New On Blu-Ray: 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood', 'The Fly' Collection, 'Ad Astra'

Streaming is great, but you know what's better? Actually owning movies. I'm talking about physical copies you can put up on a shelf and pull down whenever the mood strikes you. Besides, not everything is ready and available to stream. And that's where Blu-rays come in. These are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino's sweet, shaggy Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is one of the best movies of the year, and of Tarantino's career. You could argue that the movie is too long, I suppose, but the runtime is part of the movie's charm. It's a hangout movie, and Tarantino is enveloping us in the world he's creating. The filmmaker is harkening back to Hollywood 1969, but it's not quite the real Hollywood. It's one of Tarantino's alternative histories, where things turn out differently than they did in our world. Following self-doubting actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), his longtime buddy and stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), and up-and-coming star Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), Tarantino paints a picture of the end of one era, and the beginning of another.

Why It's Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

Tarantino would probably give me the stink-eye for saying this, but I think Once Upon a Time in Hollywood might actually play better at home, on Blu-ray, than in theaters. The movie's runtime might make you feel uncomfortable in the theater (although I didn't have this problem), but from the comfort of your own home, the film has a cozy feeling. Much like the scene where Cliff and Rick hang out and watch an episode of FBI starring Rick, you, too, can hang out, crack jokes, pop open some beers, and take in the laidback saga Tarantino has created. There are also several special features that delve into the making of the movie, and how personal it all is to Tarantino (at one point, it's referred to as his own version of Roma).

Special Features Include: 

  • Over Twenty Minutes of Additional Scenes
  • Five exclusive behind the scenes pieces including:
    • Quentin Tarantino's Love Letter to Hollywood
    • Bob Richardson – For the Love of Film
    • Shop Talk – The Cars of 1969
    • Restoring Hollywood – The Production Design of Once Upon a Hollywood
    • The Fashion of 1969
    • The Fly Collection

      Here's something to buzz about: every single Fly movie is now available in one convenient package, thanks to Scream Factory. The Fly Collection features not just the original films The FlyReturn of the Fly, and The Curse of the Fly, but also features David Cronengerg's fantastic, super disgusting The Fly remake, as well as its sequel, The Fly II. Cronenberg's is the best of the bunch, but all of the films included here have their metis. The original Fly still manages to give you the creeps, especially with it's now-iconic ending. And The Curse of the Fly has a certain weird, B-movie charm. Even The Fly II has its moments, particularly in the climax, which is full of super gory scenes (one guy's face melts off to reveal his skull, and yet he remains alive, and in agony). You know the premise: mad scientist accidentally gets his genes spliced with an insect, and body horror follows. I wouldn't advise watching all of these movies back-to-back, as you might lose your lunch.

      Why It's Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

      How can you not want to own all of this Fly goodness? Not only do you get every single Fly movie in one handy box, you also get a bunch of new special features. There's even a new interview with Mel Brooks (!), who produced both the Cronenberg Fly and The Fly IIThe Fly also ports over a previous commentary from Cronenberg, and the filmmker's commentary tracks are always worth listening to. Cronenberg's soft-spoken nature lulls you into a sense of comfort, even when he's describing nasty stuff.

      Special Features Include: DISC ONE: THE FLY (1958)

    • NEW Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman And Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr
    • Audio Commentary With Actor David Hedison And Film Historian David Del Valle
    • Biography: Vincent Price
    • Fly Trap: Catching A Classic
    • Fox Movietone News
    • Theatrical Trailer

    • NEW Audio Commentary With Actor David Frankham And Jonathan David Dixon
    • NEW Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian Tom Weaver
    • Audio Commentary With Actor Brett Halsey And Film Historian David Del Valle
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • TV Spot
    • Still Gallery

    • NEW Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian Steve Haberman And Filmmaker/Film Historian Constantine Nasr
    • NEW Interview With Actress Mary Manson
    • NEW Interview With Continuity Renee Glynee
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • TV Spot
    • Still Gallery
    • DISC FOUR: THE FLY (1986)

