January 28, 2020: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
Cynthia Erivo embodies an American hero in writer and director Kasi Lemmons’ Harriet. A biopic of Harriet Tubman, the film is currently nominated for two Academy awards: one for Erivo’s leading performance and another for the film’s original song, “Stand Up”. The film comes home with bonus content, including deleted scenes and a commentary track with Lemmons.
Written by, directed by, and starring Edward Norton, Motherless Brooklyn offers a glimpse at 1950s New York where a down on his luck Private Detective (Norton) tries to solve the murder of his friend and mentor. Norton also provides a feature length commentary track for the Blu-ray.
Currently nominated for six Academy Awards (including Best Picture), Bong Joon-ho’s impeccable Parasite offers a tale that is at once a mystery, a dark comedy and a brutal commentary on class and social status. The Blu-ray also includes a Q&A session with Bong Joon-ho.
Rounding out the week’s new releases is Terminator: Dark Fate, the sixth chapter in the sci-fi action franchise. For the first time since Terminator 2: Judgment Day, James Cameron returns to produce an all new chapter helmed by Deadpool director Tim Miller. Available on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD, Dark Fate offers more than an hour of bonus content, including several deleted and extended scenes. Steelbook collectors should also be on the lookout for a limited edition version of Dark Fate, available at Best Buy and Walmart
Not to be confused with the film of the same name currently playing in theaters, director John Sturges’ 1955 adventure Underwater! comes to HD this week from the always impressive Warner Archive. Jane Russell headlines the SuperScope treasure hunt adventure, set beneath the surface of the sea, off the coast of Cuba. The new Blu-ray offers a 4K scan of Underwater! from the original camera negative.
Also from WA this week is William Conrad’s 1965 tale of terror, Two on a Guillotine. Set 20 years after an onstage accident claimed the life of her mother, Cassie (Connie Stevens) receives an inheritance from her magician father, the Great Duquesne. There’s one catch, however. In order to receive the full payout, Cassie must spend seven nights in a haunted mansion!
Fans can purchase either title directly from Warner Archive or at any online retailers where DVDs and Blu-rays are sold.
Two new films join the Criterion collection this week, beginning with Pedro Almodóvar’s Academy Award winning 1999 drama All About My Mother. Cecilia Roth headlines as Manuela, a woman who, after tragically losing her teenage son, travels to Barcelona in the hopes of finding the boy’s father. There, she ends up becoming an important part of a very different kind of family. All About My Mother marks the third Almodóvar film to join the collection, following Blu-ray releases of both Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
Also arriving from Criterion this week is Sidney Lumet’s 1964 thriller Fail Safe, which depicts a world not only on the brink of doomsday, but one that is terrifyingly familiar to our own. Boasting a new 4K digital restoration, Fail Safe debuts on Blu-ray with several additional features, including a vintage commentary track by Lumet.
Shout! Factory’s horror themed Scream Factory label has a trio debuting this week, beginning with the 1991 thriller Body Parts. Jeff Fahey stars as Bill Chrushank, a criminal psychologist who, after losing his arm in a car accident, receives a donor appendage that just so happens to have belonged to a violent serial killer. The new release offers a host of supplemental material, including a feature commentary track with writer and director Eric Red.
Zohra Lampert plays a woman tortured by supernatural visions in the 1971 thriller Let’s Scare Jessica to Death. Scream Factory’s new edition offers behind the scenes special features, including an audio commentary with director John Hancock and producer Bill Badalato.
Having previously released the entire trilogy, Scream Factory this week turns their attention back to Amy Holden Jones’ 1982 tongue-in-cheek slasher The Slumber Party Massacre. Rereleased in a Steelbook edition with a brand new 4K transfer, the new edition retains all of the film’s previously released special features. What’s more, a special limited edition version is available directly from Scream Factory that also includes an 8″ Russ Thorn action figure from NECA.
Finally, Shout! Factory’s Shout Select label expands this week with writer and director Peter Berg’s debut feature, 1998’s Very Bad Things.
Over at Arrow Video, this week sees another pair of new releases. Directed by Roy William Neill, best known for helming the majority of the Basil Rathbone led Sherlock Holmes films, 1946’s Black Angel join the Arrow Academy label. The film noir begins, appropriately enough, with murder. When a popular singer is killed in her own apartment, several suspects are brought in. Even as one is found guilty, though, the mystery continues to unfold.
Directed by José Ramón Larraz, the 1988 slasher Edge of the Axe makes its HD debut. The new special edition offers a brand new 2K restoration with a host of supplemental material, including two different audio commentary tracks.
Over on the small screen, the fifth season marks the last episodes for HBO’s Dwayne Johnson led Ballers. The series’ final eight episodes arrive today on DVD only. For Lucy Lawless, however, the show is just beginning as the entire first season of Acorn TV’s mystery series My Life is Murder. All ten episodes from the show’s debut season are now available on both DVD and Blu-ray.