The last Tuesday before Christmas marks the end of the 2016 home entertainment year and DVD Round-Up will be signing off until 2017, but there is one last wave of releases that includes Clint Eastwood’s Sully, Warner Bros. Animation’s follow-up to The LEGO Movie, Antoine Fuqua’s attempt to revive the western with a remake of The Magnificent Seven, and for movie buffs, a great documentary about the film of Alfred Hitchcock.
The biggest box office success to debut on disc on Tuesday is Clint Eastwood’s Sully
(Warner Bros., “PG-13,” 96 min., $28.98, BD $35.95), a biographical drama about Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, who landed an Airbus A320 in the Hudson River after a flock of birds disabled the plane’s engines. Tom Hanks leads a fine cast in a film that is (like many of the films of Howard Hawks) a hymn to the unassailable glory of “professionalism.” The film’s only major flaw is the way it impugns the professionalism of the NTSB investigators, turning them into the movie’s villains. This distorted view, which doesn’t jibe with reality (Sullenberger made the film producers change the names of the NTSB investigators because the script made them appear much more prosecutorial then they were), was an unnecessary distortion. It may be fashionable in some circle to denigrate the efforts of governmental regulatory agencies, but the NTSB investigators’ reports are widely regarded as extremely accurate and they have led to major improvements in airline safety.
Also due on Tuesday is Antoine Fuqua’s re-imagining of the 1960 ensemble western The Magnificent Seven (Sony, “PG-13,” 133 min., $30.99, BD $34.99). While it didn’t flop completely like Johnny Depp’s Lone Ranger, The Magnificent Seven still lost money, and fans of the genre shouldn’t expect to see lot of westerns coming out of Hollywood anytime soon, which is probably reason enough for “oater” fans to check out the 2016 Magnificent Seven, which has a fine cast headed by Denzel Washington—and it’s the last film with a score by the talented James Horner, who died in a small plane crash in 2015.
Warner Bros. Animation follow-up to The LEGO Movie
(Warner Bros, “PG,” 86 min., $28.98, BD $35.99) is a bit of a disappointment simply because The LEGO Movie
was so good. Still, Storks
does have a few laughs, though it doesn’t manage to distinguish itself from the dozens of other second-tier animated features that often employ rapid fire dialogue to disguise a lack of real wit. So it’s understandable that Storks
could only manage a 63% positive rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, and didn’t really catch on with audiences like The LEGO Movie
Horror movie fans would do well to avoid The Disappointments Room (Fox, “R,” 86 min., $29.98), which stars the talented Kate Beckinsale in film that received an approval rating of 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, and only earned $2.2 million at the box office against a cost of $15 million. Originally produced by the bankruptcy-prone Relativity Media, The Disappointments Room got a delayed release, which certainly didn’t help, but director D.J Caruso shows little affinity for the type of haunted house/psychological horror that this subject demands (and The Disappointments Room is enough of a disappointment that it makes you happy that Caruso’s plan to adapt Y: The Last Man for the big screen never got off the ground).
For film buffs this week’s big release is Kent Jones’ documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut (Universal, “PG-13,” 81 min., $26.99, BD $34.98), which is based on Truffaut’s week-long interview with Hitchcock that resulted in one of the best film books of all time. Truffaut died in 1984 so there is not that much interview footage with him, instead, a group of modern directors including Wes Anderson, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Peter Bogdanovich, Richard Linklater, and Paul Schrader weigh in on the films of the “master of suspense,” and Jones also includes lots of clips from Hitchcock’s films to illustrate the director’s themes and techniques.
TV Shows on DVD
The only major release this week is a lower-priced re-release of a geek favorite, Doctor Who: The Eighth Series, Part 2
(BBC, 270 min., $24.98), which features the final six episodes from the first season featuring the Twelfth Doctor played by Peter Capaldi. Series 8
, which aired in 2014, is eighth outing in the revived Doctor Who
, and the 34th season of the show overall.
Next week will see the release of two excellent offerings from the U.K. Jericho: Season 1
(Acorn Media, 370 min., $49.99), a gritty TV noir that follows Chief Inspector Michael Jericho as he tackles some of the most heinous crimes committed in 1950s London. Superb acting and excellent production values set Jericho
apart from run-of-the-mill cop shows, and devotees of hard-hitting crime fiction won’t be disappointed. This show was released back in 2007 by WGBH Boston, but has been out of print for some time.
Of more recent vintage, but also fascinating is the Close to the Enemy Miniseries
(Acorn Media, 435 min., $59.98, BD $59.99), which is set in the years immediately after World War II as a British intelligence agent attempts to secure the services of a German scientist, who is also of great interest to the Russians. Strong performances make this early Cold War saga compelling—and it is no surprise that the Starz cable channel picked up the U.S. broadcasting rights to the series.
This week’s new releases include the My Love Story Complete Collection
(Sentai Filmworks, 600 min., $79.98, BD $99.98), which contains all 24 episodes of the 2015 Madhouse series based on the shojo
manga series written by Kazune Kawahara (High School Debut), and the subtitles-only Wakaba Girl Complete Collection
(Sentai Filmworks, 325 min., Subtitles Only, $24.98, BD $34.98), which collects the 13-episode 2015 series from Nexus that is based on a 4-panel comedy manga written by Yui Hara about a staid rich teen, who becomes enamored of the fashion-conscious “gyaru” subculture.
The Gun Frontier: Complete Collection (Discotek Media, 325 min., $44.95) contains the 13-episode 2002 anime based on Leiji Matsumoto’s 1970s manga. Matsumoto’s most famous creation Captain Harlock appears in this Old West saga, but as a sidekick to the show’s real protagonist, the gunslinger Tochiro Oyama.
Repriced re-releases due on Tuesday include the S.A.V.E. editions of the Shakugan no Shana: Season 3 Collection (Funimation, BD/DVD Combo $34.98), the Shakugan no Shana S: OVA Series (Funimation, BD/DVD Combo $24.98), and Shakugan no Shana: The Movie (Funimation, BD/DVD Combo $24.98).