Features and Columns · Movies

Remembering Our Home Video Pick of the Week

Plus 4 more new releases to watch at home this week on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD!
Remembering Gene Wilder Header
By  · Published on June 11th, 2024

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 11th, 2024! This week’s home video selection includes La Femme Nikita in 4K, Remembering Gene Wilder, the complete Welcome Back Kotter, and more. Check out our picks below.

Pick of the Week

Remembering Gene WilderRemembering Gene Wilder

What is it? A love letter to a great performer.

Why see it? Documentaries aren’t typically my bag, and they’re even rare in this pick of the week spot — but it’s a light release week, and I do love me some Gene Wilder. The man was a comic legend with unforgettable roles and films like Blazing Saddles, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Silver Streak, Young Frankenstein, and more. His comedic timing was always impeccable, and this doc showcases numerous examples while also allowing his friends, fellow filmmakers, and famous fans to speak to his presence and power. The film also uses Wilder’s own audio narration from his autobiography to touch on various things, and it’s a joy hearing his voice again.

[Extras: Interviews]

The Best

La Femme Nikita UhdLa Femme Nikita [4K UHD, steelbook]

What is it? A drug addict becomes a government assassin.

Why see it? Luc Besson’s feature has seen a couple remakes, a few more unofficial ones, and even a few television series adapted from it, but his original remains the best of the bunch. Like he would do a few years later with The Professional, Besson knows how to shoot a stylish and thrilling action picture, and the film’s numerous fights and gun battles all bring the heat with their choreography and execution. Anne Parillaud does good work in the title role as a woman who’s pulled from the gutter and trained to become an accomplished killer, and you can never go wrong with Jean Reno in a supporting turn. Sony’s new release is a stunner as Besson’s photography finds new life in its shadows and details, and it’s all enough to make the complete lack of extras (or digital copy) forgivable.

[Extras: New 4K transfer]

The Rest

Blind War

What is it? It’s not Daredevil, honest.

Why see it? Andy On is a reliably sturdy action star, and while his lead roles typically only come in these direct-to-streaming flicks straight out of China and Hong Kong, there’s fun to be had with them. Yes the CG is rough, but the action us usually fun with On giving it his all. Here he plays a man who’s blinded, but he takes the high road and hones his other senses to become an unstoppable force despite the lack of sight. The film never breaks the mold, and it’s clearly working within a tight budget, but On and director Chris Huo once again bring the goods.

[Extras: None]

Nude for Satan

What is it? Never stop at a castle for help!

Why see it? This Italian production is a film that absolutely lives up to its title as much of the running time features naked women doing naughty things. If that’s enough for you, then congrats! If you want a little more, though, you might be out of luck as the film is content being more of a saucy and incomprehensible fever dream than an actual story. It’s ultimately more of a curio than anything else, but there’s nothing wrong with that. (Unless you’re hoping for character, narrative, thematic engagement, and such…)

[Extras: None]

Welcome Back, Kotter – The Complete Series

What is it? Two funny seasons followed by two more seasons.

Why see it? Welcome Back, Kotter is mostly remembered as a launching pad for John Travolta, and watching him shine in the series’ first two seasons makes it easy to see that he was on his way to stardom. He’s a funny performer and a charismatic focus, and he makes a great counter balance for Gabe Kaplan as Kotter. Kaplan is equally as funny, arguably more so — again, in those first two seasons — and along with a fun supporting cast, the two heavy hitters lead the sitcom to some very entertaining episodes. Then seasons three and four arrive, and, well, it’s pretty underwhelming. Between Travolta’s absence (a handful of cameos aren’t enough) and some weak scripts, the show becomes something of a repetitive dud in its back half. Fans will want this set, though, as it collects the entire series.

[Extras: None]

Also out this week:

The Animal Kingdom, Dogman, Edge of Everything, Godzilla vs Kong: The New Empire, Immaculate, Last Kumite, Mute Witness [4K UHD, Arrow], Querelle [Criterion], The Sales Girl, Stopmotion

Related Topics:

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.