Blu Tuesday: “Monkey Man” and More


Dev Patel in "Monkey Man"

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: “Monkey Man”

Dev Patel has crafted a respectable career over the past 15 years with roles in a number of critically acclaimed and Oscar-nominated films, but the actor gets to show a whole new side of himself in this action-thriller that also doubles as his directorial debut. “Monkey Man” is your typical revenge flick in a lot of ways, but it also has much more to say with its political subtext — a fact that both helps and hurts the movie. The headier moments certainly make the film a richer overall experience, but they come at the expense of the action, which is brutal and well-choreographed but not as frequent as you might expect. Though it doesn’t quite rise to the level of the “John Wick” series as a result, “Monkey Man” is still an enjoyable watch thanks to a solid performance by Patel and some interesting work behind the camera.

Extras include an audio commentary by Patel and producers Jomon Thomas, Sam Sahni and Raghuvir Joshi, as well as some production featurettes and deleted scenes. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

Also Out This Week:

“Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire” — The “Ghostbusters” franchise has never really operated at the level that it probably should, but it’s nice to finally be getting more stories told in this universe, even if they’re as mediocre as “Frozen Empire.” Though it’s a small step backward from 2021’s “Afterlife,” “Frozen Empire” follows in the footsteps of that movie by successfully integrating the original cast with the new members to expand the universe in exciting ways, all while respecting what came before. In typical sequel fashion, “Frozen Empire” boasts new gadgets, new faces and, most importantly, a new villain that actually feels threatening. However, it’s McKenna Grace and Paul Rudd who are once again the standouts, though Dan Aykroyd also turns in a good performance as the returning Ray Stantz. Though “Frozen Empire” bites off a little more than it can chew with its various characters and subplots, it’s a perfectly entertaining installment that confirms there’s still plenty of life left in the aging franchise. Extras include an audio commentary by director/co-writer Gil Kenan, a making-of featurette and more. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

“The Boys in the Boat” — Based on the New York Times bestselling book by Daniel James Brown, “The Boys in the Boat” tells the incredible true story of the 1936 University of Washington rowing team, whose members battled adversity on and off the water to earn their chance to compete at the Summer Olympics in Berlin. Though the movie doesn’t stray too far from the typical underdog sports drama formula, it does a serviceable job of telling its tale. Director George Clooney provides a steady hand behind the camera, even if the third-act appearance of Adolf Hitler borders on caricature, while stars Joel Edgerton and Callum Turner deliver strong work in their respective roles. “The Boys in the Boat” is the definition of by-the-numbers filmmaking, yet despite its shortcomings, it succeeds as the kind of wholesome, old-fashioned crowd-pleaser that epitomizes the genre. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

“South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” (4K) — “South Park” has become such a large part of the pop cultural landscape during its 25-plus years on the air that many people likely forget just how controversial the show used to be — a sentiment that creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone leaned into for 1999’s “Bigger, Longer & Uncut.” The film not only ramps up the vulgar language and crude humor but directly addresses the controversy surrounding the show with its satirical commentary on censorship and freedom of speech. Though “Bigger, Longer & Uncut” isn’t as funny or irreverent as when it was first released — many of the jokes are pretty dated at this point — it’s still a fairly effective musical comedy that serves as a time capsule for a very specific moment in history. Extras includes an audio commentary by Parker and Stone, a sing-along version of the film and a music video. FINAL VERDICT: RENT

“Purple Rain” (4K) — It’s hard to believe that this 1984 musical drama starring Prince (in his feature film debut) is considered a cult classic because it’s one of the corniest, campiest films to come out of the decade, which is saying something. The whole thing plays like a trashy B-movie, and although the acting is terrible across the board, Prince is especially bad as a fictionalized version of himself. The movie’s only saving grace are the musical sequences, which include hits like “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry” and the titular “Purple Rain.” But for as good as the soundtrack may be, it’s not enough to prop up an otherwise awful experience, even if it’s basically just a glorified concert film with a bunch of well-shot musical performances strung together by a lazy narrative. Extras include an audio commentary by director Albert Magnoli, producer Robert Cavallo and cinematographer Donald E. Thorin, as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette and eight music video. 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).