Greetings, friends. If you're someone who returns to this sporadic column seeking Blu-ray info, I want to thank you. You're swell! And as always, I will continue to bring you the latest in Blu-rays. This week has one of the best movies of 2021: Steven Spielberg's "The Fabelmans." But wait, there's more! There's a 4K release of Hype Williams' amazing cult classic "Belly," Disney's recent animated flick "Strange World," Elvis fighting a mummy in "Bubba Ho-Tep," and of course, the "Black Panther" sequel "Wakanda Forever." That's a fine line-up if you ask me.

The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg has been talking about making a movie about his childhood for decades, and he finally got around to it with "The Fabelmans." But this isn't hagiography, or Spielberg talking about what a talented kid he was (even though he was). Instead, this is Spielberg grappling with what is arguably the most persistent influence on all his work: his parents' divorce. For years, the filmmaker seemingly blamed his father for the split, as evident by the frequent theme of absentee fathers in his filmography. But Spielberg isn't pointing fingers here, and instead just presenting versions of his parents who are ultimately good people who make life-altering decisions. The film is also about how the Spielberg avatar, a kid named Sammy Fabelman, learns that while he loves his family, he loves making movies a little more. And more than that, he finds that while his real life is spiraling out of control, he's completely in control of the films he begins to make as he dreams of becoming a professional filmmaker. Melancholy, funny, and sweet, "The Fabelmans" is somehow both a dark, depressing meditation on the roadblocks life throws up while also being one of Spielberg's warmest films.

Special features:

  • THE FABELMANS: A Personal Journey – Steven Spielberg reflects on how THE FABELMANS is inspired by his own personal story and family.
  • Family Dynamics *- Discover how the film's cast brought THE FABELMANS to life as Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen and more build a bridge between their onscreen personalities and their true-life counterparts.
  • Crafting the World of THE FABELMANS *- From costume and set design to music and cinematography, the filmmakers behind THE FABELMANS reveal how they created movie magic while capturing the film's unique look.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Ryan Coogler and his cast and crew faced a seemingly impossible task when it came to making "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever." The first film was a mega-hit, and all eyes were on a potential sequel. And then, while Coogler was working on his script, something unthinkable happened: star Chadwick Boseman died of cancer. Boseman's illness was a secret, even from Coogler, and the filmmaker had to go back and rework everything. Marvel and company made the decision to not recast the role, which meant that Coogler now had to make a "Black Panther" movie without Black Panther.

All things considered, Coogler delivered. To be clear: the sequel, "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" is nowhere near as good as the original, and it has a running subplot about the CIA that really should've been cut completely. But despite some shaky legs, "Wakanda Forever" proudly stands on its own two feet, becoming a film about grief and acceptance that ties into Boseman's death.

Special features:

Gag Reel

  • Take a look at some of the lighthearted moments on the set of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

Audio Commentary

  • Listen to Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole, and Autumn Durald Arkapaw discuss the film.


  • Envisioning Two Worlds – Uncover the making of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever through the lens and leadership of co-writer/director Ryan Coogler, production designer Hannah Beachler, and costume designer Ruth Carter.
  • Passing the Mantle – Follow the evolution of the Black Panther through the films. In tracing Shuri, Ramonda, and Riri's journeys through the film, this featurette explores what legacy ultimately means in Wakanda and how it will resonate with MCU viewers for years to come.

Deleted Scenes

  • Outside The Scope – Okoye has a shocking standoff with Ayo and the Dora Milaje. Aneka makes a challenging decision.
  • The Upstairs Toilet – Ross infiltrates the NSA in disguise in an attempt to uncover information.
  • Daughter of the Border – After a conversation with her Uncle, Okoye is faced with a daunting choice.
  • Anytime, Anywhere – In Haiti, Shuri and Okoye share a bittersweet moment.

Strange World

"Strange World" was an odd recent Disney release, primarily because it felt like the House of Mouse did almost no real marketing for the flick. That's not true, of course — they did! But the general public sure didn't notice, because the film flopped at the box office. Now it's on Blu-ray and streaming, so the question must be asked: is this some unsung masterpiece that Disney did dirty? Eh, not really. "Strange World" is ultimately fine, and that's perhaps the biggest problem — we've come to expect more than "fine" when it comes to Disney-backed animation.

The film is set in a strange world that's sort of like ours, but with more fantastical elements. There's a magical plant that pretty much powers everything in society, and when there's a risk of depletion, a family of explorers — lead by Jake Gyllenhaal, playing the son of a legendary explorer played by Dennis Quaid — must save the day. Again: it's fine. The animation is fine, the jokes are fine, the story is fine. But once "Strange World" ends don't be surprised if you find yourself forgetting what you just watched. In other words, it's fine.

Special features:

  • Anatomy of a Scene: Creating A Strange World – Learn about Walt Disney Animation Studios' creative process through a single, visually stunning scene as the filmmaking team puts all of their imagination – and more – on the screen.
  • Strange Science – Jaboukie Young-White (voice of Ethan Clade) hosts an exploration of how Walt Disney Animation Studios artists were inspired by real science to create Strange World.
  • Creature Feature – Journey into the world beneath Avalonia and meet some of the terrifying, slimy, gassy ­– and sometimes cute – creatures that inhabit this Strange World.
  • The Hidden Secrets of Strange World – Uncover the references and characters from some of your favorite Walt Disney Animation Studios films hidden throughout the film, along with some fun facts and behind–the–scenes stories of how Strange World was made.
  • Outtakes – Go behind the glass as we join the cast of Strange World inside the recording booth for some fun, flubs and outtakes.

Deleted Scenes

  • The Ballad of Jaeger Clade
  • Lightning Lynx
  • Funerals and Promises
  • Ethan and Searcher

Belly 4K

Influenced by years of gangster movies and hip-hop videos, Hype Williams' "Belly" is a knock-out. This uber-stylish, frequently violent tale follows two friends — Sincere (Nas) and Tommy (DMX). Friends since childhood, the two have grown up to build themselves a little criminal empire. But eventually, Sincere drifts away from the criminal lifestyle — while Tommy burrows in further. The plot is familiar and kind of shapeless, but that doesn't matter. Williams and his team have crafted something dreamy here; a phantasmagoria of light, color, and gunfire. "Belly" also feels ahead of its time. To watch it now is to marvel that it actually came out when it did. And the years have only been kind to the flick, which feels like a true work of genius that managed to slip in under the radar back in 1998. The 4K release is dynamite, accentuating the film's "Suspiria"-like lighting schemes coupled with beautiful, grainy darkness.

Special features:

  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Hype Williams
  • Spoken Word (Blu-ray™ Only)
  • Deleted Scene (Blu-ray Only)
  • "Grand Finale" Music Video (Blu-ray Only)

Bubba Ho-Tep 4K

Before Austin Butler scored himself an Oscar nomination for playing Elvis, Bruce Campbell played a very different version of the King in Don Coscarelli's wonderful horror-comedy "Bubba Ho-Tep." Based on the book by Joe R. Lansdale, "Bubba Ho-Tep" finds Elvis still alive, sort of, and living in a retirement home. You see, years ago, the King swapped places with an Elvis impersonator in order to go live a normal life. Unfortunately, that impersonator died and no one would believe that the real Elvis was the real Elvis. So now he spends his days growing older and miserable.

And then a mummy comes to life and starts killing people.

Who better to stop the mummy than Elvis? And he'll have help, too, in the form of a patient (Ossie Davis) who claims to be JFK, as in John F. Kennedy. It's weird and wild and often surprisingly sweet, or about as sweet as a movie about Elvis fighting a mummy can be. And now it's on 4K thanks to the fine folks at Shout Factory.

Special features:


  • NEW 4K Scan From The Original Camera Negative
  • In Dolby Vision (HDR 10 Compatible)
  • Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Don Coscarelli And Actor Bruce Campbell
  • Audio Commentary With Author Joe R. Lansdale
  • Audio Commentary With "The King"


  • NEW 4K Scan From The Original Camera Negative
  • Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 2.0
  • Previously Unreleased Featurette: Bubba Ho-Tep Filming Locations Then And Now
  • Previously Unreleased Featurette: Bubba Ho-Tep Egyptian Theatre Premiere
  • Previously Unreleased Featurette: Bubba Ho-Tep At The Toronto Film Festival
  • Audio Commentary With Director Don Coscarelli And Actor Bruce Campbell
  • Audio Commentary With Author Joe R. Lansdale
  • Audio Commentary With "The King"
  • The King Lives – An Interview With Bruce Campbell
  • All Is Well – An Interview With Don Coscarelli
  • Mummies And Makeup – An Interview With Makeup Effects Artist Robert Kurtzman
  • The Making Of Bubba Ho-Tep
  • To Make A Mummy – Makeup And Effects
  • Fit For A King – Elvis Costuming
  • Rock Like An Egyptian – How Celebrated Composer Brian Tyler Created The Stunning Score
  • Bubba Ho-Tep – The Music Video
  • Joe R. Lansdale Reads Bubba Ho-Tep
  • Deleted Scenes With Optional Audio Commentary With Don Coscarelli And Bruce Campbell
  • Footage From The Temple Room Floor
  • Archival Bruce Campbell Interviews
  • Music Video
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot
  • Photo Gallery

Read this next: The Best Movies Of 2022

The post The Best New Blu-ray Releases: The Fabelmans, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and More appeared first on /Film.