Welcome to Home Again, where 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 because I find the format overrated, but if it’s new and happens to have some kind of edition feature I might mention it.
All info is from the excellent Blu-ray.com. This isn’t every genre release, just the ones I find interesting. For the full list, follow that link.
First Blood (1982) 4K – Lionsgate Films – It seems that a lot of people around my age saw Rambo before they saw First Blood and, like me, were confused that the original was all dramatic and emotional and stuff and didn’t just revolve around Sly blowing up stereotypes.
First Blood is one of the all-time great films. If you don’t own it, this is the time to grab a copy – most places are selling it for fifteen bucks today and it includes 4K and Blu-ray discs.
Star Trek: Discovery Season One (2017-2018) – Paramount Pictures – The Needless Commentary Team watched the televised pilot of Discovery for Episode 180 of the Needless Things Podcast. We were not impressed.
Since then, I have heard many intriguing things about the remainder of the season and I’m curious to check it out. I don’t plan to sign up for CBS All Access anytime soon, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for holiday sales on this release.
The Jerk (1979) – Shout Factory – I dream of the day that Shout Factory releases all of Steve Martin’s films and then collects them into a massive box set like they did with Halloween.
Single White Female (1992) – Shout Factory – Ah, how I love the great thrillers of the 90s.
Sure, horror had a bit of a dry spell between 88 and Scream, but we got all of these cornball movies that somehow got taken seriously. Single White Female was one of the first and best. It almost plays like a comedy today, but back then Jennifer Jason Leigh was legit scary as fuck. And Bridget Fonda was so America’s sweetheart, even though she tried being a badass a few times.
Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985) – Lionsgate Films – Does Rambo feel more 1987 to anyone else? Is it just me?
I’m still blown away by the switchup in naming conventions for this movie. For just about any other sequel you get Original Name: Part 2, but no – these people knew what the draw was. By 1985 Stallone was a worldwide megastar. Nobody cared about what the movie was – you put his character’s name front and center.
Rambo may not be as powerful drama-wise as First Blood, but it came in the era of the Great Action Films and is one of the greatest. Same deal as the other one – fifteen bucks for 4K and Blu-ray.
Rambo III (1988) – Lionsgate Films – Or Rambo II: First Blood Part III.
I remember at the ripe old age of 12 being underwhelmed by the follow-up to Rambo. I haven’t watched it in years, but I think I felt the same way then that I did the first time. Considering this is the thirtieth anniversary of the movie and nobody is talking about it, I’m guessing I’m not alone here.
However, if you’re going to buy the first two, you might as well grab this one while the price is right. Because you know the next one – confusingly called Rambo – was awesome and you’re going to feel like a dummy for not having all of them whenever that comes out (as of now it is not part of Lionsgate’s 4K release plan). And Rambo III might not be great, but I don’t think it’s Crystal Skull or Halloween: Resurrection bad – the kind of movie you only own if it’s part of a nice box set. And even then you use it as a coaster.
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) – Warner Bros. – High-definition Christopher Lee as the Count? SIGN ME UP.
The Meg (2018) – Warner Bros. – This movie is big, awesome fun and don’t you let anyone tell you different. It’s a freaking delight.
In the grand tradition of “Oh, shit – things are going wrong in the middle of the ocean” movies, the Meg features a fun ensemble cast dealing with outrageous and larger-than-you-can-believe danger. Me and Phantom, Jr. had so much fun watching this film. I can’t wait to bring it home and watch Jason Statham fight a giant shark again!
In addition to the usual 4K and Blu-ray releases, there is also a Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook.
Note – yes, I am aware of what people who have seen this movie might perceive as an error. No spoilers here!
Perversion Story (1969) – Mondo Macabro – I haven’t seen this Lucio Fulci flick, and I can’t look it up because I’m not clicking on anything called “Perversion Story” at work.
Alpha (2018) – Sony Pictures – After seeing the trailer early in the year my son and I both wanted to see this movie, but I can’t say I remember it even coming out. It’s about a young caveman and the wolf he befriends.
After a quick look at Does the Dog Die? I still want to see it. Maybe this’ll be a stocking stuffer.
The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) – Milestone – I won’t even try to front here – the only reason this is on the list is because of the fantastic original live score from Morricone Youth, otherwise I would probably have dismissed this as “some old-timey thing”.
If you’d like to hear more from and about Morricone Youth, check out Episode 203 of the Needless Things Podcast.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1981) – BBC – The listing says “Anniversary Edition”, which isn’t technically wrong because it is an anniversary, but it’s a little unusual to be celebrating the thirty-seventh anniversary. Forty-second I might be able to understand.
Oh, and this isn’t very good.
I tried to watch it shortly after I discovered Douglas Adams and even though I was still at the height of my Doctor Who fandom (and related acceptance of shoddy sets and FX), I found it mostly unwatchable.
The Marine 6: Close Quarters (2018) – Sony Pictures – The Irish Lass Kicker and current most valuable Superstar of WWE, The Man, Becky Lynch, stars in the fifth sequel in the wildly lucrative(?) Marine franchise.
There are some other wrestlers in it, too.
The Wizard of Gore (1970) – Arrow – It’s probably been close to two decades since I’ve seen this – definitely the Apartment of Horrors era (which is how I’m now referring to the years when I lived with Beth and her husband, Mr. Pseudonym).
I suppose I’m going to have to come clean here and lose the respect of many a Phantomaniac, but I’ve never been a fan of Herschell Gordon Lewis’ work. I think it’s a matter of not being able to place the films in the era in which they were so revolutionary, but for whatever reason I just never got the kicks out of this, Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs!, and his other movies that other folks did. I’m not disputing that Lewis was a bloody visionary, I just want to make sure nobody comes up to me at a show or convention thinking he’s going to be a good conversation starter.
Check back next week for more horror, sci-fi, and whatever else grabs my attention!
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