This weekly post will be devoted to going over a selection of new releases hitting the store shelves on Blu-ray, 4K UHD Blu-ray, DVD. Depending on the week, I may even include a few new streaming titles. The purpose is to shed light on old and new physical releases, as there are always plenty of films to catch up with. It could be a new studio film release, a classic or cult classic film title, or even a television release worth paying attention to. Ideally, they will include some extra features as well, whether it’s an informative commentary track or some retrospective documentaries. So continue to see what’s in store for those looking to take home one or more new titles this week.
Releasing on March 13, 2018:
Justice League (4K UHD/Blu-ray/DVD)
Regardless of opinions on the films themselves, I think it would be fair to say the recent DC superhero movies have had a rough go of it. Whether it’s due to the critical and fan reactions or various production issues, it’s become more than just putting together a fun film in many instances. That said, Justice League, for all its problems, did attempt to be more of a fun ride with multiple heroes people either already love or will have a chance to grow to enjoy. It’s a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster of a movie, given how it’s essentially a mashup of Snyder’s style with post-production director Joss Whedon throwing in his stamp as well, but it does have its moments. While there’s no “Snyder Cut” available on this home release (because it doesn’t exist), feel free to enjoy the deleted Superman scene that many have been talking about, and a slew of behind-the-scenes featurettes focused on the history of the members of the league and how they’ve been updated.
The Shape of Water (4K UHD/Blu-ray/DVD)
Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director – Guillermo del Toro, I shouldn’t have to say much to sing the praises of this fantastical love story about a mute woman, an amphibian creature, and the group of outcasts who help them. Well, I can add that it was also my favorite film of the year, which does speak to how great I feel The Shape of Water is. Sadly, it looks like fans of del Toro’s Blu-ray releases may have to wait a bit for a real version that’s packed with all you come to expect from one of his films, as this initial release only has a few featurettes. As del Toro is one who loves talking about his movies and film in general, missing out on a commentary track for his favorite of his movies scream to me that another edition will eventually come along.
The Disaster Artist (Blu-ray/DVD)
No one could have predicted that Tommy Wiseau’s ridiculous self-funded cult favorite The Room would go on to inspire an Oscar-nominated film about the making of it, but here we are. The Disaster Artist earned plenty of acclaim for being both a hilarious look at the wacky circumstances behind the making of one of the best-worst movies of all time and providing a committed performance from James Franco. Now everyone can have a chance to see this dramatized take on the lunacy of the making of Wiseau’s film. The home release also features a commentary track with many of the principal’s involvement in the film’s creation, a gag reel, and of course, lots of focus on the real Tommy.
Call Me By Your Name (Blu-ray)
Another Oscar-winner is arriving this week. Call Me by Your Name earned writer James Ivory a long-overdue Academy Award for his screenplay and one could understand why. This 80s-set romance takes place over a summer in Northern Italy and does plenty to show just how natural things can appear, while characters take time to understand their feelings for each other. Featuring strong performances by all involved, including stars Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer, and especially Michael Stuhlbarg, here’s a film that works well enough under the direction of Luca Guadagnino to show off only what it needs to while telling its story. Features on this release include a commentary and some behind-the-scenes featurettes.
I, Tonya (Blu-ray/DVD)
This week is full of Oscar winners. Allison Janney took home an award for Best Supporting Actress, as she’s just one of the many wild characters in this comedic biopic focused on the infamous ice skating career of Tonya Harding and the many factors the contributed to why her life was such a shambles. Margot Robbie provides equally great work in the lead, and the film does a whole lot to challenge the conventional structure of a biopic. It ends up feeling like something unique in a film world where people’s stories are constantly presented similarly. The home release features a director’s commentary and deleted scenes.
Ferdinand (4K UHD/Blu-ray/DVD)
Nominated for Best Animated Feature, Ferdinand is an enjoyable enough film, as far as ones with a bit too much focus on pop culture references and overly bright colors go. John Cena makes for a fun vocal lead, bringing both a sense of humor and warmth to a story that goes on a little longer than it needs to so it can tell us the story of a bull that chooses non-violence. Based on the classic children’s book, Ferdinand is forgettable family fun. The Blu-ray includes multiple features for adults and kids to enjoy, as they range from behind-the-scenes looks to interactive fun.
The Handmaid’s Tale: Season One (Blu-ray/DVD)
We moved on from Oscar’s to an acclaimed television series that has won multiple Emmy’s and Golden Globe awards. The Handmaid’s Tale focuses on a dystopian future where women are forced to live as concubines under a fundamentalist dictatorship. Obviously, it’s not much of a laugh riot, but star Elisabeth Moss provides the dramatic focal point for a very intense series. This Blu-ray set includes a few featurettes about the making of the show.
The Age Of Innocence – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray/DVD)
People don’t tend to associate Martin Scorsese with romantic period pieces, but in between gangster films, the acclaimed filmmaker put out his own take on a Merchant/Ivory film. Not that The Age of Innocence is all that similar to Remains of the Day, but the film is a great entry among the many great films in Scorsee’s catalgue and The Criterion Collection has decided to honor the film with a brand-new Blu-ray release. Enjoy the best-looking and sounding version of this film to be found at home, along with the many great features that are typical for Criterion.
Downfall (Der Untergang) – Shout Factory Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
Taking a step back to 2004, Downfall has received a new Blu-ray release this week, courtesy of Shout Factory. The acclaimed German film focuses on the final days of Adolf Hitler, during his time in his Berlin bunker at the end of World War II. The Oliver Hirschbiegel film has since had to deal with becoming something of a meme, but the actual movie is excellent and worthy of a watch if one has not seen it already. Features include a commentary track, interviews, and some behind-the-scenes featurettes about the making of such an intense film.
A Trip to the Moon (Blu-ray/DVD)
Thanks to Flicker Alley, the legendary A Trip to the Moon from director Georges Melies has received an all-new Blu-ray release. This restored edition features a relatively new video transfer, along with several new audio transfers to ideally bring viewers the best viewing experience possible for this landmark film utilizing some of the earliest of visual effects for the sake of an imaginative feature. This Blu-ray set also comes back with multiple versions of the film, other shorts, an illustrated booklet, and a documentary focused on the life and legacy of Melies.
Streaming Pick – Power Rangers (Prime)
Lastly, I may not put Power Rangers on the top of the list of recent superhero films or television remakes, but there is something about making the corny 90s TV show into a big-budget movie that makes me smile. It doesn’t hurt that the character work is pretty good here. It’s enough to make it a good steaming pick for this week. The film is now available on Amazon Prime and is worth a watch if you’re in a silly mood and feel like seeing some Mighty, Morphin’ Power Rangers.