Blu Tuesday is a weekly column where we review the newest Blu-ray and 4K releases, along with a brief rundown of the included bonus material, to determine whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping.
Pick of the Week: “Jungle Cruise”
Disney has been trying to make a feature film based on its iconic Jungle Cruise ride for nearly two decades — basically ever since the first “Pirates of the Caribbean” became a massive hit at the box office. In fact, the “Pirates” series has clearly had a major influence on “Jungle Cruise,” even sharing some of the same story elements and plot beats. Despite the similarities to those movies and others, “Jungle Cruise” manages to carve out its own identity thanks in part to its outstanding cast. Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall form a great comedic team overflowing with chemistry and charisma, while Jesse Plemons delivers a wonderfully hammy performance as the villain. “Jungle Cruise” is by no means a great movie, but it is an incredibly entertaining one — an old-school adventure film packed with enough wit and charm to win over even the most cynical moviegoer.
Extras include an Expedition Mode that presents fun facts and pop-up trivia while watching the movie, as well as a trio of production featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes and more. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
Also Out This Week:
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” — Though she enjoyed great success in the 1970s and 80s as one of the most popular televangelists in the country, Tammy Faye Bakker is perhaps best known for her almost cartoonish appearance. It’s what made her such an easy target later in life, and it could have just as easily been played for laughs in this biographical drama about Bakker’s spectacular rise and fall. Fortunately, director Michael Showalter delivers a more earnest film that strives to humanize the former TV personality, and for the most part, he succeeds. Jessica Chastain is excellent as Tammy Faye, completely disappearing into the role with a rich, layered performance that allows viewers to empathize with her yet still hold her accountable for her actions, while Andrew Garfield does a good job of giving the audience someone to hate as Tammy Faye’s husband, Jim Bakker. Though the movie drags a bit in the second half as all the usual biopic tropes begin to pile up, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” has just enough going for it to keep you engaged. Extras include a making-of featurette. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
“Candyman” — Much like 2018’s “Halloween,” which serves as a sequel to the 1978 original, 2021’s “Candyman” is also a direct follow-up to its 1992 namesake. But for as stupid as the shared title may be, the script to “Candyman” is much worse. Written by Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld and director Nia DaCosta, “Candyman” seeks to inject a heavy helping of social commentary into the proceedings. That in itself isn’t a problem — Peele did the same thing to great effect in “Get Out” and “Us” — but the way that it’s executed here feels incredibly forced. The Candyman premise has always been kind of dumb, but the attempts to imbue it with additional meaning turns the whole thing into a bit of a joke, especially when it plays so fast and loose with the established rules. To DaCosta’s credit, the movie contains some great visuals and atmospheric tension, but it’s not enough to compensate for the poorly written script. Extras include a behind-the-scenes look at making the movie, a roundtable discussion moderated by co-star Colman Domingo, deleted scenes, an alternate ending and more. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
“Prisoners of the Ghostland” — Director Sion Sono has a reputation for making some pretty weird and subversive films, but while “Prisoners of the Ghostland” is certainly strange, it’s not nearly as bonkers, violent or perverse as it would like you to believe. It’s a B-movie with none of the pleasures, and it also happens to be incredibly boring. Almost nothing of significance happens in the 90-odd minutes between the movie’s beginning and end, while Nicolas Cage (playing a second-rate Snake Plissken) never truly lets loose despite seemingly being given the freedom to do exactly that. Filled with bad dialogue and even worse acting, “Prisoners of the Ghostland” is an absolute farce of a film that gives cinema a bad name. Extras include a making-of featurette. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
Disclosure: Bullz-Eye was provided a copy of the above titles for review purposes.