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 21st, 2021!
This week’s home video selection includes a new James Bond, a collection of giallos, and more. Check out our picks below.
Pick of the Week
No Time to Die
What is it? The final Daniel Craig as James Bond adventure.
Why see it? Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond has resulted in a series of films tied directly together — past Bonds had standalone adventures — and while that has its ups and downs, it’s now come to a fantastic finale. Narrative threads are wrapped up, characters get their due, and the action delivers as only a franchise of this stature can. It’s big fun with stunning locales and an ending that satisfies with dramatic power and explosions. Some may take issue with its choices, but you can’t fault the filmmakers for swinging big and connecting where it counts.
Giallo Essentials – Yellow [Arrow Video]
What is it? Three memorable giallos.
Why see it? What Have They Done to Your Daughters? finds death and sex twisted into the lives of young women, Torso lets a serial killer loose on the hunt for college girls, and a photographer tries to solve a series of vicious murders in Strip Nude for Your Killer. While Arrow’s Red set was a mixed bag of popularity and quality, there’s no denying the “prestige” of these three. All three are deservedly popular Italian thrillers, and while the first is more of a commentary on bad behaviors, the other two are cruel slasher/giallo hybrids. All three are salacious, though, so lower the blinds before pressing play. If you don’t already own Arrow’s original releases of these three this set is highly recommended.
[Extras: 2K restorations, commentaries, featurettes, interviews]
The Vampire Lovers [Scream Factory]
What is it? A lusty Hammer classic!
Why see it? Scream Factory previously released this Hammer gem back in 2013, but their new “Collector’s Edition” upgrade adds new extras and a fresh new 4K scan. The film remains the good time it always was with Hammer’s signature trademarks — blood, busts, and Peter Cushing — on hand to deliver thrills, chills, and an entertaining time. If you don’t already own it this is a no-brainer, but I’d even recommend the upgrade for folks who have the previous edition.
[Extras: New 4K scan, interviews, commentaries, featurettes]
Final Justice [MVD Rewind]
What is it? A Texas lawman goes to Italy.
Why see it? Is there a modern day version of Joe Don Baker? An unconventional leading man, capable of being as affable as he is mean? I don’t think so, but luckily we have his older movies to enjoy including this 80s action pic that pits him against mobsters on the streets of an Italian city. It has more personality than genre fare like this typically finds, and the action is well crafted and solid. It doesn’t break any new ground, but for a mean, charismatic 80s action/thriller you can’t go wrong here.
[Extras: Commentary, interviews]
Hell Hath No Fury
What is it? A fortune in gold is the goal at the end of World War II.
Why see it? Jesse V. Johnson has his best successes as a director with action films built on martial arts, but he delivers a competent little film with this wartime action picture. A French woman accused of sympathizing with the Nazis is taken by American soldiers to a reported stash of gold she told them about, but French resistance and Nazis are after the same treasure. The bulk of the film unfolds at a single outdoor location, but Johnson keeps things interesting as the various sides come into play and the guns come out.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness
What is it? A zombie attack on the White House!
Why see it? While the live-action films — both Milla Jovovich’s franchise and the recent new entry — deliver various thrills through action beats and monstrous encounters, the animated films haven’t been able to muster the same kind of energy (for me). They too often feel like cinematics from the games themselves, and that leaves a distance between viewer and the viewed as they’re not as lively or of the moment. Big fans of the games will likely feel otherwise, and this adventure following both Leon and Claire will undoubtedly be of interest to them.
Also out this week:
Blue Bayou, Fortress, The Many Saints of Newark, Roh, Saint-Narcisse, Sparrows
Related Topics: Home Video