Every Tuesday, I review the newest Blu-ray and 4K releases and let you know whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping, along with a breakdown of the included extras. If you see something you like, click on the cover art or link to purchase it from Amazon, and be sure to share each week’s column on social media with your friends.
Pick of the Week: “On the Basis of Sex”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become a cultural icon in recent years as the U.S. judicial system has been thrust into the spotlight, so it’s not surprising that Hollywood would greenlight a movie about the Supreme Court justice to take advantage of her newfound fame. Unfortunately, director Mimi Leder’s “On the Basis of Sex” isn’t nearly as impressive as its subject; it’s a serviceable but run-of-the-mill biopic that’s saved by some great performances from Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer and Justin Theroux. The final courtroom sequence – the first in a series of landmark achievements for Ginsburg – is also really well done, as we finally get to see what made her such an indomitable force. It’s just a shame that the rest of the movie isn’t as engaging, because while “On the Basis of Sex” is a decent enough biopic, it should have been better.
Extras include a making-of featurette and a deeper look at Ginsburg’s marriage and pioneering career. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
Also Out This Week:
“Welcome to Marwen” — Based on the true story of photographer Mark Hogancamp, “Welcome to Marwen” is an extremely difficult movie to market, but that’s only part of the reason why it flopped so hard at the box office. Director Robert Zemeckis approaches the material like he’s making the next “Forrest Gump,” and although the fantasy sequences look great thanks to some incredible visual effects work, the movie kind of misses the point as to why Hogancamp created this fictional world. It’s viewed more as an eccentricity than as a coping mechanism for Hogancamp’s traumatic past, thereby undermining the drama of the real-life events. “Welcome to Marwen” isn’t as bad as some critics have suggested, but you’d be better off watching the 2010 documentary on the subject instead. Extras include interviews with the cast about making the film and working with Zemeckis, a behind-the-scenes look at creating the town of Marwen and its residents, and a series of deleted scenes. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
“Holmes & Watson” — It’s easy to see why “Holmes & Watson” languished in development hell for as long as it did, because it’s hands-down one of the year’s worst movies. Though much of the film’s appeal is seeing Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly reunited once again, “Holmes & Watson” pales in comparison to the duo’s previous collaborations. The script is lazy and mind-numbingly dumb, but perhaps worst of all is the fact that it wastes an otherwise fantastic cast, including Rebecca Hall, Kelly Macdonald and a criminally underused Ralph Fiennes as Moriarty. There are a few humorous bits thanks to Reilly (who honestly deserves better than this), but for the most part, “Holmes & Watson” is about as funny as a funeral – and as boring as one too. Extras include a pair of cast featurettes, deleted scenes, alternate takes and more. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
“Golden Job” — For fans of the late ‘90s Hong Kong crime series “Young and Dangerous,” director Kar Lok Chin’s new film is like nostalgic catnip, as it reunites stars Ekin Cheng, Jordan Chan, Michael Tse and Jerry Lamb in a “Fast and Furious”-inspired heist flick that brings back all the feels. Sadly, while it’s nice to see the actors together again, “Golden Job” lacks a compelling story or characters. The writing, editing and pacing is downright terrible at times, especially during the second act when it feels like everyone is treading water until the big finale. Despite its many flaws, “Golden Job” gets just enough right – including a really fun climactic shootout that’s ten times better than anything before it – to satisfy diehard fans. Extras include a series of short behind-the-scenes featurettes and two music videos. FINAL VERDICT: RENT