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New on DVD and Blu-Ray

This is a strangely horror-heavy week, and that’s just talking about Leonard Part 6 (not the most tactful release there, Mill Creek)! The big attraction, I guess, is the new The Mummy, which combines the thrills of a bad horror movie, a bad Tom Cruise movie, and a bad cinematic universe placeholder, because that’s what happens when you hire six writers (a brain trust with members behind, among so many others, Rachel Getting Married, The Usual Suspects, Mortdecai, Jurassic Park, and Cowboys and Aliens). There’s also a superior Mummy vehicle, in which it meets Abbott & Costello, also out from Universal this week to wash the taste of that out of your mouth. Also there to wash out that bad taste is the standard, non-limited Blu-Ray of Dario Argento’s Phenomena, Arrow’s release of the Ben Wheatley-produced psychological thriller The Ghoul, and a fellow bit of superior psychological terror, Trey Edwards Shults’ It Comes at Night.

Elsewhere this week, Kino doesn’t fuck up for once, and gives us Bruno Dumont’s latest, Slack Bay, as well as a restoration of Lina Wertmuller’s controversial Swept Away, Criterion releases the late Murray Lerner’s document of the Newport Folk Festival, Festival, and, uh, a movie called Fun Mom Dinner comes out from some company called “Momentum”. I’m only assuming that’s not also horror.

Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy (Universal)
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (DreamWorks)
Festival (Criterion)
Fun Mom Dinner (Momentum)
The Ghoul (Arrow)
It Comes at Night (Lionsgate)
Leonard Part 6 (Mill Creek)
The Mummy (Universal)
Orphan Black: Season Five (BBC)
Phenomena (Synapse)
Psycho: Complete 4-Movie Collection (Universal)
Silicon Valley: The Complete Fourth Season (HBO)
Slack Bay (Kino)
Swept Away (Kino)
Veep: The Complete Sixth Season (HBO)

  • Miller

    Ugh, “Fun Mom Dinner” is like going to a restaurant and seeing not a dish on the menu, like a meatloaf or something, but the ingredients for it. “Onions Burgermeat Ketchup.” Fuck you, Hollywood.

    • That is some lazy titling right there. It makes me assume it’s a cheap knock-off of something else, but judging by the cast it is a Real Movie! Who knew?

      • Miller

        Moms? Connoisseurs of Dinner and Fun?

    • Balthazar Bee

      Although it does remind me of one of my favourite Oscar moments.

      Either Crystal or Steve Martin brought up Eat Drink Man Woman as a nominee, then mentioned that it was also the way Schwarzenegger asked out Maria Shiver for the first time.

  • Drunk Napoleon

    What did we watch?

    • Drunk Napoleon

      Deadwood, Season Two, Episode Two, “A Lie Agreed Upon, Part II”
      The Bullock/Garret/Bullock love triangle works for me in this in a way it tends not to in most shows, and I think it’s because it ties into both the characters specifically and the theme of the show overall, in that both are caught between their station in life and their love for each other and both find themselves choosing their station; you even have Sol and Trixie in contrast, who have no place in society to lose, and thus have more freedom to choose their love without ruining their lives.

      Adams shoving fuckface into the horns on the wall was this episode’s moment of supreme ownage (you know the physical ownage is great when you uncontrollably grunt as if you were the one horn-stabbed). I like Adams in a general sense; a guy like him would be scenery on another show, but we get his full worldview.

      Al resolves his conflict with Bullock by accepting it. He accepts the necessity of other people, and he accepts the fact that he will survive longer if he doesn’t just own everyone and everything in his path; this is something Cy can’t accept. His decision is set up by his way of dealing with Dan; he genuinely loves Dan, and tries to shape him into being the best person he can be (I think Al must love teaching even more than he loves ownage). In a way, I think Al is a Malcolm Reynolds who figured out how to balance between freedom for himself, and extending that same freedom to others.

      I love that Wu’s necessity to the camp overrides literally all other concerns with him.

      • ZoeZ

        Bullock at last going home, with his voiceover reading the letter he had sent to Martha about the house, is the prosaic lifted up into loveliness. It works very well, because by giving Seth/Martha a poetic elevation, it gives their relationship (which is still accurately symbolized by something both practical and stable) a symbolic foothold beside Seth/Alma. It’s an entirely different kind of poetry, of course–not as passionate and not as Shakespearean–sort of like Deadwood crossing over not with the Bard but with, I don’t know, Jorie Graham.

      • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

        Not to spoil stuff for people who haven’t seen it, but I love Wu in the season 2 finale.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Sol and Trixie are genuinely one of my favorite couples on tv because they make so much sense and you never get too much of them but you see how they build a relationship out of possibilities and what either of them are willing at that time to aim for (Sol always adores her and Trixie edges into loving him).

        • Drunk Napoleon

          “He stares in my eyes when he fucks me, longing-like.”
          “Jesus Christ.”

    • The Town – a solid crime thriller, but it brings nothing new to the table whatsoever. Feels like you could recreate it perfectly by just picking scenes out of other films. I enjoyed it while it was on – good cast, good performances, well-shot action scenes – but started forgetting it immediately.

      • Drunk Napoleon

        I once wrote a short film for a guy, and he recommended The Town to me as the exact kind of thing he was trying to achieve. I never did get around to seeing it though.

        • It’s very well paced and efficient, which I can see as desirable qualities to imitate! It’s just devoid of personality, which is something that generally bugs me – I’d take a bit of a sag in the middle if I also got… something I’d remember two days later.

          • Babalugats

            It’s a great movie for a 15 year old. Somebody who’s maybe seen The Dark Knight but hasn’t gotten to Heat or The Friends of Eddie Coyle yet. It’s very competent. Movies like that make me a little sad, like there’s a part of me that used to be able to respond to this stuff and I’ve murdered it.

          • I know what you mean. It’s like going to watch a band, and they play all the notes in the right order and the songs sound like they should do, but nobody’s having a good time.

        • You should have wrote it like the marriage scenes in Schizopolis.

          “Generic statement about violence.”
          “Surprise and concern.”
          “Genuine statement of remorse.”

      • Miller

        I can get sort of snooty about crime and The Town is a movie I’m probably harder on than it deserves, but blergh. Lots of decent opportunities and some good performances (Renner, Posthlewaite, Slaine even!) mushed in with a dull lead and a ludicrous romantic subplot and the whole thing is wrapped in a double layer of crime cliche (HE JUST WANTS TO GET OUT) and Boston cliche (THE TOWWWWWWWWWWN). The grottier and meaner and sadder Monument Ave. doesn’t really do heists but is otherwise better in every way, including Dennis Leary of all people turning in a stronger lead performance.

        • I was mostly OK with the romantic subplot, even though it is indeed ludicrous, because Rebecca Hall is so great – but yeah, too many cliches, too few surprises.

          • Miller

            Hall is definitely doing her damnedest but the whole subplot feels like it’s part of a different movie. Has Affleck ever been a credible romantic lead?

          • Chasing Amy, and look what his character does.

          • Miller

            Ha! I knew I was missing something obvious and yes, his credibility is bolstered by (determined by?) his idiocy. I feel like I’m slamming Affleck a lot, I just find him incredibly uninteresting as a dramatic actor but he’s also underrated as a comic actor or in roles where he can flex comedically — Good Will Hunting obviously but he’s damn hilarious in Extract in the kind of weirdo comic second banana role he has no time for anymore.

          • Also Mallrats–Kevin Smith apparently knows better than anyone how to use Affleck, either as a full-scale douchebag or well-intentioned but profoundly clueless.

          • Miller

            Or a mix of the two, in Dogma.

          • He was genuinely affecting in Dogma, and you’re right, it was something of a romantic role. Smith explicitly wrote and Affleck played Bartleby as a guy who’d never stopped hurting from a breakup.

            Come to think of it, there’s more than a little Holden in Affleck’s Nick Dunne.

          • The Ploughman

            Also Shakespeare in Love!

    • Some Vintage Space videos. And two more episodes of MiB animated. Having David Warner as the big bad really works well, since he lands somewhere between his Super Serious Ra’s Al Ghul voice and his self-parody Lobe voice.

    • Delmars Whiskers

      Jack Reacher: Never Go Back–Okay, here’s the deal: A co-worker suddenly acquired a huge number of DVDs from a friend who was getting rid of all his physical media, but included in the stash were three Blu-rays, and since he has no Blu-ray player, he gave them to me. So I now own copies of Now You See Me 2, Mechanic: Resurrection and the second Jack Reacher movie. I can’t imagine ever watching the other two for any reason, but I gave the Cruise vehicle a spin and…I already have no memory of it. The only (mildly) interesting thing about it is Edward Zwick’s participation as director–apparently decades of cranking out the most blatant Oscar bait haven’t quite panned out, and he’s stuck doing bad franchise work.

