August 27, 2019: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
The week kicks off with some recent big screen hits, including the massive Kaiju showdown that is Godzilla: King of the Monsters. If musician biopics are more your style, be sure to check out Elton John’s story, stylistically brought to life in Rocketman. Both films arrive on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD.
Meanwhile, there is animated fun to be had with Illumination Entertainment’s recent sequel, The Secret Life of Pets 2, which comes home along with two new mini movies. Less family friendly is the direct to video reinvention of the late 1960s children’s entertainers with The Banana Splits Movie. This time around, the animal characters are reimagined as killer robots with appetites for destruction.
Gary Oldman and Jessica Alba headline an ensemble cast for the crime thriller Killers Anonymous, which centers on a support group for violent criminals. Meanwhile, Joe Talbot writes and directs The Last Black Man in San Francisco, a drama that follows star and cowriter Jimmie Fails as he reexamines his place in a city that used to feel like home.
Two classics are getting Ultra HD makeovers this week. Francis Ford Coppola returns to one of his most iconic works for Apocalypse Now: The Final Cut. Celebrating the film’s 40th anniversary, the six disc set also includes the previous cuts of the Vietnam War epic.
Also debuting on 4K is Rob Reiner’s timeless Stephen King adaptation Stand By Me. The coming of age tale not only get the UHD treatment, but a number of all new deleted scenes are included (in addition to all previously released supplemental materials).
It’s a big week over at the Criterion Collection. Not only are they bringing to blu-ray Yasujiro Ozu’s 1952 masterpiece The Flavor of Green Tea Over Rice, but they are also debuting a box set of Abbas Kiarostami’s Koker Trilogy. Beginning with 1987’s Where is the Friends Home? and continuing through 1992’s And Life Goes On and 1994’s Through the Olive Trees, the late Iranian filmmaker cleverly plays with the audience, subverting our understanding of truth and fiction and crafting stories that belong to both and neither.
Warner Archive is turning back the clock this week more than eight decades to bring to Blu-ray William Wyler’s 1938 drama Jezebel. Bette Davis stars as a beautiful but fierce southern belle whose plot against her fiancee (Henry Fonda) soon backfires. The film makes its Blu-ray debut with a host of special features, including a commentary track by film historian Jeanine Basinger.
Also arriving from Warner Archive is 1983’s incredible science fiction epic V – The Original Miniseries. The story of an alien invasion that spawned several followups, V gets the HD treatment alongside a commentary track with writer and director Kenneth Johnson and a 30 minute making of featurette.
Two more titles join Shout! Factory’s scream factory label this week. Released in 1960, The Leech Woman has Coleen Gray as a woman who, thinking that she has unlocked the fountain of youth, is actually transformed into a beautiful predator who must drain the lives of men in order to retain her youth. Then, 1974’s Fear in the Night sets Peter Cushing and Joan Collins as the heads of a mysterious boarding school with a dark secret.
Two more western titles join the Kino Lorber Studio Classics line this week. Look for King Vidor’s 1955 Man Without a Star and for Andre De Toth’s 1959 western Day of the Outlaw. The former, a technicolor release, stars Kirk Douglas as a drifter who begins working for a ranch owner (Jeanne Crain) who herself is trying instigate a land war with rival farms. The latter, meanwhile, stars Robert Ryan, Burl Ives and Tina Louise and famously marks the final western feature helmed by De Toth.
Two more works from the American Film Theatre get the HD treatment. This week brings to blu-ray both Harold Pinter’s 1974 Butley (starring Alan Bates) and Lindsay Anderson’s 1975 In Celebration (also starring Bates, this time alongside Brian Cox).
Kino Lorber also has an incredible double feature for fans of avant garde filmmaking. They’re bringing to HD two Derek Jarman features: 1990’s The Garden and his final work, 1993’s Blue. Both films were born from Jarman’s fatal AIDS diagnosis with the former exploring notions of mortality and the latter, a single shot of the color blue, serving as a sort of eulogy just before the artist’s death.
The rapidly expanding television side of the DC Comics multiverse continues with the recent fifth season of The Flash. Meanwhile, AMC’s season three set of the martial arts drama Into the Badlands brings to HD all eight episodes of the show’s final season.
Rounding out the week is a quartet of procedural television shows, all hitting DVD only. Look for the seventh season of Chicago Fire, the fourth season of Chicago Med, the tenth season of NCIS: Los Angeles, and the debut season of the Nathan Fillion led cop series The Rookie.