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US Blu-ray and DVD Releases: The Boys In The Boat, Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, UHF, Anchorman, The Guyver, Who’s That Girl, Crocodile and more

I was on vacation last week, so some of these titles actually streeted on July 2nd, but most of them are hitting shelves this week, July 9th. There’s a pretty exciting slate of releases out for all kinds of movie fans, so why wait? Let’s get to the good stuff!

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire

The Movie: Let’s backtrack a little bit. The 2016 Ghostbusters reboot was not the disaster some people online made it out to be, but it wasn’t what people wanted, either. Fast forward to 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife, which was a proper Legacy Sequel, meaning we got new characters to carry on the series, but also the return of the original characters. I thought Ghostbusters: Afterlife was an absolute blast and I loved every second of it. Now we have Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, which continues on with the new characters introduced in Afterlife (The Spengler family, plus Paul Rudd) and keeps Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, and Winston Zeddemore on hand as well. I really liked Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire. I don’t think it’s quite as good as Afterlife, largely because the heart that was present in the first movie (as the filmmakers dealt with the late Harold Ramis’s absence) isn’t quite as strong this time around. It’s still a really fun movie, but the sentimentality present in that film isn’t as deep as it was last time around. Still, the film moves along at a good clip, features some great new ghosts and strong special effects, and has a lot of laughs. Ghostbusters fans should really enjoy it.

The 4K Video/Audio:

The Special Features: There’s over an hour of making-of featurettes, six in total. You also get a commentary track with director and co-writer Gil Kenan and about eight minutes of deleted scenes and one extra featurette that covers the homages to the previous films you might have missed. It’s a pretty great package all around.

The Wrap-UpGhostbusters: Frozen Empire isn’t the high point of the franchise, but it’s not the low point, either. It’s a solid entry in a series that has gained new life over the last few years, and as a lifelong Ghostbusters fan, I couldn’t be happier to have the films continue on.

The Boys in the Boat

The Movie: You would think with the combination of a sports story, direction by George Clooney, and a cast  that includes Joel Edgerton, James Wolk, and up-and-comer Callum Turner, I would have been more excited to watch The Boys in the Boat. But the sport in question is rowing, George Clooney is a solid director but not a must-watch guy, and a cast doesn’t always get me excited for a film. So I came to The Boys in the Boat a little… not begrudgingly per se, but certainly not excited to watch it. Well, shows what I know! I absolutely loved The Boys in the Boat! It’s an utterly terrific inspirational sports story that really doesn’t veer far outside of traditional sports movie territory, yet somehow manages to be exciting, dramatic, and emotional nonetheless. The movie follows the 1936 University of Washington eight-man rowing team, and while I don’t want to spoil anything, let’s just say they don’t usually make movies about teams who fail miserably. With the backdrop of The Great Depression and Word War II, the movie focuses mostly on Joe Rantz (a down-on-his-luck student), coach Al Ulbrickson, assistant coach Tom Bolles, boatmaker George Pocock, and Joe’s girlfriend Joyce. Clooney makes all the characters feel real, while also capturing the social and economic climate of the US at the time, all while turning team-rowing events into spectacles that rival high speed grand prix racing. It’s an incredibly endearing movie and I was completely swept up in it.

The Special Features:  If I have one complaint about the movie, it’s that at the end it was missing one of my favorite things about movies based on real events: the text screens. You know how at the end of a lot of these types of movies, text will come up and say, “Joe Schmoe served in the Navy until he retired in 1989. He and his wife were married for 50 years,” or whatever? There was none of that here. But I figured, that’s okay, the special features will surely have a profile featurette of some sort on the real Boys in the Boat. But NO! There’s not a single extra on this disc!!! What the heck, Warner Bros.??? Major disappointment!