      • Drunk Napoleon

        If they wanted me to watch the Now You See Me sequel, they should have called it Now You Don’t.

        • The Ploughman

          So… Now You Haven’t! (Oh. Now I see why they didn’t go with that.)

        • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

          …I actually thought they did.

      • I’d happily watch the other two, I had fun with the first Mechanic and Now You See Me, which is in harsh contrast to the first Jack Reacher, during which I had No Fun At All. I am curious about this friend-of-a-co-worker’s policy of only buying sequels nobody wanted in high definition, though.

        • Delmars Whiskers

          That’s what baffled me. I looked through the stash of standard-def discs to see if he at least had copies of the original movies, and he did not. I mean, if you own only one Now You See Me movie, why the sequel?

          • Rosy Fingers

            Because Now You See Me Too is the far superior movie! It has Woody Harrelson playing his own evil twin, and Daniel Radcliffe hamming it up as the villainous millionaire playboy. It’s great. They went fully John Woo weird with the sequel. I say give it a chance.

      • Ed Zwick is my go-to for Failed Early Promise–started out with one of the best ever TV movies, went on to a (whatever you thought about it) defining TV series of its era, and then descended into well-made prestige pictures that got less and less attention, and then into whatever this is now.

        • I am intrigued to learn that I have never seen anything directed, produced or written by Ed Zwick. Or, to put it another way “I’ve never had a Zwick day in my life!”

        • Delmars Whiskers

          At least he continued to produce good work for TV–My So-Called Life, Once And Again. But his work in film is just baffling. Legends Of The Fall plays like a deliberate parody of a David Lean-style epic, and Leaving Normal and Love & Other Drugs are so quirky I want to punch them. Glory is pretty good, but would have benefited from…well, from a better director.

          • There’s a warning there in his career about getting sucked in to making Important Movies. I always got the feeling that his heart was really in television and he made movies out of a sense of duty, of “well this is what a real producer-director does.” Look what that gets you.

          • Delmars Whiskers

            Not just Important Movies, though–the list of people responsible for great TV somehow making shitty movies is long and depressing. Consider–if you dare– Matthew Weiner’s Are You Here or Larry David’s Sour Grapes.

          • I considered Are You Here last year sometime and it’s an experience I won’t soon forget.

          • The Ploughman

            How the world has changed. Now promising movie directors are rewarded with an eight-hour streaming show to play with.

          • ZoeZ

            Just hijacked at random to note that I have heard nothing but good things about Once and Again and I’m irritated that I can never seem to find a legal option for watching it anywhere. Does anyone know of one, by chance?

          • Delmars Whiskers

            I’ll let you know as soon as I find out some legal way to watch The Days And Nights Of Molly Dodd.

          • At this point, library rental would probably be your best bet.

          • clytie

            Legends of the Fall at least captured Brad Pitt at his peak beauty.

            https://68.media.tumblr.com/dbb54bf7b99407248f23e9e6d711f554/tumblr_o8to2fRwIe1rjn473o3_500.gif

          • Delmars Whiskers

            But he kept that same hairstyle through the whole movie, even during military service.

      • Fresno Bob

        I won’t judge. I own three Michael Bay Transformers movies. I can’t even give them away.

    • ZoeZ

      The first episode of Bojack Horseman, season four, in which I turn out to be strangely invested in the gubernatorial success of fictional woodchucks (sorry, Woodcharles), and it becomes even more apparent that Diane needs someone around to say her worst thoughts so she can distance herself from them and find balance. Which is moving and also hilarious.

      “I haven’t been this nervous since Diane was vacuuming during a thunderstorm on the 4th of July and I had to take a bath and there was a stranger in our yard.”

      • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

        I didn’t catch it until I saw his name in the credits, but of course the dignified and serious Woodchuck Couldchuck Berkowitz was played by the delightful Andre Braugher.

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          Poor Berkowitz, he just does not belong in this little world.

    • Fresno Bob

      I ALMOST watched Some Like it Hot with my mom, but her bluray player borked, so it didn’t happen. After that, I went home and finished off 30 Rock season six, where Margaret Cho plays the World’s Greatest Waiter, and Mary Steenburgen gets drunk, tucks her hand into her shirt, and falls asleep.

      • Nobody’s perfect.

      • Miller

        Steenburgen on 30 Rock is magnificent — of Jack’s girlfriends, he relates on a socio-emotional level to Nancy and a business-ambition level to Avery, but Diana is the most his equal in personality and probably his superior in hauteur mixed with duty, they’re great together.

