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 April 10, 2018:
The Greatest Showman (4K UHD/Blu-ray/DVD)
This movie may as well have been called The Little Musical That Could. Following a weak opening weekend and mixed critical regard, The Greatest Showman would go on to win audiences over to the tune of over $400 million worldwide. Hugh Jackman indeed is a great showman, which was perfect for this elaborate musical focused on a sanitized version of the life of P.T. Barnum and his creation of the Barnum & Bailey Circus. Fox had a more significant hit on their hands than they expected, but that didn’t stop the studio from going all out for its home release. In addition to a terrific technical presentation, there are plenty of extras that rightfully put a focus on the songs. Enjoy featurettes devoted to each song, along with a sing-along mode to play the film in, and a feature that brings you straight to the song you want.
Phantom Thread (Blu-ray/DVD)
Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis reunited for this beautiful period drama that has only grown in appreciation for me since seeing it. Working as an homage to gothic romances and Hitchcock, along with having all of Anderson’s abilities filling every frame of the film, Phantom Thread tells the story of a love between two people that find a connection to each other, despite having clear differences and intentions. Vicky Krieps and Lesley Manville provide excellent support as the women in Day-Lewis’ character’s life, and the film has plenty of joy showing off its impressive production and costume design. The Blu-ray provides a fantastic technical presentation worthy of the sights on display and the wonderful score by Jonny Greenwood (the 4K edition has a May release date which will make for an even more impressive presentation, I’m sure). Make sure to check out the extras, as they feature camera tests with commentary by PTA, along with outtakes featuring a breakfast food fight that has to be seen.
Molly’s Game (Blu-ray/DVD)
It was only a matter of time before Aaron Sorkin would direct his own feature film. Not that he hasn’t been satisfied by the successful films he wrote the screenplays for, but the man certainly has cinematic ambitions. The result is Molly’s Game, a biopic with crackling dialogue and great movie star performances from Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba. It works as a sharp drama that’s a lot of fun to watch thanks to the incredibly strong cast and the words they’re allowed to string together. While the film wasn’t much of a hit at the box office, it got enough critical and awards regard to make it worth checking out by anyone that likes a good adult drama. The home release comes up lacking in further exploration of the film, beyond a straightforward featurette, but it’s a strong directorial effort nonetheless.
All The Money in the World (Blu-ray/DVD)
Ridley Scott’s period crime thriller that is currently also airing as a Danny Boyle-directed miniseries on FX called Trust is bound to be remembered for its production change-up, as opposed to the movie it is. All the Money in the World is about the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III but is now far more about how Christopher Plummer replaced Kevin Spacey as J. Paul Getty, filing all the required scenes in 11 days. As a film, it’s okay. Michelle Williams, in particular, deserved far more credit for her efforts. The home release looks to be a decent enough representation for a highly publicized film that still floundered at the box office. There’s a featurette going over the casting switch, along with some other minor extras that dig into the story.
Proud Mary (Blu-ray/DVD)
Initially hitting theaters the same time as the latest Liam Neeson “old man action movie,” Proud Mary could have been an excellent time to see respected actresses of color also take the stage in higher profile B-level action movies. Not that it still won’t happen (Breaking In looks promising), but the Taraji P. Henson assassin thriller barely left a mark. With poor reviews and low box office, this seems to exist as an idea better as a trailer than an actual movie. Regardless, it’s now on Blu-ray and DVD, complete with a few extras, so hopefully, Henson fans can still have fun.
If you are getting tired of waiting to see more of Jason Momoa as Aquaman, perhaps a 90s-style action movie featuring the man is what you need. From everything I’ve heard, it seems like Braven is a great way to scratch a particular action movie itch for those who are fans of the old Jerry Bruckheimer/Joel Silver days. I mean, Momoa throws an ax at one point, so there’s that. Surely watching Momoa vs. evil drug traffickers is enough to get people looking for this smaller action film on Blu-ray.
Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay (4K UHD/Blu-ray/DVD)
While Suicide Squad felt like a giant punch in the face to people that deserve better, the DC animated universe has done better in bringing this group of villains together. Batman: Assault on Arkham was actually a Suicide Squad movie more worthy of the title, and now we have Suicide Squad: Hell To Pay, which continues to deliver exciting action involving Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, and others. This is notably an R-rated animated film, likely finding a way to cater more to the characters’ tendencies and the audiences who want to enjoy them. So enjoy this latest home release, which also comes with a slew of extras to dig into as well.
The Incredible Hulk (4K UHD)
While the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 marked the start the MCU’s 4K releases, Universal decided to be on top of one of the earlier MCU entries when it came to upgrading the Blu-ray release. The Incredible Hulk is rarely touted as anyone’s favorite film in this cinematic universe, but I see it as an enjoyable enough B-movie fitting of The Incredible Hulk TV series, with an A-budget. This 2008 brawler finds Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, and he does what he can to make a good conflicted scientist/rage monster. The 4K release has nothing new as far as the extras are concerned, but the technical presentation allows for a better look at a film featuring a finale of two rage monsters battling each other in Harlem, New York.
Dario Argento’s Deep Red – Arrow Limited Edition (Blu-ray)
Arrow has, once again, done their best to respect one of Dario Argento’s Italian horror films with this new release of Deep Red. The limited edition package arrives with a remastered video restoration from a 4K scan of the original negative, along with a remaster of the original soundtrack. Additionally, there’s a commentary track, new featurettes, and a bunch of physical goodies inside the package as well. The actual film involves a murder mystery scored by Goblin, so it’s standard Argento stuff, but this is a release fans will undoubtedly want to pick up.
Up In Smoke – 40th Anniversary (Blu-ray)
The comedy duo Cheech & Chong took the world by storm in their own way back in 1978. Up In Smoke is something of a cult classic and the film that established the “stoner comedy.” I can’t say it’s a favorite of mine, but I understand the reverence for it. Good news for fans is how the film is now available on a brand-new Blu-ray release that features new interviews and more. But that’s not all, a deluxe edition includes the original soundtrack on both CD and a vinyl LP, along with a booklet and poster.