Welcome to Home Again, where each and every Tuesday I’ll be running down some of the best genre releases coming to home media.
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.
X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) – 20th Century Fox – FOX’s X-Men franchise has had a long, ugly descent into irrelevance.
We all know The Last Stand was the drizzling shits.
And then you have the first two, which are generally well-regarded, but for me now carry the taint of Bryan Singer’s alleged pedophilia. Hollywood can be a dirty place and you have to pick and choose which kinds of awful behavior/straight-up crimes you let affect your enjoyment of film, but that’s one where I draw the line. I don’t own those movies anymore and I will never watch them again.
Which brings me to Dark Phoenix, which came out of the gate as a bad decision and finished the race as an afterthought. The X-Men are my favorite comic book team of all time, but my interest in this movie is so low that I might check it out once it hits cable or Netflix or whatever.
There are the usual multiple releases for this one – Best Buy Steelbook, Target exclusive with custom art by Orlando Arocena (which is admittedly very cool), and standard 4K/Blu-ray and Blu-ray/DVD releases.
Batman 4-Film Collection 4K (1989-1997) – Warner Bros. – As you can see from the dates, this set includes Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and Batman & Robin. All four were released individually earlier this year, but I waited for this set despite the fact that I enjoy Batman Forever as much as I enjoy violent, unexpected bowel movements.
Burton’s two films are necessities to me and I will likely continue buying upgrades until the end of time. Batman & Robin is objectively terrible, but is so goofy, kinetic, and entertaining that I love it. So if I’m going to own those three in 4K, I might as well have all four. And it might as well be Best Buy’s Steelbook edition.
The set is available as a standard release as well, but for some reason the Steelbook is cheaper – $89.99 versus $119.99; though I’m sure some places might have it on sale.
Polyester (1981) – Criterion – John Waters is one of the most important and visionary filmmakers of the modern era and despite the accolades he often receives I still think he’s underappreciated.
Now, I am not personally a fan of many of his films. But I admire not just his disregard for boundaries but his actual skill as a filmmaker. Putting the often grotesque content of his movies aside, he’s really, really good at making movies. Waters bring expert craftsmanship to the lowest of lowbrow subject matter and there’s something very appealing about that to me. A creator of his caliber choosing to make statements rather than money is, to me, the height of art.
Having said all of that, I watched Polyester back in my “if it’s weird it’s good” days and haven’t revisited it. But as far as I’m concerned all of Waters’ films deserve the deluxe Criterion treatment.
The Hills Have Eyes: Part II (1985) – Arrow – The brutal, disturbing The Hills Have Eyes movies seem to often be overlooked when discussing Wes Craven’s prolific career. I know I forget about them all the time, despite being captivated by them when I first watched them back in the VHS days. They’re sort of Wrong Turn meets Mad Max and while that sounds like a blockbuster combo, some of the subject matter is a little too dark for either of these to be a “hey, let’s put in a fun horror flick” kind of movie.
It’s been long enough that I can’t separate the two, but I’d be willing to give both of them a rewatch.
Popeye the Sailor: The 1940s Volume 3 (1942-1957) – Warner Bros. – More classic Popeye cartoons. I like to mention these Warner Archive releases because the ones we own are absolutely gorgeous. If you’re a fan, you need them.
Who Saw Her Die?/Chi l’ha vista morire? (1972) – Arrow – I’ve never heard of this, but it stars George Lazenby (who I liked quite a bit in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) as a father who uncovers a horrifying conspiracy while investigating his daughter’s murder. Add a score by the incomparable Ennio Morricone to that and I’m tempted to just pull the trigger on ordering this one sight unseen.
Doctor Who: The Complete David Tennant Collection (2005-2010) – BBC – David Tennant’s charm and energy are arguably reasons why Doctor Who is still on the air today. After Christopher Eccleston’s truncated run at the start of the modern revival it would have been very easy for the program to tailspin back into obscurity. But Tennant brought something magical and universally appealing to the role. His presence combined with fresh, exciting stories (and Billie Piper’s strong, delightful Rose Tyler) reenergized the show and built a rabid, loyal fanbase.
While some of the stories might not have aged as well as others, I’d still maintain that this is one of the best overall eras of Doctor Who and well worth your money if you don’t already own it.
The Prey (1984) – Arrow – A disfigured maniac stalks campers in the woods!
I don’t know if this one is really noteworthy, but it’s horror so I figured I’d mention it. This release includes a staggering three(!) cuts of the film.
Do or Die (1991) – Mill Creek Entertainment – Mill Creek continues its glorious onslaught of hi-def Andy Sidaris with this classic starring Pat Morita and Erik Estrada!
Guns (1990) – Mill Creek Entertainment – Is this the predecessor to Do or Die? Does it have any relation to any other Andy Sidaris films? Who knows? Who cares? Erik Estrada is in it and you NEED to own it!
Lust of the Dead: Trash Terror Trilogy (2013) – Media Blasters, Inc. – I have no idea what this is, but I’m sure anything coming from a company called “Meida Blasters, Inc” is great. Really super great.
The VelociPastor (2018) – Wild Eye Releasing – From Bluray.com:
After losing his parents, a priest travels to China, where he inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first horrified by this new power, a hooker convinces him to use it to fight crime. And ninjas.
I don’t… what?
To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story (2017) – Kane Hodder is a powerful actor, a national treasure, and a wonderful human being.
This documentary tells his inspiring and difficult story and features Bruce Campbell, Sean S. Cunningham, Robert Englund, Sid Haig, and Elvira herself, Cassandra Peterson. I can’t wait to see it.
Candy Corn (2019) – Epic Pictures – I suppose a good way to guarantee a certain amount of sales/interest is to make a Halloween-themed movie. And to cast names like Tony Todd and PJ Soles.
If I have the opportunity to watch this on a streaming service, I for sure will.
Other Titles Worth Noting
Supergirl: The Complete Fourth Season, Biloxi Blues, My Favorite Year, Galaxy Quest Best Buy Steelbook, Support Your Local Sheriff, Support Your Local Gunfighter, Lost City of the Jungle, The Illusionist, Ken Burns: Country Music
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