        • Conor Malcolm Crockford

          My favorite is Elisa as I just have the biggest crush on Salma Hayek.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        “I just want…Avery to be happy…”

    • Rick and Morty: “The Ricklantis Mixup”–I’m not really interested in the long-term plotting that this episode possibly sets up, but I had so much fun watching the Rick and Morty society. It’s the kind of hilarious ingenuity I relish in the show.

      Cinema Paradiso–I love the relationship between the kid and the projectionist, which is why it’s so disappointing that it’s sidelined in the film’s second half. It does end strong, though, with a final sequence that may become one of my favorite scenes in movies. But the rest of the film is pretty uneven.

    • Miller

      More Bitch 23 — Van Der Beek/Cain is a rivalry I never would’ve imagined and now can’t get enough of.

    • I had the most fucked up night last night. I go to a clip show thing every other week, and they showed a bunch of clips from a pair of old Sanrio (the Hello Kitty company) movies that I don’t remember ever hearing about: The Fantastic Adventures of Unico and Unico and the Island of Magic. The story behind the two is about a baby unicorn who was taken away by a gorgeous fairy and dropped in the middle of the forest to fend for itself for some reason. I remember the fairy from the first movie, but that’s about it. But, the second movie? Pure awesome nightmare fuel that I swear I vividly remembered, right down to the evil bad guy who is a ball with laser light show fingers and turns into a wooden puppet when defeated. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fa6f170736f05be7a5094012015fd84df06a0b89bb543e6a7fc6e2694d8c11f5.gif

      Seriously, I’m on the verge of asking my mom how much I watched this movie because I remember the story of a bad blond guy turning the whole town into these white human puppets which were like white foam generic things that then were used as building blocks for a new evil city. So the city was made of people and then when it came down it was all this plus signals.

      I even remember a nightmare I had repeatedly that now seems like it was based on that movie and bad guy chasing me around a school. It’s so weird, because I haven’t seen this movie in ages and I can’t remember ever even hearing about it.

    • Balthazar Bee

      Finished Six, and can’t decide how long Jim Hemphill needs to spend in the penalty box for his gushing recommendation. The writing is lazier than I could’ve ever imagined.

      Goggins does what he can, but there’s no mistaking the ugly aftertaste of the posturing “we’re not ideological” ideological war story. The show wants to be nuts-and-bolts like The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty, but it won’t invest the time; it’d rather trot out the usual SEAL work/life balance clichés in between heroic battle scenes and villainous Muslim brooding that often made me long for the complexity of 24.

      Having said that, it’s nice to see WG in a role that garners the “and” credit again; since he was a last-minute replacement, I expect he had a rather swell payday too.

      • Showrunners, ask not what the Goggins can do for you. Ask what you can do for the Goggins.

    • The Narrator

      The Weight of Water: I’m going through Kathryn Bigelow’s work in preparation for Blank Check‘s miniseries on her, and this is an extremely inauspicious start. It cuts between two stories, a true(ish) one about a real-life double murder, and a fictional one about a photographer uncovering the truth behind the murder while on a boat with her husband, his brother, and the brother’s girlfriend. Neither story is very interesting on its own, with a lot of dull staring (or way too pointed staring, like Sarah Polley’s despondent stare into the distance as her husband fucks her) and obvious symbolism (including, but not limited to, a vicious storm, ominous shots of churning water, and red wine-as-blood stain). But together, they somehow are even less than the meager sum of their parts, with cuts between the two seemingly being chosen at random and any connections Bigelow was trying to make either not landing at all or being so vague (siblings = distant, women = jealous, maybe) as to be completely unenlightening. It looks nice, I guess.

    • Son of Griff

      A nostalgic Gillianren night at the Griftsters, thanks to TCM. First KIDNAPPED, a jolly great time of Scottish camp, courtesy of Robert (Lewis ) Stevenson the writer and Robert Stevenson the director.. I previously saw this for the only time on the Wonderful World of Disney when I was too young to understand the story, or pick up on the fact that they were trying to re-think the book in terms of a THE QUIET MAN ethnic comedy. and besides having a kooky performance by Peter Finch, it really plays on my Scottish sentimentality (Even though my clan, the Campbells, don’t come off looking so good). Peter O’Toole’s schnauz, pre- LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, was literally Nixonian.

