New Blu-rays: ‘Secret Life of Pets,’ ‘Jason Bourne,’ ‘Mad Max’
For the week of December 6th, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is releasing two of 2016’s highest-grossing films. First up is Illumination Entertainment’s surprise blockbuster of the summer, The Secret Life of Pets. Also due out this Tuesday is the fifth installment of the Bourne franchise, Jason Bourne. One year after its release, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment is re-releasing Mad Max: Fury Road in a Black and Chrome Edition.
2016 has been a lucrative year for animation. Disney’s Finding Dory, Zootopia and most recently, Moana, become overnight box office smashes. But Illumination Entertainment overperformed as well with their latest animated film, The Secret Life of Pets. Set in Manhattan, Pets explores the life of a Jack Russell Terrier named Max (voiced by Louis C.K.), who is adored by his owner Katie (voiced by Ellie Kemper). One day, Katie brings home a large shaggy dog named Duke. Max becomes quite jealous of his new “brother.” After a mishap while their owner is away, Max must bring him home with the help of his neighbor pets.
The Secret Life of Pets has been a deemed a pets equivalent to Pixar’s Toy Story. When the humans are away, we see what really transpires in the pet world. The film was favored by We Live Entertainment critics, Scott and Ashley Menzel. In his review, Scott stated “The Secret Life of Pets may not be the next game changer in animation but it is the perfect blend of heart, comedy, and entertainment.” Ashley adds the film is “a joy to watch.”
Universal will be releasing the animated film in various formats and retailer exclusives this Tuesday. A Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD combo pack as well as 3D version will be available at retailers. For next-gen collectors, a 4K UHD, Blu-ray, Digital HD combo pack is another option. Target will be selling an online-only steelbook. In stores, there will an exclusive wall frame with decals. Walmart will be offering a gift set with the three lead animals.
In addition to The Secret Life of Pets, Universal will also be releasing Jason Bourne this week. Matt Damon returns in this fifth installment. The CIA is still after the former assassin, who is attempting to uncover the past. Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander and Vincent Cassel also star in this latest thriller. Director Paul Greengrass returns to the helm after passing on 2012’s The Bourne Legacy. Jason Bourne received mixed reviews over the summer. Franchise Fred, who enjoyed The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Ultimatum, didn’t care for the latest installment. He criticized both the action scenes as “a jumbled mess, but still scenes are too.”
Universal is releasing the film in various formats and exclusives. A Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD combo pack and 4K UHD combo packs are the standards available. Best Buy is offering steelbooks for both Blu-ray and 4K UHD versions. Walmart will be selling an exclusive Neo case. In addition to Jason Bourne, Universal is upgrading the previous four films to 4K UHD this Tuesday as well.
Last up for the week is Academy Award winner, Mad Max: Fury Road. Previously released in late 2015, Warner Bros. is double-dipping on the Oscar winner in a “Black and Chrome Edition.” As the title suggests, Fury Road is re-released in black-and-white. Tom Hardy take over the reins of Mad Max from Mel Gibson. In this installment, the “Road Warrior” is caught in a desert chase to protect breeders from an evil warlord. Charlize Theron stars as Furiosa, a rogue Imperator who smuggles the women away.
In his 2015 Blu-ray review, Matt Marshall praised the post-apocalyptic film from director George Miller. He stated “Mad Max: Fury Road is one of those rare action spectacles that will stand the test of time alongside Alien, Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Terminator.“