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You are here: Community Film Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for December 29, 2023

Blu-ray/DVD Roundup for December 29, 2023

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Welcome to another look at highlights arriving on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD. Last week was busy and as a result it’s going to be very, very quiet for the next couple of weeks. Still, here’s what is coming your way if you’re looking for something new to watch over the holidays.

 

BIG NEW RELEASES!

BUTCHER’S CROSSING: This period effort is based on a novel by John Edward Williams. The plot revolves around a Harvard grad who leaves Massachusetts looking for adventure. He arrives in the Old West and teams up with a frontiersman hunting buffalo pelts in a secluded valley. The lead, his new boss and their crew must survive an arduous winter journey in order to complete their task. As the elements worsen, the sanity of everyone involved is put to the test.

Critical response was decent toward this effort. About one quarter of reviewers had trouble discerning the meaning of the picture and thought it was a confused and ineffective survivalist tale.However, the rest did find a point to the story, commenting that it featured great characters and effectively borrowed from movies like Treasure of the Sierra Madre to relay a tale of greedy men trying to steal from each other.

It stars Nicolas Cage, Fred Hechinger, Rachel Keller, Paul Raci and Xander Berkeley.

SCOOBY-DOO! AND KRYPTO, TOO!: This animated family feature involving Scooby-Doo! is a direct-to-disc effort. It actually combines the mystery-solving pooch with DC superheroes. When the Justice League disappears, Scooby and his pals decide to team up with Superman’s Dog to find out what happened. When they learn the truth, they must help stop sinister forces, including some familiar comic book foes. There haven’t been many reviews yet for this effort, but the ones that have appeared online have been upbeat. Most have complimented the film for being fast-paced and combining elements from both franchises in a new and interesting way. They all appear to think that kids will get a kick out of it.

For the time being, this is a DVD-only release. The voice cast includes Frank Welker, Grey DeLisle, Matthew Lillard, Kate Micucci, P.J. Byrne and Victoria Grace.

 

BLASTS FROM THE PAST!

As far as older titles go, 88 Films is releasing a Blu-ray of The Blue Jean Monster (1991). This is a Hong Kong effort about a cop who is gunned down and electrocuted by a Triad gang. He returns as a monster and uses his newfound electrical powers to shock his way to revenge on the killers. The movie has been given a 2K remaster from the original camera negative. It also comes with an interview with the assistant director and the Hong Kong trailer for the feature. The disc comes in a slipcase featuring new art.

The Inspector Wears Skirts (1988) is a Hong Kong martial arts feature about a team of female supercops who are tasked with stopping a group of terrorists and some jewel thieves. Of course, they must also contend with sexist cops in their own precinct. Jackie Chan’s stunt team helped with the action scenes and the cast includes Cynthia Rothrock and Wai Yin-hung. This Blu-ray also contains a 2K remaster of the movie from the camera negative, as well as a movie historian commentary, an interview with the director and the co-star Rothrock. Additionally, it comes with English opening and closing titles, a ton of publicity materials and a slipcase with new artwork for the flick.

Shout Factory is releasing a couple of notable efforts. The underrated period action film Last Man Standing (1996) is a “shoot ‘em up” set during prohibition about a gunslinger who wanders into a desert town and gets in the middle of a gang war. It was directed by Walter Hill (The Warriors, 48 Hrs., Streets of Fire) and is actually a loose remake of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo that features a great cast and plenty of stylish, over-the-top action sequences. Bruce Willis, Christopher Walken, Bruce Dern, David Patrick Kelly, William Sanderson and Leslie Mann headline the picture. For this Blu-ray, the movie has been given a new 2K scan and comes with a theatrical trailer.

For its 25th anniversary, The Man in the Iron Mask (1998) is getting a 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray upgrade. Based on the novel by Alexandre Dumas, this adaptation is a Musketeers fable. The aging foursome come together once again to help free a mysterious prisoner who is being kept in an iron mask. The cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu, Gabriel Byrne and Hugh Laurie. Besides a sharper, cleaner picture, the set includes an archived director commentary, interviews with the producer and the production designer, as well as a making-of featurettes and a trailer.

And Vinegar Syndrome is putting up some exclusives that will only be available on their website until the end of January (when they will appear at most retailers). The Blu-ray titles include The Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians (1981) with Deaf Crocodile and Skateboard (1978) with Factory 25. You can go to the site to read about all of the extras on each release.

 

YOU KNOW, FOR KIDS!

Listed below is the lone entry for kids in this edition.

Scooby-Doo! and Krypto, Too! (Warner Bros.) DVD

 

ON THE TUBE!

Looks like there’s nothing on the tube this week!

VISIT: WWW.CINEMASTANCE.COM

By Glenn Kay
For the Sun