The Wrap-UpThe Boys in the Boat was a mild hit at the box office, but I suspect even more people will discover it on home video than saw it in theaters. If you haven’t seen it yet, I can’t recommend highly enough tracking it down and adding it to your library. You won’t be disappointed.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (4K Ultra HD)

The Movie: “Milk was a bad choice.” “Where did you even get a trident?” “Dorothy Mantooth is a saint!” Anchorman, the ultimately quotable movie returns to home video this week, making its 4K Ultra HD debut. I had a funny experience with Anchorman. I saw it in theaters and it really didn’t work for me. And as I watched it become more and more of a cult classic, I couldn’t figure out why. And then one day, about ten years ago or so, I was laid up with a stomach bug. I was laying in bed watching Star Trek movies that were marathoning on some network, and when they were over, Anchorman came on. Even though I didn’t want to watch it, I was too sick to even roll over and find the remote to change the channel. So I watched it, and even though I was abjectly miserable, it made me laugh so much. I don’t know what changed, but now I consider Anchorman a comedy classic. I’ve watched it repeatedly over the years and I love it more and more every time.

The 4K Video/Audio: Anchorman is 20 years old at this point, but it does look and sound quite nice in 4K. Image clarity is razor sharp and contrasts are strong. The movie is a comedy and the deep color saturation reflects that, and everything looks vibrant and alive. The surround soundtrack is a little front-channel heavy, but since the driving force of the film is the dialogue, that makes sense. That said, both the dialogue and soundtrack music sound terrific, and there are some ambient and directional surround sounds when called for.

The Special Features: In addition to both the theatrical and the unrated versions of the film, you also get Wake Up, Ron Burgundy, the sort of “Lost Film” that was created for home video a few years back using unseen footage. Then you also the copious extras created for the previous releases of Anchorman, including a commentary track with many of the cast and crew, 36 deleted and extended scenes, bloopers, cast audition footage, a table read, a music video, and much more.

The Wrap-Up: While this new version of Anchorman doesn’t really include any new material (aside from a digital copy, which is a plus), the 4K upgrade and included digital copy may be enough to entice some of you to upgrade. If you don’t own the film already then what are you waiting for? A stomach bug? Get this one in your collection now!

UHF (4K Ultra HD)

The Movie: Weird Al Yankovic’s cult classic comedy from the late ’80s is finally available on 4K Ultra HD for the first time in a new release from Shout Factory. I had actually never seen this movie up until a few years ago (when Shout Factory put out the Blu-ray version of this Collector’s Edition), although I knew that a lot of people loved it back in the day and still do. And while it’s often silly and over the top, I have to admit that it’s a film I’ve come to really enjoy. It’s a mash-up of a sketch comedy and a “help us save the local TV station” feel-good comedy, and it works. Sure, there are some problems with the film: Michael Richards’ character is borderline offensive and Yankovic’s acting skills are moderate at best, but the good outweighs the bad. The jokes hit, the parodies are sharp (Gandhi II? Love it!), and I had a really good time revisiting it in 4K.

The 4K Video/Audio: This new 4K Ultra HD version of UHF sees it getting a nice upgrade from the Blu-ray and DVD releases in the past. The 4K treatment benefits the film nicely, with rich and even blacks and strong contrasts. Color saturation is strong, with daytime scenes bright and vivid, while nighttime scenes remain visible due to good shadow delineation. The surround soundtrack isn’t a masterpiece, but it does feature strong musical cues and clear dialogue, as well as some decent directional effects in the surround speakers. It’s a good overall presentation fora an older movie.

The Special Features: The 4K disc includes a commentary track with Weird Al himself and director Jay Levey, and the Blu-ray disc adds a 2014 San Diego ComicCon panel, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, a music video, and more.

The Wrap-Up: Despite having not had a radio hit in several years, Weird Al Yankovic remains a popular figure in pop culture. Last year we got a “biopic” of Al starring none other than Daniel Radcliffe, and now we have a 4K version of UHF. Is it a Weirdalaissance? I’m not sure, but it’s definitely a good time to be a Weird Al fan.

