Box Office Buz: DVD and Blu-ray releases for January 16, 2018
A bit of a lull this week but we start off with a movie that had audiences divided on the big screen. Blade Runner 2049 is the long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi masterpiece. Taking place 30 years after the original film, Blade Runner 2049 follows LAPD Blade Runner K, who stumbles upon a secret that could turn his world upside down. Replicants have been seamlessly integrated into society, even K himself is a replicant who longs to find out more about himself and discover his place in the world. A retired Blade Runner named Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) may hold the key to the answers he seeks, but it may cost him dearly to uncover truths many want to stay hidden.
I love the original Blade Runner. It is pretty much a perfect sci fi film in my opinion. So when I heard Scott was returning to the project, and director Denis Villeneuve was behind the camera, I was on board. But in the end, I was disappointed with the results. And audiences and critics everywhere seem to be torn as well. I found the film to be staggeringly beautiful with solid performances throughout, but I found the story very weak and the pacing excruciatingly slow. The film builds up to a main story point that they treat as monumental, but which I found to just be underwhelming. But for showing off your home theatre, Blade Runner 2049 has no match. So check it out and find out which side of the debate you fall on.
Next up is an inventive and fun new genre mashup flick, Happy Death Day. Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) is a self-centered college student having a bad day. After a night of hard partying Tree wakes up in the dorm of a guy she doesn’t remember, then ends up getting murdered by a masked madman. But Tree then wakes up again in the same dorm room with the same guy and begins a loop of reliving the day of her death over and over again. With every new day, Tree comes closer to figuring out who kills her but she also learns more about her life and who she really is. If she ever wants out of her endless death day, she will need to figure out how to stop her own demise.
Happy Death Day was a really pleasant surprise. There are elements of horror here with the killer and some gore stuff, and there are sci fi elements with the time loop, but the surprising part was how much humor there was to the story. This movie is downright fun. It is fast paced, funny, and has a great story that keeps you guessing. For a movie that has tons of elements from 80s horror, sci fi and comedy horror with a great throwback vibe, check out Happy Death Day.
Lastly this week is the Blu-ray debut of one of my favorite movies, Joe Dante’s Matinee. Set during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Matinee tells the story of Gene Loomis (Simon Fenton), a regular kid living in a coastal town and dealing with the same stuff as every other kid: girls, parents, and trying to get into the movie theatre for the latest science fiction horror film. When Gene meets Lawrence Woolsey, a monster movie producer as he arrives in town to set up the premiere, the two become friends as Gene learns about the ins and outs of the movie biz while also trying to woo a girl he likes, deal with tensions in town and the looming threat of war. Just another day in the life of a kid in the sixties.
Matinee is a rare gem of a movie that is funny, heartwarming, full of charm, and brilliantly written, acted and directed. Joe Dante is never given the credit her deserves, especially for a movie like Matinee that perfectly captures a time and place, childhood and love for movies. All in one film. Matinee is a nostalgic look back in many ways, but is truly a love letter to movies and to childhood itself.
Also of note this week is the new Melissa McCarthy comedy Cook Off!, the sci fi action flick Beyond Skyline with Frank Grillo, and the star-studded Agatha Christie adaptation Crooked House with Christina Hendricks, Gillian Anderson, Glenn Close, Terence Stamp, and Julian Sands.
Until next week movie lovers.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday January 16, 2018
Better Call Saul Season Three
Blade Runner 2049
Eye of the Cat*
Happy Death Day
I, Daniel Blake* - Criterion Collection
Macon County Line*
Matinee – Collector’s Edition*
Professor Marston & the Wonder Women
The Cemetery Club*
The Taking of Beverly Hills
Yor: The Hunter from the Future*
*Catalog Blu-ray debut