Blu-ray Highlights for 4/19/11. What Are You Buying?

Royal fever is in the air. As you may have heard, there’s kind of a big wedding happening in England at the end of next week. It seems like fortuitous timing, therefore, that recent Oscar winner ‘The King’s Speech’ is being released on video today, just in time for everyone to study up on the history of the royal family. If we look, there may be one or two other things worth checking out as well.

Here’s the new release slate:

Obviously, the big gun here is this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner ‘The King’s Speech‘. Readers of this blog may recall that Drew wasn’t a fan of the movie, to put it lightly. If you follow the link above to the Blu-ray review, Aaron thought more highly of it. I finally got around to watching it this past weekend, and I probably fall closer to Aaron’s side. I think the movie was really the victim of over-hyping, more than anything else. Removed from the burden of living up to those Best Picture expectations, it’s a perfectly entertaining, smart, witty, and emotionally rousing movie. Was it the best film released in 2010? No, perhaps not. But I have no hesitation in recommending it anyway.

In other Oscar-related news, this week also brings us the home video release of ‘Rabbit Hole‘, for which Nicole Kidman was nominated for the Best Actress trophy. (She lost to Natalie Portman.) I saw this movie last year at the Toronto Film Festival, in much too close a proximity to another picture on the same theme. I think that diluted my appreciation of it. However, it’s certainly an emotionally devastating drama, and Kidman (of whom I’m not usually a fan) gives a terrific performance. So does Aaron Eckhart. I think I’ll need to re-evaluate this again at some point.

Lost amid the Oscar shuffle last year was ‘The Way Back‘, director Peter Weir’s return to the big screen. Our reviewer Steven Cohen liked it a lot. I didn’t get a chance to see it theatrically, but will definitely check out the Blu-ray.

Less interesting by far is the week’s other big day-and-date title, that new version of ‘Gulliver’s Travels‘ starring Jack Black (available in both 2D and 3D). The movie was savaged by critics and a big ol’ bomb at the box office. It looks just dreadful. Even if you have kids, do them a favor and find something better for them to watch.

Admittedly, the week’s two new Criterion releases aren’t exactly kid-friendly, but adult viewers may appreciate these early works from directors Ken Loach and Jane Campion. I haven’t seen either. I’m not much of a fan of Loach in general, but I know that he’s well respected. I’m willing to give ‘Kes‘ the benefit of the doubt. I’m more interested in ‘Sweetie‘. Both titles are going on my ever-expanding Criterion wish-list.


  1. Weird, I thought King’s Speech came out a week or two ago. I could have sworn this has been available on Pay-per-view for a couple of weeks at least. Could have sworn it was on Vudu last weekend.

    Funimation seems to be stepping up full gear on Blu-Ray releases. They don’t seem to be getting much hype on different review sites, but it seems that Funimation seems to have a title coming out almost every week, or at least they have over the last couple of months. I would have to go back and check to be positive. In any case, Funimation has really been showing that they know Blu-Ray, and are really serious about it! Evangelion 1.11 and 2.22 was demo material if ever I saw it!

    As for what I am buying this week, it feels really good to say NOTHING! And looking at my preorder list, it looks like its nothing for a few more weeks at least! Its time to recover from my recent purchaces and catch up on movies!

  2. Tony

    I’m picking up the Alliance release of Mrs. Brown. My wife & I have a weakness for English period dramas.

  3. Tim H

    Nothing this week. Pretty weak lineup of blu ray releases for a while, IMO.

    Maybe MGM and Fox will get the last 9 James Bond films out on blu ray.