The Guyver: Limited Collector’s Edition (4K Ultra HD)

The Movie: Sometimes a movie comes out that isn’t all that great, and yet it finds a place in your heart anyway. For me The Guyver is one of those movies. Based on a very popular manga/anime series in the 1980s, The Guyver was an attempt to cash in on its popularity in live-action form in 1991. Unfortunately, the film has a budget of about 35 cents, and while the look of the Guyver itself is pretty cool, there’s no denying that the low-budget, uninspired script, and some of the acting are far from the greatest that cinema has to offer. Luckily, Mark Hamill is there to give fans something to latch onto, and the sci-fi action and Guyver scenes are a lot of fun, even if they evoke strong Power Rangers/Ultraman vibes (which I don’t mean as a compliment). While The Guyver was released on home video through the Warner Archive as a bare bones DVD release about a decade ago, now we are treated to a bona fide Collector’s Edition from Unearthed Classics that sees the movie make its 4K Ultra HD debut as well, and it’s a pretty great package for fans. This three-disc release not only gives you the film on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray, but it also includes a CD soundtrack as well!

The 4K Video/Audio: The audiovisual upgrade for The Guyver on 4K is definitely noticeable, even if the film does show its age (and low budget) a fair amount. Imagery is nice and clear with strong shadow delineation (a must-have for a film where large portions of it occur in the dark), while colors are solid and clarity is terrific. The surround soundtrack won’t win any awards, but it does feature some stereo separation and clear dialogue, plus a decently rumbly bass channel.

The Special Features: I don’t even know where to start with this release, except to say that all of these extra features are new and exclusive to this release. First off, there are two commentary tracks, one with the film’s co-directors and one with two of the special effects artists. Then there are interview featurettes with co-director Screaming Mad George and producer Brian Yuzna, followed by Suit Tests (with commentary), Outtakes (with commentary) and a Gag Reel (with commentary). Then there’s a production art gallery and the trailer. Finally, you get the aforementioned Soundtrack CD and a Collector’s Booklet.

The Wrap-Up: I read a lot of the Guyver manga/comics back in the 1990s, and I remember being excited to watch this movie back when it came out. It took some effort to track down a home video copy in the days before streaming and DVDs. As someone who took that journey in the early 90s, there was a definite nostalgia charge that I got out of watching it, and I’m sure there will be a lot of other fans who have a similar reaction.

Who’s That Girl

The Movie: While true movie star success evaded Madonna for most of her career (aside from a tried-and-true hit with Evita), she nonetheless starred in a good handful of movies in the 1980s and 90s. Desperately Seeking Susan might be her most recognizable film outside of Evita and Dick Tracy, but somewhere in her filmography is Who’s That Girl, a fun 1987 rom-com from Madge’s platinum-blonde pixie-cut era. The film sees Griffin Dunne (who had more success ultimately as a director than an actor) playing a straight-laced lawyer who has to deal with Madonna, a jungle cat, and a mission to clear Madonna’s Nikki from criminal charges. The film was never a big hit in theaters and it is a minor cult classic at best, but I always found the film charming, even if it’s a little over the top at times. Still, Madonna fans who haven’t had much new from the pop icon in recent years will enjoy this new home video edition of the movie, which makes its Blu-ray debut this week courtesy of Shout Factory.

The Special Features: There aren’t a ton of extras, but you do get a commentary track with film historian Russell Duvall, a photo gallery, and the film’s trailer, which frankly is more than I was expecting.

The Wrap-UpWho’s That Girl is a cute and charming rom-com mixed with a little bit of mystery and a touch of adventure. Madonna isn’t going to blow you away with her performance, but it isn’t that kind of movie anyway, and she still manages to be a captivating presence on screen. This is a hidden gem worth revisiting.


