This week we’re taking a look at four recent blu-ray releases including a couple sequels, an absolute classic, and an uber violent religion-based film. Might ALL of them be worth your money and worthy of your shelf? Are any of them? Well, at least one of them is.
Read on for quick look at the sequels Cult of Chucky and Open Water 3: Cage Dive; the sci-fi classic E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and Pilgrimage.
Let’s start the latest entry in a seemingly immortal horror franchise:
Cult of Chucky marks the seventh film in the Child’s Play franchise and this takes the film series in a wild new direction. I won’t spoil anything here suffice it to say that Chucky gets down to some nasty business in an asylum. Fiona Dourif returns to the franchise as Nica still dealing with the events from the previous film, Curse of Chucky, which is one of the best of the series.
Cult of Chucky isn’t one of the best but it isn’t the worst either. Did I love it? Not exactly. I love this franchise though and I really admire the constant reinventions to keep it fresh. This one has some crazy kills, and an even crazier plot that steps just a bit too far outside the rules of this franchise for my tastes. Will I come back for the 8th entry? You bet because even the worst of the Chucky films are damn good fun. Cult manages to pay a lot of fan service which is great. Make sure to stick around after credits for a scene that I literally “wooped!” for.
The blu-ray is stacked with some great features and includes the unrated cut of the film which at present you will not find on Netflix.
Is it worth your money? For fans, absolutely. It might not be the best of the Chucky movies but it’s still worthy of joining its predecessors on the shelf. For newcomers, maybe not so much. You should be starting from the beginning anyway.
Next up let’s check out another horror sequel of sorts. It’s back to the ocean for Open Water 3: Cage Dive. This franchise has just become a catch all for anything involving getting lost in the ocean and I am pretty positive than no one is writing Open Water movies. I think these are movies getting slapped with that title to create a brand, or to separate from similar films that have come first *cough* 47 Meters Down *cough*.
The truth of it is, the title is misleading. The cage dive lasts mere moments and is a completely insignificant part of the story.
Cage Dive is presented like a documentary with interviews from “witnesses” and “family members” which isn’t the worst idea. What is is trying to shoe-horn a RIDICULOUS love triangle into the film. There is literally no reason for this except to stir up conflict between the three people floating around in water. It’s unbelievable and utterly insane to think that this little triangle would cause other events in the film that happen. Once the stuff starts happening, girl trouble is out the window.
The shark effects are great and the rogue wave that kicks everything in motion is really well done.
Anything else, pass.
Some good features and good shark effects but other than that, this one is a snooze.
Is it worth your money? Eh. No. Maybe for shark fans only.
It comes out tomorrow though in case you want it.
Next up, an ultra violent historical epic about a group of monks transporting a holy relic to Rome, when everything goes wrong.
I didn’t know anything about this one going into it, least of all that it’s mostly in foreign languages, several of them I think. Which is fine I just wasn’t expecting it.
The cast features our favorite Spider-Man, Tom Holland, Richard Armitage, and Punisher Jon Bernthal, who plays essentially a mute.
The story is interesting. The acting is excellent. It’s brutally violent with plenty of spearing and maces swinging around. That level of violence was also unexpected. I enjoyed it, but never need to see it again if I’m being honest.
Fans of the genre will enjoy it. It’s not a casual watch and it’s devoid of any features really worth mentioning.
Is it worth your money? I’d say yes if you aren’t dissuaded by a historical story presented with realistic (ish) violence. Otherwise, you might want to steer clear.
Pilgrimage also hits stores tomorrow.
Last but certainly not least:
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is back on blu-ray in a 35th anniversary edition. I mean, of course this is worth the money. I just recently saw this on the big screen for the first time and it was amazing. This edition looks and sounds fantastic.
The release is loaded with features and the price at under $12 is a no-brainer purchase.
The film holds up wonderfully and is one of those films I’d purchase on any format, and I have.
Funny, smart, heart-warming, packed with great iconic performances, E.T. really is a must own.
Is it worth your money? Yes, it absolutely is. Out of all the titles here this is the one I would insist upon buying.
Here’s a bit of a hint though, you can get the great Limited Edition 4k/Bluray set for a decent $25 which includes the film on 4K as well as a blu-ray. It’s perfect starting point if you are planning a future upgrade to 4K. That’s really the way to go and this film, and this release, are worth every penny.
That’s it for this round. Any other recent titles you are interested in? Disagree with my suggestions on these? Let us know in the comments!
Garon Cockrell is the Founder and Editor of Pop Culture Beast and host of The Pop Culture Beast Show. He founded the site over seven years ago to have a place on the internet to write about the things he loved. Since then, Garon has become a best-selling author (Demonic and Other Tales), an award winning screenwriter (Best Screenplay 2013 Motor City Nightmares Film Festival), and a cast member on the top rated podcast, Never Not Funny.