This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Independence Day Resurgence, Alice 2

This Week: Two of summer's big sequel bombs, HBO's riveting The Night Of, and a loaded blu-ray for an Altman classic.

► In a year that will be remembered for its disastrous sequels, INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE is the poster child. The whipping boy. The surefire hit that somehow bombed and sent ripples we’ll feel for many summers to come. Instead of making an ID4 sequel when everyone actually wanted one, Roland Emmerich waited 20 years. Worse, he made it without Will Smith. Result? A shocking box office bomb that somehow made 53% less than the first film 20 years ago. For this one, Earth is using the leftover alien technology to prepare for a possible re-invasion, which of course happens on the 20th anniversary. But this time, an alien queen is involved, drilling into the planet’s core for fuel. Cities get destroyed, wisecracks get made, and none of it is as fun as last time. The ending all but promises a third one – don’t count on it. Blu-ray has eight deleted scenes, Emmerich commentary and the usual making of doc.

► And speaking of sure things that flopped, ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS tainted an otherwise impeccable year for Disney. You can safely call a sequel a massive bomb when it makes $257 million less than the first one. Even with Johnny Depp back as The Mad Hatter (imagine how much worse it would be without him), everything about this misbegotten follow-up is trite and overblown, lacking even a semblance of connection to ‘Alice’ author Lewis Carroll. Puked up CGI does not translate to ‘magic and wonder.’ Blu-ray extras dwell on the technical stuff, to go with Pink’s ‘Just Like Fire’ video and audio commentary.

► ‘Stranger Things’ got all the love this summer, but when it came to must-see TV, HBO’s THE NIGHT OF was my main course. Impeccably detailed and densely written, it follows Naz (Riz Ahmed), a young Pakistani cab driver in Queens as he picks up an alluring woman one night and wakes up to find her dead of multiple stab wounds in her bed. Over the course of an incredibly tense first episode, he tries to slip away in the night but is brought to the police station for a traffic violation, all while detectives are slowly piecing together what happened. John Turturro is excellent as his defense attorney (his foot condition is like a whole other show), while Michael Kenneth Williams deserves some long overdue Emmy love as the Rikers inmate who offers him protection. James Gandolfini gets posthumous credit as a producer and was originally going to star in Turturro’s role. Based on the British series Criminal Justice.

► After dropping the brilliant ‘The Player’ on us, Robert Altman made the even better SHORT CUTS – if not his greatest movie, it’s in the ballpark. A whirlwind glimpse of America based on stories by Raymond Carver, it follows 22 diverse characters and the role fate plays in their lives, and deaths. The Criterion edition boasts a new 4K transfer to go with some choice extras: A 2004 conversation between Altman and star Tim Robbins, deleted scenes, a 1993 PBS doc on Raymond Carver, and the feature length doc ‘Luck, Trust & Ketchup: Robert Altman in Carver Country.’ The blu-ray of the week.

► Ang Lee’s masterpiece CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON gets a slick new blu-ray release with 4K restoration to go with six never-before-seen deleted scenes and new retrospective interviews. Holdovers from previous editions include a chat with star Michelle Yeoh, commentaries, and making of doc. This one also comes with a limited edition clear case and 24-page booklet.

► Still craving the Crawleys? Only one thing left to do for DOWNTON ABBEY – collect the whole thing in a 21-disc blu-ray Complete Collection. What’s promised as the show’s last collection has all 52 episodes to go with five hours of new stuff, including ‘The Story of Downton Abbey,’ the creators’ favorite scenes, character documentaries and ‘The Manners of Downton Abbey.’

► The Criterion Collection goes big on Guillermo Del Toro this week, collecting his three Spanish-language classics ‘Cronos,’ ‘The Devil’s Backbone’ and ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ for TRILOGIA de GUILLERMO del TORO. It’s overflowing with extras for all three flicks, along with his 1987 horror short ‘Geometria,’ animated prequels for the ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ creatures, and the 2010 video tour of del Toro’s personal collection of goodies, ‘Welcome to the Bleak House.’ All three movies get digital restoration.

► The ‘Police Academy’ of its time, 1972’s long forgotten FUZZ gathers Burt Reynolds, Tom Skerritt, Jack Weston and Raquel Welch as undercover cops in an unruly Boston precinct dealing with an extortion racket run by a deaf man (Yul Brynner). Based on the ‘87th Precinct’ novels by Ed McBain. Despite being marketed on their names, Reynolds and Welch actually don’t interact in a single scene – she was still pissed at a comment he made to her during filming of ‘100 Rifles’ three years earlier, and only agreed to do this if they didn’t share any dialogue. Remastered blu-ray includes commentary from director Richard Colla.

Also out this week:




Source: JoBlo.com



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