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: “Ride On”
Larry Yang’s “Ride On” would have been a fitting conclusion to Jackie Chan’s acting career, as it’s a semi-autobiographical movie of sorts (even using clips from Chan’s old films) about an aging stuntman nearing the end of his career. Though Chan hasn’t shown any sign of calling it quits just yet, the movie is nonetheless a heartfelt love letter to stuntmen in general that benefits from having someone of Chan’s caliber leading the film. The actor obviously has a ton of history working with stuntmen as well as putting his own body on the line, and he delivers one of his best performances to date in a role that feels uniquely personal. “Ride On” is not without its faults, including some pacing issues in the back half that start to make it drag, but it’s a mostly sweet movie that longtime Jackie Chan fans will enjoy. Extras include some behind-the-scenes featurettes. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
Also Out This Week:
“Meg 2: The Trench” — 2018’s “The Meg” was one of the surprise hits of that year, pulling in over $500 million worldwide — a third of which was made in China alone. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, however, as the movie was a U.S.-Chinese coproduction that featured Chinese movie star Li Bingbing in a prominent role. The sequel continues that partnership between Warner Bros. and Shanghai-based production company CMC Pictures, this time teaming up Jason Statham with Chinese movie star Wu Jing for another shark-infested action film that’s every bit as disappointing as its predecessor. Not only is there a startling lack of giant shark action in the first 90 minutes, but it’s a self-serious slog that seems to forget what kind of movie it’s supposed to be. Director Ben Wheatley (who has apparently resorted to mercenary work at this point in his career) ratchets up the fun factor in the final 30 minutes, attaining the level of campiness that a title such as this requires, but it’s far too little, too late. Extras include a making-of featurette and an in-depth look at the film’s new creatures. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP
“Paramount Scares Collection: Volume One” — Movie collectors love a good box set, but while the idea behind the Paramount Scares Collection is great in theory, the inaugural edition — which contains “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968), “Pet Sematary” (1989), “Crawl” (2019), “Smile” (2022) and mystery title “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (2007) — is a bit of a letdown. There doesn’t seem to be any general theme among the included movies other than the fact that they were all released under the Paramount banner, and though the idea of making one of those titles a mystery is cool, the title chosen for this release (the Tim Burton-directed musical “Sweeney Todd,” making its 4K debut) has no business being part of a horror collection. The decision to package each movie in its own case is certainly appreciated from a collector standpoint, and the special issue of Fangoria is a nice touch, but for a box set that’s geared toward a very specific audience, it has limited appeal. FINAL VERDICT: RENT
Disclosure: Bullz-Eye was provided a copy of the above titles for review purposes.