The Best New Blu-Ray Releases: Heat 4K, Crimes Of The Future, The Black Phone, And More

Our latest Blu-ray column is packed with some big new releases, folks. The biggest is perhaps the 4K release of "Heat," Michael Mann's crime epic about guys being dudes. In addition to that, the folks at Shout Factory have released the first three "Child's Play" movies in 4K. Then we have David Cronenberg's long-awaited return to directing, plus a so-so rom-com that tries to get by on charm alone, Ethan Hawke wearing a spooky mask, a polarizing folk horror pic, and a 4K release of Paul W.S. Anderson's best movie. 

Heat 4K

"Heat" has never gone out of fashion, but Michael Mann's epic feels like it's having a moment right now. Not only did a sequel-in-novel-form, "Heat 2," just come out, but Mann's film is now on 4K for the first time ever. And really, what more can one say about "Heat" at this point? The film was heavily marketed as being the long-awaited instance of legendary actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino sharing the screen for the first time (the two had previously both appeared in "The Godfather Part II," but did not share a scene since their stories took place in different timelines). 

With such marketing in place, some folks were surprised when De Niro and Pacino only ended up appearing in two scenes together. But of course, there's so much more to "Heat" than that pairing. This is a sprawling epic about a large cast of characters operating in and outside of the criminal underworld in Los Angeles. Like a great American novel, Mann created an all-encompassing saga that not only holds up but gets better with every passing year. 

Special features:

4K Ultra HD

  • Director's Audio Commentary

Blu-ray Disc One

  • Heat In High Definition
  • Director's Audio Commentary

Bonus Blu-ray Disc Two

  • Q&A With Michael Mann
  • Q&A With Christopher Nolan
  • 3-Part Making-Of Documentary
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Pacino and De Niro: The Conversation
  • Return To The Scene Of The Crime

The Black Phone

"The Black Phone" generated a lot of positive buzz this year, and it's easy to see why: it's a creepy, entertaining horror pic with a (mostly) happy ending, which is as close to a "crowd-pleaser" as you can get in the horror genre. Based on the Joe Hill short story, this Scott Derrickson-directed film follows Mason Thames as Finney, a kid who gets kidnapped by a local boogeyman named the Grabber (played by Ethan Hawke). The ghosts of the Grabber's previous victims try to help Finney escape, while his psychic little sister (an amusing Madeleine McGraw) tries to locate her brother.

This is a solid set-up, and Hawke, sporting a demonic mask, is suitably spooky. But "The Black Phone" didn't entirely work for me. The biggest problem the film has is that it never really establishes rules for its various supernatural happenings. I'm not saying all that stuff needs to be explained — indeed, the unexplainable is always scarier. But the film makes a big deal about Finney learning how to save himself, and yet it never bothers to give us a good lay of the land. For instance: the layout of the basement Finney is trapped in is never adequately established, and some things just don't make sense — the notorious kidnapper has windows in his basement that look out into the street? And after Finney is unable to climb to one of the windows, he just gives up? Why doesn't he try to, oh I dunno, break one of the windows? It's stuff like this that hurts the film from being entirely successful, but it's still a fun little spookshow for horror fans. 

Special features:

    • Is This America Now?
    • No Dreams
  • ETHAN HAWKE'S EVIL TURN – Dive deeper into the character of The Grabber and how Ethan Hawke was able to transform into this unnerving villain.
  • ANSWERING THE CALL: BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE BLACK PHONE – Take a behind-the-scenes look into the most pivotal elements of THE BLACK PHONE production, including adapting the story and achieving the vision of director Scott Derrickson.
  • DEVIL IN THE DESIGN – Explore how the intricacies of production design helped bring this film to life, from the set design, to costumes, to hair and makeup.
  • SUPER 8 SET – Cast and crew break down the decision to shoot the dream sequences on Super 8 film, and how that helped capture the aesthetic of the time period.
  • SHADOWPROWLER – A short film by Scott Derrickson

Crimes of the Future

"Crimes of the Future" marks David Cronenberg's return to feature directing after an 8-year hiatus, and it was worth the wait. This twisted, darkly funny tale of artists and organs is wickedly sharp and full of Cronenberg's body horror trademarks. Set in a future where pain basically doesn't exist anymore, "Crimes of the Future" follows several whacked-out characters caught in the middle of an unfolding conspiracy. 

