Plus 10 More New Releases to Watch This Week on Blu-ray/DVD!
Welcome to this week in home video! Click the title to buy a Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon and help support FSR in the process!
Pick of the Week
You Were Never Really Here
What is it? A man rescues abducted children by any means necessary.
Why see it? Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin never connected with me despite the immense praise, but her latest lands with a ferocious kick to the heart. Its core story is familiar to genre fans, but Ramsay and Joaquin Phoenix (along with Jonathan Ames’ source novel) create something remarkable and fresh as one man’s descent into hell sees him fighting to return with a young life in tow. It’s captivating from frame one, and at 90 minutes it’s a fast ride you’ll want to retake immediately.
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]
What is it? Two women find love in unlikely and unwelcome circumstances.
Why see it? Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz are utterly compelling here as the latter returns to her strict Jewish community and falls in with the former as a wife looking to break free. It’s a respectful film that presents people of faith with honesty, but it’s the two leads that captivate as they reconnect, find their place in this world, and grow as characters. It’s a calm drama, sexy at times to be sure, but one that leaves viewers with feelings of hope and love in the face of resistance.
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None]
Irma La Douce [KL Studio Classics]
What is it? A policeman falls in love with a prostitute on the streets of Paris, and comedy ensues.
Why see it? Billy Wilder’s The Apartment is a work of pure brilliance both in its comedy and drama, and three years later he reunited with stars Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine for this romp. It’s based on a stage musical but keeps the stage and drops the music while allowing its two leads to shine. Plenty of laughs ensue, but it’s definitely a lesser beast than The Apartment as the characters are less real and honest and more “theatrical.” It’s a fun watch, though, thanks to sharp writing and smart performances.
[Blu-ray extras: New 4K scan, commentaries]
Isle of Dogs
What is it? A boy undertakes an adventure to rescue his dog.
Why see it? Wes Anderson’s latest is another stop-motion tale along the lines of Fantastic Mr. Fox, and while it doesn’t reach that film’s level of whimsy and wonder it’s a terrific adventure. The story presents an alternate reality as dogs are outlawed and sent to live on a remote island, and while that comes with its share of sad beats it offers an engaging tale. The voice talents are numerous and delightful which adds to the fun, and while concerns about its look at Japanese culture and characters are warranted issues feel less intentional than misguided (for whatever that’s worth).
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes, interviews]
Terminator 2: Judgment Day [4K UltraHD]
What is it? A cyborg returns from the future to save mankind.
Why see it? James Cameron’s big action sequel to his sci-fi/slasher original remains a tremendous ride of blockbuster entertainment, and its 4K transfer is a thing of beauty. The action and thrills are still terrific, and while Edward Furlong is a dud the film’s positives far outweigh his obnoxious performance. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton make for a killer pair, and while the story beats regarding mankind’s disregard for life land every bit as powerfully the bottom line remains that this is stellar entertainment.
[4K UltraHD/Blu-ray extras: Documentary, interviews, deleted scenes, commentaries, featurette, theatrical and extended cuts]
Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare
What is it? A group of friends are haunted by a game they played in Mexico.
Why see it? Putting your company’s name at the forefront of your title is a pretty pretentious move, and unfortunately for Jason Blum and friends this first release with that moniker is an absolute dud. The writing is weak, the scares are absent, and the logic is faulty leaving us with a horror movie that plods along pausing only to make a loud noise in the hopes of scaring viewers. It’s exactly what you fear a PG-13 horror movie with “young people” will be, and while there are good ones out there — their own Happy Death Day is good fun — this is not one.
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes, commentary]
The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail [Arrow Video]
What is it? A widow’s attempt to collect on her husband’s life insurance policy runs into some violent complications.
Why see it? Sergio Martino’s second giallo is an engaging ride as our heroine’s simple efforts are thwarted by deception, murder, and greed. The majority of the film’s action takes place in Greece, which is unusual for the genre but a welcome change of pace as the sun-dappled shores offer an unlikely setting for such dark acts. Arrow’s new Blu is sharp and loaded with extras that enhance and enlighten viewers on the film and the genre itself.
[Blu-ray extras: New 2K restoration, commentary, interviews, featurettes]
Doom Asylum [Arrow Video]
What is it? An abandoned asylum seems like a fun place to hang out, but what this film presupposes is maybe it isn’t.
Why see it? Sometimes you’re introduced to a genuinely fun slasher, and sometimes it’s Doom Asylum. I kid, but seriously, the pieces for something special are all here with a fantastic location, an intriguing villain, and some talented fodder, but it just doesn’t come together as well as you’d hope. The script is the main culprit as dialogue and actions fumble their way across the screen. Thankfully the gore and blood are plentiful and feature a couple truly entertaining sequences. Regardless of where you land on the film, though, Arrow’s new transfer is good stuff.
[Blu-ray extras: New 2K restoration, commentaries, interviews]
I Feel Pretty
What is it? A woman hits her head and wakes believing she’s gorgeous.
Why see it? Amy Schumer isn’t exactly an actor with much depth, but she’s a master of self-deprecation. That talent plays well here as she goes from a woman who’s down on herself to someone with remarkable confidence. It’s a light comedy to be sure, but there are some laughs to be found for fans of Schumer. Michelle Williams shines too in a supporting role with a voice that makes things funnier than they’d otherwise be.
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes, gag reel, featurette]
What is it? Mutated animals threaten buildings, and only Dwayne Johnson can stop them.
Why see it? As movies based on video games go this is definitely one of them, and it’s a harmless one to boot. The action is big, loud, and entirely CG, and none of it is all that thrilling. Kids will find fun here, and Johnson is always a plus as he’s a supremely charismatic performer, but viewers hoping for actual excitement, big monster thrills, and suspense will most likely be disappointed.
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes, gag reel, deleted scenes]
Super Troopers 2
What is it? The gang is reinstated when a Canadian town is revealed to actually be part of the United States.
Why see it? Woof. I know this film has its fans, and I know comedy is the most subjective of genres, but woof. The writing and antics here are so base and obvious to the point that every joke is telegraphed in advance. The only beats that land are the digs by Canadians at America’s expense, while everything going the opposite direction is just so predictable and dull.
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes, deleted scenes]
Also out this week:
The Housemaid, Modus – Season 1, Sex Lies and Videotape [Criterion Collection], Sneaky Pete – Season One, Traffik, Woman Is the Future of Man / Tale of Cinema [Arrow Academy]
Related Topics: Home Video