September 17, 2019: This Week on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD
The X-Men franchise comes to a conclusion of sorts as Dark Phoenix arrives today on Blu-ray, DVD and 4K Ultra HD. The release offers deleted scenes, a five-part behind the scenes documentary, and a feature length audio commentary track with director Simon Kinberg and producer Hutch Parker. If you’re a Steelbook collector, be sure to check out the Best Buy version, which boasts artwork by comics legend Bill Sienkiewicz.
Meanwhile, over at the Distinguished Competition, it’s the Dark Knight who is being celebrated. This week brings a 4K Ultra HD box set of Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns alongside the Joel Schumacher directed sequels, Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. The regular Batman 4K Film Collection also includes Blu-ray versions of each film. Be warned, however, that Best Buy’s exclusive Steelbook version offers only the 4K discs.
Celebrating 20 years since Galaxy Quest hit the big screen, Paramount Home Entertainment has rereleased the beloved science fiction comedy with a stylish new Steelbook case. Although the release itself doesn’t offer any upgrade over the previously released blu-ray, Galaxy Quest is nevertheless a worthwhile addition to any collection that doesn’t already include it. Featuring an all star cast that includes Sigourney Weaver, Tim Allen, Alan Rickman, Sam Rockwell, Tony Shaloub and more, Galaxy Quest lovingly pokes fun at the Star Trek franchise while delivering sci-fi fun all its own.
Two very different comedies are available today from the Criterion collection. Ernst Lubitsch’s 1946 Cluny Brown sets Jennifer Jones in the title role of a woman whose family sends her to work as a maid in a fancy country house. Soon, Brown finds herself caught in a love triangle between a local chemist (Richard Haydn) and a houseguest of the family (Charles Boyer). Then, in John Waters’ 1982 Polyester, Divine plays a suburban woman whose life begins to fall apart all around her. Featuring what is quite likely the year’s best cover art, Polyester offers a fold out poster of the Sam Hadley and Raphael Geroni painting as well as a scratch-and-sniff Odorama card so that you can enjoy Water’s film in exactly the way it was meant to be seen and smelled.
Warner Archive continues to bring great selections from the studio’s back catalogue to blu-ray. This week, cinephiles are being treated to new blu-ray editions of director Melvin Frank’s 1972 A Touch of Class and Richard Benjamin’s 1982 comedy My Favorite Year. The former explores an affair between a married American (George Segal) and a divorced English woman (Glenda Jackson) while the latter, starring Mark Linn-Baker and Peter O’Toole, brings to life Mel Brooks’ real life experiences working for Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows”.
Also arriving from WA is the third blu-ray volume of original Popeye the Sailor cartoon shorts. Seventeen fully restored shorts close out the 1940s and, if past volumes are any indication, this releases should be very appreciated by animation fans. Now we just have to wait and see if WA continues onto the Popeye shorts of the 1950s or if they backtrack and upgrade the first three DVD volumes.
Shout! Factory continues its Shout Select label with 1988’s Biloxi Blues, the Mike Nichols helmed adaptation of Neil Simon’s stage play comedy about a young man (Matthew Broderick) and his experiences getting through a WWII Army bootcamp. Then, also arriving from Shout!, is the rotoscoped animated feature The Case of Hana & Alice. A prequel to 2004’s live action Hana and Alice, the 2014 feature offers a coming of age tale about two young women growing up in Japan.
Scream Factory offers up a pair of horror thrillers from director Peter Collinson. In 1971’s Fright, Susan George stars as a teenage babysitter who becomes the target of an escaped lunatic. Then, in 1972’s Straight On Till Morning, a Hammer Films release, Rita Tushingham headlines as a young woman who moves to London in the hopes of finding love. Unfortunately, the man she falls for (Shane Briant) is a gigolo who might just also be a serial killer.
Arrow Video brings another classic horror thriller film to HD this week with Aldo Lado and Vittorio De Sisti’s 1972 Who Saw Her Die? The film, which stars erstwhile James Bond George Lazenby and Giallo regular Anita Strinberg, offers a new 2K restoration with plenty of supplemental interviews and a commentary track by author and critic Troy Howarth.
Kino Lorber continues to debut HD versions of catalogoue titles through the Kino Lorber Studio Classics series. This week brings the 1969 tongue in cheek western comedy Support Your Local Sheriff alongside its 1971 followup Support Your Local Gunfighter. Meanwhile, Sharon Stone plays a woman on death row in Bruce Beresford’s 1996 Last Dance. Fellow Aussie Fred Schepisi directs 1978’s racial drama The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith while Willem DaFoe plays the title role in Abel Ferrara’s 2014 filmmaker biopic Pasolini. Kino also has another pair of American Film Theater titles arriving on Blu-ray with director Peter Hall’s 1973 take on Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming and John Quested’s 1977 adaptation of Brian Friel’s Philadelphia, Here I Come.
A third volume of the Noir Archive brings quite a few classic titles to Blu-ray this week. The new collection includes The Shadow on the Window (1957), The Long Haul (1957), Pickup Alley (1957), The Tijuana Story (1957), She Played with Fire (1957), The Case Against Brooklyn (1958), The Crimson Kimono (1959) and Man on a String (1960).
Small screen highlights this week begin with Doctor Who: The Complete David Tennant, which collected seasons two through four of the modern Doctor Who alongside several specials, including the 50th anniversary “Day of the Doctor,” the animated “Dreamland” and “The Infinite Quest”, and the two-part “The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith”.
Other TV titles hitting store shelves include the third season of FOX’s Lethal Weapon and the fourth season of The CW’s Supergirl, both available on DVD and Blu-ray. Hitting DVD only, meanwhile, is the third season of CBS’ The Good Fight, the tenth season of ABC’s Modern Family, and the seventh and final season of Elementary (which is also available as part of a complete series set).
Finally, with Spider-Man: Far From Home heading to home video in two weeks, Sony Pictures has released a new tongue in cheek trailer, celebrating Marvel’s latest international superhero sensation, the Night Monkey!