This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Mutant Ninja Turtles, Maze Runner…

Last Updated on August 5, 2021

This week: Michael Bay does Turtles, Woody Allen's misguided Moonlight, and a sensational second season of The Americans.

► Existing purely for nostalgia, the new TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES is exactly what you think a Michael Bay-produced TMNT movie would be: Cold, over-the-top, sterile to the point even kids might get bored. A CGI pillowcase of summer junk food designed, directed and crapped out as product, far removed from Kevin Eastman’s original comic and even the clunky-but-beloved 1990 film. Megan Fox, never hotter and yet never more terrible in a movie, plays a TV reporter trying to convince the world the turtles are real while Shredder plans to spread a virus throughout New York. Of course, a sequel is coming in 2016. Blu-ray includes an extended ending, the evolution of the characters, and (while they last) reversible ninja masks. Hey, mom and dad might get some use out of those too.

► There probably isn’t a working writer who isn’t kicking himself for not starting a ‘young adult’ horror/sci-fi series ten years ago, because they’re filming all that shit now. ALL of it. James Dasher’s THE MAZE RUNNER is the latest to try for that Twilight/Hunger Games moola, about teen boys delivered to a place called The Glade which is surrounded by a gigantic stone labyrinth. ‘Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien stars.

â–º No sooner does Woody Allen go on a hot streak (for him, at least) then he drops a momentum-killing clunker like MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT. Colin Firth is an illusionist in the 1920s traveling the French Riviera with a mystic (Emma Stone), determined to debunk her powers. Naturally, this being a Woody Allen flick, the old man hooks up with the young woman, and we must ignore how creepy it is. Allen may have been on the most lucrative stretch of his career before this one.

► The cast for Shawn Levy’s THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU is like one of those all-star line-ups you can’t help but drool over even if the actual movie falls short. After their father dies, a diverse group of grown siblings agree to spend a week under the same roof of their childhood home for shiva with their mother (Jane Fonda). The gang includes Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll and Adam Driver. Arguments, forgiveness, etc. ensue. The pedestrian end result makes you want to see this same cast in a different movie.

► An outstanding second season of THE AMERICANS raises the stakes in the spy-vs.-spy world of the Cold War ’80s, as Russian spies Phil and Elizabeth (Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell) must decide what’s more important: Their fake American family life or Mother Russia. When they see another spy couple murdered, their paranoia threatens to derail the mission. When it’s clicking this is one of the most intense shows on TV. And maybe now that ‘Sons of Anarchy’ is done, it can take its rightful place as FX’s linchpin show.

► Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig nail it in THE SKELETON TWINS, a family drama which leans on their funny side just the right amount. Hader is a frustrated writer who attempts to kill himself early on. Wiig is his depressed sister about to do the same thing until she gets a call from the hospital. The root of their misery? Their flighty mother (Joanna Gleason). At their lowest, the siblings try to reconnect, realizing they can’t function normally around anyone else.

► Based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story, STONEHEARST ASYLUM brings a young doctor (Jim Sturgess) to a macabre facility to continue his medical training. He’s met by a weird administrator (Ben Kingsley) and a crazy hot inmate (Kate Beckinsale) whom he had previous experience with. A bit of ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘The Woman in Black,’ which both owed plenty to Poe, of course.

► All this Christmas crap getting you down? Need some horror for the holidays? Nicholas McCarthy’s AT THE DEVIL’S DOOR should fill that stocking, about a real estate agent (Catalina Sandino Moreno) trying to sell a house with a shady past. When a girl in a red hoodie is spotted inside the house, some supernatural misdeeds from the past resurface. McCarthy’s last horror film was 2012’s excellent ‘The Pact.’

Also out this week:



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