The Movie: This creature feature featuring a giant and bloodthirsty (is there any other kind?) crocodile hails from Thailand and was released in 1979. So, I mean, that should tell you something. If you think a low-budget Thai film from 40 years ago is going to be an epic masterpiece, you might need to adjust your expectations a bit. That said, if you’re looking for a B-movie fright flick that has a bit of notoriety, this new Blu-ray Collector’s Edition should fit the bill nicely. The plot (such as it is) sees a giant crocodile on the loose, and a pair of doctors whose families were killed by it on a mission to stop its rampage. (I mean, really, is there any other plot to a giant reptile movie?) The film is on the American Human Society’s naughty list, apparently, because there is a shot of a real, live crocodile being slashed with a knife. Obviously, I’m not condoning that, but keeping the film’s origins in mind, I don’t find it surprising, either. The movie is exactly what it is; I can’t really recommend it per se, but I can’t say you won’t enjoy it for what it is, either.

The Special Features: This disc includes an Audio Commentary with film historian Lee Gambin, a Video Interview with original director Won-se Lee, Deleted and alternate scenes, and the trailer.

The Wrap-Up: While Crocodile may not be a masterpiece, I am glad to see a lot of these types of movies being released on home video in recent months. I love a good creature feature, and I’m pleased they’re being made available for fans to collect and archive.

Dune 2 (Two-Disc Vinyl Soundtrack)

The Soundtrack: Occasionally we are treated to home-video-adjacent releases and I love to spotlight them, and this week we are lucky enough to bring you a look at Mutant’s incredible vinyl release of Hans Zimmer’s Dune 2 Soundtrack. While Dune 2 was a massive blockbuster worldwide and most people seemed to really love the movie, I personally was underwhelmed by it. That said, one of the best parts of the movie was Hans Zimmer’s powerful score, which ranged from evocative love themes to pounding action scores. Collected here on two vinyl records and wrapped up in an unbelievably beautiful package (see details below), the soundtrack is just a thing of beauty, orchestrally impressive from the very first notes to the last.

The Packaging: Mutant is a niche label that features artistically-driven vinyl soundtracks, posters, and apparel (similar to a company like Mondo), and they truly impress with this release of Dune 2. The two vinyl discs are encapsulated in, “a rigid plastic outer slipcase that houses a quadruple fold-out sleeve, two printed inner sleeves, 2×140 Black vinyl and a booklet featuring liner notes from Hans Zimmer and Denis Villeneuve.” The artwork on the sleeves is by Greg Ruth and features portraits of the film’s main characters. And when I say this gorgeous package needs to be seen to be believed, that’s not hyperbole. It’s absolutely beautiful and eye-popping!

The Wrap-Up: It’s funny, even though I’ve been a movie fanatic my entire life, I’ve only really started getting into movie soundtracks (of the orchestral score variety) in the last couple of years. As I get into them more and more, I find that coming across something like Mutant’s Dune 2 Vinyl Soundtrack makes me love the medium even more. Highly recommend for fans of the film or Hans Zimmer’s music.

Chonda Pierce: Roll With It

The Movie: I’ll be honest, despite her apparent success, I’d never heard of Chonda Pierce before this disc crossed my desk for review. So I did a little digging, and it turns out she’s a comedian and singer and all-around personality, who also steeps her work in Christian beliefs. Now, I generally only dabble in faith-based material when I have to review it, so that would explain why I hadn’t come across her before, but she is quite successful, and Roll With It is her latest movie. In it, Pierce plays a small town waitress whose house is in danger of foreclosure, so she enters a karaoke contest to win the money to save it. You can see how her singing background comes into the story here, as the film combines her singing with her humor with her message of faith. The end result is a typically cheesy-but-positive (and faith affirming) faith-based film that, despite my use of the word “typical” feels different from a lot of the other faith-based material I’ve reviewed. I’m not 100% sold on Chonda Pierce, but I can see her appeal to the demographic she aims for.

The Special Features: Just a blooper reel and the trailer, but that’s better than nothing.

The Wrap-UpRoll With It is a solid entry in a genre that can sometimes be bogged down by overly melodramatic performances or subtle-as-a-hammer messaging. I like that it has comedy in it, and if you’re a fan of Pierce’s singing, you get that too. It’s definitely a unique product.

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