June 18, 2019: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
Matching the quality of his debut feature, Get Out, was a sizable challenge, but it’s one that writer and director Jordan Peele has met head on with his fantastic Us. The terrifying followup stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke as a couple who, along with their children, find themselves facing off against eerie, animalistic doppelgängers. The film hits DVD, Blu-ray and 4K and, over at Best Buy, you’ll be able to pick up an exclusive Steelbook design.
Other recent big screen releases coming home this week include Harmony Korine’s bizarre comedy The Beach Bum (starring Matthew McConaughey in the title role), the true thriller Hotel Mumbai (starring Dev Patel and Armie Hammer) and the animated adventure Wonder Park.
Following a big screen release in Japan late last year, Modest Heroes represents the first entry in the Ponoc Short Films Theatre anthology series. Three directors deliver three short films: From The Secret World of Arietty and When Marnie was There Hiromasa Yonebayashi comes “Kanini and Kanino,” which follows tiny underwater creatures who embark on a mission to save their father. From Spirited Away and Mary and the Witch’s Flower animator Yoshiyuki Momose comes”Life Ain’t Gonna Lose,” which follows a young boy with an allergy to eggs. Then, animator Akihiko Yamashita (The Secret World of Arietty, Mary and the Witch’s Flower) offers”Invisible,” the story of an invisible man who is forced to clutch a heavy fire extinguisher to stay anchored to the ground.
One of the most peculiar corners of the “Dark Universe” of Universal Monsters is 2002’s The Mummy Returns prequel, The Scorpion King. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays the title role, marking the very first title role in his career. The film, which somehow spawned an additional four direct sequels, now makes its debut on 4K Ultra HD.
The Criterion Collection this week is offering a double serving of Bruno Dumont films. Look for his 1997 debut feature La vie de Jesus, which tells the story of Freddy, a young man who has severely misplaced aggression towards his lot in life. Then, 1999’s L’Humanite explores the sexual identity of a disaffected police investigator tasked with solving the murder of a young girl. Both releases offer newly created special features, including conversations with Dumont himself.
Warner Archive is kicking off the summer with Mark Hamill and Annie Potts in Corvette Summer, the 1978 adventure that marked Hamill’s first leading role after having headlined the epochal Star Wars the previous year. The film finds Hamill as Kenny Dantley, a SoCal high school senior whose customized Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is stolen, leading Kenny to hit the road on an adventure filled with mystery, romance and danger.
Turn back the clock to the early days of Universal Horror with Scream Factory’s new Universal Horror Collection Volume One, bringing to blu-ray four classics starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Edgar G. Ulmer (Detour) directs 1934’s The Black Cat, adapting the Edgar Allen Poe story. Lew Landers (Sky Giant) also tries his hand at Poe with 1935’s The Raven. 1936’s The Invisible Ray hails from Batman serial director Lambert Hillyer with a tale of science gone wrong. Then, Arthur Rubin helms 1940’s Black Friday, which features brain transplants run amuck.
Each film is backed with bonus material, celebrating nearly a century of celluloid terror. What’s more, the Universal Horror Collection Volume Two is already on the slate for next month!
If you need even more vintage horror, look no further than 1957’s tale of sci-fi terror, The Monolith Monsters. The John Sherwood film finds an asteroid strike the Earth, which causes strange space rocks to star growing in a small American town… with no sign of stopping! The film makes its blu-ray debut with two feature length audio commentary tracks.
Unconnected to the similarly titled 2019-set sci-fi thriller from Stephen King, 1963’s The Running Man is based on the 1961 novel The Ballad of the Running Man and follows Laurence Harvey as a man who, having faked his own death, desperately attempts to outrun an insurance investigator who doesn’t buy his demise. Directed by Carol Reed (The Third Man), the film joins Arrow Video’s Arrow Academy label with a host of special features, including an audio commentary track and newly produced featurettes.
Kino Lorber Studio Classics has another round of great catalogue titles making their blu-ray debuts. Look for William Friedkin’s 1978 true heist tale The Brink’s Job, Daryl Duke’s 1978 game of cat and mouse The Silent Partner, Tony Richardson’s 1982 crime drama The Border, Terry Bedford’s 1983 thriller Slayground, Alan Parker’s powerful 1988 drama Mississippi Burning, and Park Chan-wook’s 2009 vampire romance Thirst.
The first set received rave reviews for the incredible restoration of classic Popeye cartoons. Now, Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s Volume Two continues the series of color shorts, delivering 15 more classic animated adventures that stretch from 1946 to 1947. The set includes “House Tricks?,” “Service with a Guile,” “Klondike Casanova,” “Peep in the Deep,” “Rocket to Mars,” “Rodeo Romeo,” “The Fistic Mystic,” “The Island Fling,” “Abusement Park,” “I’ll Be Skiing Ya,” “Popeye and the Pirates,” “The Royal-Four Flusher,” “Wotta Knight,” “Safari So Good,” and “All’s Fair at the Fair”.
What a long, strange it has been for devotees of the Satellite of Love. Nearly two decades after Rhino began releasing Mystery Science Theater 3000 on DVD, Shout! Factory has not only come close to finishing the series, but has actually looped around and re-released all of the original Rhino sets. Volume IX, which includes “Ring of Terror,” “Indestructible Man,” “Tormented” and “Horrors of Spider Island” is the penultimate set in the re-release schedule, leaving only a handful of episodes here and there that, for various rights issues, are unlikely to get a home release anytime soon. Fortunately for MST3K fans, the show is back and we’ve also got all new episodes to look forward to on Netflix!
Small screen releases coming home this week include the second season of the BBC’s hit Killing Eve alongside (only DVD only) the eighth season of Suits (arriving just before the show’s final season premiere next month) and the second season of NBC’s Will and Grace revival.
While the set itself is, unfortunately, not available in stores, we’re closing out this week’s new releases with a look at an incredible promo item for last week’s Captain Marvel. Celebrating the film’s setting in the 90s, Marvel Studios has mocked up an incredible looking laserdisc release for the film. The good news is that you can readily buy the film now on DVD, Blu-ray, 4K Ultra HD and on Digital.