Tuesday, February 27, 2024

New Physical Media Releases: 4/6/2021

By Casey Lee Clark 

This week in the world of physical media, we have several new films arriving on Blu-ray, along with exciting releases from some favorite boutique labels!

Let’s take a dive into what’s coming out this week on 4K/Blu-ray/DVD.


Perhaps the week’s biggest release is the early 2021 comedy “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” directed by Josh Greenbaum and written by the co-writers of “Bridesmaids,” Kristen Wiig, and Annie Mumolo. The film stars Wiig and Mumolo, along with Jamie Dornan, Damon Wayans Jr., and Wendi McLendon-Covey. The release includes an audio commentary track with Greenbaum, Wiig, and Mumolo, two featurettes on making the film, bloopers, deleted scenes, and more! There is also a Target Exclusive Blu-ray which features lenticular packaging and more bonus content.

​From Shout Factory and GKIDS comes the newest Studio Ghibli film “Earwig and the Witch,” directed by Gorô Miyazaki. They are releasing a standard Blu-ray and a Limited Edition Steelbook to coincide with their previous Studio Ghibli releases. This disc also includes feature-length storyboards and interviews with the Japanese voice cast.

​This week’s other significant new release is the 2020 WWII horror film “Shadow in the Cloud.” This film is directed by Roseanne Liang and stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Callan Mulvey, Taylor John Smith, Beulah Koale, and Byron Coll.

​From the Warner Archive Collection, we have “Thundarr the Barbarian: The Complete Series” from 1980-1981. This is a three-disc set with 21 episodes, all newly remastered. It also includes the featurette “Lords of Light: The Story of Thundarr the Barbarian.”

​Arrow Video is releasing the Blu-ray debut of the 1976 Nico Mastorakis film “Death Has Blue Eyes,” starring Jessica Dublin and Clay Half. The film is newly remastered from the original camera negative, approved by Mastorakis. It also features two aspect ratio choices for viewing. The release includes new interviews with Mastorakis and actress Maria Aliferi, soundtrack selections, and more.

​Finally, Kino Lorber is releasing two box sets this week. First is the “Carole Lombard Collection II,” a three-disc set which features “Hands Across the Table” (1935), “Love Before Breakfast” (1936), and “The Princess Comes Across” (1936) all starring the iconic actress. The other set is “Western Classics II,” another three-disc set with “The Redhead From Wyoming” (1953), “Pillars of the Sky” (1956), and “Gun for a Coward” (1957).


This week, I wanted to highlight a film from the pope of trash himself, director John Waters. Many are aware of the Criterion Collection releases for his earlier films “Multiple Maniacs,” “Female Trouble,” and “Polyester.” Still, I wanted to draw people’s attention to a great release of one of his biggest and most popular films, the Shout Factory Collector’s Edition of “Serial Mom” from their Scream Factory label. From 1994, the film stars Kathleen Turner, Sam Waterston, Ricki Lake, and Matthew Lillard. It is a dark comedy about a suburban housewife who takes to murder when people cross her or her family (even over everyday rudeness like stealing a parking spot or not rewinding a VHS tape). One of Waters’s highest budgeted films, the film was a modest critical success at the time but has since become a cult classic and one of his most beloved films. 

The Blu-ray from Shout Factory is, naturally, stellar. Being the only way to access the film on Blu-ray in the US, it is especially remarkable that it not only looks good but also has a slew of special features. New to this release is a conversation between Waters and actresses Kathleen Turner and Mink Stole. It also includes two commentary tracks, one with Waters and Turner and one with just Waters himself, as well as interviews and original promotional featurettes. I actually think this film is a great entry point into Waters’s filmography and style. While other studio films like “Hairspray” and “Cry-Baby” are perhaps his most accessible, “Serial Mom” combines the studio filmmaking and bigger budget with his earlier dark sensibilities and outrageous humor. It is also a fascinating commentary on true crime and the media coverage surrounding murderers and features a tremendous lead performance by Kathleen Turner that should join the cinematic iconography of charismatic killers.

Are there any releases you will be picking up this week? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Twitter account.

You can follow Casey and hear more of her thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @CaseyLeeClark

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