      BLACKBEARD’S GHOST. The re-release of this movie in the early 70s sparked the little Griff’s love of pirates, but I had no interest in re-watching this long before puberty hit. Taking the rather sad state of American comedies in the early 60s when this was released, This holds up surprisingly well, largely due to the firm commitment the movie makes to an absurd premise (Track coach and ectoplasmic Buccaneer spirit forming a hostile team to stop a gambler from evicting some Little Old Ladies from their Inn), well timed, un-rushed comic set pieces, and a great, hammy performance by Peter Ustinov.

      • Conor Malcolm Crockford

        Blackbeards’ Ghost! I do remember liking this as a pirate obsessed youngster.

        • Son of Griff

          I saw this movie in close conjunction with my early encounters with the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ride at Disneyland. I went as Blackbeard on Halloween that year. Piracy was probably my first childhood history obsession.

          The film is really a star vehicle for Ustinov, who I wouldn’t associate with having a patron in Disney, but he seems to be having a blast.

    • Ruck Cohlchez 🌹

      NFL Football. The Saints are a sputtering mess and the coaches don’t seem to use their players probably. The Texans don’t even know who their good players are (or won’t pay the ones they know are good).

      Eastbound and Down, season 4, “Chapter 27”. I’d forgotten I’d never finished this! Only two more episodes left. In this one, Kenny triumphs over Guy Young, winning away his TV series but losing April at the same time. Also, Stevie makes plans to get a chin implant, which I’m sure will be spectacular.

      BoJack Horseman, season 4, episodes 1-2. This was a few days ago by now. Two very different episodes, one almost entirely BoJack-free, the other almost entirely BoJack. I like that Mr. Peanutbutter’s gubernatorial run parallels Trump in certain ways, while not leaning into parts of Trump’s character that would be very much outside of the bounds of Mr. Peanutbutter’s. But similarly, they’re plainspoken “outsiders” whose runs are as much about finding the respect and validation they crave as wanting to achieve anything meaningful with the office. (It’s not a coincidence that his ex-wife bluntly tells him, “All your life people have been throwing you bones because they like you. This is one bone they just don’t like you enough for,” which causes him to try to find some other way to win the office after his recall petition fails.)

      The second one is pretty fucked up and depressing, but so much of it is flashback that it doesn’t quite have the same emotional impact to me as the episodes where BoJack actively destroys his own life do. I did love BoJack’s friendship of sorts with Eddie the dragonfly, and Jane Krakowski is absolutely marvelous as BoJack’s grandmother in the flashback scenes.

      Curb Your Enthusiasm, season 7, episodes 3-4. “The Reunion” and “The Hot Towel.” The first episode is where Larry pitches the Seinfeld gang on the reunion; of course, this ends up being hilarious, as he gets in an argument with Jason Alexander about tipping (and about whether the George character is likeable), another with Julia Louis-Dreyfus about “interrogating my daughter”, and then Michael Richards is so distracted by the boob art at the restaurant that he doesn’t even know what Larry is pitching him. Also, Larry is right about Sandy Goldman, the NBC exec: If you offer the people who can give you a Seinfeld reunion Lakers tickets, and you confine them to the loge so you can sit courtside with David Spade, and you blow off that person’s phone call… you are the asshole and have pretty poor business sense too.

      The second episode is largely more Larry being an asshole about social conventions, some of which weren’t his fault (he was right about Christian Slater and the caviar; and it’s definitely Mary Jane’s fault for going out with him and not mentioning her boyfriend until he calls her house while they’re making out), and totally wrong about others (if you give someone a gift certificate to a restaurant as a gift, they are not obligated to take you; even if “our 14-year-old daughter will sing a song for you poorly and a little off-key” is a lame cop-out of a gift, you don’t interrupt the song midway through and destroy her like that; you definitely don’t call your doctor at home when he’s repeatedly like “Don’t call me at home ever”).

      Rick and Morty, season 3, episode 7, “The Ricklantis Mixup.” One of my favorite unspoken jokes of this episode is that Rick was absolutely right about the Citadel. As he explains in season 1’s “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind,” the individualism he values is absolutely stifled by the Citadel’s rules and bureaucracy, and we see that in action as the Citadel rebuilds: On a fortress populated entirely by Ricks and Mortys, of course 99% of the Ricks are stuck doing shitty grunt work that’s beneath their intelligence. (Except for Slow Rick… uh, I mean, “Tall Morty.”) Favorite gag might have been the “Simple Rick” wafers, especially the second time around. Oh, and that ending! We’re not done with President Evil Morty yet…