Blu-ray Highlights: Week of August 18th, 2013 – BLECCCHHHH!!!

Hey, kids, you wanna hear a scary story? Somebody out there keeps making ‘Scary Movie’ movies, and they just keep getting worse and worse. AAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (8/20/13)?

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New Releases

That a ‘Scary Movie 5‘ exists at all makes me question whether anyone in Hollywood still has functioning brain cells. That it stars washed-up burnouts Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan makes me question whether humanity as a species deserves to survive. Fortunately, this series seems to be on a downslide, and this latest pathetic entry outright bombed. Perhaps there’s hope for us after all.

In the glut of animated kids’ movies this year, the ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ / ‘Ferngully’ mash-up ‘Epic‘ fell between the leaves, as it were. It didn’t look very interesting to me, but I’m not exactly the target audience. It’s available in 3D, if that makes it more appealing to anybody.

With the release of Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour‘, all nine of this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees are finally available on Blu-ray. Notorious misanthropist Haneke can be an acquired taste, but by most accounts he’s finally found a subject that suits his pessimistic world view: the toll that time and age take on a deteriorating human body and psyche. Yes, it sounds depressing, but depressing movies can be cathartic.

The Cold War thriller ‘Shadow Dancer‘ starring Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough never broke out beyond the film festival scene. In his review from Sundance, Aaron compared it favorably to the recent adaptation of ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy‘.

Catalog Titles

The Criterion Collection expands its selection of classics by Indian master filmmaker Satyajit Ray with ‘The Big City‘ and ‘Charulata‘. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve had a Blu-ray copy of his ‘The Music Room‘ sitting unwatched in my collection for a couple years now. I need to get around to that.

Despite a filmography of almost 200 movies, I’ve never watched more than a couple minutes of anything by Spanish cult director Jess Franco. The brief bits I did see reminded me of the worst of amateur porn. However, I’m made to understand that, once upon a time, when he actually still cared enough to put some effort into his work, Franco was an accomplished filmmaker with a distinctive authorial voice. In his review, E. makes a case for Franco’s 1962 horror thriller ‘The Awful Dr. Orlof‘, now available from Kino Redemption.


On the TV scene, CBS and Paramount deliver the second season of ‘Star Trek: Enterprise‘, HBO gives us the third season of ‘Boardwalk Empire‘, and BBC rolls out the fifth season of ‘Being Human‘ (the original British version).

‘Boardwalk Empire’ seems like the type of show I really ought to be watching, yet I somehow let it slip past me and haven’t made time to catch up with it yet.

This is a pretty thin week. The two Criterions will go on my wish list. I might rent ‘Amour’ or ‘Shadow Dancer’ if I find the time. Does anything interest you this week?


  1. Unlike most TV series, which start out strong and eventually fade or – at best – maintain their quality, BOARDWALK EMPIRE is one of those series that I think has gotten better in quality with each season.

    I was wishy-washy on Season 1, thought Season 2 was a big improvement, and absolutely loved Season 3.

  2. William Henley

    I have pre-ordered every title 3D Media has put out. Of those, I think only one has shipped. None of the other titles have made their release dates, and they just getting pushed back more and more. Galapagus now has a release date of September 17th.

    So while its Pre-ordered, it looks like the only thing arriving this week is Enterprise Season 2. I am trying to finish season 1 now, and just ordered Season 4 of TNG, so it looks like its going to be a Trek Marathon this week.

    • William Henley

      Also noted: I think it shows how little Josh thinks of Enterprise that Scarry Movie 5 gets a full paragraph and the banner image, but Star Trek doesn’t even get a full sentence.


      (I love you Josh [in a bro way, nothing weird], just teasing!)

        • William Henley

          I wasn’t saying that Enterprise needed a banner image, just with releases such as Enterprise and Epic and Being Human and Dr Orlof, it was Scary Movie 5 that got the most talk.

          Not that I am bashing your blog, I’m just razing you. I just find it amusing, that’s all.

  3. Kevin

    Only one I’m interested in is “Enterprise”, but unlike season 1, I think I’m going to wait for a bit of a price drop before I order.

    • William Henley

      Ouch – didn’t realize it was that high! Mine has already shipped! Hope it falls between now and end-of-day tomorrow – many of the past Trek seasons have shipped for around $70 on release day. I usually get refunded from the pre-order price guarentee.

  4. August Lehe

    Sorry if I am a “nothing this week” vote, but I have to note the superb release last week of Shane. It brought my brother and I to tears. What a beautiful transfer! Gone are the last reel blue splotches we had suffered since the 1960’s. They must have utilized the camera negative…Thank you Paramount! Sure, there could have been more extras, but maybe next time.
    I am tempted to order a spare for my bank security box.