    • NEW Audio Commentary With Author/Film Historian William Beard
    • NEW The Meshuggener Scientist – An Interview With Executive Producer Mel Brooks
    • NEW Beauty And The Beast – An Interview With Producer Stuart Cornfeld
    • NEW A Tragic Opera – An Interview With Composer Howard Shore
    • NEW David's Eyes – An Interview With Cinematographer Mark Irwin
    • NEW Interview With Casting Director Deirdre Bowen
    • Audio Commentary With Director David Cronenberg
    • Fear Of The Flesh: The Making Of The Fly – Covering All 3 Stages Of The Production – Larva, Pupa And Metamorphosis
    • The Brundle Museum Of Natural History With Chris Walas And Bob Burns
    • Deleted Scenes With Storyboard And Script Versions
    • Extended Scenes
    • Alternate Ending
    • Test Footage (Main Titles, Lighting And Makeup Effects)
    • Vintage Featurette/Profile On David Cronenberg
    • Still Galleries (Publicity, Behind-The-Scenes, Concept Art, And Visual Effects)
    • Theatrical Trailers
    • TV Spots
    • George Langelaan's Short Story
    • Charles Edward Pouge's Original Screenplay
    • David Cronenberg's Screenplay Rewrite
    • Magazine Articles With Photos And Video
    • Trivia Track
    • Two Easter Eggs
    • DISC FIVE: THE FLY II (1989)

    • NEW Fly In The Ointment – An Interview With Producer Stuart Cornfeld
    • NEW Original Visions – An Interview With Screenwriter Mick Garris
    • NEW Version 2.0 – An Interview With Screenwriter Ken Wheat
    • NEW Big And Gothic – An Interview With Composer Christopher Young
    • NEW Pretty Fly For A Fly Guy – An Interview With Special Effects Artist Tom Sullivan
    • NEW Interview With Cinematographer Robin Vidgeon
    • Interview With Director Chris Walas
    • Interview With Producer Steven-Charles Jaffe
    • Audio Commentary With Director Chris Walas And Film Historian Bob Burns
    • Transformations: Looking Back At The Fly II
    • The Fly Papers: The Buzz On Hollywood's Scariest Insect
    • Video Production Journal – A Behind-The-Scenes Look At The Special Effects
    • Composer's Master Class: Christopher Young
    • Storyboard To Film Comparisons With Optional Commentary By Director Chris Walas
    • Vintage Featurette
    • Extended Press Kit Interviews With Eric Stoltz, Daphne Zuniga, And Chris Walas
    • Alternate Ending
    • Deleted Scene
    • Teaser Trailer
    • Theatrical Trailer
    • Still Gallery
    • Storyboard Gallery
    • Ad Astra

      James Gray's melancholy, strange space epic Ad Astra cements Gray as one of our most interesting filmmakers. On the surface, this looks like another sci-fi spectacle, and true enough, Gray stages some surprisingly big action beats. But this is really a movie about introspection, as astronaut Brad Pitt blasts off to the far reaches of space to find his long-lost father (Tommy Lee Jones). Ad Astra perfectly conveys a sense of cosmic loneliness. "We're all we've got," Pitt's character says at one point, and while that might at first seem bleak, it's also oddly encouraging. Why spend so much time striving to find something "out there" when we should really take comfort in what we already have?

      Why It's Worth Owning on Blu-ray:Ad Astra didn't get nearly the attention it deserved in theaters, which makes it perfect for home viewing. Yes, some of the film's big special effects might work better on a big screen, but the 4K release maintains the clarity and beauty of the sci-fi world Gray has created. There are also deleted scenes, one of which – an alternate ending – probably should've remained in the film, as it gives Liv Tyler's character a bit more to do than the theatrical cut.

      Special Features Include: 

    • Deleted Scenes with Optional Audio Commentary by James Gray
    • "The Void"
    • "Epilogue"
    • To the Stars
    • A Man Named Roy
    • The Crew of the Cepheus
    • The Art of Ad Astra
    • Reach for the Stars
    • Audio Commentary by Director James Gray*
    • Space Age: The VFX**