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Blu-ray Highlights for 11/8/11 – It’s a Strange World

At first glance, the week’s Blu-ray release schedule may appear to be dominated by the final adventure of a certain boy wizard. No doubt, young Mr. Potter will cast another spell and tear up the sales charts. However, if you dig a little beneath the surface, you’ll find a good selection of other important titles worth buying too.

Here’s the release slate, up through the end of this week:

Let’s just get this out of the way up front and acknowledge that we’ll all be buying ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2‘ this Friday. It’s the final ‘Potter’ film and one of the best in the series. The franchise is a cultural institution and it goes out strong. Warner is only releasing the standard 2D version to general retail. The 3D editions of both this and ‘Deathly Hallows, Part 1′ are tied up in an exclusive bundle with Sony 3D products. [Update: Best Buy has the 3D discs as a retailer exclusive as well.] I’m not personally bothered by this. I saw the last film theatrically in 2D, and plan to watch it that way on Blu-ray as well. The 3D version is a post-conversion effort that received mixed notices at best. Honestly, the last few ‘Potter’ movies have been photographed so darkly that watching them through 3D glasses must be a real chore anyway.

Other notable day-and-date titles include the Ryan Reynolds/Jason Bateman body-switching comedy ‘The Change-Up‘, which received a terrible drubbing from pretty much everyone who saw it in theaters, and the much-more-warmly-received documentary ‘Life in a Day‘.

On the catalog front, we get some major works from important artists, including David Lynch’s masterpiece ‘Blue Velvet‘, Terry Gilliam’s fantastical ‘The Fisher King‘, Gus Van Sant’s delicious dark comedy ‘To Die For‘, and a Criterion Collection edition of Ingmar Bergman’s epic family drama ‘Fanny and Alexander‘. The latter includes both the theatrical cut and the five-hour TV cut of the film. I’m down for all of these, especially ‘Blue Velvet’. Hot damn.

Marlon Brando fans will also want to check out the 1962 adaptation of ‘Mutiny on the Bounty‘ (finally making its way to Blu-ray almost exactly five years after being released on HD DVD) and the actor’s only directorial effort, the Western ‘One Eyed Jacks‘.

Which of the week’s titles will you be picking up?

18 comments

  1. I didn’t have any issues with the darkness of the last Harry Potter movie in 3D. It also was not a bad conversion. It was by no means the best I have seen, but I have seen conversions much worse as well.

    I was disappointed. I thought Super8 was going to be released today after seeing the review. :-(

    I am debating on picking up Dragonball Z. I think I am going to pass on the first few releases, because I am such a huge fan of Kai, but apparently Kai ends after the Cell games. So I will probably pick up the Majin Boo and the Great Saiya Man series when those finally get released.

    Doctor Who, I will just wait until they get to streaming. I am still a couple of seasons behind on that show anyways. I am usually a couple of seasons behind on any big show, though, because I will go a year or so without watchign something, then watch an entire season in a weekend. I did that with Stargate, I’m doing it with Doctor Who, did it with Battlestar Galactica (I need to finish that series as well), did it with Heros (okay, I made it through the first two seasons, and gave up), I do it with 19 Kids and Counting (just watched about 20 episodes of that last week), and this week I just watched about 20 episodes of Sister Wives. Strangely, these sets are probably made for people like me, but I will probably just stream them.

    I am debating on Bolt and G-Force in 3D. I have both in 2D, and while I am working on collecting 3D movies, I am not huge fans of these movies (both were really Christmas gifts).

    So I guess this just brings me back to just Harry Potter. And really sorry to hear that the 3D conversions will be tied to Sony purchaces – I am sure this will many to piracy.

      • Drew

        Forgot to add that the photography of ‘Deathly Hallows Part Two’ was not nearly as dark as ‘DHP1′. It actually looks really great in 3D!

        I’m hoping that Warner gives us a 3D conversion for ‘DHP1′ that is on par with the one for ‘DHP2′.

        HOW ARE YOU BUYING HARRY POTTER TODAY?!

        I MUST KNOW!

        IS IT POSSIBLE THAT ANY OF US CAN ALSO BUY IT TODAY?!

        • JM

          WB is going to 3D convert the entire series for theatrical re-release.

          How long does a good conversion take? Are they converting them all back-to-back or simultaneously? Can they just throw people on it?

          Could they bring out the 3D mega-set next holiday?

          • Drew

            An outstanding 3D conversion takes a few years.

            I’ve read that they are converting all of the remaining films simultaneously.

            No, a 3D mega-set will not be coming out by next Holiday.

            I’m thinking 2013 for a 3D mega-set.

          • I hope they do not release all the movies in 3D simultaniously. I need a bit of time between releases to save up money. :-)

            BTW, thanks for the Best Buy info. Order has been placed for Parts 1 and 2 in 3D. I am geting my roommate a Blu-Ray player for Christmas, so I can give her part 1 in 2D to go with it. Probably also pick up movies 6 and 8 – she has the first 5 on DVD.

    • Drew

      I completely agree with what you say about ‘Deathly Hallows Part Two’ in 3D. I saw it in 3D four times in theatres. The 3D was used quite nicely. Not the best post conversion I’ve seen — that honor belongs to Cap — but it definitely added that little something extra to a lot of the scenes. I wouldn’t want to experience it any other way.

      I’m picking up both ‘DHP1′ and ‘DHP2′ on 3D from Best Buy Thursday at midnight! We’re going to have a Harry Potter party and watch part one and two in 3D back-to-back! I can’t wait!

      I’m actually a huge fan of ‘Bolt’. I feel like it was the best non-Pixar Disney movie when it arrived a few years ago. ‘The Princess and the Frog’ and ‘Tangled’ have since brought Disney back to glory.

      I purchased ‘Bolt 3D’ and ‘Meet the Robinsons 3D’. I’m also going to take a chance on ‘The Change Up’. If it’s atrocious, I will just sell it. If I sell a film when it is brand new, I usually only lose a few bucks.

      I also picked up ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3′, but I guess that’s for a different post.

  2. Random Commenter

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 on 3D Blu-ray are available as Best Buy exclusives, too.

  3. Potter and Blue Velvet for me. I’m curious to revisit To Die For after reading the review. I know I watched it back in the day but I don’t really remember it very well, I thought it was basically Poison Ivy with an inexplicably cast Nicole Kidman.

    • Drew

      When does ‘Gia’ hit blu-ray?

      Did I already miss it?

      That’s a definite buy for me for the Elizabeth Mitchell nudity alone!