Home Again – December’s Blu-Ray Releases

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.

NOTE – Thanks to several friends of the site it has come to light that Dollar Tree has been receiving tons and tons of pretty good Blu-rays. I shouldn’t have to spell this out, but I will – they’re a dollar. So if you happen to pass one, stop in and see if there’s anything to bolster your physical media collection!

12/3

Big Trouble in Little China (1986) – Shout Factory – This is my favorite movie. Ever.

The fact that it’s getting the Shout Factory treatment is nothing short of delightful. It’s available as a regular release, a Steelbook, and a special box set that includes a green vinyl 7” with new recordings of “Porkchop Express (Big Trouble in Little China)” and “The Alley War” by John and Cody Carpenter and Daniel Davies.

The best version of that set also includes the regular release, the Steelbook release, a poster, and a lithograph. You can guess which one I got, and thanks to Shout Factory’s practice of delivering early, I’ve had it for over a week now. Here’s a link to the goodies.

As far as features go, there are tons of new ones and you can find them all at the above link.

For more on Big Trouble in Little China check out what ended up as the first-ever Needless Commentary!

Game of Thrones: The Compete Eight Season (2019) – HBO – I wasn’t as disappointed in this as most people seemed to be because to me the rapid momentum of events from this season and season 7 felt natural. I took it as a result of attrition – there were only so many pieces left on the game table. Of course there was less messing around.

I’d go so far as to say that if it weren’t for the internet most people wouldn’t even have been aware of these problems they claim to be so upset about. Which is a belief I hold about most things people get upset about.

Anyway, if you enjoyed the final season you can get it on Blu-ray and/or 4K in a few different editions that I honestly can’t tell apart. It looks like the 4K release is a Steelbook regardless of where you get it. There’s a Target Exclusive Blu-ray that includes a bonus disc with a behind-the-scenes feature called “How the Storm was Born”. I’ve been buying the Target versions and those bonus discs have all been worth it.

If you haven’t been buying the individual seasons as they’ve been released you can buy the entire series, but only as Blu-ray sets. One is a standard release and the other is a beautiful limited edition box set featuring die-cut sleeves for each season that align to create a sort of 3D mural that is visible through the top of the wooden chest that contains the set.

Whatever your inclination, if you want to own any of this I suggest buying it ASAP. The sale prices for these releases are good, but in the past have been brief. After that they skyrocket back to usual HBO prices.

Ready or Not (2019) – 20th Century Fox – I’m still annoyed that I couldn’t make it to the theater to see this. The trailers hit just the right mix of whimsy and menace without seeming overbearingly smarmy or self-aware. For me this is a straight-up buy – I have that much faith that it’ll be good.

Teen Titans: The Complete Series (2003-2006) – Warner Bros. – We are coming to a crossroads with the DC Universe streaming app. My initial reaction to this set was that we don’t need it because we have DCU. But it looks like that content is going to be folded into the new HBO/NBC service, which we will probably be getting.

Note: I recently ditched cable and it’s mostly great. Sling isn’t the best so far, but is okay. And of course, now we’re hitting Comcast’s rapacious data cap, so I’m going to have to figure out how to handle that.

I expect what I’ll do is cancel DCU when the time comes and just wait for HBOMAXTREME or whatever it’s called.

Anyway, this was a fantastic show once I got accustomed to its style. If you haven’t watched it, give it a chance.

She (1982) – Kino Lorber – If you liked Sandahl Bergman in Conan the Barbarian, you’ll love her in She:

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, two villagers vow to rescue a woman who has been kidnapped by the evil warlord Nork. Their quest leads them to the domain of the barbarian goddess She, where women rule and men are slaves. They take She hostage and force her to guide them across a landscape populated by mutants, monsters, mad scientists and villains with psychic powers before they finally reach Nork’s castle.

 

Doctor Who: Colin Baker Complete Season Two (1986) – BBC – It’s Valeyard time, baby!

What better Christmas gift could there possibly be than the epic twenty-third season of Doctor Who – the legendary “The Trial of A Time Lord” arc in glorious HD?!?

I am a legit fan of this season. I don’t have the best recall of my childhood, but I very clearly remember staying up all night and watching this air during one of the local PBS affiliate’s fundraising marathons. I wanted a Doctor Who tote bag SO BAD.

Obviously nostalgia colors my appreciation of these serials, but I do think that overall they’re a lot of fun and present some very interesting ideas for Colin Baker’s sixth Doctor to grapple with.

I already own the entire season on DVD and I can’t imagine that I really need Blu-rays, but I do appreciate that the BBC is releasing these seasons in affordable and compact formats. I paid a good bit more than fifty-five bucks for mine.

The Magic Sword (1962) – Kino Lorber – Did you know that there was a children’s movie starring Basil Rathbone as St. George, slayer of dragons?

I actually think I sort of did. Probably because it was featured on one of the older seasons of MST3K. It has a lot of way cooler titles – St. George and the Dragon, St. George and the Seven Curses, and the totally badass The Seven Curses of Lodac.

Konga (1961) – Kino Lorber – I bet you don’t need a description or even just a picture to figure out that this is one of the dozens of King Kong rip-offs that were released in the wake of the 1933 original’s explosive success. In this one, a doctor returns from Africa with a mysterious way to make plants and animals grow to vast sizes. Naturally he uses it on a baby chimp and chaos ensues.

The Phantasm Sphere Collection (1979-2016) – Well Go USA – At this point the European DVD version of this that came out a few years ago is nearly legendary, but there’s good and bad about that set.

The bad is that it’s PAL and won’t play in your player, it’s DVD and not Blu-ray, and it doesn’t have as many special features as this Well Go set. The good is that it doesn’t include Phantasm V, which makes the trade-off almost worth it. Also, that set actually exists, while this one seems to be an abstract concept that exists only within the internet, where it has been teasing horror fans for the greater portion of 2019. This is, I believe, the third release date that has come for this set and as of now there are zero listings for this thing for sale.

I dug a little deeper and found out that there is, indeed, a Blu-ray box set from Arrow, but it’s also a foreign release – region B/2.

Other Titles Worth Noting

Cuck, Diarrhea Planet: Live at Exit/In, A Christmas Solo, Santa Fake, Prototype 3D,

Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and let us know what you’re watching!

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Hungry for more movies, music, and pop culture? Visit the Needless Things Archives for a decade of dorkery!

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