(Welcome to Not Dead Yet, a feature dedicated to new Blu-ray releases and what special features you should be excited about. Because yes, some of us still like to own physical copies of our movies.)
It’s time again to round-up the best Blu-rays available right now, and in the immediate future. This week, we have the Jennifer Lawrence spy-thriller Red Sparrow, the very funny Game Night, the surprisingly good horror-sequel Strangers: Prey At Night, and the so-dumb-it’s-fun action flick The Hurricane Heist.
Here are the new Blu-ray releases and their special features you should check out this week, and beyond.
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If you asked me to describe my memory of ‘90s action movies in a single image, it would be this: our hero, wading through thigh-deep water, firing an endless barrage of bullets at whatever bad guy or monster happens to be offscreen. In my nostalgia-addled brain, it seems like every movie from that decade featured some combination of flooding and gunfights. And if this same reverence for waterlogged ‘90s blockbusters is what inspired Hollywood to churn out The Hurricane Heist, then I certainly can’t complain. The math, at least as far as I’m concerned, checks out.
If there was a peak period for this particular type of movie, though, it must’ve come in the months between 1997 and 1998. In that six-month span, three action movies were released that serve as rorschach tests for the decade: Speed 2: Cruise Control, Deep Rising, and Hard Rain. Woven together by a shared love of jet skis and blockbuster films like Die Hard and Speed, these three movies could be regarded as variations on a single ridiculous theme. Even Roger Ebert, in his review of Deep Rising, pointed to the trend of recycling these action beats for his upcoming movies. “No sooner is there an indoor jetski chase in Hard Rain,” Ebert wrote, “(then) there’s one in Deep Rising.” These films were also enough to drive Reddit user LundgrensFrontKick borderline insane in 2016 when he attempted to quantify the exact pain inflicted by jet skis movies at the domestic box office.
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Director Rob Cohen has been shooting car chases, explosions, and shootouts for years now. The director behind xXx, The Fast and the Furious, and The Boy Next Door enters new territory with his latest, The Hurricane Heist, which has its shootouts and chases unfold during a category five hurricane that brings brothers, played by Toby Kebbell (A Monster Calls) and Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), together.
It’s an entirely self-aware disaster movie and exactly what a moviegoer would expect from something called The Hurricane Heist, which Cohen takes as a compliment. We recently spoke to Cohen about the challenges of making the effects-heavy film, defying physics, his thoughts on critics, the evolution of the Fast and Furious franchise, and more.
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