This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: The Revenant, Veep, IP Man 3

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

This Week: Returning to The Revenant, Veep goes deep, and two horror comedies from the ’80s get the royal treatment.

► Director Alejandro G. Inarritu won his second straight Oscar for THE REVENANT, which to some folks is two too many. But if he deserved it for ‘Birdman,’ he certainly deserved it for this, even if the film lost out to ‘Spotlight’ for Best Picture. Filmed with natural light, in brutal conditions, with unflinching patience to show the true extent of a frontiersman’s suffering as he fights back from the brink of death to seek revenge on the hunter who killed his son. Leo DiCaprio finally won his Oscar – for maybe his third or fourth best performance – but it’s Tom Hardy as his backstabbing partner that gives the film its dark soul. Oh, and that bear. You don’t want to mess with her either. Considering its Oscar pedigree, the blu-ray is slim on extras, though a 44-minute documentary on the film’s production is stellar.

► Virtually from the moment it arrived, VEEP has been the best comedy on TV. It took a masterful fourth season to finally end ‘Modern Family’s five-year winning streak for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmy Awards. With the election looming, the president (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, never better) and her staff scramble to deal with emergencies they proceed to make worse with each fix. The writing reaches a new level of amazing as the stakes get bigger, but the departure of showrunner Armando Ianucci before Season 5 (starting Sunday) is cause for concern.

SILICON VALLEY’s great first season ended with our tech-heads apparently striking it rich with their compression program. The even better second season finds their fortunes short-lived, as lawsuits, in-fighting and a crazy new business partner threaten to ruin it all. Mike Judge’s brilliant comedy may never get the wide audience it deserves, but like everything he does it will be appreciated further down the road. Season 3 starts this weekend.

► One of the more fascinating horror sequels ever, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 turns 30 with a spiffy Shout Factory! two-disc special edition. Included is commentary from director Tobe Hooper (who set out to make a wildly different movie than his classic original), the great six-part documentary ‘It Runs in the Family,’ 43 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from Tom Savini and deleted scenes. The gonzo movie itself is still a bizarre, comedic take on the slasher genre with Dennis Hopper at his most over-the-top, capping an incredible year that included ‘Hoosiers and ‘Blue Velvet.’ Despised by hardcore fans of the original when it came out, many have been swayed by its deranged charm over the years.

IP MAN 3 continues the story of martial arts master teacher Wing Chun, whose students included Bruce Lee. Donnie Yen returns, after saying he had no interest in a third film, for a plot straight out of a Bruce Lee movie – Chun must confront gangsters, led by a property developer (Mike Tyson, playing someone other than himself for once), who want to take over school property. Blu-ray includes interviews with Yen and Tyson.

► Arrow Video sucks up to horror buffs this week with a special edition of Larry Cohen’s 1985 yukfest THE STUFF. After a gooey white substance is found leaking from the ground, its sweet taste proves addictive and it’s sold in containers like ice cream. Which really pisses off the ice cream industry, who investigate and realize this crap is a living parasite that takes over the brain. Includes a making of doc with Cohen, an introduction by serious Stuff fan Darren Bousman, high def restoration and collector’s booklet.

► For the animated flick NORM OF THE NORTH, Rob Schnieder provides the voice of a polar bear who can’t hunt but has the gift of communication with humans. Which comes in handy when a businessman (Ken Jeung) wants to build luxury homes in the arctic. Heather Graham also lends her pipes. Lousy box office is proof kids can’t drag their parents to everything.

► Fifth and final season of the Canadian-made series HAVEN – based on Stephen King’s book ‘The Colorado Kid’ – wraps up the SyFy series about an FBI agent (Emily Rose) sent to a small town to investigate the murder of an ex-convict, and discovers the place is a safe zone for people with supernatural abilities. Final 13 episodes include commentary, interviews with the cast, a mythology refresher and 13 ‘Inside Haven’ features.

Also out this week:





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