Viggo Mortensen is an artist who keeps growing new organs inside his body, Léa Seydoux is his partner who aids in his art, and Kristen Stewart is a little weirdo who steals the whole movie with her goblin mode performance. "Crimes" left some folks cold, but I loved everything Cronenberg was offering up here, including the film's very funny, very macabre sense of humor. 

All that said, I sure wish this Blu-ray release had a commentary track, as Cronenberg's commentaries are often quite insightful. Oh well. 

Special features:

  • The Making of Crimes of the Future

Child's Play Trilogy 4K

My heart will always belong to Chucky. The "Child's Play" franchise is one of my favorite horror series (it might be the favorite), and while I love how funny and fluid the story of killer doll Chucky has become, I will always cherish the first three films in the series the most. And now the first three films are available in 4K from the fine folks at Scream Factory. You know the deal: serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) uploads his soul into the body of a doll, and that doll starts killing folks. The second film, "Child's Play 2," remains my favorite in the series, but all three of these films are a treat (even the much-maligned "Child's Play 3," which sends Chucky to military school. 

Chucky is more of a comedic figure these days, and again, that's fine. But I'll always prefer these first three titles which had the character bumping off anyone and everyone who got in his way because he had no time for anyone's crap. Long live Chucky. 

Special features:

Child's Play

Disc 1 (Feature Film – UHD):

  • NEW 2022 4K scan of the original camera negative – presented in Dolby Vision
  • NEW Dolby Atmos track
  • Audio Commentary with director Tom Holland
  • Audio Commentary with Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks and "Chucky" designer Kevin Yagher
  • Audio Commentary with Producer David Kirschner and Screenwriter Don Mancini
  • Select Scene Commentary by Chucky

DISC 2 (Feature Film – Blu-Ray):

  • NEW 2022 4K scan of the original camera negative
  • NEW Dolby Atmos track
  • Audio Commentary with director Tom Holland
  • Audio Commentary with Alex Vincent, Catherine Hicks and "Chucky" designer Kevin Yagher
  • Audio Commentary with Producer David Kirschner and Screenwriter Don Mancini
  • Select Scene Commentary by Chucky
  • NEW Birth of the Good Guy – an interview with writer Don Mancini
  • NEW Friends Till the End – an interview with actor Alex Vincent
  • NEW Believe Me Now? – an interview with actor Chris Sarandon
  • NEW Chucky: The Great and Terrible – an interview with producer David Kirschner
  • NEW Windy City Chills – an interview with production manager Robert Latham Brown

DISC 3 (Special Features):

  • Behind the Scenes Special Effects Footage
  • Howard Berger: Your Special Effects Friend 'Til the End – an interview with the special make-up effects artist
  • Life Behind the Mask: Being Chucky – an interview with actor Ed Gale
  • Evil Comes in Small Packages – archival featurette
  • Chucky: Building a Nightmare -archival featurette
  • A Monster Convention – archival piece from the 2007 Monster Mania panel
  • Introducing Chucky: The Making of Child's Play - archival featurette
  • Vintage featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Still Galleries – Behind the Scenes, Posters and Lobby Cards

Child's Play 2


  • NEW 4K Scan of the original camera negative – presented in Dolby Vision
  • NEW Dolby Atmos Track
  • Audio Commentary with director John Lafia

DISC 2 (Blu-ray):

  • NEW 4K scan of the original camera negative
  • NEW Dolby Atmos Track
  • NEW Puppet Master – an interview with writer Don Mancini
  • NEW The Family Expands – an interview with producer David Kirschner
  • NEW Under Pressure – an interview with actor Alex Vincent
  • NEW In Kyle We Trust – an interview with actress Christine Elise
  • NEW School's Out – an interview with actress Beth Grant
  • NEW The Second Dance – an interview with executive producer Robert Latham Brown
  • Audio Commentary with director John Lafia
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Additional scenes from the broadcast version

Child's Play 3


DISC 2 (Blu-ray):

