New on Blu-ray: ‘Men In Black: International’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Booksmart’, ‘John Wick: Chapter 3’, ‘Ma’, ‘The Dead Don’t Die’

New Blu-ray Releases Aladdin

It’s that time again! Looking for physical media to augment the wild, ever-expanding world of streaming material? Then you’ve come to the right place my friends. These are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.

Men In Black: International

The Men In Black franchise gets a reboot-sequel with Men In Black: International, one of the worst studio movies ever made! Look, we all know that Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson are talented, charismatic actors. And thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we know that the two of them can work together well. But you sure as hell wouldn’t know that while watching Men In Black: International, a movie that utterly wastes Thompson and Hemsworth, and saddles them with lame jokes. Sure, they look hot as hell in those finely tailored black suits. But the plot, which involves a mole working within the Men in Black, is boring. Then there are the special effects. The original Men In Black benefited from some wonderful practical make-up effects from Rick Baker. International gets rid of all that, and slathers on the CGI. It just looks terrible.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray: 

It isn’t. Look, this column is all about selling you on physical media, and recommending movies you should plunk your hard-earned cash on. But I can’t in good conscience recommend you do so with Men In Black: International. Go buy something useful instead. Like a sandwich, or a bottle or bourbon. Or I guess if you wanted to play a really funny prank on your friends, you could invite them over and say: “Hey, I want to show you this great movie!” Then you put this on and watch their faces.

Special Features Include: 

  • Deleted Scenes
  • “Alien-cestry.com”: Everyone has a little alien in them! Trace your roots with Alien-cestry.com!
  • “Neuralyzer: Like It Never Even Happened”: As NOT seen on Alien TV, order now to get your very own Neuralyzer and erase life’s embarrassing moments like a pro.
  • “Gag Reel”: Even top MIB agents forget their lines. See their bloopers in this unforgettable gag reel.
  • “New Recruits, Classic Suits”: Anchored by the delightful chemistry between Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth and supported by icons like Emma Thompson & Liam Neeson, the cast of MIB International is truly out of this world!
  • “Let’s Do This! Inside the Action & Stunts”: MIB International is packed with action and stunts, go behind the scenes with the team to see how they pulled it off.
  • “Look Right Here: Gadgets, Weapons, & Rides”: From the iconic Neuralyzer to a tricked out Jag, check out the amazing arsenal of gadgets, weapons and vehicles.
  • “Expanding the Universe of MIB”: MIB ups the ante with international locations, aliens and more as the universe expands.
  • “Frank & Pawny’s Peanut Gallery”: Everyone’s favorite pug and pawn join together to watch a few key scenes and share their thoughts.
  • “Les Twins Leave It on the Floor”: Dance sensations Les Twins show off their signature style and how they devised their alien moves.
  • “In Case You’ve Been Neuralyzed: MIB Recap”: Join Frank the Pug for this rapid-fire recap of the MIB franchise.
  • “The MIB Meet the NBA”: With talent like this, these NBA stars must be super-human.

Aladdin

As far as these things go – these things being soulless corporate products tapping into nostalgia – Aladdin is surprisingly good. The trailers for Guy Ritchie‘s live-action remake looked dire, but the end result is perfectly harmless, and even charming at times. And the one element that looked somewhat questionable – Will Smith‘s CGI-enhanced Genie – ends up being a highlight. Smith is probably the best part of this movie, followed by Nasim Pedrad, who is hilarious and scene-stealing as a handmaiden to Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). The plot is virtually the same as the original: street rat Aladdin (Mena Massoud) gets hold of a magic lamp with a genie inside, and uses his three wishes to change his life and woo the princess. Jasmine’s role has been extended considerably from the animated film, giving her a lot more to do, which is a welcomed change. Ritchie is rather lackluster at directing musical sequences, which is a bit of a problem since this movie is packed with them. But beyond that, he (mostly) succeeds at everything else.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray: 

The 4K Blu-ray release boasts a fine transfer, making the many colors of the film pop considerably. In addition to that, you get a few bloopers, a handful of deleted scenes, and music videos. There’s also a behind-the-scenes video journal featuring Mena Massoud that is breezy and entertaining and has Massoud providing a lot more charisma than he does in the finished film.

Special Features Include: 

  • ALADDIN’S VIDEO JOURNAL: A NEW FANTASTIC POINT OF VIEW – Watch behind-the-scenes moments captured by Mena Massoud (Aladdin) in this fun, fast-paced look at his personal journey.
  • DELETED SONG: “DESERT MOON” – Experience a moving duet performed by Jasmine and Aladdin, fully shot and edited, with an introduction by Alan Menken.
  • GUY RITCHIE: A CINEMATIC GENIE – Discover why director Guy Ritchie was the perfect filmmaker to tackle this exhilarating reimagining of a beloved classic.
  • A FRIEND LIKE GENIE – Discover how Will Smith brings talent, experience and his own personal magic to the iconic role of Genie.
  • DELETED SCENES
    • Falling Petals Into OJ
    • Jafar’s Magic Orrery
    • Anders’ Gift
    • Wrong Wishes
    • Silly Old Fool
    • Post Yam Jam Debrief
  • BLOOPERS – Laugh along with the cast and crew in this lighthearted collection of outtakes from the set.
  • MUSIC VIDEOS
    • “Speechless” – Music video performed by Naomi Scott
    • “A Whole New World” – Music video performed by ZAYN and Zhavia Ward
    • “ A Whole New World” (“Un Mundo Ideal”) – Music video performed by ZAYN and Becky G.

