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:
- ‘‘Twas the Night Before Christmas‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘The 12 Dogs of Christmas‘ (Screen Media)
- ‘African Cats‘ (Disneynature)
- ‘African Cats (DVD Packaging)‘ (Disneynature)
- ‘Amer‘ (Olive Films)
- ‘Beauty and the Beast – 3D‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Bette Midler: The Showgirl Must Go On‘ (Image)
- ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory‘ (Warner)
- ‘The Cider House Rules‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Cinema Paradiso‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Crazy on the Outside‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Dead Alive‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Deck the Halls‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Deep Gold‘ (Bigfoot – October 8th)
- ‘Fast Five‘ (Universal)
- ‘Fast Five (DVD Packaging)‘ (Universal)
- ‘Freerunner‘ (Image)
- ‘Frosty the Snowman‘ (Vivendi)
- ‘Harakiri‘ (Criterion)
- ‘The Heart Specialist‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Higanjima – Escape from Vampire Island‘ (FUNimation)
- ‘Jackie Brown‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Jig‘ (Screen Media)
- ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider / Aeon Flux‘ (Paramount)
- ‘The League: The Complete Season Two‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Legend of the Millennium Dragon‘ (Sony)
- ‘Life Is Beautiful‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘The Lion King (Diamond Edition) (DVD Packaging)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘The Lion King (El Rey León) (Spanish Edition)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘The Lion King Trilogy (Eight-Disc Combo Pack)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘The Lion King (Diamond Edition)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘The Lion King – 3D‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Moby Dick (2011)‘ (Vivendi)
- ‘The Names of Love‘ (Music Box Films)
- ‘Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series – Limited Edition‘ (BBC)
- ‘Planet Earth: The Complete BBC Series – Special Edition‘ (BBC)
- ‘Prohibition‘ (PBS)
- ‘Pulp Fiction‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Salo: Or the 120 Days of Sodom‘ (Criterion)
- ‘The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Scream 4‘ (Anchor Bay)
- ‘Silent Night, Zombie Night‘ (Pacific)
- ‘Space Jam‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Submarine‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon‘ (Paramount – Sept 30th)
- ‘The True Story of Puss ‘n Boots (Combo Pack)‘ (Phase 4 Films)
- ‘The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season – Limited Edition Collector’s Tin‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season – Special Edition‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘Weird Al Yankovic Live!: The Alpocalypse Tour‘ (Comedy Central)
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?