The Best New Blu-Ray Releases: Spider-Man: No Way Home, Moonfall, And More

This column may not run as frequently as I'd like it to, but I promise that I will always stick with physical media, and I hope you stick with it, too. The latest Blu-ray round-up brings you a huge "Spider-Man" sequel, a not-so-huge Kenneth Branagh sequel, a huge Moon falling, and a huge slasher requel. It's big, folks! That's what I'm getting at here. 

Spider-Man: No Way Home

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" was a gigantic hit. It's the sixth-highest-grossing film of all time, and the highest-grossing "Spider-Man" movie. Fans loved it. They cheered in the theater. They laughed, they cried, they felt good about life. I say all of these things to remind you, dear reader, that "Spider-Man: No Way Home" won. Like Alexander the Great, it has no more worlds to conquer. Now that I have all that out of the way, let me tell you that I don't think this movie is very good at all. In fact, it's downright bad at times, with an incredibly lazy script and an over-abundance of unfunny quips that kill any dramatic heft the narrative is trying to build. Even on a spectacle level, the film is rather weak — the action scenes are uninspired and often a murky mess.

By now you likely know the story: after having his secret identity exposed, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) turns to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to help cast a spell that will erase everyone's memory. Well, almost everyone. Anyway, the spell goes wrong and soon Spider-Man villains from other dimensions (and other film franchises) are showing up, including Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn / Green Goblin, Alfred Molina as Otto Octavius / Doctor Octopus, and Thomas Haden Church as an unconvincing blob of CGI sand. To combat these baddies, Spidey gets help from Spiders-Men from other universes, as played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Look: I'll freely admit it was fun to have the three Spider-Men hanging out together (Andrew Garfield is particularly good here). And Willem Dafoe is clearly having a blast playing the Green Goblin again. But so what? The other Peters Parker don't show up until near the end of the film, and before that, a huge chunk of "No Way Home" has the characters hanging out in Doctor Strange's poorly lit basement, spitting out unconvincing dialogue. 

Again: I am in the minority here, and I know it. If you loved "Spider-Man: No Way Home," I am genuinely happy for you. As for me: I'd much rather rewatch "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse," or the three Sam Raimi "Spider-Man" movies, all of which successfully do what this movie is trying, and failing, to do itself.

Special Features:

  • Bloopers & Gag Reel
  • Alternate Reality Easter Eggs
  • 7 Behind the Scenes Featurettes
    • Action Choreography Across the Multiverse
    • A Multiverse of Miscreants
    • A Spectacular Spider-Journey with Tom Holland
    • Enter Strange
    • Graduation Day
    • Realities Collide, Spiders Unite
    • Weaving Jon Watt's Web
  • 2 Special Panels:
    • The Sinister Summit – Villains Panel: Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, and Jamie Foxx sit down for a roundtable discussion of their sinister characters.
    • A Meeting of the Spiders – Heroes Panel: The Heroic Spider heroes sit down for a roundtable discussion on Peter, Stunts, and skintight suits.
  • 3 Stories From The Daily Bugle
    • Spider-Menace Strikes Again
    • Spider Sycophant
    • Web of Lies
  • 2 Stunt Scenes Previsualization
    • Apartment Fight
    • Shield Fight


"Moonfall" was the complete opposite of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" in that it flopped and I actually enjoyed it! Once upon a time, a disaster pic from Roland Emmerich was considered something of a sure thing at the box office. But the movie landscape is weird right now, and audiences couldn't care less about Emmerich's latest, "Moonfall." And that's a shame, because "Moonfall" is a lot of fun. Is it incredibly silly? Oh yes. But silliness is kind of baked into the premise here, which involves the Moon heading towards a collision course with Earth.

The only people who can save us are a disgraced astronaut (Patrick Wilson), a NASA bigshot (Halle Berry), and a lonely conspiracy theorist (John Bradley). Not content to just have the Moon be the film's biggest obstacle, Emmerich also introduces aliens into the mix, and tries to set up a whole bunch of weird, confusing mythology. That stuff doesn't work, but the disaster elements — complete with rising tides, loss of gravity, and tons of destruction — deliver, and the entire movie has a kind of care-free attitude that makes it kind of endearing. 

