April 9, 2019: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
Quite a few recent big screen releases come home this week beginning with, appropriately enough the tearkjerking canine drama A Dog’s Way Home. Then, “Step Brothers” Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly reunite for Holmes and Watson, a comedic take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detectives. Speaking of icons, Ruth Bader Ginsberg gets her story told in biopic form with On the Basis of Sex, which sets “Rogue One” star Felicity Jones as the future Supreme Court Justice. That’s not the only true story coming to Blu-ray this week, either, as Robert Zemeckis’ Welcome to Marwen details the story of a man who, suffering a brutal attack, develops an intricate fantasy world constructed out of dolls.
A major hit when it was released last year in Japan, the animated fantasy adventure Mirai should satisfy anime fans who enjoy time travel adventures mixed with their dramatic coming of age stories. Elsewhere, eleven filmmakers delivers short films about Germany’s capital with Berlin, I Love You, continuing the “cities of love” series launched with “Paris, je t’aime” and continued with “New York, I Love You”.
Sam Worthington has a complicated plan to escape wrongful conviction in the high concept thriller Man on a Ledge, now available for the first time in 4K Ultra HD. Directed by Asger Leth, the film boasts a cast that also include Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Genesis Rodriguez and Ed Harris.
The Criterion Collection has a pair of upgrades releasing this week, bringing to blu-ray two Jim Jarmusch classics. Look for the deadpan master’s 1984 feature film debut Stranger Than Paradise as well as the 1991 anthology Night on Earth, which weaves together five stories set in taxi cabs all over the world. Having already released blu-rays of “Down By Law,” “Dead Man” and “Mystery Train,” the Criterion Collection now includes Jarmusch’s full filmography up until 1999’s “Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai”. With his latest, The Dead Don’t Die arriving this summer, now is perfect time to revisit these gems or to encounter the filmmaker’s incomparable style for the first time.
Warner Archive has a treat for classic horror fans this week with an HD edition of 1958’s Frankenstein 1970. Almost 30 years after he played Frankenstein’s monster in the Universal Frankenstein, Boris Karloff took on the role of the doctor himself for an unusual story wherein Victor Frankenstein welcomes a television crew to his laboratory to film a movie about his work reanimating the dead.
There are even more monsters to be had over at Shout! Factory where, joining the Scream Factory label is 1974’s martial arts/horror hybrid The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires. The Hammer Films release follows Professor Van Helsing (Peter Cushing) on a lecture tour to China where he comes face to face with powerful vampires skilled in the art of supernatural Kung fu. Meanwhile, the Shout Select line expands with Kasi Lemmons’ 2007 biopic Talk to Me. Don Cheadle stars as Ralph “Petey” Greene, a man who, in the 1960s, went from being an ex convict to a leading radio personality.
From Severin Films comes The Hemisphere Box of Horrors, a five movie set (including “The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism,” “The Black Cat,” “The Blood Drinkers,” “Blood of the Vampires,” and “Brain of Blood”) that represents the studio’s pulpy horror from the late sixties and early seventies.
Arrow Films also has a double helping of HD goodness this week. The 1971 giallo The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire gets a full fledged special edition while Arrow Academy offers up Alain Resnais’ 1986 romantic drama Mélo, marking the film’s blu-ray debut.
Available on DVD and Blu-ray is the first season of the History Channel’s Project Blue Book, a based on fact account of the US government’s investigation into UFO sightings during the Cold War. Then, hitting DVD only is the fifth and final season of the hilarious dark comedy You’re the Worst, which just aired its series finale last week. Hopefully a complete series set on Blu-ray isn’t far behind.