This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Hell or High Water, War Dogs

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

This Week: The new cops and robbers classic Hell or High Water, up in arms with War Dogs, and Kevin Smith goes weird again with Yoga Hosers.

► Here’s hoping there’s some Oscar accolades for HELL OR HIGH WATER, the little big movie of 2016. Chris Pine and Ben Foster are two Texas brothers forced to rob several small banks in order to save their ranch from foreclosure. It goes better than expected, but a Texas Ranger (Jeff Bridges) is on to them and figures out what their next bank will be. Taylor Sheridan’s great script has been on the Black List (best unproduced screenplays) since 2012, and the huge critical raves helped the flick hit $30 million in worldwide box office (nearly tripling its budget). Blu-ray includes filmmakers Q&A.

► Based on a pretty mindblowing Rolling Stone article – and the book that followed – Todd Phillips’ WAR DOGS is the true story of two high school buddies (Jonah Hill and Miles teller) who exploit a loophole in a military contract to score a $300 million contract supplying weapons to the Afghan army. Bradley Cooper plays the arms dealer on a terrorist watchlist who makes the deal possible.

► Buried by other, much more mediocre animated movies this year, KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS was the gem that got away. The first flop from stop motion specialists Laika (‘Coraline, ‘The Boxtrolls’), it follows a young who uses origami to tell his tall tales. When he ignores his mother’s warning not to stay outside after dark, he summons spirits which lead him on a quest to discover the story of his fallen samurai dad. Visually jawdropping and a smart, imaginative story…and it made a fraction of ‘The Secret Life of Pets.’ Sigh. Voices include Charlize Theron, Matt MConaughey and George Takei. Lots of blu-ray extras on how it was made, with commentary from director Travis Knight.

► Just when you think the Kevin Smith backlash can’t get any nastier, you get the reaction to YOGA HOSERS. Dismissed as an amateurish wankfest by some, one of the worst films of the decade by others, it continues Smith’s ‘True North’ trilogy which began with the loveably goofy ‘Tusk’ and will end with the killer moose movie ‘Moose Jaws.’ This one has Smith’s daughter Harley Quinn and Johnny Depp’s daughter Lily-Rose as Canadian convenience store slackers (hmmm) who confront an army of bratwurst Nazis called, uh, Bratzis. Look, none of this sounds appealing, but Smith’s recent weird streak is at least something different.

► A sequel to a remake, MECHANIC: RESURRECTION finds assassin Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) blackmailed back in the game after faking his death. He’s given a list of three targets, meets up with Jessica Alba, teams up with Tommy Lee Jones, rides a few boats, kicks a few asses, before ending things exactly like last time. From ‘Transporter’ to ‘Crank’ to ‘The Expendables,’ Statham knows his generic sequels.

► Roberto Duran’s life is an obvious boxing biopic with its extreme highs and lows – it’s too bad HANDS OF STONE goes the clichéd route. Edgar Ramirez plays the Panama legend, and while he has the look, the script blows past too much good stuff to let him shine. Singer Usher plays Sugar Ray Leonard, who provided Duran with both his best and worst moments – this epic rivalry could be a movie of its own, with the genuine hatred they shared during two epic matches in 1980. Robert De Niro plays Duran’s manager.

► A huge influence on the zombie genre to this day, David Cronenberg’s 1977 classic RABID gets a Collector’s Edition blu-ray this week from Shout! Factory. In addition to great features from prior editions, including commentary from Cronenberg and interview with executive producer Ivan Reitman, you get new interviews with star Susan Roman and the personal appearance manager of Marilyn Chambers, the porn legend who hoped this Canadian horror flick would lead to mainstream success.

► The original ‘C.H.U.D.’ was an ‘80s horror cult classic. Its sequel C.H.U.D. II: BUD THE C.H.U.D. …er, not so much. Going straight to video in 1989, it has little to do with the original and seems to have been made just so they could rhyme ‘Bud’ with ‘C.H.U.D.’ This one has two high school dorks who misplace a cadaver for their science class, and replace him with a C.H.U.D., who of course zombifies the rest of the town. Unlike the first, this one’s played for laughs only. Includes commentary from director David Irving.

Also out this week:





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