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: “Succession: The Complete Series”
HBO’s “Succession” isn’t just one of the network’s best shows of all time — it’s arguably one of the best television dramas period. Everything about “Succession” is top-notch, from the acting to the writing to the direction to Nicholas Britell’s incredible score and more. They all work in unison to create a very specific tone and mood that courses throughout the show’s wildly entertaining four-season run. With that said, it’s hard to look past the extraordianry performances on display, and though they’re all fantastic in their own right, Sarah Snook’s career-making turn as Siobhan Roy is one for the ages. “Succession” really is that good, which makes the decision to only release this Complete Series set on DVD — and in the most lackluster way possible — all the more upsetting. Warner Bros. really screwed the pooch on this one, betraying physical media collectors in the process.
Extras include the previously released “Inside the Episode” featurettes, character recaps, some cast and crew interviews, and more. FINAL VERDICT: BUY
Also Out This Week:
“Air” — After experiencing his first directorial failure with 2016’s “Live by Night” (a movie that isn’t as bad as its reputation suggests), Ben Affleck was probably wise to step away from the camera for a while before mounting his next project. Though it took a little longer than many expected, it’s so good to see Affleck back at it again with this simple yet highly entertaining drama about the true story of Nike’s efforts to sign Michael Jordan to a sneaker contract. Powered by a great script from first-time writer Alex Convery and a fantastic ensemble cast led by Matt Damon and Viola Davis, “Air” doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, but it’s a breezy and fun underdog sports movie (think “Moneyball” for sneakerheads) that epitomizes comfort cinema. FINAL VERDICT: BUY
“Joy Ride” — Adele Lim’s directorial debut isn’t quite the laugh-out-loud comedy that audiences were raving about following its premiere at this year’s SXSW, but then again, I’m not exactly the target audience. Though the script (by “Family Guy” writers Cherry Chevapravatdumrong and Teresa Hsiao) contains some funny moments, it also tries a little too hard to be edgy and outrageous. That proves to be its downfall, as the more grounded, character-based stuff is more successful in garnering laughs, thanks in large part to the excellent chemistry among its leading ladies. Stephanie Hsu is probably the biggest name thanks to her role in last year’s Oscar-winning film, “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” but the four actresses balance each other out remarkably well and in the process prevent “Joy Ride” from stalling out. Extras include a making-of featurette, a deleted scene and more. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
“The Postman Fights Back” — Four years before “A Better Tomorrow” launched him into superstardom, Chow Yun-Fat appeared in a supporting role in this 1982 historical drama from director Ronny Yu. Though he doesn’t have a ton of screen time, it’s clear that Chow was bound for bigger and better things, as he’s easily the best part about the film — not that he has much competition. None of the characters are very interesting, the story is a complete mess, and the pacing is so bad that 90 minutes feels like three hours. While “The Postman Fights Back” does contain a couple of decent fight sequences, particularly the climactic battle between Leung Kar-Yan and Eddy Ko, it’s not enough to save this otherwise dull flick. Extras include a pair of audio commentaries (one by Yu and film historian Frank Djeng on the Hong Kong Cut, and another by film historian Stephan Hammond on the Export Cut), as well as cast and crew interviews. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
Disclosure: Bullz-Eye was provided a copy of the above titles for review purposes.