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: “Champions”
Most people have probably never seen the 2018 award-winning Spanish film on which “Champions” is based (myself included), but this English-language remake from director Bobby Farrelly is pretty much what you’d expect just from reading the logline. Though “Champions” certainly means well, it’s an incredibly predictable and corny underdog sports movie that follows all the usual beats and even comes across as a tad patronizing. Fortunately, Woody Harrelson delivers a solid performance in the lead role, while the intellectually disabled actors who play the members of his ragtag basketball team inject some much-needed personality into the proceedings. In the end, that’s just enough to help “Champions” rise above its generic script, even if it doesn’t live long in the memory.
Extras include an audio commentary by Farrelly, a trio of behind-the-scenes featurettes and some deleted scenes. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
Also Out This Week:
“Deep Impact” — Released in May of 1998 just a few months before “Armageddon” (another disaster film about a planet-crushing object hurtling through space towards Earth), “Deep Impact” may have won the race to theaters, but it’s easily the lesser film. Though the movie is packed with talent, including Robert Duvall, Morgan Freeman, Téa Leoni, Vanessa Redgrave and Elijah Wood, it’s not terribly exciting, choosing a more mediative approach to its world-ending scenario than the bombastic action of “Armageddon.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as most disaster movies tend to focus more on the VFX-driven destruction, but director Mimi Leder’s film strikes such a somber tone that it fails to engage in the ways that it should. Extras include an audio commentary by Leder and visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at making the movie. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
“80 for Brady” — This geriatric comedy starring four of Hollywood’s most talented veteran actresses – Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sally Field and Rita Moreno — isn’t nearly as bad as you might expect, but it’s still an incredibly forgettable experience that fails to make the most of its cast’s abilities. Though the film was inspired by a real group of Tom Brady superfans who dubbed themselves the Over 80 for Brady club, that’s where the similarities end. The group’s trip to Super Bowl LI is pure fiction, comprised of a bunch of lame, undercooked set pieces designed to earn laughs that never come. “80 for Brady” deserves kudos for avoiding the easy old-people jokes and treating its characters like real human beings, but it lacks any real depth or personality. Extras include a making-of featurette, deleted scenes and more. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
Disclosure: Bullz-Eye was provided a copy of the above titles for review purposes.
Tags: 80 for Brady, Blu Tuesday, Champions, Deep Impact, new Blu-rays