 

Booksmart

One of the very best films of the year, Olivia Wilde‘s Booksmart is a funny, witty, and genuinely sweet coming-of-age flick. Yes, it has its fair share of raunchy, often surreal humor. But it also has such a big heart – it’s the type of film that gives everyone a fair shake, even the characters who are set up to initially seem like antagonists. The plot concerns two high school seniors – Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever). The pair have spent their entire school experience overachieving to get into good colleges while ignoring the usual teen craziness. But on the eve of graduation, they realize that all their party-loving classmates managed to get into good colleges as well. Molly decides that they have one night to prove that they can be cool, and so the pair head out to find the biggest party of town, ending up on one misadventure after another. Feldstein and Dever are wonderful together, bringing the best out in one another. The real scene-stealer, though, is Billie Lourd, playing a zonked-out classmate who somehow manages to show up at every turn.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray: 

How can you not want to own this movie? Booksmart is the type of comedy worth watching again, and again. Hell, I’ve already watched it three times, and will probably do so again before the year ends. It’s so ultimately warm, and sweet, that you can’t help but get caught up in its world. I tend to avoid high school movies, simply because my high school experience was an absolute nightmare and I have no desire to reflect on it. But I can’t help but be won over by Booksmart‘s charms. The disc comes with a commentary by director Olivia Wilde, which is always a plus in my book – the fine art of commentary tracks is a dying breed.

Special Features Include: 

  • Audio Commentary by Olivia Wilde
  • Booksmart: The Next “Best High School Comedy”
  • Pliés and Jazz Hands:  The Dance Fantasy
  • Dressing Booksmart
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gallery

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum 

The John Wick franchise somehow continues to get better and better. In Chapter 3, the world-building expands even more, as Keanu Reeves once again fights his way through hordes of fools dumb enough to get in his way. The action in Chapter 3 is non-stop, kicking-off with a breathless chase sequence that involves John hopping onto a horse, and more. The series has gotten to a point where I’m not sure if it can keep topping itself – but I sure as hell would like to see it try.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray: 

John Wick: Chapter 3 is one of the year’s most exciting movies, so how can you not want to get your hands on it? Besides, it boasts several behind-the-scenes featurettes showing Keanu Reeves be his usual charming self as he learns to do all the crazy shit he does in the film. You even get to see him train on horseback riding, and he looks as if he’s having the time of his life

Special Features Include: 

  • “Parabellum: Legacy of the High Table” Featurette
  • “Excommunicado” Featurette
  • “Check Your Sights” Featurette
  • “Saddle Up Wick” Featurette
  • “Bikes, Blades, Bridges, and Bits” Featurette
  • “Continental in the Desert” Featurette
  • “Dog Fu” Featurette
  • “House of Transparency” Featurette
  • “Shot by Shot” Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer #1
  • Theatrical Trailer #2
  • John Wick Hex Game Trailer
  • “Behind the Scenes of John Wick Hex” Featurette

Ma

Ma really should’ve been better than it turned out. The premise is solid, and the film boasts a wonderfully unhinged performance from Octavia Spencer. But the movie itself is oddly lax, with a story that never really goes anywhere. Sure, it’s fun to watch Spencer’s Ma go nutso – but the rest of the film never lives up to her performance. The plot involves a bunch of teens who use a local woman’s house as their personal drinking spot. Unfortunately for them, the woman – who wants to be called Ma – has ulterior motives. Don’t make her drink alone!

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray: 

Honestly, if you wanted to skip owning this, that’s fine. You do get an alternate ending that suggests a much different fate from Ma, and I guess is meant to set up a sequel, but probably won’t at this point.

Special Features Include: 

  • NEW Alternate Ending
  • Creating Sue Ann – Take a deeper look at the character of Sue Ann, and how trauma from people’s past can manifest itself later in life.
  • Party at Ma’s – The cast, crew, and filmmakers discuss how all the elements came together to make this unique thriller.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Dead Don’t Die 

What if Jim Jarmusch got a bunch of his friends together and made the most laidback zombie movie ever created? Well, you don’t have to hypothesize about that, because it happened, and the result is The Dead Don’t Die. It’s easy to enjoy Jarmusch’s easy-going zombie flick, primarily because of the cast –  Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Austin Butler, RZA, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Caleb Landry Jones, Rosie Perez, Carol Kane, and Selena Gomez – all of whom are clearly having fun. Driver is the standout here, playing a cop who quickly realizes there are zombied afoot, but who also doesn’t seem all too concerned about it. Yet as entertaining as it is to watch Driver and company, The Dead Don’t Die is so unconcerned with, well, anything, that it starts to grow a bit tedious. One can’t help think Jarmusch would’ve been better turning this into some sort of hilarious short film rather than stretch it to a mostly amusing feature-length experience.

Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray: 

The biggest draw of this movie is the cast, so it’s only appropriate that all of the special features included here focus on them. We get a one-on-one with Bill Murray, being his usual droll self. We also get plenty of behind-the-scenes moments, as well as discussions as to what makes The Dead Don’t Die different from all the other zombie entertainment that’s so prevalent these days. Like the movie itself, these features aren’t groundbreaking – but they’re fun, and make the movie worth owning should the urge strike you to ever want to spend more time with these people.

Special Features Include: 

  • Bill Murray: Zombie Hunting Action Star – Bill Murray discusses his fear of being typecast as an action hero.
  • Behind-the-Scenes of The Dead Don’t Die – A collection of behind the scenes moments from the set of The Dead Don’t Die
  • Stick Together –  Jim Jarmusch’s frequent collaborators talk about his filmmaking style, and what makes The Dead Don’t Die stand out from other zombie films

The post New on Blu-ray: ‘Men In Black: International’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Booksmart’, ‘John Wick: Chapter 3’, ‘Ma’, ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ appeared first on /Film.