As often happens, I covered most of the week’s new VUDU titles in the Blu-ray update on Tuesday, or the one from last week. Let’s be honest, you don’t need me to talk about mainstream films like ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ or ‘Dolphin Tale’ (or even ‘Midnight in Paris’ to a lesser extent) again. You already know what you need to know about those. Instead, I’ll take this opportunity to provide trailers for some of the less-publicized indie and foreign movies on offer, as well as make my random pick from the VUDU catalog.
The following titles are entering the VUDU stream:
- ‘Blackthorn’ (9/2)
- ‘Colombiana’ (12/20)
- ‘Dolphin Tale’ (12/20)
- ‘Don’t Go in the Woods’ (12/26)
- ‘Final Destination 5’ (12/27)
- ‘Glee: The Concert’ (12/20)
- ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ (12/27)
- ‘Midnight in Paris’ (12/20)
- ‘Moneyball’ (1/10/12)
- ‘Mysteries of Lisbon’ (12/20)
- ‘Newlyweds’ (12/26)
- ‘Northeast’ (12/26)
- ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ (12/20)
- ‘Straw Dogs’  (12/20)
- ‘Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston’ (12/26)
- ‘Warrior’ (12/20)
Please note that ‘Moneyball’ can be purchased this week (well ahead of its Blu-ray release), but won’t be available for rental until January 10th.
On the other end of the spectrum, ‘Blackthorn‘ is just coming up for purchase now despite being rentable since September 2nd. For some reason, that was omitted from the September list, so I’ll mention it here. The film posits that the rumors of Butch Cassidy’s death were greatly exaggerated. The outlaw Cassidy (Sam Shepard) survived in hiding, and had one final adventure in his old age. This trailer looks kind of great, I think.
‘Mysteries of Lisbon‘ is, yes, a daunting four-and-a-half hour period piece epic. I fear that something like this needs to be broken up across a couple of days, and a streaming rental where you’re only given 24 hours to finish the movie may not be enough. In any case, the film received some very enthusiastic reviews. I have to be honest, though. The trailer makes it look a little too ‘Masterpiece Theater’-y for me. I suppose, however, that this is the sort of thing you really need to settle in with, and can’t judge from a couple minutes of clips.
Here’s one that’s not getting a Blu-ray release, the apparently zero-budget indie ‘Northeast‘. It looks like a bad student film, and the trailer doesn’t suggest that there’s any, you know, story to the movie at all. Pass.
Someone still lets Edward Burns make movies? Why? Here’s his latest, called ‘Newlyweds‘. This one’s also not getting a Blu-ray release, and from this I’m not surprised. Burns seems to be turning into our generation’s Henry Jaglom. That’s not a compliment.
Josh’s Random VUDU Pick:
The release of any new Roman Polanski movie is inevitably greeted with controversy. That certainly hasn’t changed with his latest, ‘Carnage‘, which opened last week. I prefer to look back to an earlier Roman Polanski. Before he was a man whose pregnant wife was brutally slaughtered by the Manson Family, before he was a rapist, and before he was a fugitive from justice, Polanski was just an amazingly talented filmmaker who made an undisputed masterpiece like ‘Chinatown‘. This movie will stand the test of time, regardless of its director’s personal scandals. How is this not available on Blu-ray yet? While we wait for that, VUDU offers it for streaming in 1080p HDX format.
All dates provided refer specifically to rental availability. Check VUDU for sell-through availability, if interested. Be sure to also check for VUDU’s $0.99 Movie of the Day offers, which are announced each day on the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages.