Blu Tuesday: “Wonka” and More


Timothée Chalamet in "Wonka"

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: “Wonka”

An origin story about Willy Wonka may have sounded like a horrible idea when it was first announced, but Paul King’s musical comedy is a charming delight that, much like his “Paddington” films, wears its earnestness on its sleeve. Timothée Chalamet is an inspired choice to play the iconic chocolatier, delivering a winning performance that’s bursting with joy and whimsy, while Hugh Grant is also great in an amusing but brief turn as an Oompa Loompa. Though the film doesn’t quite work as a straight prequel to the 1971 original starring Gene Wilder, there are plenty of fun Easter eggs planted throughout, as well as some incredible production design and wholly infectious songs. “Wonka” is one of the few movie musicals that feels like it was tailor-made for the theater, and while a stage adaptation seems almost guaranteed on the back of its box office success, “Wonka” is first and foremost an enjoyable family film that serves as a fitting complement to Roald Dahl’s original creation.

Extras include a behind-the-scenes look at making the film. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

Also Out This Week:

Contagion” — Watching Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 thriller about a deadly global pandemic hits differently after living through one yourself — not just because of what the movie gets wrong (why aren’t more people wearing masks?) but also how much it gets right. Though it’s a bit surprising that Warner Bros. waited so long to release “Contagion” on 4K when there was an opportunity to capitalize on the real-life parallels to COVID-19 sooner, creating some distance from the actual event allows the movie to shine on its own merits. While “Contagion” is not among Soderbergh’s best films, it’s a solid thriller that isn’t afraid to knock off an Oscar winner or two for the sake of telling a more realistic (and thus more affecting) story. Extras include a pair of legacy featurettes on the real-life implications of a pandemic and the film’s accuracy in depicting such an event. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

Next Goal Wins” — Following the disappointment of “Thor: Love and Thunder,” writer/director Taika Waititi was lucky to have another film already in the pipeline that would potentially help wash away the bad taste of the Marvel sequel and put him back in the good graces of moviegoers. Unfortunately, “Next Goal Wins” is only somewhat successful in that regard, and certainly not to the extent that Waititi would have hoped, as it’s clearly a much more personal project compared to his superhero fare. Based on the true story of the American Samoa soccer team, which was also the subject of a 2014 documentary of the same name, “Next Goal Wins” may not find Waititi back to his best, but it’s a cute if unremarkable underdog sports film that’s biggest mistake is playing things a little too safe. Extras include a making-of featurette and a deleted scene. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

Migration” — Though Illumination has found great success with its “Despicable Me” franchise (both the core movies and the Minions-led spinoffs), the studio’s other animated offerings have been pretty forgettable, save for last year’s “Super Mario Bros.,” which was fueled almost entirely by nostalgia. It should come as no surprise, then, that “Migration” is an equally unmemorable animated film about a family of mallards that embarks on a journey south for the winter. (Think “National Lampoon’s Vacation” but with ducks.) While the movie contains some funny talent among the voice cast, “Migration” is an incredibly tepid affair that doesn’t seem to have a single original bone in its body. It’s certainly not the worst animated movie out there, but a studio like Illumination should be striving for something much better than this. Extras include a behind-the-scenes look at making the film, a new animated short starring Awkwafina’s pigeon character and two additional shorts featuring the Minions. FINAL VERDICT: SKIP

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).