This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Gods of Egypt, Race, Triple 9 …

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

This Week: Gods fight in the sandbox, Jesse Owens sticks it to Hitler, and the undead take a bite out of Jane Austen.

► It’s hard to picture how Alex Proyas, who made visionary movies like ‘The Crow’ and ‘Dark City,’ could possibly make something as generic as GODS OF EGYPT, but make it he did. It got deservedly slaughtered by ‘Deadpool’ at the box office, and while you’d like to think it’s karma for casting mostly white actors in ethnic roles, it’s mainly because it really is as dull as it looked in trailers – another CGI sand-and-sandals mess which might have merit if it went for camp. As it is, it’ll make you appreciate ‘Wrath of the Titans’ a bit more. In response, Proyas ripped the same critics who once praised him as “diseased vultures” with a pack mentality. Dude, if your movie stinks, that isn’t a pack mentality – it just means you made a bad movie.

► Considering his monumental place in American sports history, the Jesse Owens bio flick RACE is a tad by-the-book and underwhelming. Most sports bios are which depict only the glory and none of the imperfections – of which even Owens had a few – that give those achievements context. Director Stephen Hopkins sticks mainly to the feel-good stuff, of which there’s plenty: Owens not only stared down incredible racism from his country and teammates, he stuck it to Hitler at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, winning four gold medals and knocking claims of Aryan supremacy down a peg. Stephen James plays Owens. Jason Sudeikas and Jeremy Irons co-star.

► Bad guys team up with corrupt cops in John Hillcoat’s TRIPLE 9, stealing a bank’s safety deposit box which contains the evidence to clear a Russian mob boss. In turn, his wife (Kate Winslet) orders them to do another job, busting into a government office to steal more data on her hubby. Mix of ‘Heat’ and ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ has a loaded cast including Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus and Casey Affleck.

► I guess there’s two ways of watching PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. As a Jane Austen adaptation (and she is listed as co-author of the 2009 parody book), it’s a one joke insult. As a zombie movie, it’s a surprisingly literate take compared to the modern doom and gloom. It’s mostly a prolonged gimmick based on a fluke bestseller. The abysmal box office should ensure it’s a short trend.

BLOOD BATH is one of the weirder footnotes in Roger Corman’s career. He co-financed the original version, a 1963 spy thriller made in Yugoslavia, but thought the finished product was unreleasable (for Roger Corman to think that, it must have been historically bad). He brought in another director to make it a horror flick, but still wasn’t happy. Before he was done with it, two more versions were made. Arrow Video gathers all four for this comprehensive set, which includes a new interview with star Sid Haig and a visual essay on the film’s convoluted history.

► ‘80’s B-movie hottie Jewel Shepard (‘Return of the Living Dead’) gets more naked than usual in the sleazy clunker CHRISTINA (1984). She’s a wealthy heiress kidnapped by…uh, lesbian commandos, forced into a bunch of softcore erotica that makes no sense. Like it mattered to the kids who found this on late night cable. Co-stars German porn star Karin Schubert.

► In 1981’s VENOM, Oliver Reed, Klaus Kinski and Susan George kidnap some rich brat, only to realize his new pet snake is actually a deadly black mamba. Naturally it gets loose in the London townhouse they hole up in. Blue Underground blu-ray has commentary from director Piers Haggard, who describes this as a pretty miserable experience because of a cranky Kinski. Of course, Kinski would soon be a lot more miserable – this was the movie he turned down ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ for.

► Made late in his career, Frederico Fellini’s CITY OF WOMEN has many of his trademarks: Surreal imagery, a dreamlike story, and lots of hot women. Marcello Mastroianni is a man who wakes from a nap and falls into a bizarre series of predicaments with aggressive, violent women. It’s basically one long fantasy sequence about Fellini’s own troubled relationship with the ladies.

Also out this week:





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