SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — This week lacks a digital tentpole, but its physical releases are incredibly strong as "Soul" and "News of the World" headline the new titles and Paramount's "10 Best Pictures" and The Criterion Collection's Wong Kar Wai sets lead the catalog class.
- Soul -Pixar's celebrated "Soul" is a love note to jazz music and a body-switch comedy with a heartfelt message featuring a celestial score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross with Jon Batiste providing the jazz variations. It sounds like a bad chemistry experiment but the results are spectacular. (Full Review)
- The Bloodhound - A modern revisiting of Edgar Allen Poe's "The Fall of the House of Usher." Recommended to those who love arthouse horror.
- Breaking News in Yuba County - Allison Janney stars in this black comedy about a woman who looks to be something of a celebrity when her husband disappears. He's not exactly missing. He's certainly not coming back.
- Cosmoball - This Russian release is based on the French animated series "Galactik Football" and sees humans facing off against aliens in a post-apocalyptic future. Essentially the fate of humanity will be determined on the results of one Cosmoball match (a hyper-charged football match). There's actually a lot more going on but the story gets lost in translation. It's big, loud, visually bombastic and the English dub is ridiculously bad.
- News of the World - Tom Hanks reteams with director Paul Greengrass ("Captain Phillips") for this post-Civil War western that sees Captain Kidd (Hanks) traveling from town to town reading the headlines from the local papers. On his way he becomes the guardian to a young blonde-haired girl (the fantastic Helena Zengel) who was kidnapped by Kiowa people years before. Highly recommended. (Full Review)
- The Undoing - HBO's "The Undoing" reteams showrunner David E. Kelley ("Little Big Lies") with Nichole Kidman in this psychological thriller based on the novel "You Should Have Known" by Jean Hanff Korelitz. The series sees a seemingly happy couple (Kidman and Hugh Grant) unravel when an acquaintance from their son's school is found dead. "The Undoing" was the most-watched show on HBO in 2020.
- 10 Best Pictures: The Essential Collection - This fantastic collection includes Oscar Best Picture winners "Titanic," "Forrest Gump," "No Country for Old Men," "Terms of Endearment," "The Godfather," "Gladiator," "The English Patient," "American Beauty," "My Fair Lady" and "Wings." It's an eclectic mix of celebrated films from the last 100 years.
- World of Wong Kar Wai - Wong Kar Wai is one of the world's most beloved directors . That might sound like hyperbole. It's not. His films, few and far between, are gorgeous tales full of longing and unattained desire. This set includes seven of his ten major releases: "As Tears Go By," "Days of Being Wild," "Chungking Express," "Fallen Angels," "Happy Together," "In the Mood for Love" and "2046." All the films have been given 4K digital restorations supervised by the director. They've even included an alternate version of "Days of Being Wild." I hope to have a Wong Kar Wai marathon in the near future. The only drawback is that the set isn't in 4K. Criterion has yet to make the leap to 4K releases.
- Gattaca - Released in 1997, "Gattaca" offered a look into a future where scientists are able to genetically engineer a more perfect human being. This leaves those with "natural births" at a great disadvantage regardless of their talents. Vincent Freeman (Ethan Hawke) is a brilliant young man who is forced to buy the identity of a former athlete (Jude Law) to pursue his dreams of becoming an astronaut. Previously released on Blu-ray in 2008, this new 4K release is a radical upgrade that excels in detail and color. It's simply a beautiful film that belongs in every Sci-Fi collection.
- Event Horizon - I've never actually watched "Event Horizon" as director Paul W.S. Anderson intended. Few have. And this release, unfortunately, doesn't include the fabled 130 minute version of the film. Not for a lack of effort of Shout! Factory's part. Still, what we do get is a strange and violent sci-fi film that, even in its truncated 96-minute version, is more unique than it was initially given credit for. It's Anderson's most interesting film to date. The film takes the madness of "The Shining" and fuses it with the violence of "Hellraiser."
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - I don't know how this 4K edition of the extended version of Zack Snyder's film differs from the original 4K release. I do know that the "Ultimate Edition" cut is better than the theatrical cut.
- Godzilla -With "Godzilla vs Kong" about to hit theaters, 2014's "Godzilla" has finally made its way to 4K. I haven't had the chance to view the 4K upgrade for myself.