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 December 22nd, 2020!
This week’s home video selection is slight due to the holidays, but it includes some black & white classics, a sci-fi/action flick, and more. Check out our picks below.
Pick of the Week
The Shop Around the Corner [Warner Archive]
What is it? Two people love their pen pals but dislike each other.
Why see it? Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan remade this romantic comedy classic as You’ve Got Mail, but the original remains every bit as charming, funny, and sweet. James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan are perfection as the bickering retail workers who discover they’re secretly in love with each other, and both the romance and humor work well to deliver an entertaining and sweet watch.
[Extras: Featurette, radio broadcasts]
It Happened on 5th Avenue [Warner Archive]
What is it? Homeless folks shack up in a millionaire’s mansion.
Why see it? Considered a Christmas classic by many, this fun, heart-warming little tale sees a group of ex-GIs and their families struggling to find a home, and when the opportunity arises they find pushback from a greedy businessman. That CEO is the the Grinch/Scrooge of the story, and it’s his shift that brings the heart. The film’s probably a bit too long, but the effect is sweet all the same. Add in some commentary on capitalism, class distinctions, and more, and you have an amusing and warm post-WWII comedy.
[Extras: Radio broadcast]
What is it? Every six years, elite fighters come together to brawl with an alien.
Why see it? The plot here is admittedly stupid — every six years is way too frequent for something that no one’s ever heard of — and it doesn’t get any smarter the longer the film goes on, but it’s hard to argue with the action that finds some fun with a mixed bag of fighters. Tony Jaa, Juju Chan, and Alain Moussi are the fighting highlights, while Frank Grillo and Nicolas Cage add some character. Cage brings the Cage despite being a supporting player, and that’s probably enough reason to watch.
The War With Grandpa
What is it? A boy forced to give up his bedroom for his grandfather takes it poorly.
Why see it? Robert De Niro’s early forays into comedy led to some true gems including the likes of Midnight Run, but he moved soon enough into lazy comedy fare. The latest example of just that is this loud movie about a comical feud between a kid and an old man. There are teases of Home Alone like violence, but it never finds the accompanying heart and instead feels pretty rote.
Also out this week:
Akira [4K UltraHD], The Best Years of Our Lives [Warner Archive], Blindfire, The Craft: Legacy