Another one of those long-awaited “holy grail” titles comes to Blu-ray this week. Of course, I’m referring to master Italian filmmaker Joe D’Amato’s 1977 sexploitation classic ‘Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals’. Wait, did you think I was talking about something else?
Oh, right, some other movies of note might be released this week as well:
- ‘3 Musketeers‘ (Asylum)
- ‘Attack the Block‘ (Sony)
- ‘Captain America: The First Avenger‘ (Paramount)
- ‘Captain America: The First Avenger – 3D‘ (Paramount)
- ‘The Christmas Blessing‘ (Gaiam Americas)
- ‘The Christmas Shoes‘ (Gaiam Americas)
- ‘City of Life and Death‘ (Kino)
- ‘The Conversation‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Dazed and Confused‘ (Criterion)
- ‘Destroy All Monsters‘ (Tokyo Shock)
- ‘Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals‘ (Shriek Show)
- ‘Faces in the Crowd‘ (First Look)
- ‘Father of Invention‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘The House by the Cemetery‘ (Blue Underground)
- ‘Identification of a Woman‘ (Criterion)
- ‘Island of Lost Souls‘ (Criterion)
- ‘Jurassic Park Trilogy Blu-ray Limited Edition Gift Set‘ (Universal)
- ‘Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy‘ (Universal)
- ‘A Little Help‘ (Image)
- ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year‘ (Gaiam Americas)
- ‘Naruto Shippūden 2: Bonds‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Pearl Jam: Twenty‘ (Sony)
- ‘Pearl Jam: Twenty (Deluxe Limited Edition)‘ (Ten Club)
- ‘Peter Gabriel: New Blood – Live in London‘ (Eagle Rock)
- ‘Peter Gabriel: New Blood – Live in London – 3D‘ (Eagle Rock)
- ‘Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale‘ (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
- ‘Robot Chicken: Season 5‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘A Serbian Film‘ (Invincible)
- ‘Severe Clear‘ (Inception Media Group)
- ‘Shaolin‘ (Well Go USA)
- ‘Shaolin (Collector’s Edition)‘ (Well Go USA)
- ‘Tom and Jerry: The Golden Collection – Volume One‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Winnie the Pooh‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Winnie the Pooh (DVD Packaging)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Witchblade: The Complete Series (Reissue)‘ (FUNimation)
- ‘Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘WWE: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart‘ (World Wrestling)
- ‘Zombie‘ (Blue Underground)
A little movie by the name of ‘Jurassic Park‘ arrives on Blu-ray today. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? Steven Spielberg’s dinosaurs-run-amok blockbuster ranked as the highest-grossing film of all time for several years (until finally unseated by ‘Titanic’). Unfortunately, Universal only offers it in a box set with the two crummy sequels that nobody wants. I think I’ll hold off until a separate release of just the first film eventually becomes available. While the disc appears to be another of Universal’s underwhelming catalog specials – recycled from an aging DVD master with some digital tweaking – most reviews so far (including ours by E., which is linked above) suggest that the movie looks reasonably decent. Not perfect, but watchable. That’s better than a lot of Universal catalog titles, I suppose.
The biggest day-and-date title of the week would be this summer’s surprise hit ‘Captain America‘. Despite being one of the goofiest superheroes to score his own movie to date, ol’ Cap busted some Nazi skulls and won over the hearts of skeptical viewers. Well, a lot of skeptical viewers, but not quite all of them. Still, it made a whole bunch of money. Now you can own the film in either 2D or post-converted 3D options. I hear that the flinging-his-shield-at-the-camera effect is kind of neat in 3D.
In the mood for a flick about British street hooligans fighting nasty space aliens? Give the import ‘Attack the Block‘ a shot. The movie was a huge hit in the UK, but pretty much disappeared in a blink on American cinema screens. Still, most people who saw it seem to have liked it.
On a completely different note, if you’re looking for something warm and nostalgic to watch with your kids, the new ‘Winnie the Pooh‘ is said to be quite charming. Disney very stupidly opened this against the final ‘Harry Potter’ film over the summer, almost as if the studio wanted to bury it. Mission accomplished. I’m sure the movie will fare better on video.
If concert documentaries are your thing, filmmaker Cameron Crowe returns behind the camera (his first feature since the disastrous ‘Elizabethtown’) for ‘Pearl Jam: Twenty‘, which looks back at the band’s 20-year history. It’s supposed to be pretty good. Crowe was music journalist before he turned director, after all.
The ’70s were truly a golden period for Francis Ford Coppola. The same year that he released his epic ‘The Godfather Part II’, the director also delivered a smaller-scale but equally potent conspiracy thriller called ‘The Conversation‘, which stars Gene Hackman as an audio surveillance specialist whose latest job has much greater implications that he believes at first. The movie flew under the radar when released, but has only grown in esteem over the years. The Blu-ray looks and sounds pretty good for a movie of the era, and comes with quite a number of supplements.
Let’s turn our attention to cult films for a moment. The Finnish ‘Rare Exports‘ is a demented Christmas tale about a group of hunters who discover that the truth behind the myth of Santa Claus isn’t quite what children are told. It sounds like a lot of fun. The controversial ‘A Serbian Film‘, on the other hand, seems to be trying to set a record as the most repulsive and repugnant movie ever made. It’s already been banned in a few countries due to extreme depictions of rape, necrophilia and pedophilia. How charming. I think I’ll pass on that one. Your mileage may vary.
Finally, the Criterion Collection offers up an odd trifecta of titles. First, we have ‘Dazed and Confused‘, Richard Linklater’s attempt to make an ‘American Graffiti’ for the stoner generation. I know that our Mike Attebery is a huge fan of this, but it never did much for me, personally. That’s followed by the 1932 horror classic ‘Island of Lost Souls‘ and Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1982 “anti-romance” ‘Identification of a Woman‘. If there’s some theme at work between these three releases, I’m at a loss to find it.
What will you buy this week?