  • NEW 4K scan of the original camera negative
  • NEW Dolby Atmos Track
  • NEW Audio Commentary by director Jack Bender
  • NEW Ride the Frightening – an interview with writer Don Mancini
  • NEW War Games – an interview with actress Perrey Reeves
  • NEW Chucky Goes East – an interview with executive producer David Kirschner
  • NEW Carnivals and Campouts – an interview with producer Robert Latham Brown
  • NEW Midway Centurions – an interview with actor Michael Chieffo
  • NEW Shear Terror – an interview with makeup artist Craig Reardon
  • NEW Unholy Mountain – an interview with production designer Richard Sawyer
  • Audio Commentary by producer Robert Latham Brown
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Additional scenes from the broadcast version

Event Horizon 4K

"Event Horizon" is, without question, Paul W.S. Anderson's best movie. The filmmaker mashed up sci-fi and horror to create this spaceship haunted house flick, and while it bombed when it first hit theaters, most people have come around to realize how special this nasty flick is. The story follows a rescue crew sent to investigate a ship that vanished in space years ago, only to then reappear. Where did it go all these years?

Spoiler alert: it went to Hell! And not some metaphorical Hell, either, but the real place, which is full of enough pain and gore to give Pinhead a boner. Now "Event Horizon" has a new 4K release, and before you ask, no — it does not include the infamous footage that Anderson had to cut to get an R-rating. That footage is, by all accounts, lost forever — which is a huge bummer.  

Special features:

  • Commentary by director Paul W.S. Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt
  • The Making of Event Horizon – 5 Documentaries
  • The Point of No Return – the filming of Event Horizon with director commentary
  • Secrets – deleted & extended scenes with selectable director commentary
  • The Unseen Event Horizon
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Video Trailer

The Lost City

I'm all for the return of big studio rom-coms with charismatic stars, so I had hope for "The Lost City." Heavily inspired by "Romancing the Stone," "Lost City" stars Sandra Bullock as a romance author and Channing Tatum as her blockhead cover model. The two get caught up in a scheme involving a villainous millionaire (played by a delightfully wacky Daniel Radcliffe). And as you might've guessed, while Bullock and Tatum start off diametrically opposed, they eventually fall for each other. And oh yeah, Brad Pitt shows up for a fun cameo.

Look: Bullock and Tatum are both likable stars. But "The Lost City" never really gets off the ground. Almost none of the jokes land (save for those from a scene-stealing Patti Harrison, who really should've been in the movie more), and there are next to no sparks between Bullock and Tatum. In fact, Bullock seems oddly bored here, like she's just going through the motions. 

Special features:

  • Deleted Scenes—More fun you didn't see in theatres!
  • Bloopers—Laugh along with the cast at their hilarious on-set bloopers
  • Dynamic Duo—Behind-the-scenes fun with Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum to see how their comedy chemistry perfectly aligns for this odd-couple comedy adventure
  • Location Profile—Take a trip to the exotic Dominican Republic movie location and find out how the crew dealt with heavy rain and mosquitos!
  • Jungle Rescue—See how the movie's incredible action set pieces and crazy stunts were filmed
  • The Jumpsuit—Discover what went into designing Loretta's eye-catching purple sequin jumpsuit
  • Charcuterie—A hilarious breakdown of Loretta's big kidnapping scene and what it's like to come under attack from a giant charcuterie board!
  • The Villains of The Lost City—Meet the bad guys: Abigail Fairfax and his henchmen
  • Building The Lost City—A look at building the film's incredible island world


When I first saw "Men," I knew rather quickly that it was going to be polarizing. Alex Garland's folk-horror movie is deliberately off-putting, and I certainly won't fault anyone for thinking it's a whole lot of noise signifying nothing. But for me, "Men" worked, at least on a visceral level. Harper Marlowe (Jessie Buckley, who has quickly become one of those "great in everything" actors) recently lost her husband, and she needs to get away from it all. So she rents a house in the countryside and tries to unwind. Unfortunately, things don't go according to plan. 

Harper is tormented by things that may or may not really be there. And to make everything extra weird, every man in the nearby town, including the guy she rents the house from, is played by the same actor — Rory Kinnear, doing some serious heavy-lifting playing multiple unsettling characters. Can Harper tell all these guys look the same? It's unclear, as Garland plays things extremely close to the vest for nearly the entire film. Even the conclusion is scant on answers. 

Special features:

  • Rebirth: The Making of Men