Blu-ray Highlights for 8/17/10. What Are You Buying?

At first glance, this week’s Blu-ray slate looks kind of hairy. Get it? Hairy. Because the biggest title is an animal comedy. Didja pick up on my subtle wit there? Oh, you did? Eh, nevermind then.

Anyway, a quick perusal of the release list might seem pretty bleak. But dig in a little bit, and there are a few interesting titles of note.

So, yeah. Brendan Fraser gets attacked by crazy woodland creatures in the alleged family comedy ‘Furry Vengeance‘. A part of me feels bad for Brendan Fraser, who can actually be a decent actor when he really tries (as in ‘Gods and Monsters’). But, really, he’s got nobody to blame but himself for continually making stupid kids’ movies like this.

The week’s other major day & date release is ‘The Last Song‘, which bestselling author Nicholas Sparks wrote specially as a vehicle for Miley Cyrus. Because I am not a 12-year-old girl, and thus not the target audience for this movie, I’ll refrain from commenting any further. You can go right ahead and click on the link above for Nate’s scathing review, if you’d like.

OK, with that out of the way, does anything redeem the week? The Criterion Collection sure tries with its release of the 1959 ‘Black Orpheus‘, which retells the classic Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, here set during Carnaval in then-contemporary Rio de Janeiro. If nothing else, the film makes for an exotic travelogue back to that place and time.

The art film front also brings us Kenneth Branagh’s four-hour adaptation of ‘Hamlet‘. His was the first (and I believe only) attempt to film the entire text of Shakespeare’s play. It’s also the last narrative feature film photographed in wondrous 65mm. I saw this in the theater, and my butt sure was sore by the end of it. Home viewing, where you can break it up into chunks, should be more forgiving. It’s actually an excellent movie overall, though a few of Branagh’s casting decisions are real head scratchers. (Billy Crystal and Robin Williams, as small as their parts may be, have no business doing Shakespeare.)

I’ve heard good things about both ‘The Good, The Bad, The Weird‘ and the ‘Red Riding Trilogy‘, but haven’t seen either. Now would be a good time to catch up on Blu-ray.

I don’t get the Showtime network, so I’ve never watched ‘Dexter‘. But literally everyone I know who has watched it tells me that it’s excellent. Paramount offers box sets for just the latest season or the complete series to date. I wish I had enough time in my schedule to really dig into something like this.

Well now, look at that. When it really comes down to it, this isn’t such a bad week after all.


    • Josh Zyber

      I guess I would have to know something about it. Never heard of it before this week. Never saw a trailer or a TV ad, never heard a peep of buzz. Looks like Drew did the Blu-ray review (which was published after I’d finished writing this post). He didn’t like it much. That’s pretty much all I know about it right now.