March 10, 2020: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
A quartet of recent big screen releases kick off this week’s selection of home entertainment titles. First up is director Jay Roach’s Bombshell, starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman and Margot Robbie. The true story of the women who exposed Fox News CEO Roger Ailes for sexual harassment arrives on Blu-ray along with a seven-part behind the scene documentary, ‘No Easy Truths: The Making of Bombshell’.
From director Elizabeth Banks (who also stars), Charlie’s Angels reinvents the classic televsion series for a new generation. Kristen Stewart headlines alongside Naomi Scott and Ella Balinksa in a story that significantly expands the size and scope of the action franchise. The film arrives today on both Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD, backed by supplemental material that includes deleted scenes, a gag reel, new interviews and featurettes and the ‘Don’t Call Me Angel’ music video featuring Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Lana Del Rey.
Of course, Charlie’s Angels aren’t the only spies hitting store shelves this week. From 20th Century Studios’ Blue Sky animation, Spies in Disguise offers a grand animated adventure that begins when the world’s top secret agent (voiced by Will Smith) winds up being transformed into a pigeon. Now, he’s forced to team up with the inventor responsible for his predicament (voice of Tom Holland), stop the bad guys and find a way to get his body back. Spies in Disguise lands on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD with a host of special features, including two different music videos, a behind the scenes look at Blue Sky Studios and the ability to watch the film in ‘Super Secret Spy Mode,’ which reveals Easter Eggs, offers trivia and lots more!
If you’re a Steelbook collector, you’ll want to head to Best Buy to pick up their limited edition version of Spies in Disguise.
Closing out the week’s new releases is acclaimed sophomore feature from the Safdie Brothers (Good Time), Uncut Gems. The storyline follows Adam Sandler as a New York City jeweler who, in an effort to turn around a big score, finds himself sinking deeper and deeper as he does what he can to try and control the growing chaos all around him. Uncut Gems comes to Blu-ray with a behind the scenes featurette that explores the film’ production.
Shhhh! With the sequel set to theaters next week, Paramount is reissuing the original A Quiet Place in a stylish Mondo steelbook that features artwork by Matt Ryan Tobin. The set includes the film on both Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD, retaining the three behind the scenes featurettes that were included with the original release. If you haven’t already checked it out, make sure to watch the trailer for A Quiet Place Part II.
A Quiet Place is just the beginning when it comes to 4K this week. As Disney continues to rerelease popular hits in the format, both versions of Beauty and the Beast are getting the Ultra HD treatment. The animated Beauty and the Beast sees an upgrade to its feature-packed Signature Collection edition while Bill Condon’s 2017 live action Beauty and the Beast gets similar treatment. Meanwhile, Universal is gearing up for their upcoming Trolls: World Tour with a 4K edition of original 2017 Trolls.
All three films are also receiving exclusive Steelbook editions, only available at Best Buy.
Also from Paramount this week is a rerelease of The Ten Commandments, offering two different takes on the Biblical epic, both directed by Cecil B. DeMille. DeMille helmed a silent, black and white version in 1923 and then returned more than thirty years later for a massive Technicolor production shot in VistaVision with Charlton Heston in the lead. Previously available as part of a large gift set, both versions of The Ten Commandments boast some impressive archival features, including audio commentary tracks, vintage newsreels and more, all housed in a Digibook package that offers notes and images about the 1956 production.
Set against the backdrop of a crumbling nation that was, perhaps, America once upon a time, a benefit concert is planned to distract citizens from the nation’s growing violence. Headlining is Jack Fate (Bob Dylan), a mysterious individual with personal ties to both the country’s dying dictator and the psychopathic next-in-line (Mickey Rourke).
Not unlike Dylan’s music, it’s hard to but into words exactly what makes Masked and Anonymous such a peculiar film. Directed and scripted by Borat director Larry Charles (to whom Dylan would silently slip notes), the film is at once a hodgepodge of celebrity cameos, peculiar allegory and some extraordinarily wry humor.
Joining the Shout! Select line, the ensemble makes its HD debut, retaining deleted scenes and a Charles commentary track and adding an all-new 30 minute interview with the director. If you’re a fan of either Dylan or cinematic oddities, Masked and Anonymous is well worth checking out.
Shout! Factory’s horror themed Scream Factory label has a double helping of horror this week. Look for both 1975’s Bug and 1981’s Inseminoid. The former, from director Jeannot Szwarc, marks the final film from legendary producer William Castle. It tells the story of a swarm of enormous killer cockroaches and an entomologist (Bradford Dillman) racing to find a way to stop them before they conquer the entire world. The film makes its Blu-ray debut alongside a commentary track by film historian Troy Howarth. Inseminoid, meanwhile, delivers an Alien-influenced tale of terror involving Judy Geeson as an astronaut who becomes impregnated by an alien creature beyond our understanding. It, too, makes its blu-ray debut with Scream Factory’s new special edition. In addition to new interview with the cast and crew of Inseminoid, the new disc features a feature length documentary about the making of the film.
The latest HD upgrade from Warner Archive arrives in the form of director Curtis Bernhardt’s 1954 take on Beau Brummell. Based on the stage play by Richard Mansfield, Beau Brummell sets Stewart Granger in the title role as a British Royal Captain who, at the end of the 18th century, winds up suddenly losing his rank and becoming personal advisor to the Prince of Wales (Sir Peter Ustinov). Elizabeth Taylor stars opposite Granger as Lady Patricia Belham, for whom Mr. Brummell soon falls head over heels.
Following their impressive Landmarks of Early Soviet Film set from a few years ago, Flicker Alley is turning their attention to Russian director Vsevolod Pudovkin and his Bolshevik Trilogy. Their new two-disc set includes three films from Pudovkin: Mother (1926), The End of St. Petersburg (1927) and, boasting a remastering, Storm Over Asia (1928). What’s more, the set includes bonus features like Pudovkin’s directorial debut, the 1925 short film Chess Fever while both Mother and Storm Over Asia offer audio commentary tracks from film historians Jan-Christopher Horak (on Mother) and Peter Bagrov (on Storm Over Asia).
The Criterion Collection has an upgrade this week for Salesman, directed in 1969 by Charlotte Zwerin and Albert and David Maysles. Originally released on DVD by Criterion nearly 20 years ago, the acclaimed documentary captures America through the eyes of a door to door Bible salesman. Bosting a new 4K digital transfer, the black and white film has never looked better. Retaining all the special features from the DVD, the Blu-ray release adds a new appreciation of the film by actor Bill Hader along with “Globesman,” a 2016 parody of Salesman starring Hader and Fred Armisen, featured on the television series ‘Documentary Now!’.
Kino Lorber is going west with this week’s addition to its studio classics line. Look for director Jacques Tourneur’s 1946 Canyon Passage alongside two James Stewart performances, James Neilson’s 1957 Night Passage and Andrew V. McLaglen’s 1966 The Rare Breed.
Following its BBC debut late last year, the incredible nature documentary Seven Worlds, One Planet arrives in set that offers all seven episodes on both Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD. Boasting breathtaking images never before captured with such clarity, Seven Worlds, One Planet is both a captivating exploration of our world and one of the best releases yet to show off that new 4K flatscreen.