Features and Columns · Movies

James Cameron Classics Come to 4K UHD and Our Pick of the Week

Plus 10 more new releases to watch at home this week on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD!
Ed Harris The Abyss Breathable Fluid
Twentieth Century Fox
By  · Published on March 12th, 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 March 12th, 2024! This week’s home video selection includes The Abyss, Aliens, and True Lies on 4K UHD, and more. Check out our picks below.

Pick of the Week

The Abyss UhdThe Abyss [4K UHD]

What is it? An underwater oil rig crew encounters something extraordinary.

Why see it? Odds are you already know and love this film, but on the off chance it’s new to you allow me to tempt you with a thrilling adventure, huge emotional swings, stellar performances by Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn, and more, and a terrifically satisfying tale about why we fight for our humanity. It’s also just a ton of fun. Both cuts are available here, the theatrical and the special extended edition, and while both are great I lean towards the latter. The film’s long overdue arrival to 4K UHD has seen some mixed responses, but I’m firmly in the camp that sees this as a dazzling upgrade delivering great detail and sharpness while retaining the original visual feel and coloring. Everyone’s mileage will vary, but the film looks better than ever.

[Extras: Theatrical and special editions, interviews, featurettes, documentary]

The Best

Aliens UhdAliens [4K UHD]

What is it? A team of colonial marines encounters something extraordinary.

Why see it? It’s rare for a follow-up to succeed, but it’s even less likely that it’ll happen with a new filmmaker at the helm. James Cameron delivers an epic action film as a sequel to Ridley Scott’s horror masterpiece, and both are brilliant genre gems. Here Cameron unleashes thrills and carnage as deadly aliens terror their way through gun-toting marines, and Sigourney Weaver shines as the toughest person in space. As with The Abyss above, the film arrives to 4K looking incredibly sharp and feeling like a fresh watch. Both the theatrical and special editions are included here.

[Extras: Theatrical and special editions, commentary, featurettes, documentary]

Poor ThingsPoor Things

What is it? A sad man makes a curious woman, and the world will never be the same.

Why see it? Yorgos Lanthimos reunites with (newly minted Oscar winner) Emma Stone for a story about natural curiosities, the quest for equality, and the shame-free love of boinking. Willem Dafoe is the scarred doctor who sets out to reanimate a woman, but the bigger challenge is teaching her to be an adult woman. The film is a wild time, funny, sexy, weird, and endlessly inventive, and while it’s also arguably a bit too long you won’t stop appreciating Stone’s performance. Side note, but I watched the film the first time with the belief that Dafoe was playing Frankenstein’s monster and that he had decided to follow in the doctor’s footsteps and make a woman in the hopes of understanding himself. It plays beautifully that way, by the way.

[Extras: Featurette, deleted scenes]

The Presidents AnalystThe President’s Analyst [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? Governments foreign and domestic target the man inside the president’s head.

Why see it? This late 60s conspiracy/spy (?) comedy is endlessly dated in its references, visuals, and groovy good times, but I’m gonna defend it anyway. The humor is silly, but enough of it lands to make it a fun comedy, and the “thrill” side of things is equally competent as our hero finds himself the subject of much interest. The big reason why the film succeeds, though, is James Coburn in the lead. The guy is always aces, and his casual cool informs this character in so many ways making him a likable protagonist whose predicaments entertain. Coburn knows this is silly, but he’s doing the work, oozing charm, and bringing the goods.

[Extras: New 4K scan, commentaries]

Quigley Down Under UhdQuigley Down Under [4K UHD, Shout Select]

What is it? An underrated western.

Why see it? I’ve been on something of a Tom Selleck kick recently as I’ve been moving through his Jesse Stone franchise, so this disc’s arrival came at the perfect time. It’s also one of my dad’s favorite movies, so a watch carries those memories as well. And the movie itself? A pretty great western pitting Selleck’s American cowboy against Alan Rickman’s British landowner/villain. Director Simon Wincer delivers gorgeous Australian landscapes and some terrifically entertaining action set-pieces alongside its observations on the country’s native peoples. Selleck is always solid, and Rickman is perfection as a despicable bad guy. Shout’s new 4K looks great with bright details and colors.

[Extras: Interview, featurettes]

True Lies UhdTrue Lies [4K UHD]

What is it? A super spy tries to juggle his work and marriage.

