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Blu-ray Highlights for 10/4/11 – Can You Feel the Love Tonight?

I would seem that, when I wrote last week’s Blu-ray update, I missed kind of a big title that was released on Friday. You know, the one involving giant robots beating the crap out of each other. Whoops. Allow me to consolidate that into this one. October is going to be another busy (and expensive) month for Blu-ray releases. There’s quite a lot to look at today.

Including this past Friday and up through this coming Saturday, here’s the list of titles being released:

Yeah, so, ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon‘ streeted on Friday, to fulfill all of your robot-smashing needs. Well, some of your robot-smashing needs, anyway. The disc is 2D only and has no bonus features. A Special Edition double-dip with 3D and supplements is expected sometime before the end of the year. In the meantime, be sure to enter our ‘Transformers’ contest to win a free copy of the current disc.

‘Transformers 3′ isn’t enough for you? You want more summer sequels? How about ‘Scream 4‘ and ‘Fast Five‘, both newly available today? Neither of these franchises is my thing, personally, but people must like them if they’re still churning out sequels.

If you’re done with the summer and are looking for a little more substance than mindless spectacle, the coming-of-age drama ‘Submarine‘ got pretty good notices in the indie film circuit when it was released last year. After some delay, the movie finally makes its way to Blu-ray now.

Disney’s obviously knew that there was a market for its new 3D conversion of ‘The Lion King‘ when the studio scheduled it for a limited theatrical engagement to build hype for the new Blu-ray edition. However, I doubt that anyone expected this re-release of a 17-year-old animated movie to dominate the box office the way that it has. Extended from its original two-week run, the movie is still drawing crowds to theaters right now. It will undoubtedly rock the Blu-ray sales charts as well. While I have some reservations about converting old 2D movies into 3D, this one is reportedly very well done. I’m certainly curious to see it, even if ‘The Lion King’ isn’t my favorite Disney film. (I think the movie would work a lot better if someone could cut out most of the horrid Elton John songs.) The Blu-ray is available in a few different editions, including one in an awkward box set with its two DTV sequels.

Of course, Disney also has a 3D conversion of ‘Beauty and the Beast‘ coming out simultaneously. For the purist audience, both movies fortunately contain 2D versions as well. (‘Beauty and the Beast’ was previously released on Blu-ray, also.)

Other eagerly-awaited catalog titles include the Quentin Tarantino double bill of ‘Pulp Fiction‘ and ‘Jackie Brown‘. I find both of these equally exciting. Although one or possibly both of these were originally slated to be Walmart exclusives, it appears that both have gone to general retail instead.

Tim Burton gets his own double bill today with the long-delayed Blu-ray edition of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘ (which was released on HD DVD way back in 2006, but for some reason never made it to Blu-ray until now) and ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure‘.

Lionsgate obtained the license to a lot of former Miramax titles a while back, and continues to crank out Blu-ray editions of award winners like ‘Cinema Paradiso‘ (great movie!), ‘The Cider House Rules‘ (very good movie) and ‘Life Is Beautiful‘ (total garbage).

Much less respectable but a lot of fun is Peter Jackson’s cult classic splatter-fest ‘Dead Alive‘.

The Christmas season seems to start earlier and earlier every year. For some reason, several different studios have decided to begin unloading Christmas-themed movies on the market at the beginning of October. The best of them would be Vivendi’s release of ‘Frosty the Snowman‘.

The Criterion Collection unleashes one of its most controversial titles on Blu-ray with Pier Paolo Pasolini’s utterly repulsive and nauseating ‘Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom‘. Once upon a time, the Criterion DVD edition of this movie fell out of print and fetched obscenely high prices on eBay, only for unsuspecting Criterion collectors to watch the movie, puke their guts out, and resolve never to blind-buy a Criterion disc again. I’ll probably have to pass on this one. Coprophagia is not something I ever need to see in high definition. Or at all, really. I’ll stick with Criterion’s release of the 1962 samurai film ‘Harakiri‘ instead.

Finally, we have an odd development on the TV front, as Starz attempts a double-dip Blu-ray release of ‘The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season‘, which was already issued on Blu-ray in March of this year. Will the prospect of new bonus features and fancy packaging really convince fans to rebuy the whole season? We shall see.

Which titles are you planning to buy?

9 comments

  1. HuskerGuy

    Picked up Transformers on Friday and Lion King is coming today. There are some great catalog titles I’d like to grab as well, but I’m holding off for the time being.

  2. Already got Lion King (and it’s amazing.) Should have Pulp Fiction, Dead Alive, and my backorder of Nightmare on Elm Street 2 & 3 arriving today. Does anyone have the misfortune of reviewing Salo? I’m not sure whether I need to upgrade that one, hmm.

    • Shayne, if Criterion makes with the screener, than I’m making with the review. Beyond that, I’m not saying a bloody f’n word about it. I’d prefer to let it sneak up on readers, then drown its parents and poo in front of them for crying, making them eat said poo for daring to ruin the mood with such awful whining.

  3. Having now watched both, I think the 3D in Beauty and the Beast is MUCH better than that in Lion King. The opening town sequence is just absolutely amazing! If you only have it in your budget to get one, I recommend Beauty and the Beast.

    As for everything else – I already own Santa Clause 3, Frosty, Planet Earth, Tomb Raider, and Life Is Beautiful on Blu-Ray, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on HD-DVD (In fact, it was the movie that finally convinced me to get an HD-DVD player when I realized that it would be some time before it would get released on Blu-Ray).

    Nothing else really intrests me this week.

    • When Beauty and the Beast was released in 3D over a year ago it was an experiment with the 3D conversion of animation thing… I do agree that the opening scene is Incredible, as is the final “battle”; However B&B was 3D for 3D’s sake, where as in the Lion King Don Hahn went through and put more thought into the 3D process as it is more for enhancing depth and drama as apposed to WOW factor 3D found throughout B&B. After recieving my copy of Lion King 3D early in Sept, I still saw it in the theater, and both Lion King and B&B truly come to life there!.. Looking forward to seeing B&B again at the theater in January!