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Blu-ray Highlights for January 29th, 2013 – Come Out to the Coast, We’ll Get Together, Have a Few Laughs…

As we close out the month of January, Bruce Willis reminds us how often he dies hard, Christopher Walken kidnaps the wrong dog, Adam Sandler gets animated, and activity of a paranormal nature occurs yet again.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (1/29/13)?

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Yippee Ki-Yay

To tie-in with the upcoming fifth entry, Fox offers a 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Collection of the first four ‘Die Hard‘ movies. As you may recall, the studio already collected these films together in a box set back in late 2007. At the time of this writing (which is a little bit in advance), it’s unclear whether the anniversary set is just a repackaging of the existing discs, or if any of the titles have been remastered. Initial word from the studio implied that this would be a straight-up repackage, but recent rumors have suggested that the first movie may have gotten a new 4k scan.

Personally, since I already own the old set (and found it pretty satisfying already), I wouldn’t want to spend any money on this until it’s confirmed one way or another. Even if the remastering rumors turn out to be true, you know that another box set will be released later in the year anyway to include the fifth movie. Perhaps it would be smart to just wait for that?

New Releases

Having cranked out enough lazy, listless live action comedies, Adam Sandler and his cronies decided to sit one out – by staying in the studio to record voices for ‘Hotel Transylvania‘. Of last year’s three animated horror comedies, this one didn’t look half as good as ‘ParaNorman‘ or ‘Frankenweenie‘, yet it grossed more than both of those combined. Is that all due to Sandler’s star power, or did ‘Samurai Jack’ creator Genndy Tartakovsky make a better movie than expected?

If you’d prefer an actual horror movie that’s at least supposed to be scary, Paramount delivers ‘Paranormal Activity 4‘ while Rebecca Hall investigates a haunted boarding school in ‘The Awakening‘.

Martin McDonagh, director of ‘In Bruges‘, returns with the new black comedy ‘Seven Psychopaths‘, in which small time con artists Christopher Walken, Colin Farrell and Sam Rockwell make the mistake of dognapping a mobster’s beloved Shih Tzu. Much like ‘In Bruges’, this one didn’t make a lot of money in theaters, but will surely build a cult audience on video.

Catalog Titles

On the catalog front, Shout! Factory brings us Ridley Scott’s first feature ‘The Deullists‘, Lionsgate has Luis Buñuel’s final film ‘That Obscure Object of Desire‘, and Kino Classics resurrects Bela Lugosi’s 1932 classic chiller ‘White Zombie‘.

Are you new to Blu-ray and have a great deal of expendable money to waste? If so, you might want to kickstart your high-def library with the ‘Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Collection‘, which bundles together 50 random movies that have absolutely nothing in common other than the fact that Warner Bros. currently owns them. Mixed in here are genuine classics like ‘Gone with the Wind’ and ‘Casablanca’, along with miscellaneous crap like ‘The Bodyguard’ and ‘The Hangover’. I’ll be amazed if the studio sells more than a dozen copies of this.

Television

Last year, the third season of ‘Downton Abbey‘ proved the futility of staggered international release dates when fans from Europe posted details of the finale episode all over social media before the season even began airing in the U.S. If you haven’t had it spoiled for you already, now’s your chance to catch up with the show on Blu-ray.

I’m adding ‘Seven Psychopaths’ to my rental queue, and putting ‘The Duellists’ and ‘That Obscure Object of Desire’ on my wish list for later. Does anything strike your fancy this week?

14 comments

  1. Mike Attebery

    I just want a Blu-ray release of the unrated Die Hard 4. I’ll never get why they made that DVD exclusive when they were in the midst of selling Blu-ray’s benefits to the public.

  2. Drew

    Mike,

    ‘Die Hard 4′ is not a DVD exclusive. I owned the blu-ray for a few years, before selling it, when I bought the 4 film collection. You can buy it used or new. Check Amazon or half.com.

  3. EM

    In a couple of weekends I’m seeing a theatrical presentation of Tales of the Night (French fairytale 3D animation using silhouettes, à la The Adventures of Prince Achmed). After that I’ll make any decisions about the Blu-ray (of which I was not aware until I read this blog entry).

  4. William Henley

    I said other, and actually submitted a question to the Feedback on this site about it. While poking around Amazon today, I noticed that they state that Flight of the Navigator is due to be released today, but they didn’t have any in stock, just a couple of used and new copies from third parties. Mike replied and said that they hadn’t gotten anything official yet, but he heard that it was a Best Buy exclusive, but he thought it was delayed. So I checked Best Buy’s website, and it shows that it was released in December, but they are out of stock. :-/ So I am going to look into this a bit more – this was one of those movies I have been wanting to be released since the introduciton of the format, I just don’t want to go paying $35 from a third party on Amazon, and realize it was actually the DVD copy that someone mislabled.

  5. JM

    ‘Christopher Walken: Dog Thief’ is on the Q, though the lower half of me is more excited to see what his brother did to Brendan Gleeson in ‘The Priest.’

  6. Regarding my post about the new Die Hard singles released this week, they are Blu-ray/DVD combo packs, so it’s possible that only the DVD is the unrated version. I won’t know for sure until I pick them up this weekend.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      In our site forum, member “Sky Captain” has confirmed that only the DVD in the set is unrated. The Blu-ray is the PG-13 theatrical cut. These are the same discs as before.