April 30, 2019: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
This week’s new releases kick off with Mads Mikkelsen undertaking a dangerous expedition in Arctic. Then, an ensemble cast comes to together for S. Craig Zahler’s followup to Bone Tomahawk and Brawl in Cell Block 99, the intense crime drama Dragged Across Concrete. From writer and director Danishka Esterhazy comes the sci fi thriller Level 16, set at a dystopic future school where young women are trained to be perfect. Miss Bala remakes the 2011 Mexican drama with Gina Rodriguez playing the role originated by Stephanie Sigman. Finally, Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway headline Steven Knight’s neo-noir tale Serenity.
Also arriving from its recent big screen run is the documentary Never Ending Man, which celebrates the life and incredible work of Hayao Miyazaki. Filmed in 2016, the film follows the Japanese master of animation after having announced his retirement, leaving the world a filmography that includes classics like My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Spirited Away and many, many more. Shout! Factory brings to Blu-ray the incredible up close and personal look at a true artist and the wake of his decision to create no more.
Universal Home Entertainment delivers new editions of two catalogue titles. Look for Ridley Scott’s Silence of the Lambs sequel, Hannibal, to make it’s debut on 4K Ultra HD. Meanwhile, John Hughes’ high school drama 16 Candles celebrates its 35th anniversary with a new digibook edition that also includes a digital copy.
Pack up your troubles and just get happy, Summer Stock is finally hitting blu-ray, thank to Warner Archive. Judy Garland and Gene Kelly dazzle in the 1950 technicolor musical, the third and final film starring the pitch perfect pair.
The Criterion Collection adds a double dose of Jackie Chan with a new double feature Police Story / Police Story 2 blu-ray set. Released in 1985 and 1988, the martial arts action comedies made a household name of Chan and are still virtually unrivaled in terms of stunt choreography. Also joining the collection is Gillian Armstrong’s 1979 debut, My Brilliant Career, an adaptation of Miles Franklin’s turn of the century memoir.
It’s giant spiders and giant brains arriving this week from Shout! Factory’s Scream Factory label. Director Jack Arnold’s followup to Creature From the Black Lagoon, 1955’s Tarantula pits regular sized humans against a massive arachnid foe. Two years later, Arnold would continue the theme with a regular sized spider battling The Incredible Shrinking Man. Tarantula makes its blu-ray debut with a new 2K scan from the original film elements. 1988’s cult horror thriller The Brain, meanwhile, arrives with a new 4K scan and three different audio commentary tracks.
There’s another interesting pair of films joining the Shout Select line. Look for both Jim Sheridan’s 1997 drama The Boxer and Bruce A. Evans’ 1992 comedy caper Kuffs. The former offers two audio commentary tracks, one with Sheridan and one with producer Arthur Lappin. Kuffs, meanwhile, gets a newly recorded track with Evans as well as additional supplemental material prepared specially for this release.
When the James Bond franchise became an instant hit with the release of Dr. No in 1962, France responded by reinventing its classic pulp antihero Fantomas, crafting a trilogy of films between 1964 and 1967. Jean Marais plays the title role as a criminal mastermind in Fantomas, Fantomas Unleashed and Fantomas vs. Scotland Yard, all of which debut on Blu-ray this week through Kino Lorber. If that’s not enough, the company is also releasing the fifth (and penultimate) volume of The Pink Panther cartoon shorts.