Blu-ray Highlights: Week of April 20th, 2014 – Small Chance

Chances are, you won’t rush out to the store to buy much on Blu-ray this week. The new release slate has virtually no notable day-and-date titles. Even the catalog titles are mostly destined to wind up in Walmart and Best Buy bargain bins shortly.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (4/22/14)?

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Catalog Titles

A middle aged Cybill Shepherd falls for a much younger Robert Downey, Jr., who claims to be the reincarnation of her late husband, in the reasonably charming 1989 romantic comedy ‘Chances Are‘. Things turn a little creepy, however, when Downey’s character romances his own daughter (played by Mary Stuart Masterson). Yes, this is really the plot of the film. What can I say? It was the ’80s.

In anticipation of the new sequel to the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ reboot, Sony has a “Mastered in 4k” edition of Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man 3‘ (yeah, the one everyone hates), along with a ‘Spider-Man Trilogy‘ box set that does not, as far as I can tell, contain the Mastered in 4k versions of any of the movies. If that’s not enough web-slinging action for you, don’t forget the 2008 ‘Spectacular Spider-Man‘ cartoon.

The 1971 British gangster flick ‘Get Carter‘ is one of Michael Caine’s most iconic roles. The 2000 remake with Sylvester Stallone was a total disaster. Both are available on Blu-ray simultaneously, though I can’t imagine why anyone would buy the latter.

Perhaps you’re in the mood for some middling action movies? Warner Bros. unleashes several this week, including the aforementioned ‘Get Carter’ remake, Mel Gibson in ‘Conspiracy Theory‘, Steven Seagal in ‘Exit Wounds‘, and Adam Scott (really!) in ‘Torque‘. Do any of those hit your guilty pleasure button?

If you’re looking for something with a little more artistic credibility, Warner also has a Digibook edition of ‘Sorcerer‘, William Friedkin’s 1977 remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s nail-biting suspense classic ‘The Wages of Fear‘. The remake was a box office bomb and critically panned in its day, but grew to earn a lot of respect over time. Until now, the film was treated very poorly on home video, so the freshly remastered Blu-ray is a welcome sight, even if it’s bereft of bonus features.

From the Warner Archive comes the Debbie Reynolds musical ‘Hit the Deck‘. This sort of thing doesn’t particularly interest me, but Warner Archive releases so few titles on Blu-ray that I felt it worth mentioning.

The latest additions to the Criterion Collection are Carl Theodor Dreyer’s silent dark comedy ‘Master of the House‘ and Don Siegel’s prison drama ‘Riot in Cell Block 11‘.

Finally, Olive Films has licensed Sidney Lumet’s ‘The Pawnbroker‘, featuring an Oscar-nominated performance by Rod Steiger as a Holocaust survivor adapting poorly to his new life in a Manhattan slum.

The only discs likely to go on my wish list this week are ‘Sorcerer’ and the original ‘Get Carter’. Does anything look good to you?

7 comments

  1. Chris B

    Alas, since last week was the week I finally caved and bought the Zatoichi Criterion boxset I’d been lusting after for the last few months….I’m pretty mich broke at the moment. Although, like you mentioned in your post this week is kinda slim pickins isn’t it? I’ll definitely rent Sorcerer in the near future though. It has me really intrigued being that it’s a 70’s jungle adventure flick that I’d never even heard of until recently, and also happens to be one of Tarantino’s all-time favorite movies. I may also rent the original Get Carter down the line…but yeah no purchases this week.

      • William Henley

        Yeah, I need to update my DVD Profiler account – i started working on that last night. At least then I could access my collection online.

  2. Bryan

    I’ve always had a soft spot for “Chances Are”. Yeah, it’s a little weird it you start thinking about the details of the plot, but it’s still an enjoyable little rom-com with a bit of a fantasy twist.

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