New To View And Own For Home: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Legion & More

Aaron Neuwirth goes over the new Blu-ray releases of the week, which includes Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Legion, plus releases from Scream Factory, Kino, Arrow, and The Criterion Collection.

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 27, 2018:

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (4K UHD/Blu-ray/DVD)

The most notable release of this week is Star Wars: The Last Jedi. An ambitious event for the most popular franchise of all time, Rian Johnson pulled out all the stops and gave audiences a chance to see a Star Wars that felt both old and entirely new. So much has been written about this (spectacular) film at this point, I don’t need to rehash too much more. The more significant thing in regards to this post is how The Last Jedi becomes the first Star Wars film to be released on 4K UHD. As you’d expect, the film looks and sounds phenomenal. The Blu-ray disc is also packed with extras, including a feature-length documentary about Rian Johnson’s journey to make the movie, significant deleted scenes, and so much more. This looks like the new home release you were looking for.

Legion: The Complete Season One (Blu-ray/DVD)

Of all the current superhero TV shows, Legion is easily my favorite. This mind-bending take on the Marvel Comics character got all the room it needed thanks to an ambitious approach from Fargo showrunner Noah Hawley and the chances afforded by FX to be its own thing. Dan Stevens leads a tremendous cast as David Haller, a young man who is believed to have mental problems, only to realize his full potential for greatness stemmed from actually having mutant abilities. With a second season very close to premiering, it will be great to revisit this first season. Anyone who hasn’t already surely has something to enjoy as well. The Blu-ray set includes multiple featurettes and deleted scenes, and I’m sure a solid technical presentation to best show off this very stylish production.

Mr. Robot: Season 3.0 (Blu-ray/DVD)

Mr. Robot is the sort of series that made a big splash in its first season and now seems to carry on with less buzz. That said, I’ve continued watching the USA drama series revolving around Rami Malek’s cyber engineer/cyber-terrorist that always finds time for plenty of twists and turns in the series. With inspirations that start with Fight Club and Taxi Driver, among many other films, and have now moved forward to more relevant scenarios, given current American culture, there is a clear understanding of what Mr. Robot is emulating. Still, there’s enough intrigue in the storyline and great work coming from the ensemble cast to make this series something different from a lot of other serialized dramas not on basic cable networks. The Blu-ray set for the third season features a few featurettes, including a look at episode 3.4, which was filmed to appear as one entirely unbroken shot.

Joan of Arc (Blu-ray)

Last week gave us The Passion of Joan of Arc on a Criterion Collection release. This week finds Kino Lorber delivering the Victor Fleming-directed Joan of Arc, starring Ingrid Bergman on a new Blu-ray release. Featuring a new 2K restoration, this Oscar-nominated 1948 feature was a box office hit in its day for telling the full story of the famed French revolutionary. Not likely too many bonus features to speak of with a new release from Kino, but expect a proper treatment of the film itself to enjoy. That’s good enough for this classic epic.

The Sandlot: 25th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)

While I’m one that doesn’t have a whole lot of love for 90s children’s favorites such as Hook or Jumanji, I am happy to join in on the love for The Sandlot. The coming-of-age story has a nice blend of sports movie underdog story and mythic adventures involving a great, big dog that is hard to not see as a winning combination. This week has the 25th Anniversary Blu-ray release for the film, which comes with lots of nice goodies, including a poster and baseball cards. Sadly, there’s nothing new on the disc itself, but any fan will surely get a kick out of some new collectibles if they aren’t in possession of this film already.

Batman & Mr. Freeze: SubZero – Warner Archive Collection (Blu-ray)

Last year finally gave audiences Batman: Mask of the Phantasm on Blu-ray. This week has SubZero, another feature-length film from the Batman: The Animated Series universe. While not as beloved as ‘Phantasm,’ there is plenty to enjoy in this animated adventure that once again pits the Caped Crusader against one of the more tragic members of his rogue’s gallery. Additionally, this Blu-ray features all of the Mr. Freeze-centric episodes from the various animated series on the disc as well, though only presented in standard definition, which is a shame. It’s at least a good way to pass the time before The Animated Series finally gets its complete Blu-ray release.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon – Scream Factory Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)

Any true fan of slasher films should be excited about this release. While not having a chance to make much of a splash during its original theatrical run, following a well-received premiere at SXSW, Behind the Mask has only grown in its legacy since. The film tells the story of a good-natured killer in a world where slasher villains are plentiful, and his plans for an upcoming slaughter spree. That may sound silly, but the film is in on the joke, as it is shot in a mockumentary format. The result is a very smart and well-made feature that works as a great homage to the many great and cult-loved slasher films from over the years. Thanks to Scream Factory, this film now has a great Blu-ray release that features a new 2K remaster, several new interviews, commentary tracks and more.

King of Jazz – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray/DVD)

The Criterion Collection is releasing King of Jazz this week, which is another neat addition to their archives. They describe it best: Made during the early years of the movie musical, this exuberant revue was one of the most extravagant, eclectic, and technically ambitious Hollywood productions of its day. Now, with a new restoration, everyone will have a chance to watch this lavishly-staged production, as well as check out all the new materials provided for this release. This includes musician interviews, a new introduction by jazz and film critic Gary Giddins, who also offers a commentary track, and more.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space – Remastered (Blu-ray)

If you’re like me and didn’t think 2017’s It was all that, maybe you need to take a look at the 1988 cult horror classic Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Or you are part of the majority and loved It, but could still need to take a look anyway. Regardless, it’s a sillier movie, no doubt, but creepy in its own way and certainly doesn’t skimp on the clown-based terror. Arrow is here with a brand new release of the film, featuring remastered video and audio and plenty of other extras to give any fan the ultimate experience of Killer Klowns in their home.

The Outer Limits: Season One (Blu-ray)

While The Twilight Zone has been available for a while, The Outer Limits is finally making its way to Blu-ray, thanks to Kino Lorber. This was the anthology series that thrived on warped science fiction ideas to tell their stories. The entire first season, a 6-disc, 32-episode set, is now presented in high definition with brand-new transfers to satisfy fans. But that’s not all, as there are 24 audio commentaries from various film historians, along with a 40-page illustrated booklet with an essay and episode guide contained within the set. Not bad at all for such a well-loved cult favorite from the 60s.

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