Blu Tuesday: Deadpool and More

Every Tuesday, I review the newest Blu-ray releases and let you know whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping, along with a breakdown of the included extras. If you see something you like, click on the cover art to purchase the Blu-ray from Amazon, and be sure to share each week’s column on Facebook and Twitter with your friends.

“Deadpool”

WHAT: After he’s diagnosed with cancer, mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) agrees to participate in an experimental treatment that grants him special healing abilities but horribly scars his body in the process. Upon escaping the secret facility, Wade sets out to exact revenge on the deranged mutant (Ed Skrein) responsible for both saving and ruining his life.

WHY: The road to bringing “Deadpool” to the big screen may have been riddled with challenges, but it only makes the finished product that much more satisfying, because it’s a fresh and wildly entertaining action-comedy that demonstrates why studios should take more risks. Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick’s screenplay nails the dark, twisted and juvenile tone of the wisecracking antihero, and the decision to dole out his backstory in bits and pieces via flashback is a clever way of getting around the tediousness of the typical superhero origin story. The film also completely earns its “R” rating with enough violence and foul-mouthed language to please diehard fans. But while “Deadpool” has clearly been made with those fans in mind, the movie stretches beyond sheer fan service thanks to the strength of the script and Ryan Reynolds’ pitch-perfect performance (completely atoning for the bastardized version of the character in “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) to deliver a hilariously self-aware take on the genre that audiences unfamiliar with Deadpool will enjoy as well.

EXTRAS: In addition to a pair of audio commentaries (one with director Tim Miller and Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld, and the other with star Ryan Reynolds and writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick), there’s a making-of featurette, five production galleries, deleted scenes and a gag reel.

FINAL VERDICT: BUY

“The Boy”

WHAT: A young nanny named Greta (Lauren Cohen) discovers that the eight-year-old boy she’s been hired to look after is actually a life-sized doll that her employers use to cope with the death of their son. But when she ignores the strict rules provided to her, Greta begins to experience disturbing events that lead her to believe the doll is possessed by the boy’s spirit.

WHY: There are few things in this world creepier than porcelain dolls, but just like 2014’s “Annabelle,” “The Boy” fails to translate that eeriness into genuine scares. The first hour is an absolute bore, littered with shots of the expressionless doll sitting around a spooky English mansion and, well, not doing much else, while the manner in which its “parents” (and eventually, Greta herself) treat it like a real-life boy is so incredibly stupid that it borders on comedy. Unfortunately, the movie is played completely straight, and that only makes it seem even more ridiculous as a result. The third act twist, which abandons the supernatural angle in favor of a more generic slasher film ending, doesn’t help matters. Though “Walking Dead” star Lauren Cohan deserves credit for committing to the silly premise, “The Boy” is so terrible in just about every respect – from its complete lack of scares, to the awful sound design – that it’s astonishing the movie has any admirers at all.

EXTRAS: Unsurprisingly, there’s no bonus material.

FINAL VERDICT: SKIP

“Mustang”

WHAT: In a small village in northern Turkey, five sisters are confined to their house by their conservative guardians after they’re seen playing an innocent game with some boys on the beach. Forced to learn the duties of a housewife, the sisters are gradually married off as the youngest of the group, Lale (Gunes Sensoy), plans her escape.

WHY: It’s a shame that “Mustang” had to compete with Best Foreign Language juggernaut “Son of Saul” at this year’s Academy Awards, because the Turkish drama (although it was technically France’s official submission) is a beautiful but tragic movie about a group of free-spirited young women pushing back against the oppressive, misogynistic older generations set in their ways. It’s not just a coming-of-age story for these fictional sisters, but for the country as a whole, shining a spotlight on the horrors of arranged marriage and the general lack of freedom for women in the less progressive parts of Turkey. “Mustang” is an extraordinary debut from director Deniz Gamze Erguven, who takes a simple premise and spins it into an emotionally complex tale with strong feminist themes. Though the acting is a bit hit and miss (not surprising considering the sisters are played mostly by newcomers), young Gunes Sensoy delivers an invigorating and mature performance as the heart and soul of the film. This is message moviemaking at its most powerful, and it’s not to be missed.

EXTRAS: The Blu-ray release includes an interview with the cast, director Deniz Gamze Erguven’s short film “A Drop of Water,” a 16-page booklet and a digital copy of the soundtrack.

FINAL VERDICT: RENT

  

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