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: “Hackers”
Everyone has at least a few guilty pleasures in their movie collection, and one of my all-time favorites is Iain Softley’s 1995 cult classic “Hackers.” Like a lot of movies from the ‘90s, this cyberpunk thriller feels incredibly dated and even cheesier than when it was first released. Of course, that’s all part of the film’s charm because despite how silly it may be at times, “Hackers” is still entertaining in a fun B-movie sort of way. It certainly helps that the cast has such great chemistry — particularly Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie, who have since gone on to bigger and better things — as it makes some of the ridiculous costumes and dialogue easier to swallow. Nevertheless, for a movie that never really pierced the cultural consciousness, “Hackers” has become a generation-defining film in more ways than one.
Shout! Factory’s new 4K release (including a cool SteelBook version) provides a nice visual upgrade over the 20th anniversary Blu-ray, making it difficult to pass up for longtime fans. Extras include an hour-long retrospective featuring interviews with Softley, actors Matthew Lillard, Fisher Stevens and Penn Jillette, costume designer Roger Burton, visual effects artist Peter Chiang and more. FINAL VERDICT: BUY
Also Out This Week:
“The Blackening” — Based on the 2018 short film of the same name, this horror comedy from director Tim Story has the unenviable distinction of being neither scary nor particularly funny. It’s an incredibly bland and lazy genre hybrid that fails to skewer the horror genre in any meaningful way (especially in its subversion of certain racial stereotypes), eventually falling into the very tropes that it’s meant to be poking fun at. The movie’s big twist is also painfully obvious from the get-go, while the cast contains some of the dumbest, most annoying horror characters in recent memory. Though “The Blackening” earns a few chuckles along the way, it’s a largely ineffective parody that feels like a wasted opportunity. Extras include an audio commentary by Story, co-writer/actor Dewayne Perkins and co-writer Tracy Oliver, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at making the movie, a deleted scene and some outtakes. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
Disclosure: Bullz-Eye was provided a copy of the above titles for review purposes.