Valentine's Day DVD and Blu-ray gift guide
(KUTV) Don't be too alarmed, but Valentine's Day is just a week a way. To help with your DVD and Blu-ray gifting I've assembled this list of traditional and not-so-traditional movie releases from the past couple months.
:et's kick things off with a look at some of the recent action and horror titles (with a documentary thrown in for good measure). Ben Affleck stars as Christian Wolff, an accountant with a dangerous clientele, in director Gavin O'Connor's entertaining thriller "The Accountant;" Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg reteamed for "Deepwater Horizon," an action extravaganza based on the real events of 2010 when an oil offshore drilling unit exploded off the coast of Louisiana; the third season of the vampire television series "From Dusk Till Dawn," and "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back," the second installment in the Jack Reacher franchise starring Tom Cruise as the titular character.
It took forever, but Peter Jackson's "King Kong: Ultimate Edition" is finally making its way to Blu-ray. This version of the 2005 film has been available on DVD for a decade, but those who wanted to see it in HD have been out of luck until now. 2016 took its share of music legends and unfortunately that list included Leonard Cohen. This week sees the release of the 2005 a flawed, but informative documentary "Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man." You might be wondering how "Phantasm," a horror film from 1979, found its way on to this list. Don Coscarelli's cult classic was recently restored at the behest of the one and only J.J. Abrams. If you're significant other enjoys out-there frights then "Phantasm" delivers in spades. Or, assuming you're looking for something a little more traditional, you could always pick up a copy of Clint Eastwood's "Sully," starring Tom Hanks as the titular pilot who was able to land an airplane on the Hudson River when a flock of birds disabled the aircraft's engines.
If you're feeling extra kind you should consider these box sets: "Die Hard: Collection," featuring all five films from the franchise; "Mad Max: High-Octane Collection, all four films plus the "Mad Max: Fury Road (Black & Chrome Edition), which features the latest film in its alternate black and white presentation; "Penny Dreadful: The Complete Series," a creepy-crawly television series featuring the talents of Eva Green and "The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series," the fantastic original series with a wealth of bonus features that offer a seemingly endless amount of material to relish.
A slightly more traditional title,"Bridget Jones's Baby," will entertain those who have love previous entries in the romantic comedy franchise. Straying from the beaten path for a moment, we have "Cameraperson," a fantastic documentary from cinematographer Kristen Johnson who has crafted a memoir of sorts using outtakes from the many documentaries that she has shot. If there's a Jane Austen fan on your list you absolutely must add "Love & Friendship" to their collection. The film plays up the comedy in Austen's writing as Kate Beckinsale gives one of the best performances of her career. If you're looking for a rather unusual comedy, "The Dressmaker" tells a oddly delightful story about a woman who was accused of murder as a child who returns to her small Australian hometown to exact revenge via haute couture fashion.
In "Florence Foster Jenkins" Meryl Streep stars as the titular character, a wealthy patron of the arts, who has been led to believe she has a lovely singing voice, which couldn't be further from the truth. Determined to perform a live concert, Florence's inner circle scramble to protect her ego from poor reviews. Going back in time we have a trio of great catalog titles in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," a 1967 drama about a young white woman who introduces her African American fiancé to her shocked parents starring Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy; "His Girl Friday," a classic screwball comedy from 1940 about a newspaper editor who goes out of his way to keep his lead reporter (and ex-wife) from remarrying starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell and "Howards End," director James Ivory's Oscar winning adaptation of E.M. Forster's novel with a cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson and Vanessa Redgrave.
Other traditional options include the "20th Anniversary Edition" of "Jerry Maguire," the classic comedy from Cameron Crowe starring Tom Cruise, Renée Zellweger and Oscar winning Cuba Gooding Jr.; "The Light Between Oceans," a period drama starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander as a husband and wife who find a baby on the shore of their remote lighthouse island; "Loving," the phenomenal true story from writer/director Jeff Nichols about Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, whose marriage in 1957 had them exiled from Virgina starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton and "Southside with You," a delightful biopic focused on the first date between Michelle Robinson and Barack Obama from director/writer Richard Tanne.
There's been quite a few animated releases over the past couple weeks that would certainly make the young (or young at heart) happy this Valentine's Day including the "Adventure Time: Islands," an excellent eight-part story that finds Finn and Jake sailing across the sea to discover Finn's past; "The Secret Life of Pets," a massive animated hit from last summer; "Storks," the latest offering from Warner Animation and "Tolls," the movie I referred to as a "nonstop rainbow disco megamix of feelgood jams."
Last week Disney reached back into their vaults for a handful of releases include 2008's "Bolt," 1981's "The Fox and the Hound," 2002's "Lilo & Stitch" and, getting the royal "Signature Edition" treatment, 1940's "Pinnochio."
Some overlooked titles that are also worthy of your attention include the great documentary "The Eagle Huntress," a film about Aisholpan, a 13-year-old Kazakh girl from Mongolia, who wants to be the first female eagle hunter in her country; "Kubo and the Two Strings," my favorite animated film from 2016; Tim Burton's triumphant return to the wonderfully strange with "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" and Disney's underrated "Queen of Katwe," a fantastic film based on a true story about a young woman who uses chess to escape the poverty of Uganda.
Or if you're in the giving mood 20th Century Fox has a variety of franchise-spanning collections that were released this week including "Alvin and the Chipmunks," "Ice Age," "Night at the Museum" and "Rio."