New DVD and Blu-ray releases for September 12, 2017
(KUTV) Hits, misses and a slew of 4K UHD highlight this week's DVD and Blu-ray releases.
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Tenth Season
Going into its tenth season the future of “The Big Bang Theory,” one of the most popular shows on television, was in question. The television gods, or at least CBS, responded by picking up the show for an additional two seasons. Frankly, I’ve really cared for the show. Maybe it feels a little too close to home. Maybe I can’t laugh at myself or believe in happy endings. But, for the millions of viewers who do find enjoyment in the show, I hope that this season’s major event doesn’t take the wind out of the show’s sails.
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
I’ve yet to see “Captain Underpants,” but I’ve heard very good things about this story about two elementary troublemakers who manage to hypnotize their principle into believing he is a superhero who runs around saving the world dressed only in a cape and underpants. The film, which was made for an economical $38 million, made $104 million worldwide.
Dead Again in Tombstone
I managed to completely forget that “Dead in Tombstone” existed, so “Dead in Tombstone Again,” sounded more like a parody than a sequel. However, like the film before it, “Dead in Tombstone Again” is a western with supernatural elements. Danny Trejo stars opposite the scenery-chewing Jake Busey. It’s not particularly good, but it is watchable than “Cowboys and Aliens” and “Jonah Hex” put together.
It Comes at Night
“It Comes at Night” was something of a divisive. It’s ad campaign promised a traditional horror experience, but the film itself was more of a slow burn that turned the horror genre on its ear. This post-apocalyptic survival film is a character drama that reminds us that sometimes the things we should fear the most are the things we take for granted.
“The Mummy” was Universal’s second attempt at launching a cinematic universe based on their rich collection of monsters. “Dracula Untold” didn’t impress, but “The Mummy” with Tom Cruise was supposed to get everyone excited for what comes next. Unfortunately, the film was a mess. Did it want to be a comedy or feature a few frights? The question is never answered. What’s worse is that the powers that be have decided to try and turn the horror properties into superheroes. I guess someone missed the memo that horror films were in vogue and we already have our plate full of superheroes.
Orphan Black: Season Five
Over the course of five seasons “Orphan Black” built a devoted following of fans. The series stars Tatiana Maslany (who has been offered an overwhelming amount of praise) in a variety of roles as she portrays various clones. I’ve held off watching, mostly because there is so much television to consume, but now that the show has come to an end (and the reviews have remained strong from start to finish) I find myself more motivated to binge all fifty episodes in the near future.
Silicon Valley: The Complete Fourth Season
The fourth season of HBO’s “Silicon Valley,” a series about a group of young programmers who by the time this season rolls around have a better grasp on the ins and outs of how to do business in Silicon Valley. And yet, they still find numerous ways to get themselves into trouble. This is the final season to feature T. J. Miller as Erlich Bachman.
Veep: The Complete Sixth Season
Just today I was reading about how "Veep" was going to wrap after its upcoming seventh season. There's no question that the outlandish silliness has become more and more difficult to laugh at as real-world politics have moved closer to the antics of Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) than any of us could possibly be comfortable with, but the series has been a joy to watch. The silver lining here is that we will have one more season and that this might lead a few more people into watching series creator Armando Iannucci’s British sitcom “The Thick of It.”
4K UHD Releases
Of this week’s 4K releases I’ve only had the opportunity to view the “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” release. So, let’s start there. “E.T.” is as responsible for my love for cinema as the Star Wars franchise. Released in 1982, “E.T.” is the first film that I remember watching numerous times in the theater. I instantly connected with the story of a young boy who discovers an alien visitor who has been accidently marooned on Earth. This 4K release, much like last week’s “Blade Runner” 4K UHD release, is stunning. It might lack the visual pop of “Blade Runner’s” neon cityscapes, but it impresses nonetheless. “E.T.” flaunts the deeper color range and additional detail that you’d expect from a next-gen technology.
This week also sees the releases of “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie,” Universal’s “Dracula Untold.” “The Mummy,” “The Purge: 3-Movie Collection,” “Split,” and “Van Helsing.” Meanwhile. Sony gives Best Buy an exclusive window fort the release of “Zero Dark Thirty.”
On DVD this week you’ll find the indie "Beatriz at Dinner," a morality play that finds Salma Hayek playing an unexpected guest at a party thrown by one of her wealthy clients; the third and fourth seasons of “The Goldbergs,” a comical return to the 1980s as seen through the eyes of a young boy and his video camera and "Phantasm: 5-Movie Collection," a standard-definition release that follows up the fantastic Blu-ray set that was released earlier this year. The Phantasm franchise, while not nearly as notable as some as its contemporary horror films with roots in the 1980s, is, nonetheless, one of the stronger and more interesting series. This collection is essential for genre buffs.
This week also sees the release of “Teletubbies: Follow the Leader.” Pulled from the newly revived franchise, “Follow the Leader” finds Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po playing follow the leader and take selfies with their Tubby Phone. Yes, we’re now teaching infants about selfies.
From Arrow Films we have “The Big Knife,” a 1955 noir thriller starring Jack Palance as Charlie Castle, a fairly successful Hollywood actor who finds himself blackmailed by his studio just as he attempts to gain artistic freedom; “Don't Torture a Duckling,” a classic 1972 giallo film from Lucio Fulci about a reporter who comes to a remote village to investigate the deaths of numerous young boys; “Erik the Conqueror,” Mario Bava’s 1961 action-adventure about two Viking children separated at birth who meet on the battlefield; “The Ghoul,” a fascinating British release about a homicide detective that poses as a patient in hopes of finding the connection between a psychotherapist and a murder; and “The Suspicious Death of a Minor,” a Italian thriller from 1975 about a detective investigating the murder of a young prostitute.
The Criterion Collection
This week’s Criterion Collection release isthe legendary music documentarian Murray Lerner's “Festival,” a precursor to Woodstock, the Newport Folk Festival was an annual event that started in 1959. Murray Lerner’s documentary focuses on the years 1963-1966 and features interviews and footage from performance from noted musicians like Joan Baez, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. This is a fascinating period for music as folk singers began to incorporate elements of rock ‘n’ roll, while also maintain aspects from the country and blues influences that initially established the genre. Follow this up with the fantastic Rolling Stones concert documentary “Gimme Shelter” and you’ll see both the joy of a movement at its peak and the sorrow when its lofty ideals come crashing down around it.
Other Catalog Highlights
Stepping further into the mainstream some of these week's other catalog releases include the action comedy “48 Hours” starring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy; “El Dorado,” a classic western from 1967 featuring John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and James Caan; “Swept Away,” the original 1974 romantic drama from Linda Wertmuller; and “Tobor the Great,” a sci-fi film from 1954 about a young boy, his grandfather’s robot and the foreign spies that want to possess the mechanical man.
Catalog Box Sets
Also this week, Universal offers a pair of box sets, the "Psycho: The Complete 4-Movie Collection" and "The Purge: 3-Movie Collection," just in time for the haunting season.