhile.
[Extras: Deleted scenes, featurettes]
What is it? A troublemaker is forced to coach a special needs basketball team.
Why see it? Bobby Farrelly is no stranger to making movies about unlikable people and their shift into cheesy humanity. His latest tackles that familiar path, this time with Woody Harrelson as a bad-tempered coach assigned to public service. He’s uninterested and disturbed at first, but surprise! He soon learns to appreciate people. Anyway, there are some minor laughs here, and depending on how invested you find yourself, there may even be some teary eyes.
[Extras: Deleted scenes, featurettes, commentary]
The Sunday Woman [Radiance Films]
What is it? An Italian murder mystery, of sorts.
Why see it? Jacqueline Bisset, Marcello Mastroianni, and Jean-Louis Trintignant headline this light tale of a death and the casual chaos that follows. They’re the main reason to watch this one as their charisma, charm, and talents keep things afloat throughout even as the script merely moves along. It’s never dull, but the film never really finds the right gear for the story it’s telling. Still, that cast, alongside some attractive locales, are worth the effort — and all of it looks fantastic thanks to Radiance Films’ new Blu-ray
Also out this week:
Clash by Night [Warner Archive], Supercell, Wings of Desire [Criterion Collection]
Related Topics: Home Video