Blu Tuesday: “The Mandalorian” and More


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 Mandalorian: The Complete First Season” / “The Mandalorian: The Complete Second Season”

The idea of a live-action “Star Wars” TV show has been brewing since George Lucas was still in charge, but there was no guarantee that “The Mandalorian” would be a success, as many questioned whether the franchise would be able to make the jump to the small screen without sacrificing what audiences love so much about it. However, with longtime fan Jon Favreau and Lucas apprentice Dave Filoni behind the wheel, “The Mandalorian” quickly proved that “Star Wars” could not only exist on the small screen but thrive on it, delivering a series that combines all the best qualities of the franchise while also improving upon it in many ways. Featuring top-notch writing and direction, as well as plenty of fan service that ties into the existing “Star Wars” mythology without being a slave to it, “The Mandalorian” is one of the best things to come out of the property since the original trilogy. The fact that the first two seasons are finally being released on physical disc (and in gorgeous SteelBook packaging, no less) after many believed that it would remain exclusive to Disney+ is the icing on the cake, as it only helps to ensure that the series will live on for decades to come.

Extras include a pair of behind-the-scenes featurettes for each season. FINAL VERDICT: BUY

Also Out This Week:

Dumb Money” — It’s hard to imagine that anyone will still be talking about the GameStop short squeeze in 10 years, but for a small period during late 2020/early 2021, it was one of the biggest stories on the internet, so it’s not surprising that Hollywood would want to capitalize on the incredible David vs. Goliath tale about a group of retail investors who banded together to take on Wall Street. Though the actual events are a lot more engaging (and enraging) than the film version, director Craig Gillespie does a good job of balancing several different perspectives without losing sight of its underlying message, thanks in part to a strong ensemble cast that includes Paul Dano, Shailene Woodley and America Ferrara. “Dumb Money” isn’t as memorable as similar movies like “The Big Short” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” but it’s a perfectly entertaining financial drama that captures the insanity of the GameStop stock rush about as well as you could expect. Extras include an audio commentary by writers/producers Lauren Schuker Blum and Rebecca Angelo, as well as a trio of featurettes and some deleted scenes. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem” — The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may not be as popular as they once were, but that hasn’t stopped Paramount from trying to kickstart a new movie franchise every few years — first with the 2007 animated film, “TMNT,” and more recently with the Michael Bay-produced live-action movies. “Mutant Mayhem” is the latest attempt at recapturing the Turtles’ former glory, and though it’s not without its issues (particularly regarding some story decisions that could present a problem for future sequels), it’s a largely enjoyable animated film that was clearly made by people who are fans of the property. The unique art style is a perfect fit for the movie’s overall tone, while the decision to cast actual teenagers to voice the four Turtles is a masterstroke thanks to the energy and authenticity that they bring to the film. “Mutant Mayhem” still falls short of the 1990 original in many ways, but it’s a solid first entry with plenty of room to grow. Extras include a behind-the-scenes look at making the film and more. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

The Creator” — It’s been seven years since the release of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and it’s hard to believe that director Gareth Edwards hasn’t made anything else in that time. What isn’t surprising is that he’s returned to the comforts of science fiction for his latest feature, as he really seems to excel in the genre. Unfortunately, “The Creator” is one of those films that I wanted to like a lot more than I actually did. The movie contains some interesting ideas and gorgeous visuals, but they never quite coalesce into something memorable. It doesn’t help that John David Washington isn’t a very compelling lead, and his monotone performance is drowned out by everything else around him. Still, while “The Creator” is undoubtedly a flawed film, there’s enough good here to ensure it’s not a total wash. Extras include a making-of featurette. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

Five Nights at Freddy’s” — Based on the cult video game series of the same name, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is a rather dull and watered-down horror film that tries so hard to be for everybody that it ends up being for nobody at all. The scares are mild at best, especially for a Blumhouse production, while the plot is so convoluted that you can practically see the writers (including game creator Scott Cawthorn) struggling to make it all make sense. It’s not even a horror movie so much as it is a film about dealing with trauma, and while that could have made for an interesting story, the writing and performances fall flat. Though the animatronic puppets made by the Jim Henson Creature Shop are admittedly really cool, that’s where the positives end, as “Five Nights at Freddy’s” is a lifeless dud that fails to justify why the property is such a pop culture phenomenon. Extras include a behind-the-scenes look at making the movie. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP

Long Arm of the Law: Parts I & II” — The “Long Arm of the Law” series may not be as well-known as some of the films that it helped inspire, but the first two movies, in particular, serve as an interesting prelude to the Hong Kong crime film explosion of the ‘80s and ‘90s. Though the two movies — directed by brothers Johnny and Michael Mak, respectively — share the same title, they are only thematically connected, with no recurring characters or plot points. Both films have their pros and cons, but “Part II” is just slightly better thanks to the fact that it’s a little more polished and contains better acting and stunts. It’s a bit strange that the third installment wasn’t included as well since it stars Hong Kong screen legend Andy Lau, but perhaps 88 Films is saving that one for a future release. Extras include an audio commentary by film historian Frank Djeng on the Hong Kong Cut of both movies, as well as interviews with director Michael Mak, writer Philip Chan, co-star Ben Lam and more. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

Disclosure: Bullz-Eye was provided a copy of the above titles for review purposes.


About Author

In addition to writing for, Jason is a proud member of the Columbus Film Critics Association (COFCA) and the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS).