Continuing by popular demand!
In October I highlighted the horror movies that were hitting Blu-ray each Tuesday. I had fun writing those columns, and I guess you guys had fun reading them because a poll in the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group determined that you wanted the column to continue!
Since we’re past the spooky season now (not that it ever really ends), I’m also going to be including other genre releases and maybe even the occasional foreign drama. Ha. I’m kidding.
So from here into the foreseeable future, each and every Tuesday I’ll be running down some of the best genre releases coming to home media. In general I won’t be covering 4K releases because I find the format overrated, but if it’s a new release that happens to have some kind of edition feature I might mention it.
All release info is from the excellent Blu-ray.com.
The Thing (1982) Steelbook 4K Remaster – Shout Factory – John Carpenter’s The Thing is one of the greatest horror movies of all time.
Chances are you already own it, but this release is supposed to be outstanding.
For more on The Thing, check out our Needless Commentary on Episode 128 of the Needless Things Podcast!
The Incredibles 2 (2018) – Disney/Buena Vista – My son and I were both underwhelmed by this highly-anticipated sequel. The cast and crew built up the idea of it taking so long because it had to be so perfect and so great, but it felt like a middling sequel to me. Shrek 2 had a better reason to exist than this film does.
That’s not to say it’s bad, it just had the unenviable task of following up one of the best superhero movies of an era where there were much fewer superhero movies. We’ve seen it all now and, for the most part, it’s all great. And from character design to the overall plot, Incredibles 2 is very bland and predictable. The other heroes in the film are some of the least imaginative designs I’ve seen. I was almost embarrassed for Pixar just looking at them.
For the most part, though, people seemed to be pleased with the movie. If you’re one of those and want to own it, there are plenty of different versions and editions out today: the standard Blu-ray/DVD combo, 4K/Blu-ray/digital, a Target Exclusive 4K in a DigiBook or with a Jack-Jack figurine, and a Disney Movie Club Exclusive box set.
Sleepwalkers (1992) – Shout Factory – Oof. I don’t want to speak ill of this movie for two reasons – 1) I haven’t seen it in a couple of decades, so younger, “cooler” me’s opinion might be shit, and 2) I love Mick Garris, the director.
However, back in the day, I thought Sleepwalkers was awful. Maybe I’ll give it another shot when the next Shout Factory sale happens.
Christopher Robin (2018) – Disney/Buena Vista – I really want to see this movie, but I also really don’t want to cry a whole bunch. And it seems like a movie that’s going to make me cry a whole bunch.
A parable about lost youth and the disappointing responsibilities and realities of adulthood is a little more than I think I can handle. From what I’ve seen, this is like Hook, but with adorable stuffed animals instead of annoying children.
Grindhouse (2007) Steelbook – Cinedigm – This is just a rerelease of the Blu-ray set that’s been around for years, but in a fancy new box.
If you don’t already own them, the Death Proof/Planet Terror combo is a strong one, especially with all of the associated trailers and features. I had the pleasure of seeing the full Grindhouse experience in a shit theater back when it came out and it’s one of my favorite movie theater experiences of my adult life. I love these films, flawed and gimmicky though they may be, for what they represent both historically and in the context of modern cinema.
They tried. It didn’t really work, but they tried. God bless ‘em. And fortunately the failure didn’t ruin any careers.
Big Trouble (2002) – Kino Lorber – I feel like this Barry Sonnenfeld film was somewhat underappreciated. It’s a fun, weird crime comedy that’s sort of a lighter version of Elmore Leonard. It’s based on a novel of the same name by one of my writing heroes, Dave Barry.
I was a little surprised to see that this release is coming from Kino Lorber. It’s listed as a Special Edition, but the only feature is a new commentary by Sonnenfeld. Don’t get me wrong – that’s a great special feature. But I’m not sure it quite fills out the “Special Edition” concept.
Train to Busan (2016) Steelbook – Well Go USA – I know very little about this other than people love it (including Mrs. Troublemaker) and it’s a zombie flick. I know I need to watch it, but it takes a little bit more for me to do a subtitle thing these days.
I’ll get around to it.
Phantasm Remastered (1979) Steelbook – Well Go USA – Don Coscarelli’s ingenious masterpiece was my introduction to the subgenre that I think of as “Weird Horror”; those horror films that create unease not just with spooky stuff and gore, but by disorienting the audience with concepts and visuals that are outside of the norm.
I’ve heard the remastered edition is fantastic, so even though I already own four different versions of this film, it looks like I’m going to be shelling out once again.
Stranger Things Season 2 (2017) Target Exclusive – Target is once again offering some awesome retro packaging for the coolest TV show around. There are two versions – Blu-ray/DVD and 4K/Blu-ray. Each one has a different retro VHS box look and includes some neat physical extras. Target’s own website doesn’t list them, however, so we’ll have to wait and see what they are.
Being a sucker for gimmicky cases that take up too much shelf space, I’ll for sure be grabbing one of these.
Sharknado Collection (2013-2018) – Asylum Home Entertainment – I find these movies to be hot garbage and an embarrassment to filmmaking, totally missing the love that goes into B-movies. I don’t begrudge the actors for having the good fortune to be involved in a successful franchise. Heck, I don’t even totally blame the filmmakers for falling backwards into a phenomenon.
I blame America for having shitty taste and falling for the same trick six fucking times.
FULL DISCLOSURE – Mr. Judgy Pants here has only watched the first three. The first one because I fully admit that “Sharknado” is a rad concept. The second one because I hoped they’d do a little better job after the success of the first one.
I can’t explain why I bothered with the third one, but I didn’t get too far into it.
Revenge of the Dead aka Zeder (1983) – Code Red – We seem to be in a fun little phase of folks releasing Italian horror, specifically zombie flicks. I haven’t seen this one, but the premise – an author discovers that there are places on earth where the land itself revives the dead and that there are scientists messing around with it – is different enough to be interesting.
Stupid scientists. Always ruining everything.
Mara (2018) – Lionsgate Films – Sleep paralysis movies freak me out, especially when demons are involved. I want to say this is currently available on demand or streaming somewhere. I bet the missus has seen it.
Beyond the Sky (2018) – Image Entertainment – I’ve never heard of this alien abduction flick. It has a nice cover and doesn’t look like a piece of trash in the promotional materials. I say this because it’s usually easy to spot a junker that got limited release for a reason. This actually looks like a real movie. I’m gonna have to check it out. And not sleep for a year.
(for those that are new to Needless Things, I cannot handle alien abduction stuff; it’s the only genre style that legitimately terrifies me)
All Light Will End (2018) – Gravitas Ventures – Here’s all I can tell you about this release:
When a capricious young author hiding a dark secret returns home for her brother’s graduation, she finds herself haunted by the past and tormented by grimly night terrors.
“Grimly night terrors”?
Whatever the case, this one has a cool cover. And a cool title, really. I would’ve rented this back in the day.
Be sure to check back next week for more horror, sci-fi, and whatever else grabs my attention!
Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and let us know what you’re watching this Halloween!