This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: July 31
This week: Hatfields & McCoys play the feud, Marilyn finally comes to Blu-ray, and the movie career of Miley Cyrus continues to make us LOL.
► The History Channel struck gold with its mini-series HATFIELDS & McCOYS, breaking a cable ratings record on the first night. Viewership grew, capped by Part 3 being the biggest thing on TV that night, cable or otherwise. Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton play close friends who return from the civil war to become embroiled in an epic feud which claimed dozens of family members on both sides. Surviving members of the families squared off again in 1979 for a weeklong stint on ‘Family Feud,’ but I’m guessing they left that part out here. Directed by Kevin Reynolds, who goes way back with Costner.
► Has it really been 25 years of SHARK WEEK? I’m not sure who originally talked The Discovery Channel into devoting an entire week to sharks, but I hope that brilliant bastard is living the good life. The 25th anniversary collection is a bit skimpy, but what’s here is awesome, including ‘Ultimate Air Jaws’ in which Great Whites in False Bay, South Africa destroy seals by leaping 20 feet out of the water. Someone at SyFy was surely taking notes.
► Not the first Marilyn Monroe collection and certainly not the last, 20th Century Fox’s FOREVER MARILYN – timed for the 50th anniversary of her death - contains seven movies, including five for the first time on Blu-ray. Let’s face it, most of Monroe’s movies - even some of the supposed ‘classics’ - can be tough to sit through, but she was one of the most magnificent screen stars ever. This set contains her two best, ‘Some Like It Hot’ and ‘The Seven Year Itch,’ and it’s one of the great regrets of cinema she was never able to make a few more movies this good. The rest includes ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,’ ‘How to Marry a Millionaire,’ ‘River of No Return,’ There’s No Business Like Show Business’ and ‘The Misfits.’
► The French charmer LE HAVRE will cure whatever ails you. Andre Wilms plays a modest shoeshiner in a harbor city who crosses paths with an illegal, underage African refuge (Blondin Miguel). Together with the townsfolk, he hides the boy from police while arranging to send him to England by boat. A huge favorite at Cannes and other festivals last year, yet it was still denied an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
► There isn’t a mundane scenario they can’t make a horror movie about. Re-arranging your sock drawer? Thawing chicken for dinner? Withdrawing from an ATM machine? Don’t know about the first two but that last one is the basis for ATM. Three coworkers leave their company Christmas party together and make a late night cash withdrawal on a frigid night, only to be trapped inside the kiosk by a nutjob. Stars Brian Geraghty, Alice Eve and Josh Peck.
► Imagine how terrible all those John Hughes classics would be if everyone pulled out their cell phone every two minutes to text something. They would look something like LOL, which has Miley Cyrus as a high schooler navigating social media, her cheating boyfriend and a distant mom (Demi Moore). Made a whopping $46,500 its opening weekend. And Miley Cyrus is still a huge star because …?
► Our friends in the UK have banned another one: Director Adam Rehmeier’s THE BUNNY GAME has earned some grudging praise for its grim style, but its story of a prostitute being mentally and physically abused by a trucker over three days didn’t pass the moral police. The point, of course, is that by degrading her worse than she degrades herself, the hooker sees the value in her life. She just has to wear a bunny mask to get there.
► The MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATRE 3000 boxed set express continues. Vol. 24 dishes up a bonafide classic in ‘Fugitive Alien’ from the 3rd season (the movie isn’t classic, their riffing is), along with ‘Star Force – Fugitive Alien II,’ also from the 3rd season. The other two flicks dip into the 6th season with ‘The Sword and the Dragon,’ and ‘Samson vs. The Vampire Women.’ If there’s a theme this time, it’s bad dubbing. Stupendously bad dubbing.
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!