July 23rd is playing host to an excellent variety of home media releases for films both new and old. In terms of recent titles, Alita: Battle Angel, Hellboy (2019), and Critters Attack! are all hitting a variety of formats this Tuesday, and for those of you who grew up during the heyday of John Hughes, Arrow Video’s special edition release of Weird Science looks to be yet another home run collection from the distributor.
Criterion is showing some love to Michael Radford’s 1984 adaptation this week (which unfortunately feels super timely these days), Scream Factory has put together another Universal Horror Collection box set, and if you happen to dig psychological thrillers from the ’90s, Pacific Heights hits Blu-ray on Tuesday as well.
Other Blu-ray and DVD releases for July 23rd include Master Z: Ip Man Legacy, Assimilate and Rock, Paper, Scissors.
1984: The Criterion Collection (Criterion, Blu-ray & DVD)
This masterly adaptation of George Orwell’s chilling parable about totalitarian oppression gives harrowing cinematic expression to the book’s bleak prophetic vision. In a rubble-strewn surveillance state where an endless overseas war props up the repressive regime of the all-seeing Big Brother, and all dissent is promptly squashed, a profoundly alienated citizen, Winston Smith (thrillingly played by John Hurt), risks everything for an illicit affair with the rebellious Julia (Suzanna Hamilton) in a defiant assertion of humanity in the face of soul-crushing conformity. Through vividly grim production design and expressionistically desaturated cinematography by Roger Deakins, Michael Radford’s 1984 conjures a dystopian vision of postwar Britain as fascistic nightmare—a world all too recognizable as our own.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by cinematographer Roger Deakins, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack • New interviews with director Michael Radford and cinematographer Roger Deakins • New interview with David Ryan, author of George Orwell on Screen • Behind-the-scenes footage • Trailer • PLUS: An essay by writer and performer A. L. Kennedy
Alita: Battle Angel (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 4K Ultra HD/Blu Combo, Blu/DVD & DVD)
From visionary filmmakers James Cameron and Robert Rodriguez comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by a compassionate doctor (Christoph Waltz) who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past.
Critters Attack! (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Blu/DVD Combo & DVD)
In this continuation of the beloved 80s film series, a young townie must protect the kids she’s babysitting from an invasion of Crites - tiny, insatiable, carnivorous aliens - who’ve returned to capture a runaway royal of the species. Who will survive? And who will be eaten?
Hellboy (2019) (Lionsgate, 4K Ultra HD/Blu Combo, Blu/DVD Combo & DVD)
Hellboy is back, and he's on fire. From the pages of Mike Mignola's seminal work, this action packed story sees the legendary half-demon superhero (David Harbour, "Stranger Things") called to the English countryside to battle a trio of rampaging giants.
There he discovers The Blood Queen, Nimue (Milla Jovovich, Resident Evil series), a resurrected ancient sorceress thirsting to avenge a past betrayal. Suddenly caught in a clash between the supernatural and the human, Hellboy is now hell-bent on stopping Nimue without triggering the end of the world. Hellboy also features Ian McShane (John Wick), Daniel Dae Kim ("Hawaii Five-0" and "Lost"), and Sasha Lane (American Honey).
Universal Horror Collection: Volume 2 (Scream Factory, Blu-ray)
A collection of mad doctors and murderous fiends want to go home with you… Universal Horror Collection Volume 2 is coming to Blu-ray on July 23 from Scream Factory. The collection is loaded with extras, including new commentaries, and a new featurette.
Undertake four tales of terror from the archives of Universal Pictures, the home of classic horror! This collection includes such horror stars as Lionel Atwill, George Zucco, David Bruce and Evelyn Ankers. A maniacal hunter and collector of wild animals uses them to dispose of rival and enemies in Murders in the Zoo. An unhinged scientist flees the San Francisco police and continues his bizarre experiments on a remote tropical island in The Mad Doctor of Market Street. A mysterious avenger is murdering acquitted criminals while dabbling in brain transplants in The Strange Case of Doctor Rx. And a doctor’s experiments with nerve gas turn his assistant into a grave-robbing freak in The Mad Ghoul.
MURDERS IN THE ZOO
· NEW Audio Commentary with author/film historian Greg Mank
· Still Gallery
MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET
· Theatrical Trailer
· Still Gallery
THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. RX
· NEW Gloriously Wicked: The Life and Legacy of Lionel Atwill
· Still Gallery
THE MAD GHOUL
· NEW Audio Commentary by film historian Thomas Reader
· Still Gallery
Weird Science: Special Edition (Arrow Video, Blu-ray)
If you can’t get a date... make one! After proving himself the king of heartfelt teen flicks with Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, writer-director John Hughes infused the genre with a hefty dose of wacked-out sci-fi comedy in Weird Science, a film where every teenage boy’s wildest fantasies come to life.
Perennially picked-on high school nerds Gary (Anthony Michael Hall, Sixteen Candles) and Wyatt (Ian Mitchell-Smith) are sick of their status at the bottom of the social food chain. Using Wyatt s computer, the two hatch a plan to create their dream woman and following a massive power surge, that woman unexpectedly appears in the form of Lisa (Kelly LeBrock). Gorgeous, intelligent, and blessed with limitless magic powers, Lisa makes the boys dreams come true... but what about Wyatt’s gun-toting psycho older brother Chet (Bill Paxton), and the two bullies (Robert Downey Jr. and Vamp’s Robert Rusler) determined to put them back in their place?
Inspired by EC Comics and boosted by a killer soundtrack (including the classic title theme by Oingo Boingo), Weird Science has never looked better than in this new special edition, including an exclusive extended version of the film featuring deleted scenes never released on home video before.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS:
ALSO AVAILABLE THIS WEEK:
Assimilate (Gravitas Ventures, Blu-ray & DVD)
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (Well Go USA, Blu-ray & DVD)
Pacific Heights (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Blu-ray)
Rock, Paper, Scissors (Lionsgate, DVD)