The Best New Blu-Ray Releases: The Batman, Ambulance, X And More

Greetings, my beautiful Blu-ray babies. If you're reading this that can mean only one thing: you clicked on this link by accident. Or, perhaps you are genuinely interested in the latest Blu-ray releases! If so, you're in the right place. As always, I've gathered up several recent Blu-ray releases that you may or may not want to add to your collection. And here comes my usual disclaimer: I know streaming is all the rage, but don't forget physical media, folks. It's worth keeping around. 

The Batman

I had my doubts about yet another Batman reboot. To be clear: I like Batman! I grew up a Bat-fan, and while I am burned out on comic book movies, I remain a fan of the character and his ever-changing world. But I was skeptical about another new take on the character so soon. What else was there to say, I wondered. But folks, when I'm wrong, I'm wrong — and I'll admit it. Despite my initial misgivings, Matt Reeves' "The Batman" ended up being pretty damn great. Sure, the film is a little long in the tooth (clocking in at almost a full three hours). But Reeves has done a remarkable job crafting a fresh take on the Dark Knight. Although perhaps "fresh" isn't the best word, because a lot of what Reeves is doing here is drawn from other films (especially the work of David Fincher). 

Robert Pattinson is appropriately mumbly and socially inept as Batman; a Batman who doesn't really care about being Bruce Wayne at all. Rather than a full-blown origin story, "The Batman" picks up with Batman already active in Gotham for two years. He's made a few friends, like Gotham cop James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), and plenty of enemies. Soon, Gotham is plunged into chaos as a Zodiac-like killer known as The Riddler (Paul Dano) begins bumping off prominent citizens. Can Batman save the day? And can he finally lose his virginity to Selina Kyle (Zoe Kravitz)? Featuring a grungy, gothic aesthetic that sets it apart from both the Christopher Nolan movies and the Zack Snyder Batman, "The Batman" more than justifies its own existence. It's a film not just about Batman and his villains, but of systematic rot built into the political infrastructure. That's heavy stuff for a movie like this. 

Special Features:

  • Vengeance In The Making
  • Vengeance Meets Justice
  • The Batman: Genesis
  • Becoming Catwoman
  • Looking for Vengeance
  • Anatomy of The Car Chase
  • Anatomy of The Wingsuit
  • A Transformation: The Penguin
  • The Batmobile
  • Unpacking The Icons
  • Deleted Scenes with Director's Commentary


At this point, you're either on board with Michael Bay and his Bayhem, or you want to banish him from the face of the Earth. Me? I (mostly) enjoy Bay's stuff, as long as it doesn't involve Transformers. His most recent, the unfortunate flop "Ambulance," has Bay playing the hits — he even has characters in this movie flat-out reference some of his other films. But Bay isn't phoning it in. No, he's having fun — especially with drone cameras, which he has zipping all over the damn place. 

The story involves two brothers (Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) who rob a bank and then commandeer an ambulance as their getaway vehicle. And wouldn't you know it? There's a dying man in the ambulance, along with an EMT, played by Eiza González. Now, in true "Speed"-like fashion, the characters must drive all over Los Angeles and try to stay alive. It's a simple set-up, but Bay uses it to go wild, creating big, loud set-pieces engineered to thrill. At the center of it all is Gyllenhaal, who is clearly having a blast playing a completely unhinged character. Bay reportedly let Gyllenhaal just do whatever he wanted, and it shows — and I'm not complaining. 

Special Features:

  • BAYHEM – Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González and crew discuss what it's like to work on a Michael Bay set as viewers watch the legend himself masterfully conduct the mayhem.
  • PEDAL TO THE METAL – A look at how Michael Bay took his car chase craft to a whole other level for AMBULANCE.
  • AERIAL ASSAULT – Learn how the breath-taking, heart-stopping aerial images in AMBULANCE were captured.
  • FINDING AMBULANCE* – Filmmakers and cast discuss the genesis of AMBULANCE and what drew them to the project.
  • CHASE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD* – Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González and crew discuss how LA's endless miles of highways and sprawling streets became a character in the film and the perfect location for AMBULANCE.
  • A TRIBUTE TO FIRST RESPONDERS – Jake Gyllenhaal and Eiza González talk about their growing understanding, respect, and gratitude for first responders.


