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.
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?
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.
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.
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?