Even though most eyes are on the upcoming Avenger: Infinity Wars debut in theaters, there’s actually some great movies making their way to Blu-ray this week. Whether you’re into the latest family affair, some goofy horror, or some perfectly cheesy comedy, this week’s home releases have you covered. There’s plenty to choose from this week, but here are GeekDad’s top four picks:
I’ll be honest, when I went to see the first Paddington movie, I went in with very low expectations since I really had no connection to the famous children’s story, but I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed it. Despite my warm reaction to the first movie, when my children wanted to go see part II in theaters, I was not looking forward to it. How could the 2nd movie hold a candle to the original? Boy, was I wrong.
Paddington 2 is the ultra-rare exception where the sequel actually surpasses the original (Terminator 2, Empire Strikes Back). Despite what sounds like an outlandish plot (Paddington is in search of a birthday present for his Aunt’s 100th birthday, but he is instead imprisoned for theft. Now the Browns must try and find the real thief), Paddington 2 is filled with fun, whimsy, action, and tons of heart. A beautiful film whose visual style will appeal to Wes Anderson fans, the movie turns out great performances from Shape of Water‘s Sally Hawkings and newcomer to the series, Hugh Grant. If you want to watch a movie that the whole family can enjoy, this is it.
Admittedly, we’re taking a pretty long jump from talking about Paddington 2 to 1983’s Doctor Detroit, but stay with me. Even though I’ve seen my fair share of comedy in the ’80s, somehow Doctor Detroit escaped me all these years. When I saw a movie starring Dan Aykroyd as a mild-mannered college professor posing as a pimp was getting its own Shout Select release from Shout! Factory, I knew I had to check it out. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I certainly wasn’t expecting what I saw.
— Preston Burt | Wear A Mask | BLM! (@squaredstiff) April 12, 2018
While certainly not for kids, for an R-rated release about a prostitution ring, it is surprisingly tame and almost endearing. It’s level of absurdity is something only Hollywood could cook up and only the ’80s could embrace. There are definitely some cringe-worthy moments in this one, especially looking through the lens of an enlightened 2018 audience, but with the always delightful Dan Aykroyd along with Howard Hessman, Bo Diddley, James Brown (!), Fran Drescher, and Donna Dixon (who Aykroyd would meet on this film and eventually marry), it’s a light-hearted flick that’s bound to bring you intentional and unintentional laughs. Special features include interviews and audio commentary with the director, “Radio-Free Detroit” press kit, along with trailers, photo gallery, and more.
Moving even farther away from Paddington 2, depending on who you ask, Killer Klowns From Outer Space is the stuff either dreams or nightmares are made of. A late-night and HBO staple, Killer Klowns appeals to fans of campy horror, creature effects, and more. Whether you’ve seen it or not, then the Arrow Video Blu-ray release is a perfect place to dive into the madness.
With a title that succinctly describes the plot of the movie, Killer Klowns From Outer Space is a true cult classic. Directed by the Chiodo brothers of Critters and Team America: World Police fame, the movie is schlocky camp-fest that only gets better with repeat viewings. Although the movie has had previous releases on DVD, the Arrow Video Blu-ray release is the stuff fans of the film have been waiting for, and what you would expect for a special edition release. The jam-packed special features include multiple interviews, documentaries, featurettes, deleted scenes, bloopers, and the much-anticipated 4K restoration from the film negative.
With Jean-Claude Van Damme enjoying a resurgence with the Amazon Prime original series Jean-Claude Van Johnson, it’s important to remember his roots. Director Albert Pyun famously created Cyborg to salvage the failed productions of both Master of the Universe 2 and Marvel’s Spider Man, and it is quintessential part of Cannon Film’s official canon. The sci-fi movie’s plot is almost second to the JCVD action, but here you go:
Deteriorating from a deadly plague, 21st-Century America is descending into a barbaric nightmare. Only Pearl Prophet, a beautiful half human/half cyborg, has the knowledge necessary to develop a vaccine. But during her quest to gather data and bring the cure to the world, Pearl is captured by cannibalistic Flesh Pirates who plot to keep the antidote for themselves and rule the world. Now, only saber-wielding hero Gibson Rickenbacker (Van Damme) can rescue her and save civilization.
For me, although the Scream Factory Blu-ray release includes some great special features including interviews with the cast and visual effects artist, the real appeal is also it’s most basic. Having only ever seen this movie on blown-out VHS tapes, the 4K scan from the original film is absolutely stunning and adds a whole new dimension to the enjoyment of Cyborg. For a high-quality, features-packed Cannon movie currently available for less than $20, you can’t go wrong.
Disclaimer: I received copies of Cyborg, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, and Doctor Detroit for review. All opinions are my own.