This week – An Empire falls in Star Wars Return of the Jedi and Flash Gordon saves the universe on 4K, but nothing can stop the march of the Trolls World Tour
“It’s not who I am underneath. But its what I do that defines me” Those words from ‘Batman Begins‘ brings back great memories of the film and shows what a talented filmmaker Christopher Nolan really is. Why am I telling you this? Its to do with the fact that from next Wednesday, the big cinema releases start to come out to play with the release of Nolan’s ‘Tenet‘. A film many of us thought wouldn’t get released this year due to the pandemic and was feared that it may go straight to PVOD instead. But thankfully, the cinema doors are open, the film will hit cinemas across the world and we can finally settle down with top-quality entertainment in the cinemas again. Most chains have sold out of many screenings for the opening weekend already in the UK and that can only be a good thing. And more importantly for home entertainment, it means that the film will be possibly the only big-screen title that will emerge onto digital and the disc format in time for Christmas. That is unless, of course, Disney decides to release ‘Mulan‘ onto the disc market as well after it makes it debut on PVOD on the Disney+ service early next month. Anything is possible and I would count nothing out.
And with that, welcome once more to the top ten rundown of what is currently available on home entertainment. New releases are bare on the ground at the moment, as you would expect and many films are coming back into the chart once more as we turn to old favorites to keep us entertained. It also sees some films enter lower down the rankings for the very first time. At number 17 and making itself known in the chart finally, we find a 4K reissue of that classic comedy ‘Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure‘. The 1989 comedy classic starring Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves is a precursor to the third film in the franchise ‘Bill And Ted Face The Music‘ which has gone to selected cinemas and PVOD in the United States From September 2nd but will open here in the UK exclusively on the big screen from September 23rd. I would expect to see the second film ‘Bill And Ted’s Bogus Journey‘ to make itself known in the lower portion of the charts shortly as well. But as for our top ten for this week, we find two science fiction classic movies making their chart debuts as new entries and two titles that have decided to rejoin us once again. Making way this week are ‘Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back‘, ‘Joker‘, ‘Frozen II‘ and ‘Terminator: Dark Fate‘. But yet again, there is no movement at the summit. So, jump inside a rocket ship and come with me briefly as we are on a tight schedule as we only have a few hours to save the Earth! (Hint).
For the fifth week in succession, the UK’s official chart-topper is ‘Trolls: World Tour‘. The pesky, lovable and totally immovable creatures have held the top spot longer than any other chart title this year. ‘1917‘ and ‘Bad Boys For Life‘ kept swapping the top two places for several weeks but ‘Trolls‘ has held it consecutively. All this considering it only recently opened at the nation’s cinemas after it had a winning run on PVOD. The success the film has managed can only mean one thing: ‘Trolls 3: Universal Domination‘!. You know it has to happen eventually. But if Hollywood is reading this, the title and story idea is copyrighted to me!
“Gordon’s Alive??!!”. He sure is Vultan. Forty years after he burst onto cinema screens with a campy, critically reviled but enjoyable and entertaining film, ‘Flash Gordon‘ makes his long-awaited top ten bow by flying into the chart in the second position. Released for its fortieth anniversary in a 4K remastered edition alongside an extensive collectors edition, the film boasts Sam J. Jones as the title character and aided and abetted by names such as Brian Blessed (of course!), a pre-007 Timothy Dalton and legends such as Topol and Max Von Sydow as Hans Zarkov and Emperor Ming respectively. The film was never going to win any Oscars but had the privilege of boasting a soundtrack by the legendary rock group ‘Queen‘. Now call me an old fool (why not, everyone else does) but I actually LOVE the film. Take it for what it is and you’ll have a rollicking good time. As I said, its campy but strangely addictive viewing and one that I have repeated many times over throughout the years. The film is also available to go and see at your local cinema in its new version and I urge you to see it once on the big screen if you can and then return home and buy it on digital or Blu-Ray.
Dropping a single place down to take the third place this week, those delightful Lightfoot brothers, voiced by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt continue to entertain us in ‘Onward‘. Yet another film that had its cinema plans ruined by COVID-19 only to make a huge splash on PVOD and home entertainment before opening again at the reopened cinemas, the film continues to be a success and proves that Disney can still make movies that will make us laugh and cry in equal measures.
Ok. You all knew it was coming, didn’t you? It was a given. Two weeks in a row, two ‘Star Wars‘ films made their top ten debuts at number three after being released in a Steelbook edition on Blu-Ray. Last week saw ‘A New Hope‘ drop out to be replaced by ‘The Empire Strikes Back‘. And this week sees ‘The Empire Strikes Back‘ drop out and be replaced, although a place lower than its two predecessors by ‘Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi‘. Yes, the climatic film of the original trilogy has entered the chart some thirty-Seven years after it first opened at the cinemas of the world in the fourth-placed position. And again, it is a Steelbook Blu-Ray release that has hit the chart. Now, I’m not one to make too many predictions but considering the other six films are being released every week in these new Steelbooks and you can expect the prequel trilogy to feature somewhere over the coming weeks before the sequel trilogy decides to get in on the act.
Rounding out this week’s top five placings and rising up the chart once again, this time by four places, the Sam Mendes masterpiece that is ‘1917‘ once again makes us gasp, cry, and tugs at our heartstrings. In what essentially is a completely moving, emotional and breathtaking piece of filmmaking, Mendes takes us on what appears to be a two-shot trip through the battles and trenches of World War I. I honestly think that the film was denied some of the big awards at the ceremonies that were held earlier this year in favor of political correctness as certain gongs were awarded to the inferior ‘Parasite‘. But that hasn’t stopped the film from becoming one of the year’s biggest successes.
We start our tour of the bottom five places by almost getting ourselves run over as ‘Le Mans ’66‘ roars up twenty places to re-enter the top ten chart at number six. The terrific Matt Damon and Christian Bale double-teaming took several awards this year and all were richly deserved. The true tale of the rivalry between Ford and Ferarri back in the 1960s racing circuits is a film that deserves to be watched time and again.
Running on the spot and holding onto his seventh position, ‘Sonic The Hedgehog‘ continues his winning run inside the top ten placings. The film, like ‘Frozen II’, ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ and ‘1917’ continues to rent, download and sell extremely well and has to be a shoo-in for a place in the top ten charts of the year.
Speaking of ‘Jumanji: The Next Level‘ and the film appears in the placings again, despite Dwayne Johnson and company slipping a few levels and falling three places to land at this week’s eighth position. The film is still holding its own despite premiering on Sky Movies this past Friday.
The animals must be talking or at least whispering to him again as ‘Dolittle‘ makes a return to the top ten once more by rising five places to take the ninth place this past week.
Dropping six places to sit firmly back over the chart exit door once again, we find Tom Holland and Will Smith (or at least their voices) as ‘Spies In Disguise‘ looks like it will be departing again very soon.
Getting a re-release in the 4K format from Monday, August 24th, the 1997 Bruce Willis/ Gary Oldman Science Fiction action-comedy ‘The Fifth Element‘ becomes available. The film, also starring the late Ian Holm and Milla Jovovich and filmed in Britain is yet another cult classic that is getting the upgrade treatment. And like ‘Flash Gordon‘ is another that is dumb, corny but strangely entertaining and amusing. Willis is his usual self, Oldman gives a seriously over the top and scenery-chewing performance which brings a lot of laughs to proceedings but Chris Tucker is really annoying throughout his appearances in the film, so much so that I was hoping they would dump his character out of the nearest airlock. For those who haven’t seen the film, keep your eyes peeled by an appearance by comic Lee Evans around three-quarters of the way through the film.
And that’s all she wrote this week, folks. Thank you once more for joining in the fun and for supporting the home entertainment industry over the past several months. All that remains is to ask the usual question. What do YOU think will be making the grade in the chart next week? Why not drop us a line and your predictions? But please, don’t just say ‘Star Wars‘! WE KNOW!!!
Until next week, whatever you decide, whatever you buy, be kind, be safe, look after each other, and happy viewing!
Anyone wishing to buy any of the titles featured in the chart can do so via FindAnyFilm.com
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Staff Writer and Books and Literature Correspondent for Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!
Editor’s Note | All videos and information have been supplied by Find Any Film and used under authorization.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!