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 April 6th, 2021!
This week’s home video selection includes a ridiculous new comedy, some older thrillers, a B-movie in the sky, and more. Check out our picks below.
Pick of the Week
Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
What is it? Two friends find an adventure on vacation.
Why see it? Absurdity is one of the more difficult tones to pull off with a comedy as there’s a real risk of it all just feeling stupid. This absolutely ridiculous gem nails the commitment to the bit and delivers some immense laughs along the way. Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo headline, and the two are dynamite together. They find surprising comedic support in a totally game Jamie Dornan, and while I would have liked a couple more musical numbers the film manages to deliver a terrifically goofy time at the movies. The extras are good stuff too including a fun commentary track.
[Extras: Commentary, featurettes, bloopers, deleted scenes]
Blastfighter [Code Red]
What is it? A cop turned ex-con finds trouble.
Why see it? Lamberto Bava’s better known for his horror films, but his action movies also deliver the goods at times, and that’s the case with this mid 80s tale of a loner who finds some small town troubles. It’s part First Blood, part any number of action setups, and part mean-ass movie — one death will surprise you — and the action includes fights, gunplay, helicopter antics, and more. Code Red’s Blu looks quite good as well.
[Extras: Commentary, interviews]
The Man in Search of His Murderer
What is it? A man orders a hit on himself then struggles to stop it.
Why see it? Director Robert Siodmak found his way to the US and delivered some classic thrillers, but before leaving his home country he made at least one gem in this blackly comic thriller. Slapstick comedy plays alongside suspenseful set-pieces as a man’s impending death hangs constantly in the air. Co-writer Billy Wilder is probably responsible for much of the humor, but regardless of who crafted which parts the whole is an entertaining ride with optimism and romance fighting to live another day against a ridiculous situation.
Shadow in the Cloud
What is it? A WWII flight crew battles an onboard gremlin over the Atlantic.
Why see it? Lots of folks knocked this terrifically entertaining B-movie on release — some due to the original script’s writer being a douche despite director/writer Roseanna Liang having rewritten it — but hopefully more will discover the fun on home video. Chloe Grace Moretz plays a young woman with a secret who cons her way onto a bomber only to find a monster onboard. Think Overlord‘s smaller, spunkier cousin and you’ll have a blast.
What is it? A killer returns from the past.
Why see it? Dario Argento’s creative peak remains the 70s/80, but while most of his subsequent films are forgettable (if not straight up terrible) this 2001 effort is a good time for genre fans. Max Von Sydow helps, but Argento’s script and direction are the big pulls here as he delivers his last good giallo. Another bonus is the film’s practical gore effects — this might be Argento’s most impressive on the gore front — which splatter the screen red with some grisly delights.
[Extras: Commentary, interviews]
Death Has Blue Eyes [Arrow Video]
What is it? A pair of goofballs get wrapped up in murder and more.
Why see it? Nico Mastorakis has made more than a few entertaining movies — 1976’s Island of Death remains a personal favorite — and one element they often share is a general wackiness in plot. His debut feature is no different as a sexy vacation shifts towards danger and espionage with a heavy dose of psychic power shenanigans. It’s like The Fury if De Palma took shrooms and visited Greece, and in addition to never being dull the film also looks damn good. It’s an odd one.
What is it? Mysterious doorways open all around the planet.
Why see it? There’s a solidly thrilling premise at the heart of this sci-fi film, and the decision to go the anthology route with it has both positives and negatives. We get multiple stories involving those doors with fresh characters and situations, but we don’t get to spend a lot of time with them as a story wraps up and we jump to the next scenario. Still, it’s an attractive sci-fi indie offering some intriguing ideas and visuals.
Also out this week:
The Delicious Little Devil, The Reckoning, Skyfire
Related Topics: Home Video