Ti West returns with "X," a funny, violent slasher movie that feels like the distilled essence of every slasher movie ever made. West is using familiar scenarios — specifically, young people who head down south and fool around where they don't belong — to stage a surprising, sex-positive creepshow. A group of pornographers in the 1970s head to Texas to film a movie, only to run afoul of the owners of the property they've turned into their own movie set. Mia Goth is the star of the porno, and therefore becomes our Final Girl. Goth also plays a deranged elderly woman, and does a dynamite job playing these very different characters. While "X" doesn't break the mold of the slasher genre, it embraces it in a way that feels envigorating. Perhaps best of all is that when you get right down to it, "X" is a down and dirty horror picture. Sure, there are deeper meanings hidden within its frames, but its number one goal is to thrill and entertain, and it does that exceptionally well. 

Special Features:

  • That X Factor" Featurette
  • "The Farmer's Daughters" Extended Scene

The Northman

"The Northman" is Robert Eggers' weakest movie. But here's the thing: it's pretty damn good. The fact that such a good movie is also Eggers' weakest effort is a testament to how good Eggers is, and how much of an impact he's made with his short film career so far. While not as good as "The Witch" or "The Lighthouse," Eggers' "The Northman" is a solid Viking revenge drama, full of brutal violence, strange mysticism, and a hulked-out Alexander Skarsgård. Skarsgård plays a prince who flees his home after his father (Ethan Hawke) is killed by his uncle (Claes Bang). Years later, the exiled prince returns for revenge. Aided by a sorceress (a scene-stealing Anya Taylor-Joy), Skarsgård plans to unleash hell upon his enemies. Throw in Nicole Kidman boasting a questionable accent and you have a sweeping, epic tale. I just wish the film leaned into the weirdness like Eggers' previous two efforts. But while I wasn't blown away by "The Northman," it's still a damn fine film — and I can't wait to see what Eggers does next. 

  • AN AGELESS EPIC - An in-depth look at how filmmakers, cast, and crew immersed themselves in Norse history and mythology in an effort to make THE NORTHMAN the most accurate Viking epic ever filmed.
  • THE FACES OF VIKINGS - The cast of THE NORTHMAN, alongside director Robert Eggers, discuss the depth of the characters and their experiences working together.

The Untouchables 4K

"The Untouchables" is probably one of the most historically inaccurate movies ever made, but so what? Brian De Palma's stylish gangster pic is a hoot, featuring all of the filmmaker's stylish techniques and an absolutely killer Ennio Morricone to boot. Kevin Costner is Elliot Ness, a treasury agent working in prohibition-era Chicago. His target: Al Capone, played by a hammy Robert DeNiro. Capone won't be easy to bring down, especially since most of the cops in town are corrupt. Can Ness and his team, which includes an Oscar-winning Sean Connery, save the day? 

Again: almost nothing that happens here happened in real life, but it's okay. De Palma isn't making a historical pic, he's making pure pulp. And he delivers, especially in the long, sweeping tracking shots that have characters hustling about as Morricone's music blares. Throw in a big rip-off/callback to the "Odessa Steps" montage from Sergei Eisenstein's "Battleship Potemkin" and you've got yourself one hell of a movie, now on 4K. 

Special Features:

  • The Script, The Cast
  • Production Stories
  • Re-Inventing the Genre
  • The Classic
  • Original Featurette: "The Men"
  • Theatrical Trailer

1776 4K

Before there was "Hamilton," there was "1776," a Broadway musical about the Founding Fathers and how they got around to creating the Declaration of Independence. And like so many other hit Broadway shows, "1776" eventually made its way to the big screen. The result is a film probably more famous for being played in various high school history classrooms at the end of the school year, when everyone is already mentally checked out and most students have their heads down on their desks.

But you know what? "1776" is fun! A big, long, excessive musical featuring  Ben Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and more, singing and dancing and, most importantly of all, acting human. These aren't the almighty founders that people like to talk about today; they're just a bunch of guys in waistcoats. And, like our Congress of today, they're barely able to get anything done because they're so damn dysfunctional. 

William Daniels, reprising the role from Broadway, plays John Adams, who is "obnoxious and disliked" by everyone, but who really wants Thomas Jefferson to get off his ass and start writing the Declaration. Jefferson (played by Ken Howard) is struggling because for one thing, he doesn't want to write the damn thing. For another, he's really horny for his wife (Blythe Danner), who is back in Virginia while he's in stinky old Philadelphia. Can all these stuffy guys get their act together and create the United States of America, while singing and dancing? I bet you'll never guess the answer! 

Special Features:

  • Includes both the 165-minute Director's Cut and the 167-minute Extended Cut
  • Both versions presented in High Definition with 5.1 audio
  • Features:
    • Commentary with Peter H. Hunt, William Daniels & Ken Howard (Director's Cut only)
    • Commentary with Peter H. Hunt and Peter Stone (Director's Cut only)
    • Deleted & Alternate Scenes with Director Commentary
    • 9 Screen Tests
    • Teaser & Theatrical Trailers