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 Boogeyman”
Hollywood loves a good Stephen King yarn, so it was only a matter of time until someone adapted the author’s 1973 short story, “The Boogeyman,” for the big screen, even if it took a bit longer than expected. As a result, the movie ends up feeling like a retread of other horror films that were likely inspired by King’s own work, including “The Babadook” and “Lights Out,” particularly in the way that they deal with grief and loss — a recurring theme in many of King’s tales. Those are the moments that also ring the truest in “The Boogeyman” thanks to some strong performances from its three leads. Where the movie ultimately fails, strangely enough, is in the horror itself because while director Rob Savage does a good job of building tension through the use of shadows and dark spaces, and the creature design is pretty gnarly for a PG-13 film, “The Boogeyman” is unable to turn its creepy premise into something truly scary.
Extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette and some outtakes. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
Also Out This Week:
“Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” — Any Transformers movie that casts Pete Davidson as the voice of a wise-cracking Autobot is already fighting an uphill battle, but “Rise of the Beasts” doesn’t do itself any favors with its lazy script, either. As a result, the film stumbles through yet another dull and uninspired end-of-the-world storyline that, despite the new creative team, feels like every other installment of the franchise. It doesn’t help that it’s never made clear whether “Rise of the Beasts” is a prequel to the Michael Bay movies, a sequel to 2018’s “Bumblebee” or an entirely new reboot, which only amplifies the film’s lack of identity. Though there’s no shortage of talent among the cast (both in front of the camera and in voice roles), there’s not much they can do to prevent the movie from falling into the same traps as the previous installments. Extras include a behind-the-scenes look at making the film, as well as some deleted scenes. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
“Strays” — The idea of a raunchy, R-rated version of “Homeward Bound” may sound like a funny premise on paper, but in reality, it’s the type of concept best reserved for a Funny or Die sketch. It should come as no surprise, then, that “Strays” is the brainchild of Funny or Die veterans Josh Greenbaum and Dan Perrault, who have embraced their inner 12-year-olds to create this incredibly juvenile comedy about a group of stray dogs who team up to help their new friend Reggie get back home. The main voice talent (Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Isla Fisher and Randal Park) are well-suited to their roles, and Will Forte is inspired casting as Reggie’s deadbeat owner, but while there are a few smirks and chuckles scattered throughout, it’s a largely humorless affair that begs the question, “Who exactly is this movie for?” Extras include an audio commentary by Greenbaum and Perrault, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at making the film. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
“The Final Blood” — Wong Jing is one of the most prolific filmmakers in Hong Kong cinema, racking up more than 100 directing credits over the past four decades. As such, it’s only natural that they wouldn’t all be winners, and though “The Last Blood” is far from his worst movie, it’s not exactly great either. The film’s biggest issue is that it’s tonally all over the place — one minute, a child is horrifically gunned down; the next minute, Eric Tsang’s character is making jokes about AIDS. You wouldn’t expect anything less from a provocateur like Wong Jing, but while “The Last Blood” is a noble attempt at putting his own spin on the heroic bloodshed genre, it never comes together in a satisfying way. Despite these shortcomings, “The Last Blood” offers enough enjoyment from its outlandish action sequences to ensure it’s not a complete wash. Extras include an audio commentary by film historian Frank Djeng. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
Disclosure: Bullz-Eye was provided a copy of the above titles for review purposes.