Special Features:

  • Audio Commentary by writer/producer/director Roland Emmerich and writer/producer/composer Harald Kloser Listen to audio commentary by writer/producer/director Roland Emmerich and writer/producer/composer Harald Kloser.
  • Against Impossible Odds: Making Moonfall Filmmakers and actors offer an insider's view of the genesis of the film, a look at the epic action scenes, and a deep dive into the most groundbreaking moments of the film.
  • Exploring the Moon: Past, Present, and Future What have we learned about the Moon through the ages and where is human exploration of our nearest celestial neighbor going next? Scientists, historians and astronauts reveal all!
  • KC Houseman Speaks the Truth! Unearth recent viral videos from Megastructurist KC Houseman.
  • Sounds of the Moon Discover how the filmmakers utilized a palette of unique sound effects to bring the world inside of the Moon to life.

Death on the Nile

Kenneth Branagh is back as Hercule Poirot in "Death on the Nile." I mostly enjoyed Branagh's "Murder on the Orient Express," and I kind of enjoyed this film, too. Maybe I'm just a sucker for the over-the-top opulence Branagh brings to these things. Or maybe I just like watching a bunch of characters stuck in one location trying to solve a mystery. All I can say is that if Branagh keeps making these movies, I'll keep watching. 

However, I'm not going to let "Death on the Nile" off the hook so easily. The film is overloaded with painfully fake-looking scenery. Overlit and cartoonish, the Egyptian locals that are meant to be highlighted as breathtaking all look phony as hell. Throw in an origin story for Poirot's mustache, and a truly dreadful performance from Gal Gadot, and you have yourself a bit of a mess. But it's never a boring mess, and that should count for something. The plot involves Poirot more or less crashing a wedding full of insufferable rich people, and then trying to solve a series of murders. Some of it works, some of it doesn't. But let me put it this way: I enjoyed watching this more than Branagh's Oscar-chasing "Belfast." 

Special Features:


  • Death on the Nile: Novel to Film – Explore the new vision for Agatha Christie's classic novel DEATH ON THE NILE, and how Kenneth Branagh and screenwriter Michael Green collaborated with Christie's estate to bring a new twist to this story of love and murder.
  • Agatha Christie: Travel Can Be Murder – The story behind the book connects with Christie's own love of travel, and especially Egypt and its secrets. Her legacy continues through her family and new generations of filmmakers and actors, all at once contributing to the immortality of her novels.
  • Design on the Nile – The setting, the costumes, the photography, all contribute to the Agatha Christie touch. We take a fun tour of this "ship of suspects" and learn details about the overall look and design of everything from the characters to the environment.
  • Branagh/Poirot – Kenneth Branagh is a one-of-a-kind artist who can switch hats with exceptional skill, playing Poirot one moment and directing the next. This piece pays tribute to Branagh's ability to stay connected to his cast and creative team through it all.

Deleted Scenes

  • The Market
  • Poirot's Cabin
  • Rosalie and Bouc Outside Temple
  • Windlesham Jogging
  • Poirot Discusses Case
  • Poirot and Bouc Approach Jackie
  • Confronting Bouc and the Otterbournes
  • Poirot Orders Books


The original "Scream" was a huge deal, reviving the slasher genre and reminding everyone that horror movies can be a big deal. The new "Scream," technically the fifth film in the series, can't quite make such lofty claims — but that doesn't mean it's not a worthy new addition to the franchise. This entry takes a legacy sequel approach, having the survivors of the previous films — specifically Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers, and David Arquette as Dewey Riley — brought in to help a new group of doomed youths as a new Ghostface killer (or killers!) stalks Woodsboro. 

Funny and bloody, the new "Scream" is bound to thrill fans of the series. Still, there are some issues. The legacy characters feel like a bit of an afterthought, and new lead Melissa Barrera is rather bland (a fact further underlined by the fact that Jenna Ortega, playing Barrera's sister, gives a much better performance and probably should've been the lead). A sequel is already in the works, and I look forward to seeing how it plays out. My only hope, though, is that if Neve Campbell returns as Sidney, she's given a little more to do. Or perhaps it's time to give Sidney a damn break. She's earned it. 

Special Features:

  • Filmmaker Commentary—The directors, writers and filmmakers reveal the unwritten rules for surviving this genre-busting horror movie.
  • Bloodlines—Catch up with Scream stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette for a deep dive into their characters and why they came back for a fresh stab at their favorite horror franchise.
  • New Blood—Meet the new generation of Woodsboro victims and potential killers!
  • In the Shadow of the Master—The cast honor movie maestro Wes Craven and look back on his incredible legacy as the director who redefined horror.
  • Deleted Scenes—Look out! They're back from the dead: see the scenes slashed from the movie.