Why see it? I’ll catch some flack for including this release under the “Best” heading for two reasons. First, Cameron’s action/comedy from the 90s feels very much from the 90s, and some folks find its sensibilities to be unfortunately dated. To each their own, but for me the bulk of the comedy still lands, and that includes Jamie Lee Curtis’ awkward dance scene. The movie just works. Second, of the Cameron films finally hitting 4K UHD, this is the one with the obvious issues as certain scenes see the actors looking a bit… waxy. That said, I’m of the opinion that it’s mostly noticeable when these scenes are paused. Watch them through and most people wouldn’t notice a thing outside of the sharp-looking picture. It’s going to be divisive, and I certainly don’t fault anyone disliking the look, but give it a shot it motion before deciding.

[Extras: Featurettes]

The Whip And The BodyThe Whip and the Body [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? A tale of love, ghosts, and lash marks.

Why see it? Mario Bava’s second feature as director is a dark romance, of sorts, about a woman, the man she loves, and the whip he wields. It’s not that simple, of course, as he’s murdered but doesn’t quite stay dead, but the core is oddly romantic in a film featuring blood, violence, and the undead. The film feels at times like a riff on Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe films of the time, but its interests lie elsewhere as Bava inundates the screen with colored lighting and heavy atmosphere. It’s a beautiful film at times, mean at others, and while it doesn’t quite unfold like a traditional horror tale, genre fans  with an eye for art won’t be disappointed.

[Extras: Commentary]

The Rest

Anyone But You

What is it? A blockbuster rom-com!

Why see it? Comedy is more subjective than any other genre, so just know that while I find this rom-com pretty unfunny, the box-office receipts tend to disagree with me. The script is mostly to blame, but I’m also not sure Sydney Sweeney has comedic timing skills. That said, the film is cute enough, plenty sexy, and utterly harmless. You can do far worse with 100-minutes than soak in this blend of sun, sand, and skin. Also, I lied, I did laugh once — seeing Rachel Griffiths cast as an American in a film set in Australia. Anyway, congrats to Sweeney (who also produced) and Glen Powell on their stupendous bodies and the film’s success.

[Extras: Featurettes, bloopers, deleted scenes]

The Lincoln Conspiracy [KL Studio Classics]

What is it? The “truth” about the president’s murder!

Why see it? From the company that brought you the real story about Noah’s Ark, it’s time for some presidential history! I’m all for alternate truths being used for entertainment purposes, but you gotta be entertaining my good people. This dry and dusty drama can’t muster anything resembling thrills, fun, or suspense, and we’re instead left with a dull stab at history that’s never as interesting as the filmmakers want you to think.

[Extras: Commentary]

One-Percent Warrior

What is it? An action star seeks the ultimate in action performance.

Why see it? Tak Sakaguchi is an action talent always worth watching, and he shines both in lead roles like in Re:Born and supporting turns like in Bad City. He’s in the former again with One-Percent Warrior, and it’s a good time. Sakaguchi plays an action star sick of the artifice of movies, so he sets out to make his own movie exploring the ultimate action skills. Too bad the yakuza is also hanging around the same area. The action here is good, albeit a bit repetitive until the final fight, but it never tips things over into the action bliss you’re hoping for. Still, it’s also pretty fun at times in its commentary on action filmmaking.

[Extras: Featurette]


What is it? One girl’s wish upsets a villain’s delicately balanced plans.

Why see it? Disney’s latest animated film doesn’t seem to have made much of a mark despite raking in a quarter of a billion dollars in theaters. (Of course, it cost $200k, so it’s not considered a hit in this upside down world of Hollywood.) It’s… fine, in its basic approach to story and character, but none of it sticks. The hero is a good girl, the villain is a bad guy, and the filmmakers seem to think they’re delivering big laughs with sidekicks that lean more towards grating than ingratiating. The little ones might enjoy some of the visual flourishes, but I expect few of them will be talking about it the next day.

[Extras: Theatrical and sing-along versions, featurettes, short film, deleted scenes]

Also out this week:

All That Money Can Buy [Criterion], All the Beauty and the Bloodshed [Criterion], Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Ferrari, Freelance, I.S.S., The Shootist [Arrow]

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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.