Two Pounds of Poliziotteschi Arrives as Our Pick of the Week

Plus 13 more new releases to watch at home this week on Blu-ray/DVD!
Savage Three

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 June 22nd, 2021!

This week’s home video selection includes a box set of Italian crime thrillers, an action movie with Bob Odenkirk, and more. Check out our picks below.

Pick of the Week

Years of Lead – Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers: 1973-1977 [Arrow Video]

What is it? Five poliziotteschi films.

Why see it? The five films presented here in HD include Savage Three, Like Rabid Dogs, Colt 38 Special Squad, Highway Racer, and No the Case is Happily Resolved. The films run the gamut from tales of morally bankrupt youths to seasoned criminals, and all five show a raw energy and cynical spirit. The third and fourth entries go heavier on the action delivering some high speed antics and well orchestrated violence, but all five hit hard at times. The first two are both cautionary tales of a sort about young people growing bored by life and taking it out on random innocents, and the final film sees a man implicated in a crime that the police would prefer he pay for. The Italian government doesn’t come out all that rosy in any of them. Arrow’s box-set is a terrific introduction to the subgenre.

[Extras: Visual essay, interviews, booklet]

The Best

Irezumi [Arrow Video]

What is it? A woman is tattooed in captivity.

Why see it? Yasuzo Masumura’s grim, sensual, dramatic tale concerns a young woman who’s sold into sexual slavery and tattooed with a big spider on her back by her new “owner.” Rather than relent and succumb as a victim, she takes it upon herself to become a predator. There’s beauty here along with cruelty, terror, and relief, and it’s not necessarily an easy watch despite the lack of explicit sequences. Happily, it’s very, very good, and that makes the darkness all the more palatable. Arrow’s new Blu-ray looks amazing and brings the film’s colors to striking life.

[Extras: New 4K scan, commentary, introduction, visual essay]


What is it? A man crosses paths with villains and must tap into past skills.

Why see it? Bob Odenkirk isn’t the first name you think of when it comes to action cinema, and he probably wouldn’t even crack the top one hundred. And yet… his action debut sees him unleashing a ton of whoop-ass with barely a stuntman in sight. He trained for over a year leading up to production, and it shows. The film itself is simple enough, but it delivers big time with thrilling hand to hand fights and creative gun play. This is just a great time at the movies, and it only gets better once Christopher Lloyd joins the fray as a shotgun-toting octogenarian.

[Extras: Deleted scenes, featurettes, commentary]

The Paper Tigers

What is it? Three friends reunite after years apart to help out their old sensei.

Why see it? As action/comedies go, this little gem is the least flashy film you’ll see this year. It’s simple and small, but it has the heart of a proverbial lion. There’s warmth to the friendship, shaky at first but destined to come together, and there’s humor in these middle aged men trying to regain the talents they’ve long left behind. The action can’t compare to bigger fare, but the fights are solid and well crafted in their choreography. It’s a film in line with the likes of the recent Cobra Kai series, so if you’re a fan of that you should probably give this one a spin.

[Extras: Featurette, deleted scenes, bloopers]

What Happened Was…

What is it? A first date goes awry.

Why see it? The always great Tom Noonan takes a rare lead role here and directs as well, and the result is a small movie with big stakes — a first date exposing the struggle between two people in an effort to connect and find love. It’s at times funny, awkward, honest, and uncomfortable, but it’s never dull. Noonan and Karen Sillas hold the screen in their conversations and expressions, and the laughs feel both pointed and natural. It may not be a flashy, exciting film, but anyone who’s been on dates will recognize the excitement all the same.

[Extras: interviews]

The Rest

Career Opportunities [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? A local liar gets lucky.

Why see it? John Hughes wrote this entertaining little fantasy — a goofy guy gets the hottest girl in town — and it’s best known for putting Jennifer Connelly on one of those motorized horses for kids that sit out front of grocery stores. Frank Whaley takes the lead as a small-time con-artist who goes straight and takes a job working an overnight in a department store, but things take a turn when he finds Connelly there too and the pair are interrupted by burglars. It’s light, but it’s fun enough.

[Extras: Commentary]

CB4 [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? The true story behind a fake rap group.

