This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Suicide Squad, Miss Peregrine, Ben-Hur

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

This Week: A super-sized Suicide Squad, Miss Peregrine gets the Tim Burton treatment, and the biblical bomb Ben-Hur.

SUICIDE SQUAD was called many things this year, but ‘polarizing’ seems most apt. Full of great moments. Full of ‘WTF?’ moments. A great Harley Quinn. A disappointing Joker. None of it seemed to gel, but when it worked it was one of the summer’s best joyrides. So here’s the Extended Cut on blu-ray to keep the conversation going with 11 extra minutes. Lots of extras to go with it, including a look at the team’s long legacy, a closer look at the Harley/Joker romance, and a feature on the film’s more elaborate battles.

► Making the jump from theatres in less than three months to cash in on Christmas, MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN continued Tim Burton’s recent muddled streak. For at least ten years they’ve fallen into a predictable funk: Gorgeous scenery with an empty aftertaste. This one, based on another dark fantasy book for young ‘uns, has Asa Butterfield as a boy who travels to Wales to see if his grandfather’s stories about a school full of strange creatures are true. Eva Green is the headmistress, getting the plum Burton moments instead of Johnny Depp this time. Judi Dench, Terrance Stamp and Samuel L. Jackson co-star.

► After a first season that was hit and miss, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD pretty much went off the rails in Season 2. Tired storylines, characters that fail to resonate, and the overall feeling it’s just Walking Dead-lite doom the season. Well, that plus a horrible first episode that proves show runners addressed none of the problems from the first season. The gang hits the water to start, evade bad guys, go back to land, evade more bad guys, etc. Ratings appropriately nose-dived. Extras include the ‘Flight 462’ webisodes, commentaries, and Q&A with cast and crew.

► A bonafide contender for Most Pointless Remake Ever, 2016’s BEN-HUR took its rightful place as one of summer’s biggest disasters. While this is actually the fifth movie based on Lew Wallace’s 1880 book ‘Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,’ it’s the first non-animated attempt since the 1959 classic, putting Jack Huston in Charlton Heston’s sandals as Jewish nobleman Judah. It’s only reason to be made, it appears, is to do a Fast & Furious version of the chariot race.

► Though it didn’t do much in North America, BRIDGET JONES’S BABY made a killing worldwide, just like the first two films in the series. Picking up 12 years after the last one, Renee Zellweger plays a pregnant Bridget, unsure if the dad is old flame Mark (Colin Firth) or new American suitor Jack (Patrick Dempsey). Everything that worked twice before still works, which was pretty rare for any sequel in 2016. Extras include an alternate ending, gag reel and making-of feature.

► Few horror movies are as influential, yet frustratingly unwatchable today, as 1974’s BLACK CHRISTMAS. Bob Clark’s crude classic has moments that still send a chill or two, but wow, it can be an ordeal getting to them. Still, for historical significance, it set the table for ‘Halloween’ four years later, and that tagline – “If this movies doesn’t make your skin crawl…it’s on too tight!” – is an all-timer. Shout! Factory Collector’s Edition includes new interviews with stars Art Hindle and Lynne Griffin, the 40th anniversary panel at Fan Expo 2014, archival interviews with Margot Kidder and John Saxon, and the featurette ‘Black Christmas Revisited.’

► Arriving five years after the classic original, CREEPSHOW 2 was a disappointing mess from the get-go. Of the three stories (down from five in the first film), the only keeper is ‘The Raft,’ based on Stephen King’s ghoulish short story about a weird floating blob which attacks four college students stuck on a wooden raft. The other two – about a cigar store Indian come to life, and a dead Hitchhiker who torments the lady that ran him over – are as lame as the cheesy animated segments with host The Creep. Special Edition blu-ray includes new interviews with some of the cast and a collector’s booklet with first pressing only.

► After obtaining the distribution rights to the original THE TWILIGHT ZONE, CBs/Paramount aren’t wasting time getting it out on blu-ray, replacing the RLJ/Image 2012 boxed set that’s now out of print. Not much has changed except the price – what was once a $400 set is now $90. Contains all 156 episodes, along with unofficial pilot episode ‘The Time Element’ and several commentaries.

Also out this week:





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