This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Amy, Fear the Walking Dead, Zoo

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

This Week: Fading to black with Amy, how the Dead started Walking, and the animals have had enough of our crap.

Asif Kapadia’s heartbreaking documentary AMY (already available in Canada, for some reason) traces the rise and brutal fall of singer Amy Winehouse, whose brilliance was snuffed out by drugs and assorted other drama at 27. The temptation is to dwell on the ugly stuff, but what makes this especially potent is the in-depth look at what made her so good, and what was lost when her addictions took over. Includes interviews with Tony Bennett, Mark Ronson and Winehouse’s parents. Ended up being the highest-grossing British documentary of all time.

► Much like the show it's spawned from, AMC's FEAR THE WALKING DEAD started like gangbusters in the ratings. Unlike 'The Walking Dead,' however, they quickly plummeted over the course of Season One's six episodes. It wasn't hard to pinpoint the problem: Not enough zombies, and certainly not enough characters we could latch onto. Focusing on the early days of the virus which eventually brings the zombie apocalypse, we're saddled with a dysfunctional family led by Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens as they hole up in their quarantined neighborhood while the military tries getting a grip on things. We all know how that turns out, which is another part of the show's problem: Nothing they do matters, we know where things are heading. The curse of all prequels. Last episode is killer, though, and tees up a more interesting second season.

► Like they have countless times before, the animals rise up and say ‘Screw you!’ to humanity in the laughable CBS series ZOO, based on the James Patterson book. When animals across the planet – even household pets – start kicking our ass, a zoologist and journalist believe new food from a biotechnology company is to blame. Best moment? A death row inmate escapes when wolves attack the prison. Of course this got renewed for Season 2.

► Austrian horror flick GOODNIGHT MOMMY reunites a mom with her twin boys after she has cosmetic surgery to her face. Only her eyes and mouth are visible, and when she starts doing weird things like ordering the blinds closed all day, they start to suspect mommie dearest isn’t the real deal. That’s when they tie her up to get to the bottom of things. A twist awaits, though it broadcasts itself fairly early. One of the better reviewed horror movies of the year.

► It’s evident early on Amy Schumer isn’t LIVE AT THE APOLLO to class the place up. Basking in her posh surroundings, she goes for the throat with blunt talk about feminine hygiene, double standards (“I feel like a guy could get up here and literally pull his dick out and everybody would be like, ‘He’s a thinker!’”), and – most hilariously – her confusion by the names of disgusting sex acts (I lost it at the Abraham Lincoln). A confident, supremely funny performance. Directed by Chris Rock.

► Being a Takashi Miike film, are you really surprised there’s a kung fu monster in a plush froggie costume in YAKUZA APOCALYPSE? As always, it’s best to just go with it – Miike’s films rarely hold up under scrutiny, but they’re insane fun while watching. For this, his 13th movie since 2010, a vampire who fronts as a crime boss is ordered to return to the syndicate he left years ago. He refuses, a hit is put out on him, so he passes on his powers to a yakuza. The plot merely scratches the surface of this movie’s lunacy.

► The Ryan Reynolds Disappearance Tour continued with MISSISSIPPI GRIND, which went straight to DirecTV and video-on-demand despite a decent reception at 2014 Sundance. He stars as a charismatic poker player who meets a perpetual loser (Ben Mendelsohn), and decides to drive to New Orleans to enter a high stakes poker tournament.

► If you’ve been collecting every MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 boxed set, you will soon need a bigger man cave. Vol. 34 gathers two movies from Season 3 and two from Season 8 – all from the 1950s – and while all the essential stuff has been released by now, there’s still some gold to be found. Includes the Roger Corman clunker ‘Viking Women vs. The Sea Serpent,’ the goofy ‘War of the Colossal Beast,’ the hypnosis howler ‘The She Creature,’ and another Corman laugher ‘The Undead,’ in which the gang discusses the merits of cat tossing.

Also out this week:





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