Why see it? Chris Rock co-stars and co-wrote this early 90s comedy that takes a faux-doc look at rap artists and the music industry. Chris Elliott and Phil Hartman co-star, and it finds some solid laughs as it spoofs rappers, fans, and the whole shebang. Its laughs come from a place of love and respect, though, and director Tamra Davis shows real affection for the material and her characters.

[Extras: Commentary, interview]

Chain Lightning [Warner Archive]

What is it? A pilot tests the limits of the air.

Why see it? Humphrey Bogart plays a pilot prone to taking risks and pushing boundaries, and his latest target is an experimental jet that just might splatter him all over the North Pole. Add in a dame from his past, and his latest foray into the unknown and the untested becomes a romantic ride over the horizon. The post-war military antics are merely standard here, but it’s always nice seeing Bogart soft shoe around a woman.

[Extras: Cartoon, short film]

Fool for Love [Scorpion Releasing]

What is it? A man tries to win back the woman he loves.

Why see it? Robert Altman directs from a play (and script) by Sam Shephard, and the result is a beautifully acted middling drama. The confines of a motel make up the bulk of the film’s locales, and the initial dialogue exchanges aren’t quite enough to captivate and electrify. That changes somewhat as the film moves towards its conclusion, but getting there isn’t nearly as exciting. See it for Shephard, Kim Basinger, and Harry Dean Stanton.

[Extras: Featurette]

Half Baked [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? Three friends try to raise money for bail.

Why see it? Tamra Davis’ other 90s comedy hitting Blu-ray this week is another one with a singular focus, and she again shows both respect and a sense of humor for the material. Dave Chappelle headlines the ensemble which also includes Rachel True, Jim Breuer, Harland Williams, and Clarence Williams. The cameo list runs even longer, but the bottom line here is the movie is exactly as silly and irresponsible as you’re expecting, but if this is your scene you’ll probably find more than a few laughs along the way.

[Extras: Commentary, deleted scenes, interviews]

The Strangeness [Code Red]

What is it? Miners find terror underground!

Why see it? This horror film from the 80s is as low budget as they come, but the ingenuity and creativity shine through all the same. Its strength rests in some entertaining practical effects in the form of a stop-motion monster. It at no point looks real, but the damn thing is endlessly appealing despite itself. The movie around it is a tougher ride as low budget, lack of lighting, and an amateur cast can be rough at times, but if you’re in the right mindset this is a fun nod to simpler times.

[Extras: Commentary, interviews, short films]

Strike Commando [Severin Films]

What is it? A riff on Rambo!

Why see it? Bruno Mattei was never a good director. Sure, his movies do end up being fun by default sometimes as he packs them full of ripoffs, explosions, and weirdness, but they’re never truly good. This action movie is no different — and the same goes for its sequel, Strike Commando 2, which is also new to Blu-ray this week — in that it’s pretty weak aside from moments of zany fun. There’s a lot of talking, and the set-pieces look cheap, but the dialogue is sometimes funny and lots of things explode. If that’s enough for you then this is a double feature for you.

[Extras: New 2K master, interviews]

The Unholy

What is it? A reporter investigates a holy miracle.

Why see it? There’s something cool in the premise here as a girl is visited by the Virgin Mary and then gifted with the ability to heal others, only to then discover that maybe it wasn’t Christ’s mom who paid her a visit after all. Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars, and it’s based on a novel by James Herbert, but while the film’s first half succeeds at setting the stage the arrival of some truly piss poor CG effects completely tanks the rest.

[Extras: None]

Also out this week:

Batman: The Long Halloween, The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee [Severin Films], Feed the Gods, For Those Who Think Young [Scorpion Releasing], Hunter Hunter, It Happened at the World’s Fair [Warner Archive], Siberia, The Signifyin’ Works of Marlon Riggs [Criterion Collection], The Umbrella Academy – Season One

Rob Hunter: Rob Hunter has been writing for Film School Rejects since before you were born, which is weird seeing as he's so damn young. He's our Chief Film Critic and Associate Editor and lists 'Broadcast News' as his favorite film of all time. Feel free to say hi if you see him on Twitter @FakeRobHunter.