New Blu-ray Releases Uncut Gems

The world is…interesting right now, to say the least. And there’s a fairly good chance that you’re suddenly stuck inside your house right now, or at least hesitant to go out. Not to worry: You can stay in and watch some Blu-rays. You don’t even have to leave the house to get them – order them online and have them show up on your doorstep. And if you need some help regarding what to pick up, these are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.

Uncut Gems

It’s the movie everyone can’t stop talking about – the movie that many thought would ensure Adam “The Sandman” Sandler an Oscar nomination. It’s Uncut Gems, the Safdie Brothers‘ anxiety-inducing saga of gambling addict Howard Ratner (Sandler), a jeweler who thinks he has a sure thing in the form of a rare black opal. But nothing goes according to Howard’s plans – he ends up handing the opal off to Kevin Garnett (playing himself), and then his life proceeds to spiral completely out of control. His gambling debts put him in potential danger, and to make matters worse, every time he has a chance to climb out of the hole, his poor decisions put him right back in there. It’s perhaps a reflection of our troubled, turbulent times that so many people took to this movie, which is 135 minutes of screaming, tension, and jaw-dropping horror (it’s pretty funny, too). While I didn’t love Uncut Gems as much as some (I prefer the Safdie’s previous film, Good Time), I can’t deny the skill at work here. And Sandler is just as good as everyone says. Hell, he’s better.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

I sure wish this release came with more special features – there’s only one, a making-of. A commentary would’ve been ideal – especially if they had managed to talk Sandler into doing it. Alas, it was not to be. But Uncut Gems is worth picking up anyway. But be sure to hold onto it tight – and whatever you do, don’t lend it to Kevin Garnett.

Special Features Include: 

  • “Money on the Street: The Making of Uncut Gems” Featurette

 

Charlie’s Angels

Charlie’s Angels, the latest attempt to reboot the TV series of the same name, has a lot going for it. The leads – Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska – are incredibly likable, and they all have a fun, easy-going chemistry with one another. There’s also a handful of funny moments – mostly from Kristen Stewart, who shows a real knack for comedy here. But the film ultimately suffers from a rather blah script, and some uninspired direction. Elizabeth Banks directs, as well as co-stars. And while I think Banks is a genuinely good performer, she’s yet to hit her stride and find her voice when it comes to filmmaking. In this new Charlie’s Angels, Scott plays an engineer who ends up inadvertently getting mixed-up with ass-kicking lady spies Stewart and Balinska. There’s corporate espionage afoot, which leads to lots of chase scenes created with poorly rendered CGI. Maybe you should just revisit the 2000 Charlie’s Angels movie instead?

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

There’s only one real reason to own the new Charlie’s Angels: Kristen Stewart’s performance. Someone should give her a much better, smarter comedy to appear in – if she wants. Ultimately, Charlie’s Angels is harmless. It’s not offensively bad, nor is it particularly good. It just is. So if you’re in the mood for a film that, uh…exists…then this film is for you.

Special Features Include: 

  • Gag Reel – Check out these fun and never-seen-before bloopers saved from the cutting room floor!
  • 5 Deleted Scenes
  • 4 Behind-the-scenes Featurettes
    • “Stronger Together: The Sisterhood of the Angels” – Watch how the Angels trio of Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott & Ella Balinska prepared for their iconic roles and formed a genuine sisterhood on set.
    • “Elizabeth Banks: As BOSSley” – We’ll take a look at why the Charlie’s Angels Director, Actress, Writer and Producer Elizabeth Banks is the perfect person to reintroduce audiences to this beloved, fun and action-packed franchise.
    • “Warriors on Set: Angels in Action” – The cast & crew take a look at some of the biggest action scenes from the film, including a peek behind-the-scenes of the stunt rehearsals with the cast.
    • “Tailored for Danger: Styling the Angels” – Learn all about the glamourous costumes, hair and make-up used to create the glitzy world of Charlie’s Angels!
  • “Don’t Call Me Angel” Music Video featuring Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus & Lana Del Rey

 

Dark Waters

Todd Haynes’ Dark Waters didn’t get enough attention last year, which is a shame, because it’s quite good. Based on a true, and troubling, story, Haynes’ movie follows Mark Ruffalo as Robert Bilott, a corporate lawyer who gets drawn into a case involving the rich and powerful DuPont company. Bilott is informed by a small-town farmer (played by the always-great Bill Camp) that DuPont has been dumping unregulated chemicals and poisoning people. The stage is set for a Davd vs. Goliath-like tale, but Haynes has something far more interesting up his sleeve, crafting a kind of paranoid thriller throwback as Bilott digs deeper and deeper. It’s tense and engrossing, and I’m genuinely surprised more people didn’t catch onto it when it hit theaters last year.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

As I said above, Dark Waters didn’t exactly burn up the multiplexes. Which means it’s the perfect movie for folks to discover on home video. In fact, the slow-burn nature might lend itself better to home viewing than the theatrical experience. On top of that, the disc comes with not one, but two, but three different featurettes that delve into the true story, and the real people involved. Many “Based on a True Story” pictures tend to shirk this sort of thing, so it’s a plus to have it presented in full here.

Special Features Include: 

  • The Cost Of Being A Hero – This piece examines real-life Rob Bilott’s sacrifices to take down a powerful corporation and how a single individual can impact an entire community. Cast and filmmakers discuss the importance of telling this story and empowering whistle-blowers.
  • Uncovering DARK WATERS – Get an inside look into the storytelling behind the gritty, real-life story of DARK WATERS from Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, filmmakers, and crew.
  • The Real People – Meet the real people from Parkersburg who were impacted first-hand by the contaminated water as they share their experiences being on set and taking part in the film.

 

Pet Sematary Two

After the box office success of 1989’s Pet Sematary, director Mary Lambert returned in 1992 with Pet Sematary Two. While the original had Stephen King’s book, and script, to fall back on, Pet Sematary Two had to forge its own path and cover something completely new (courtesy of Richard Outten). The end result isn’t as talked about as the 1989 film, but it’s still a lot of gory fun. The premise is more or less the same: People move to Ludlow, Maine, and discover there’s a burial ground in the woods that revives the dead. Pet Sematary Two tries to change things up a bit, though. The main character isn’t an adult this time, but instead a moody teen, played by Edward Furlong. Furlong is still grieving the death of his mother, an actress, when he gets mixed up in the burial ground shenanigans. Gee, I wonder if his dead mom will come back from the dead at some point? I guess we’ll have to wait and see! Pet Sematary Two is a bit clunky at times, but it has a nasty streak that keeps it afloat. Also helping a great deal: Clancy Brown, hamming it up big time as a local cop who gets raised from the dead.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:

I love that Scream Factory takes the time to give movies like this special treatment – because no one else will. They went all-out for this release, putting together new interviews with Edward Furlong and Clancy Brown, and even bringing Mary Lambert in to record a new audio commentary. This is The Criterion Collection-like treatment here, folks – and it’s all for Pet Sematary Two.

Special Features Include: 

  • NEW 4K Scan Of The Original Camera Negative Approved By Director Mary Lambert
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Director Mary Lambert
  • NEW Young And Brooding – An Interview With Actor Edward Furlong
  • NEW Playing Over The Top – An Interview With Actor Clancy Brown
  • NEW My First Film – An Interview With Actor Jason McGuire
  • NEW A Thousand Dollar Bet – An Interview With Special Makeup Effects Creator Steve Johnson
  • NEW Orchestrated Grunge – An Interview With Composer Mark Governor
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
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