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: “The Exorcist”
William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist” might be one of the most overrated movies of the past 50 years. It’s hard to believe that the film was nominated for Best Picture (in addition to nine other categories) at the 1974 Academy Awards because it’s an incredibly dull supernatural drama — calling this a horror movie would be an insult to the genre, as it’s not even remotely scary — that takes forever to get going. The film slowly builds toward the climactic exorcism sequence that has been mimicked and parodied countless times, and though it’s a pretty captivating sequence that contains some of the movie’s best moments, it’s not enough to forgive the largely uneventful 90 minutes that precede it. “The Exorcist” isn’t a bad film by any means, but it’s hardly worthy of the reputation that it’s garnered throughout the years.
Extras include a pair of audio commentaries by Friedkin (one on the extended director’s cut and another on the theatrical cut), as well as a separate commentary by writer/producer William Peter Blatty on the theatrical cut. Sadly, the rest of the previously released bonus material, including the BBC documentary “The Fear of God,” are relegated to the digital version. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
Also Out This Week:
“The Little Mermaid” — It was only a matter of time before “The Little Mermaid” received the live-action treatment, but like most of Disney’s other live-action remakes, it’s a rather pedestrian affair that pales in comparison to its predecessor. The new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken are largely forgettable; the expanded character arc for Prince Eric does little to improve the story in any way; and Melissa McCarthy and Javier Bardem are both pretty terrible as Ursula and King Triton, respectively. The only consistently good thing about the film is Halle Bailey, who not only has a fantastic voice but exudes a sense of wonder and curiosity as Ariel that makes it hard not to be charmed by her presence. It’s just a shame that the rest of the movie doesn’t live up to her performance. Extras include a making-of featurette, song breakdowns, a blooper reel and more. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
“What’s Love Got to Do With It?” — This British rom-com from director Shekhar Kapur is a strange departure for a filmmaker best known for period dramas like “Elizabeth,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and “The Four Feathers,” and it definitely shows, as the movie is lacking in many of the typical genre trappings. Though it’s obvious what’s going to happen from the opening minutes (especially for anyone who’s ever seen “My Best Friend’s Wedding”), “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” fails to make a compelling case for its main characters to get together, especially as they don’t seem to have any real chemistry. Though Lily James is a lovely actress whose presence always lights up the screen, she’s hampered by a poor script that is devoid of both comedy and romance, rendering this supposed rom-com completely ineffective. Extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette. . FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
Disclosure: Bullz-Eye was provided a copy of the above titles for review purposes.