October 22, 2019: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
Hail to the King! After ruling over the box office, Disney’s live action take on The Lion King is coming home on blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD. Not only does the new release boast pristine picture and sound, but it also offers a substantial number of special features, including behind the scenes featurettes and an audio commentary with director Jon Favreau. You can learn about how he managed to build an entire African savannah in downtown Los Angeles, which should make fans doubly excited to see the world building magic he brings to his next project, the Star Wars series The Mandalorian which launches next month on Disney+.
Also coming home from a recent big screen run is the insightful music documentary David Crosby: Remember My Name. Produced by Cameron Crowe, the doc offers an in-depth portrait of the now septuagenarian who made up one third of the iconic music group Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Meanwhile, over in the DC Universe, Wonder Woman gets a new animated adventure with Wonder Woman: Bloodlines. (also available in 4K) Set in the series’ post-Flashpoint continuity (loosely adapting the comics’ “New 52” reboot), Bloodlines has Diana facing off against Villainy, Inc. What’s more, the new release includes a DC Showcase short based on Neil Gaiman’s Sandman character, Death!
It’s a good week for secret agents on 4K Ultra HD. Preparing James Bond fans for Daniel Craig’s final turn as 007 in 2020, the franchise is bringing to 4K the 007: The Daniel Craig Collection, bringing Casino Royale, Skyfall and SPECTRE to the format. Then, also with a new movie on the way, McG’s take on Charlie’s Angels gets the same treatment, upgrading the picture and sound of the 2000 actioner.
King Simba isn’t the only royalty celebrating his reign this week. Leon Gast’s 1996 documentary When We Were Kings joins the Criterion Collection this week. Two decades in the making, the film explores Muhammad Ali’s 1974 visit to Africa for a three-day music festival called Zaïre 74 and the legendary “Rumble in the Jungle” in which he took on George Forman. In addition to a new 4K restoration of When We Were Kings, the Blu-ray includes an entire separate feature, 2008’s Soul Power, which explores Zaïre 74.
Shane Carruth, the director behind Primer and Upstream Color, steps in front of the camera for The Dead Center, arriving on Blu-ray this week from Arrow Video. Written and directed by Billy Senese, the psychological thriller sets Carruth as a psychiatrist driven to madness when he takes on a mysterious new patient whose experiences may reveal a true and terrible evil.
Warner Archive continues their excellent selection of Halloween fare with an HD upgrade of the 1973 ABC Movie of the Week, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. The cult classic has never looked or sounded better and arrives with two different feature length audio commentary tracks.
A little seen Spanish horror entry, The Killer of Dolls, gets the deluxe treatment from Mondo Macabre. The story of a serial murderer who wears an unsettling doll mask, the 1975 slasher has received a 4K restoration and is backed by a host of supplemental material, including new interviews and a pair of commentary tracks.
Kino Lorber has some great horror selections arriving this week with plenty of time left to squeeze in some viewings before Halloween. Not to be confused with the new Bong Joon Ho Palme d’or winner, the 3D creature feature Parasite makes its HD debut. Starring a young Demi Moore (in her second role ever), the 1982 film is directed by Charles Band, who went on to found Full Moon Features. What’s more, Kino Lorber is also releasing 1977’s Zoltan… Hound of Dracula (aka Dracula’s Dog), directed by Charles Band’s father, Albert Band.
Next up, 1980’s Phobia! offers a psychological thriller helmed by the legendary John Huston (Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The African Queen) with a cast that includes Paul Michael Glaser and Susan Hogan.
Finally, arriving more than two decades after his original horror anthology, director Dan Curtis’s Trilogy of Terror II comes to Blu-ray with three more tales of terror.
Following its revival on Hulu a few months ago, Veronica Mars‘s latest investigations arrive on Blu-ray. It’s called “The Complete First Season”, but your preferred moniker may vary. Whether you consider it to be season one or season four is not so important as the fact that Kristen Bell’s Veronica Mars is back in Neptune and will hopefully be solving mysteries for a long time to come.