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 May 1, 2018:
Peter Rabbit (4K UHD/Blu-ray/DVD)
This is a lighter week as far as new home releases of note, but here we are with the most high profile release, Peter Rabbit. Here’s a movie better than many expected it to be and more profitable than some may have been anticipating. It’s a good-natured family-friendly comedy that has just enough wit to make up for its pop music-filled soundtrack, and some entertaining work from Domhnall Gleeson as Peter’s foil. The film arrives on all formats with some extras for kids to enjoy, including a mini-movie and a dance-along. That’s enough to go with a movie that will no doubt look great at home thanks to some solid visual effects work.
12 Strong (Blu-ray/DVD)
12 Strong is not going to win any awards points, which explains its early year theatrical release, but it does get some credit for being a bit more complicated than other films of this nature that can play into some problematic tendencies. Best of all, perhaps, is how 12 Strong plays like a reminder of what a Jerry Bruckheimer action film can deliver. Hemsworth may be dialing down his natural charisma, but there’s enough explosive bombast to satisfy action fans, without forcing any simplified politics on the viewer. Not much in the way of extras, but this feels more like a home release best viewed in a home with a great sound system.
There’s a really good movie one could have made, based on the mystery and oddity that is the Winchester house that actually exists. Sadly, that’s not what was delivered in this film. Despite the best efforts from Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke, they could not elevate this movie from being anything more than a generic haunted house movie with little in the way of terror. A shame to waste such a location, but here we are. The Blu-ray features a standard featurette for those picking this film up to enjoy.
Mary and the Witch’s Flower (Blu-ray/DVD)
Despite the high acclaim, May and the Witch’s Flower could not overcome the power of Ferdinand and The Boss Baby, when it came to this past Academy Awards nominations. Still, the anime from Studio Ponoc (made up of many who were once a part of Studio Ghibli) has a lot of what makes these sort of fantastical films so great. It tells an engaging story adapted from The Little Broomstick and allows for lots of great imagery to take its place, as a young woman learns about unique abilities and a world of magic hidden in the clouds. The home release includes both Japanese and English audio tracks, which is always great, along with some features going into the production of the film.
In The Fade (Blu-ray)
Here’s another film seemingly denied Oscar attention, as the Best Foreign Language Film category went another direction. In The Fade received plenty of critical accolades, along with a Golden Globe and a Best Actress win for Diane Kruger at the Cannes Film Festival. The film tells the story of a woman whose life falls apart following the death of her husband and child in a bomb attack. It takes interesting turns that make the film well worth a watch, granted understanding how the film is quite dour. The Blu-ray features some interviews with Kruger and director Fatih Akin, who both surely have significant opinions involving some of the challenging choices made in the film.
Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (Blu-ray/DVD)
While the proposed Tremors TV series that would bring back Kevin Bacon (I know, right?) was recently pronounced to be a dead project, there’s a whole new Tremors film to get your hands on. The sixth installment in the horror-comedy franchise, Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell, stars series vet Michael Gross and Jamie Kennedy in an all-new adventure that has the hunters traveling to Canada to deal with Graboids and whatever other monsters are out there. I’ve not seen an entry since the first sequel, but true fans want more, so here it is. Bonus features including a making-of and more, so grab onto this Blu-ray disc and enjoy.