This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Zoolander 2, Finest Hours, Risen

Last Updated on July 31, 2021

This Week: Zoolander 2 is no walk-off, Chris Pine battles big waves, and single ladies in the house.

► For 15 years, all Ben Stiller heard was ‘Will you do a sequel to Zoolander?’ It finally comes out this year, and even the crickets didn’t go. Much like the ‘Anchorman’ sequel we all wanted but didn’t give a crap about once it arrived, ZOOLANDER No. 2 was way too late to the party for anyone to care. After their lives and careers go to shit after the first movie, Derek and Hansel get back in the game when they’re asked by Interpol to infiltrate the fashion world again to stop a wave of pop star assassinations. Recycled jokes and another slew of celebrity cameos (Katy Perry and Justin Bieber among them) don’t have the so-dumb-it’s-funny factor this time.

► Star Trek’s Chris Pine finds a new final frontier in THE FINEST HOURS, based on the true story of a 1952 Coast Guard rescue of an oil tanker crew after their ship splits in two during a storm off the New England coast. Pine plays crewman Bernie Webber, who undertakes what appears to be a suicide mission to retrieve more than 30 men on a rapidly sinking stern. Blu-ray revisits the Massachusetts town the rescuers lived in. Old fashioned flick embraces its ‘50s roots.

► Rom-com HOW TO BE SINGLE gathers Alison Brie, Rebel Wilson, Dakota Johnson and Leslie Mann and dumps them in New York to navigate single life in the modern world. Tame and too by-the-book, it still wrings plenty of charm out of its cast, making this a ‘Sex and the City’ movie in all but name. Took eight years to make after the rights to Liz Tuccillo’s book were bought. Extras include a visit with Rebel Wilson and the inevitable gag reel.

► Kevin Reynolds’ RISEN has Joseph Fiennes as a Roman tribune sent by Pontius Pilate to get to the bottom of rumors that Christ has been resurrected following his crucifixion. Of course, there’s no body in that cave, but he soon enough finds JC back among the living, which makes him a believer as well. That doesn’t sit well with Pilate, who sends solders to retrieve him. Also stars Cliff Curtis and Peter Firth.

► The early ‘80s weren’t just a glorious time for slasher flicks, it was the golden age of teen sex comedies. It seemed like one came out every week, but for every gem like ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High,’ there was a dozen ZAPPED! Like a braindead comedy remake of ‘Carrie,’ it has Scott Baio as a high school nerd who develops telekinetic powers after a lab experiment. With his best bud (Willie Ames), they use this power for important stuff like getting even with bullies and yanking the clothes off Heather Thomas (using a body double, alas). A deeply dumb but still watchable relic.

► Shout! Factory tries convincing you to buy MANHUNTER again with a two-disc special edition that has new interviews with stars William Peterson, Joan Allen, Brian Cox and Tom Noonan, along with a feature on the music. The second disc contains the director’s cut of this classic 1986 thriller which introduced us to Hannibal Lector, with commentary from director Michael Mann. Many insist this was better than ‘Silence of the Lambs.’ I’m not one of them, but it was one of the great crime dramas of the ‘80s and will forever change the way you hear Iron Butterfly.

► ‘Short Cuts,’ ‘Nashville,’ and ‘MASH’ can all lay claim to being Robert Altman’s greatest movie, but I don’t think he was ever more masterful than with 1992’s classic THE PLAYER. The movie industry satire, loaded with 60 celebrity cameos, is stuffed with clever twists and laugh-out-loud moments (I’m especially fond of Lyle Lovett’s “One of us!”) and has one of the most flat-out amazing, uninterrupted opening shots in movie history – nearly eight minutes long. Criterion edition includes a vintage Altman interview, new interviews with star Tim Robbins, deleted scenes, and a short feature on the film’s fundraiser scene.

► Mark Christopher’s frustrating 54, about the famed New York disco club in the ‘70s, had all the decadence needed to be another ‘Boogie Nights’ but was a huge misfire thanks to a hatchet job by Miramax. Here’s the much darker director’s cut, which does away with many of the studio-mandated reshoots and restores 44 minutes of cut footage. It went over well at last year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Also out this week:





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