It’s a holiday week here in the United States. Have the Blu-ray studios given you anything to be thankful for?
Here’s a look at the release slate for the entire week:
- ‘12 Angry Men (1957)‘ (Criterion)
- ‘Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World (DVD Packaging)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas (DVD Packaging)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘The Birth of a Nation (1915)‘ (Kino)
- ‘Britney Spears Live: The Femme Fatale Tour‘ (RCA – November 21st)
- ‘Carjacked‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘Conan the Barbarian (2011)‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Conan the Barbarian – 3D‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘The Devil’s Double‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series‘ (BBC)
- ‘Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who: Deluxe Collection‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Fairy Tail: Part 1‘ (FUNimation)
- ‘Frankenhooker‘ (Synapse Films – November 25th)
- ‘Godzilla vs. Megalon‘ (Media Blasters)
- ‘Helldriver‘ (Well Go USA)
- ‘Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas Special‘ (20th Century Fox – November 26th)
- ‘K-ON! Vol. 4‘ (Bandai)
- ‘A Madea Christmas: The Play‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘The Prophecy: Forsaken / The Prophecy: Uprising‘ (Echo Bridge)
- ‘The Rolling Stones: Some Girls Live in Texas 1978‘ (Eagle Rock – November 21st)
- ‘Rushmore‘ (Criterion)
- ‘Sarah’s Key‘ (Weinstein)
- ‘Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World – 3D‘ (Anchor Bay/Weinstein)
- ‘Star Driver: Part 1‘ (Bandai)
- ‘Super 8‘ (Paramount)
- ‘These Amazing Shadows: The Movies That Make America‘ (PBS)
- ‘Three Amigos!‘ (HBO)
- ‘Way Down East (1920)‘ (Kino)
J.J. Abrams’ homage to Steven Spielberg, ‘Super 8‘, was simultaneously one of the better movies of this past summer, and also one of the most overrated. Personally, I absolutely loved all of the ‘Goonie’-style kid adventure stuff, but found all of the monster stuff to be petty lame. Nevertheless, the movie struck a chord and seems to be one of the most beloved films of the year. I won’t begrudge anyone for liking it more than I did. (Don’t forget that you can win a free copy of ‘Super 8’ by entering our contest.)
On the other end of the spectrum, not too many people cared much for the new, pointless remake of ‘Conan the Barbarian‘. Not too many people bothered to go see it, for that matter. If you’re curious, Lionsgate offers the movie in standard 2D or post-converted 3D options.
Criterion blasts out a couple of great catalog titles this week. First, we have Sidney Lumet’s courtroom drama masterpiece ‘12 Angry Men‘. How is it possible that this was the man’s feature film debut? He really knocked it out of the park, and went on to a very distinguished career afterwards as well. Although not a debut feature (it was his second film), ‘Rushmore‘ put Wes Anderson on the art film map and marked him as a unique cinematic voice worth following. Both of these are must-haves, in my opinion. Too bad the Barnes & Noble sale just ended.
Meanwhile, Kino gives us D.W. Griffith’s landmark, troubling 1915 silent epic ‘The Birth of a Nation‘. This is of course a movie rightly lauded for establishing many of the building blocks of film grammar that directors would use for more than a century to come. It’s also extremely controversial for its blatantly racist depiction of black characters (white actors in blackface) and celebration of the Ku Klux Klan. A humbled Griffith followed this film up with the more progressive ‘Intolerance’ as an apology for his naïveté.
But hey, enough of this artsy fartsy crap. You want to talk about real cinema classics? How about ‘Three Amigos!‘ and ‘Frankenhooker‘? Can your Blu-ray collection possibly be complete without these essential titles?