It’s holiday giving time, so you may be looking for the latest new releases to give your cinephile friends and family members. If you were a fan of The Secret Life of Pets and Jason Bourne, they are also out on home video this week, but I am going to focus on the new extended cut of Suicide Squad, the new Black and Chrome edition of Mad Max: Fury Road and the feminist Wall Street indie Equity.
While the theatrical cut of Suicide Squad is still included, the extended cut adds 11 minutes to the supervillain team-up. As new scenes go, the only real standout is a new flashback where The Joker tests Harley. It’s more interesting than much of what played in theaters, especially since the Joker and Harley scenes were the most interesting in the film as it is. Otherwise, scene extensions don’t feel like they add a lot, although Killer Croc’s air sickness is fun.
It’s a shame there are not additional deleted scenes included. We heard about many more Suicide Squad scenes from actors like Jared Leto, and even saw snippets of things in trailers. Surely there is an ultimate DC Universe box set coming but we shouldn’t have to wait for that to see all the Suicide Squad extras that are readily available.
As for the Blu-ray HD visuals, there are many striking images in Suicide Squad. Harley Quinn’s introduction doing her ribbon routine in the cell cuts a striking shape in HD. The Joker lying in a knife circle looks extra pointy in HD, and Harley’s chemical bath looks like a Jackson Pollack painting.
I discovered this drama about women on Wall Street at the Sundance Film Festival and will continue to support it as it comes home. It’s not only a powerful display of female talent in front of and behind the camera, but paints a morally complex world of finance.
Since Sony Pictures Classics distributed the film, Equity now gets a gorgeous Sony quality Blu-ray. The crisp sharpness of Blu-ray emphasizes the stark office buildings with glass windows and shiny floors and walls. Occasionally the execs go to a fancy New York restaurant where the kooky background textures stand out. Brief glimpses of the trading floor show bursts of bright color too. The film wants to show the beauty of money, and the Blu-ray does.
Bonus features focus on the female investors to the film and the moral ambiguity of the characters. The Los Angeles Film Festival Q&A is the only extra with a male point of view at all, which is kind of nice. Samuel Roukin plays the CEO making an IPO in the movie and he was at the Los Angeles screening, so got to answer a question.
When George Miller was doing press for Mad Max: Fury Road last summer, he mentioned that he wanted to release a black and white version of the film. So when Fury Road first came out on Blu-ray last year, I watched the film in black and white simply by turning off the color on my TV.
It worked amazingly well. You could still see all the detail in the desert, the citadel, the elaborate vehicles and the warped characters. It just looks more stark without any color, just the light and shadow. Now that hey’ve released a pre-set black and white version, it looks the same, with one difference. The night scenes have a purple sky. You can’t get that just by turning the color off your TV, but I actually think the pure black and white looks better. The night looks more striking with a black sky.
Miller explains the reasoning for this. While editing The Road Warrior, he saw a black and white work print and fell in love. They showed a few scenes from The Road Warrior and now I want to watch the whole movie in black and white too. We can, simply by turning off the color. And why not for Beyond Thunderdome too!