May 19, 2020: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
It’s a busy week for home entertainment with quite a few early 2020 big screen releases now coming home. Kicking things off is the horror sequel Brahms: The Boy II, which brings Katie Holmes into the supernatural franchise.
Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus headline Downhill, a remake of the 2014 European dark comedy drama Force Majeure. a when sudden avalanche convinces a married couple on a family vacation that they’re about to die, the immediate response is decidedly less than admirable. In the aftermath of an ultimately harmless disaster, the pair begin to question the true value of their relationship.
Jane Austen’s literary classic Emma. comes to life with an exuberantly stylish adaptation that sets Anya Taylor-Joy as Emma Woodhouse, a young woman who, in the early 19th century, fancies herself a matchmaker. Emma. comes home in a blu-ray edition that offers, deleted scenes, a gag reel, several featurettes and a commentary track with director Autumn de Wilde.
The story of two brothers guided by their lost father on an epic fantasy adventure, Disney Pixar’s Onward is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD. The release included deleted scenes and several behind the scenes featurettes. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out out our Onward Moviebill issue on your mobile device.
Racing his way to DVD, blu-ray and 4K is everyone’s favorite super-fast erinaceidae, Sonic the Hedgehog! After pulling in more than $300 million at the global box office and getting an early digital release, Sonic is now available to own in a variety of formats. The release offers bloopers, deleted scenes, music videos, multiple behind the scenes featurettes, and a commentary track featuring director Jeff Fowler and Sonic himself, Ben Schwartz.
Ben Affleck finds The Way Back in a drama that reteams the star with his The Accountant director, Gavin O’Conner. The film comes to blu-ray with a pair of behind the scenes featurettes.
Although his live action show only lasted one season, Matt Ryan’s take on John Constantine lives on, thanks to the latest DC Comics original animated adventure, Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. The release also includes the latest Showcase Short, this time focusing on sci-fi adventurer Adam Strange.
Animation fans should also be on the lookout for last year’s biggest anime film, Promare. Arriving on blu-ray from GKids and Shout! Factory, the films marks the first feature-length film from Japanse animation studio TRIGGER. Hiroyuki Imaishi directs the story of a future world and the firefighting mechs designed to protect it. Promare is also available as a limited edition Steelbook and will also be receiving a deluxe Collector’s Edition in August.
When it comes to 4K rereleases, this week is all about Tom Cruise. Paramount has a trio of great titles headlined by the star, including the original Top Gun (just in time for the upcoming sequel, Top Gun: Maverick), the NASCAR racing drama Days of Thunder and Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster H.G. Wells adaptation, War of the Worlds. All four come home in new editions that boast pristine picture and sound and that also include the original Blu-ray discs along with previously releases special features.
Including both the theatrical and an extended version of the film, director Gregory Nava’s musical biopic Selena comes to blu-ray this week from Warner Archive. Jennifer Lopez headlines as Latin music sensation Selena Quintanilla-Perez in a true rags to riches tale. The blu-ray release also includes the documentary Selena, Queen of Tejano, outtakes, and a retrospective featurette from 2007.
Also arriving from WA this week is the 1963 romantic comedy Sunday in New York, starring (in one of her very first roles) future two-time Academy Award winner Jane Fonda alongside Cliff Robertson, Rod Taylor and Robert Culp. As Fonda’s Eileen Tyler tries to make up her mind about what she wants when it comes to romance as she makes her way through New York City.
Joining the Criterion Collection this week is the 1940 melodrama Dance, Girl, Dance. The film stars Maureen O’Hara and Lucille Ball as rival chorus girls and it’s particularly notable for being helmed by Dorothy Arzner who, for her entire career, was the only woman working within the Hollywood studio system. Dance, Girl, Dance was also edited by a young Robert Wise who, just four years later, would make his directorial debut.
If James Bond has an equivalent on the opposite side of the law, it must be Diabolik. Directed by Mario Bava in 1968, Danger: Diabolik adapts the Italian comic strip, delivering the trippy tale of an international thief style to spare. With a score by Ennio Morricone, the film finally arrives in HD, thanks to Shout! Factory. The release includes two audio commentary tracks, a behind the scenes documentary, and the Beastie Boys music video for “Body Movin’,” inspired by the film.
Also arriving this week is The Evil of Frankenstein, the latest Hammer Horror entry to hit blu-ray from Shout! Factory’s Scream Factory label. The collector’s edition release offers both the theatrical and television cuts of the 1964 horror thriller and includes substantial bonus content created specifically for this set.
Other horror-centric titles debuting this week include a new steelbook edition of Panos Cosmatos’ delirious revenge fantasy Mandy and, from Arrow Video, a jam packed special edition of Lucky McKee’s, The Woman. Not only does the 2011 thriller receive a 4K restoration, but it’s accompanied by three different audio commentary tracks, LOTS of behind the scenes material, and the case features brand new artwork by McKee’s wife, Vanessa McKee.
As we head into Memorial Day, Kino Lorber is celebrating with a quartet of classic war movies. Michael Redgrave headlines two of them: Basil Dearden’s 1946 POW thriller The Captive Heart and Leslie Norman’s 1955 The Night My Number Came Up. Norman also directs 1961’s The Long and the Short and the Tall while David Miller helms 1962’s Lonely Are the Brave, boasting a screenplay by Dalton Trumbo.
Also arriving from Kino’s Studio Classics line is Stanley Kramer’s 1979 The Runner Stumbles, starring Dick Van Dyke, Kathleen Quinlan and Beau Bridges.
Also arriving from Kino Lorber this week is The Pink Panther Cartoon Collection a boxed set that collects all six individual blu-ray volumes, together collecting 124 animated shorts inspired by Blake Edwards’ 1963 classic comedy caper.
Finally, rounding out the offerings from Kino, is a new blu-ray edition of the 1933 live action Alice in Wonderland. Starring Gary Cooper, W.C. Fields, Cary Grant, Edna May Oliver and many more, the film makes its HD debut with a new commentary track by film historian Lee Gambin.
One of the more acclaimed television series to hit the small screen in recent years, the complete The Good Place is now available on Blu-ray as a nine-disc set from Shout! Factory. Created by Michael Schur (The Office, Parks and Recreation), The Good Place follows the afterlives of four individuals who, across four seasons (53 episodes), encounter a great many twists and turns that all return to the same central question: “What does it mean to be good?”. In addition to the series itself, the set offers extended episodes, the show’s 2019 San Diego Comic-Con panel, gag reels, visual effects reels, a full table read, the series finale special and a handful of audio commentaries.
Paramount also has a new MOD (Manufacture on Demand) service that is bringing some small screen titles to DVD. Look for the first season of Netflix’s Insatiable, the second season of Showtime’s Kidding, and complete series sets for both Reckless and Wolf Lake.
Arriving digitally from Paramount this week is the “found footage” police thriller Body Cam, starring Mary J. Blige. You can check out the trailer in the player below: