We’ve got another big week for new Blu-ray releases. Perhaps not quite as big as last week, but there are still plenty of attention-grabbing titles to keep an eye on.
Here’s a look at what’s being released this week:
- ‘…And Justice for All‘ (Image)
- ‘A.I.: Artificial Intelligence‘ (DreamWorks)
- ‘Arthur/Arthur 2: On the Rocks‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Babe‘ (Universal)
- ‘Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Benny and Joon‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Big Cats Collection‘ (National Geographic)
- ‘Billy Joel: Live at Shea Stadium‘ (Sony)
- ‘Casino Jack‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader‘ (20th Century Fox – April 8th)
- ‘De-Lovely‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Fiddler on the Roof‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘I Love You Phillip Morris‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Jawbreaker‘ (Image)
- ‘Lars and the Real Girl‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Little Fockers‘ (Universal)
- ‘Miss Potter ‘ (Vivendi)
- ‘Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Vol. 3‘(Bandai – April 7th)
- ‘Much Ado About Nothing‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Mystic Pizza‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘The Nanny Diaries‘ (Vivendi)
- ‘The People vs. Larry Flynt‘ (Image)
- ‘Peter Pan (2003)‘ (Universal)
- ‘Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Scooby-Doo: Aloha Scooby-Doo! ‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Strike Witches: The Complete First Season ‘ (FUNimation)
- ‘Taxi‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Taxi Driver‘ (Sony)
- ‘Tron – 2D / Tron: Legacy – 3D‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Tron / Tron: Legacy – 3D (Limited Edition Ultimate Tron Experience)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Tron: Legacy‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Tron: Legacy – 3D‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Tron: Special Edition‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
Do you like ‘Tron’? I hope so, because we’ve got a whole lot of ‘Tron’ going on this week. Disney brings us both the original 1982 ‘Tron‘ and its recent sequel, ‘Tron: Legacy‘. You can buy them individually, or packaged together in a couple of different configurations. Of course, ‘Legacy’ is also available in 3D. If you’re a ‘Tron’ fanboy, this week must be a dream come true.
The adventures of the Jesus lion continue in the latest ‘Chronicles of Narnia‘ entry, if you’re still into that series. This one was kind of a box office disappointment. Apparently, the Blu-ray has been altered from its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio to fill a 16:9 screen. (The movie was shot on digital video, so this is probably an open matte transfer.) Fox has also neglected to offer a 3D edition. It sounds like the studio doesn’t care much for the movie, doesn’t it?
Other new day-and-date releases include ‘I Love You Phillip Morris‘, the strange black comedy starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, from the writers of ‘Bad Santa‘. It didn’t get much theatrical exposure, but our reviewer E. thought it was pretty good. (Click the link above for his review.)
On the other hand, we have the latest ‘Meet the Parents‘ sequel, ‘Little Fockers‘, which Aaron says is just dreadful. I believe him. I was over this franchise with the first movie. You can count me out.
Let’s look at catalog titles. The biggest prize this week is Sony’s new restoration of Martin Scorsese’s landmark ‘Taxi Driver‘. I haven’t seen the disc yet, but David gave it one hell of a terrific review. (Seriously, click over to read that thing.) By all accounts, this is a must-own Blu-ray.
Remember when Kenneth Branagh was an exciting filmmaker? Let’s try to hold onto those feelings as we cringe at the trailers for ‘Thor’, shall we? Save for a badly miscast Keanu Reeves, Branagh’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado about Nothing‘ is a pretty terrific movie.
Mrs. Z has a huge crush on Ryan Gosling. ‘Lars and the Real Girl‘ is a big reason for that. I’ve still only managed to see bits and pieces of it, but it seems good.
I have really mixed feelings about ‘A.I.: Artificial Intelligence‘, Steven Spielberg’s attempt to take over a project that the late Stanley Kubrick had spent the better part of two decades developing. It’s an interesting film with some interesting ideas, but Spielberg’s touchy-feely cinematic approach clashes badly with Kubrick’s cold intellectualism. When I saw this in theaters, my stomach twisted into a knot during the opening scene, as soon as William Hurt’s character announced that he wanted to build a robot that could loooooooooooooooove. Blech. Kubrick must have spun over in his grave at that. About ¾ of the film are pretty fascinating anyway, until the godawful epilogue, which has got to be the single worst ending for any movie ever. And that’s including all the other Spielberg movies with crappy endings. (Apologists, don’t try to tell me that the ending was Kubrick’s idea, because I can guarantee you that it wasn’t Kubrick who wrote all that nonsense technobabble bullshit about the “space-time continuum.”) You know what, forget it. The more I think about it, the more I remember how much this movie sucks.
Speaking of movies I really wanted to like but just couldn’t, we also have ‘The People vs. Larry Flynt‘, Milos Forman’s bio-pic starring Woody Harrelson as the controversial pornographer. (If you’ll recall, this is the movie that fooled everyone into believing that even Courtney Love could act.) Unfortunately, the picture is undone by a hackneyed script from Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, screenwriters of such stunning masterworks as ‘Problem Child’ and ‘That Darn Cat’. In the end, this one has almost as much psychological complexity as those.
Anyway… Once upon a time, the creator of ‘The Road Warrior‘ made a family film about a talking pig that was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Yes, all of that really happened. This week’s Blu-ray release of ‘Babe‘ will give us a chance to find out if the movie holds up to our fond memories of it.
As a tie-in with this weekend’s upcoming remake, Warner Bros. gives us a double bill of the original ‘Arthur‘ and its disappointing sequel.
Finally, I don’t know that I’d really recommend buying this one, but the 2003 adaptation of ‘Peter Pan‘ from director P.J. Hogan (‘Muriel’s Wedding’) is a very visually arresting movie. Unfortunately, the scripting and pace felt incredibly condensed and rushed to me. (Seriously, this thing is a frantic dash from one plot point to another.) I’d be interested if Hogan were ever allowed to put together an extended director’s cut or something that allows some breathing room between scenes.
Tags: 3D, Blu-ray, Blu-ray Highlights, Courtney Love, Ewan McGregor, Jim Carrey, Kenneth Branagh, Larry Flynt, Martin Scorsese, Milos Forman, Ryan Gosling, Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Taxi Driver, Tron, William Shakespeare, Woody Harrelson