Although this week may not be a big new release week, it is a very big week for this boy who was a teenager in the 80s. The John Hughes 5-Movie Collection hits shelves today and not only is it a great collection, but it includes two very important Blu-ray debuts. But first the films. Let’s start with some quick summaries. First movie included is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The ultimate play hooky movie, it follows Ferris (Matthew Broderick), his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) as they embark on the most epic day off from school ever. Next up is Pretty in Pink, which follows Andie (Molly Ringwald) a unique and not so popular girl in high school contending with best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) who is madly in love with her and the new guy in school, Blane (Andrew McCarthy) who Andie pines for but isn’t sure she can bridge the high school gap between poor girl and rich boy to make their worlds meet. Next up is one of the best road trip movies of all time, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Steve Martin is Neal, a Marketing Executive just trying to get home to his family for Thanksgiving after his flight is cancelled due to bad weather. Neal ends up catching a ride with a stranger, Del (John Candy), a travelling shower curtain ring salesman. But the trip home proves very challenging as Neal must deal with failed rentals, broken down cars, motel room mishaps and Del himself. Now for the two new Blu-rays in this set that I am very excited about. Some Kind of Wonderful follows Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), a young tomboy who is dealing with her deep feelings for her best friend Keith (Eric Stoltz) when he goes on a date with the most popular girl in school, Amanda (Lea Thompson). And all three of them must deal with Hardy (Craig Sheffer), Amanda’s rich ex-boyfriend who refuses to let her go. And lastly we have She’s Having a Baby. Jake and Kristy Briggs (Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern) are happy newlyweds dealing with the reality of marriage and independence. But they are also dealing with the pressure from their parents for them to have kids and the new challenges that having a baby bring.
Okay, first off, John Hughes may be one of the defining writer/directors of the 80s. His films have helped shape millions of now-adults into what they are. And every film in this collection is pure gold. Would I liked to have seen a complete John Hughes collection? Heck yeah. But I will take the Blu-ray debuts of two of my favorites and two of the more underappreciated films of Hughes filmography. I don’t have to review the first three films, they are all classics, but I have to say Some Kind of Wonderful is a heartfelt story of unrequited love. Masterson, Stoltz and Thompson are at their very best here and the script is very authentic, touching, and funny. Just a very underseen and beautiful film. And then there is She’s Having a Baby. Maybe in some ways the best film Hughes did. Bacon and McGovern have amazing chemistry, the comedy is sometimes absurd and borders on Coen Brothers material, but it is all glorious. And the pairing of this comedy with absolute genuine emotion that in some scenes is heart wrenching is a testament to Hughes writing ability. This is one essential set and it is outrageously cheap as well, only coming in around the $25 mark. Definitely highly recommended.
Next up this week is a new reboot of the 2003 horror film Wrong Turn. Three couples have taken time out of their lives to hike the Appalachian Trail together and experience the natural world. But when Scott (Matthew Modine), one of the women’s father doesn’t hear from her in weeks, he sets out to find her and make sure she is alright. But the couples have accidentally angered The Foundation, a community of people who have lived in the vast wilderness for hundreds of years and live their own lives with their own laws. Now with their lives in the balance, they must find a way to appease The Foundation and get back home alive.
This new Wrong Turn is written by the same writer as the original but he has really turned the story around and created something new and fresh instead of rehashing old ideas. The whole original concept of cannibals living in the woods is dropped in favor of a peaceful, large, organized and intelligent community of people who do not like modern society and lie in wait for it to crumble to they can reclaim their country. And when random hikers upturn their way of life, things turn ugly. The entire cast is excellent here and the staging and pacing of the story is very well done, exciting and nerve wracking. And it goes in interesting directions instead of the typical twists you may expect. A refreshing spin on an old story, Wrong Turn is well worth checking out.
Also of note this week is The Croods: A New Age, a new Steelbook Edition of the classic An American Werewolf in London, and the Blu-ray debut of the 1972 Billie Holiday biopic Lady Sings the Blues starring Diana Ross.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday February 23, 2021
An American Werewolf in London (1981) Steelbook Edition
Casper: A Spirited Beginning
Castle of the Creeping Flesh (1968)
Chop Shop (2007) - Criterion Collection
Forgotten Gialli: Volume 3 (1972-1977)*
Hard to Hold (1984)*
Hitcher in the Dark (1989)*
Inside Amy Schumer: The Complete Series
John Hughes 5-Movie Collection*
Lady Sings the Blues (1972)*
Last Call (2019)
Legion of the Night
Man Push Cart (2005)* - Criterion Collection
Naked Girl Murdered In The Park
Plague Town (2008)
Pokemon The Series: Diamond and Pearl Sinnoh League Victors Complete Season
Port of Freedom a.k.a. Grosse Freiheit Nr. 7 (1944)*
Robert Kirkman's Secret History of Comics
Scooby-Doo: The Sword and the Scoob
Shogun’s Joy of Torture (1968)*
Smooth Talk (1985)* - Criterion Collection
The Allnighter (1987)*
The Attic Expeditions (2001)
The Croods: A New Age
The Fear (1995)*
The Last Vermeer (2019)
The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988)*
The Terror Within (1989)/The Terror Within II (1991) Double Feature*
Twice Dead (1988)*
Wrong Turn (2021)
*Catalog Blu-ray debut