Plus 7 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
What is it? A love triangle plays out against the backdrop of baseball.
Why see it? Ron Shelton’s (White Men Can’t Jump) filmography is no stranger to sports movies, so a pairing with Kevin Costner (Tin Cup) was an obvious collision. Happily the end result is one of their best as it unleashes a trio of tremendous characters dissecting the sport, love, and the English language. Costner is joined by Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, and their varied personalities make for a combustible and hilarious trio. The dialogue is charged and quotable, the drama is compelling, and Criterion’s new Blu-ray gives it the home it deserves with a beautiful picture and a wealth of extras.
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: New 4K restoration, commentaries, interviews, featurettes]
What is it? A detective searching for stolen guns finds an all-out gang war instead.
Why see it? Director Seijun Suzuki (Tokyo Drifter, Branded to Kill) is no stranger to tales of dogged police officers and deadly gangsters, and while his later films garnered more attention there’s a lot to enjoy in this early 60s look at clashing yakuza gangs and the cops who hate them. Jo Shishido takes the lead, and he delivers a compelling performance as a man up against it all. Bloodshed, grim laughs, and a sharp commentary on Japan’s post-war explosion of greed and self-interest. It’s a good time, though, I promise.
[Blu-ray extras: Interview]
What is it? A sheep monster terrorizes a rural community, eventually.
Why see it? The main feature here is one of those so bad it’s engaging kind of movies, and there’s definite fun to be had with it. From the “acting” to the not-so special effects, the film is a mess that still manages to entertain. For me, though, the biggest reason to big up this release is the inclusion of a bonus feature — The Legend of Bigfoot — scanned in 2K and presented for your viewing pleasure. Billed as a documentary, the film feels more like a gonzo sequel to A Christmas Story as the narrator carries the same vibe, tone, and ease of excitement as he recounts his adventures in searching for Bigfoot. It’s ridiculous fun that also includes nature footage guaranteed to leave you stressed and anxious. Seriously, the squirrel sequence.
[Blu-ray extras: New 4K scan, shorts, bonus movie scanned in 2K]
What is it? Two exes and current true-crime podcasters suspect a new love interest of being a killer.
Why see it? Low-key comedies are an art form that too few people appreciate and even fewer can deliver, but for fans of smart, funny, and engaging indies this is a good time. The two women at its core find their pop culture interest invading their lives, and the film’s satirical look at commitment and relationships translates well towards growing themes of suspense and possible danger. It’s ultimately a strong character piece in the guise of a comedy, but no matter how you frame it the smiles come naturally.
[DVD extras: None]
What is it? A bank heist goes awry, as they so often do.
Why see it? Nicolas Cage’s filmography of late is all over the place from the relative highs of Mandy to the dull as dirt lows of Looking Glass, and this action/drama falls somewhere in between (but closer to the low end). Cage plays a veteran cop who finds himself in the middle of a standoff with bank robbers. Bullets fly, people die, and family drama is repeatedly forced into the front of it all. It’s something to do for 85 minutes.
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: None?]
What is it? James Franco is a bad man during the post-apocalypse.
Why see it? The wasteland of films like The Road Warrior have become easy pickings for less talented filmmakers with smaller budgets, and this desert-set dud is the latest meh entry in the genre. The story sees a young man leave his safe haven behind to venture into the more dangerous wasteland where he finds trouble at the hands of James Franco, Milla Jovovich, and others. The whole feels like a movie made by 12-year-old boys as it plays up the sexbots and strippers alongside the “cool” factor of Franco’s rebel gang. All else could fail if the action excited, but that’s as tepid as the rest of this misfire.
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Interviews]
What is it? A teenager finds a purpose in a horse destined for death.
Why see it? Andrew Haigh’s (45 Years) latest film follows the daily life of a teen who finds solace in solitary activities. His home life is a mess, so he runs, and when he finds a job working for a horse owner (Steve Buscemi) he finds a friend in a horse scheduled for slaughter. It’s a methodically paced coming of age tale that delivers strong performances (including smaller turns from Chloë Sevigny and Amy Seimetz).
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurette]
What is it? A family tries to survive after sound-sensitive monsters have decimated the population.
Why see it? John Krasinski’s move into horror is a smartly crafted tale of a family unit trying to stay together, and there’s plenty to enjoy from the performances (Krasinski, Emily Blunt) to the creature design to the world-building. I’m in the minority, though, in not loving it as a horror movie. The premise — creatures find and kill based on sounds so the people need to stay quiet — leaves some very stupid behaviors on the table. (Seriously, why aren’t you living at the waterfall?) And for a film with this title and plot it’s terribly reliant on music/sound stingers for scares.
[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Featurettes]
Also out this week:
24×36, Chappaquiddick, A Ciambra, Dragon Inn [Criterion Collection], Free and Easy, Hotel Salvation, Nikkatsu