As if September hadn’t already been an expensive enough month, this week brings us at least two more of the biggest Blu-ray releases of the year, plus several more potential titles of interest. It’s time to pull out those wallets again, folks. You don’t need to eat for the rest of the year, do you?
Bond, James Bond
As should be obvious from my posts over the past week, the ‘Bond 50‘ collection is my most anticipated Blu-ray of the year. To celebrate the franchise’s 50th anniversary, this huge box set contains all 22 of the official James Bond films, plus an open slot for the upcoming ‘Skyfall’ (which hits theaters this November, and should makes its way to Blu-ray next year).
I love this movie series so much that I don’t even mind rebuying the 13 titles that were previously released on Blu-ray a few years ago. I need the whole deal, fancy packaging and all. Fans who are perhaps a little less obsessive than myself can expect individual releases of the remaining nine titles to appear as retailer exclusives on October 2nd, broken out as follows:
After carefully laying the groundwork with individual movies for each character, Marvel’s superhero team-up ‘The Avengers‘ was a smash hit and the biggest blockbuster of this summer. I had some quibbles with the movie (the first hour is kind of boring, honestly), but once it finally builds up some steam, it turns out to be great fun. By and large, writer/director Joss Whedon delivers the goods. The Blu-ray comes in both 2D or 3D options. Because it was a post-conversion, I avoided the 3D version in theaters. However, after being pleasantly surprised by ‘Thor’ in 3D, I’ll give this one a shot in that format too.
If huge, bombastic comic book movies aren’t your thing and you’re looking for a little counter-programming, you might prefer Whit Stillman’s latest talk-fest, ‘Damsels in Distress‘. Stillman is a director I’ve never warmed to, but I feel like I ought to. Maybe one of these days I’ll give his movies another look.
Fans of the ‘Resident Evil’ videogames tend to hate the live action movies starring Milla Jovovich. To cater to that audience, Sony has produced a couple of CG animated spin-offs that follow the game continuity. The latest, ‘Resident Evil: Damnation‘, goes direct-to-video today. Personally, I enjoy the silly Jovovich movies, and I thought that the last one of these (‘Resident Evil: Degeneration‘) was pretty lousy. Is this one better? I don’t know that I want to pay to find out.
Has the real Presidential race put you in the mood to watch some movies about fictional Presidents? A couple of pretty decent political-themed romantic comedies hit Blu-ray today: Rob Reiner’s ‘The American President‘ (starring Michael Douglas, scripted by Aaron Sorkin) and Ivan Reitman’s ‘Dave‘. The latter has, in my opinion, one of the worst movie titles of all time (seriously, no one could come up with a better title for this thing than ‘Dave’?!), but it’s a rather funny and good-natured movie.
Looking for something a little less intellectual? Fox is quite happy to oblige your baser instincts with a high-def release of the… ahem… classic ’80s sex comedy ‘Porky’s‘.
Even the Criterion Collection indulges the lowbrow this week with Paul Bartel’s cult comedy ‘Eating Raoul‘.
Other notable titles include Disney’s release of the 1990 horror comedy ‘Arachnophobia‘, and Flicker Alley’s “Smilebox” restoration of two Cinerama pictures: ‘This is Cinerama‘ and ‘Windjammer‘. This actually marks the first time that either of the Cinerama movies has been released on home video.
My favorite new TV series of last year, the outrageous ‘American Horror Story‘, comes to Blu-ray in a Complete First Season collection. Meanwhile, IFC brings out the second season of the quirky comedy ‘Portlandia‘, which is not at all one of my favorite shows.
As much of a G.I. Joe fanboy as I’ve been since I was a kid, you’d think that I’d be all over The Hub’s new cartoon series, ‘G.I. Joe: Renegades‘. Yet something about the artwork and character design really puts me off it. I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch an episode. In his Blu-ray review, Aaron says that it’s an OK way to waste a lazy afternoon.
I have both ‘Bond 50′ and ‘The Avengers’ on order and expect them to arrive shortly. I’m tempted by ‘American Horror Story’ but, as much as I enjoy the show on broadcast, I’ve really pared down my TV box set collecting on Blu-ray. I’ll hold off on that one for the time being. I’m also curious about the two Cinerama flicks, so those will go on my wish list for later.
Which titles will you break open your piggy banks for this week?
Tags: 3D, American Horror Story, Blu-ray, Blu-ray Highlights, Cinerama, Criterion Collection, G.I. Joe, James Bond 007, Joss Whedon, Marvel Comics, Poll, Portlandia, Resident Evil, The Avengers, Whit Stillman