Blu-ray Highlights for 8/2/11 – What Is Best in Life?

Prepare to crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women, for some great goofy ’80s cheese arrives on Blu-ray this week.

Such be the complete list of discs that shall receive release on this day:

If nothing else good comes of the new remake, it has at least convinced Universal to release the original ‘Conan the Barbarian‘ (along with its inferior sequel ‘Conan the Destroyer‘) on Blu-ray. Perhaps you’ll remember this one as the breakout starring role for a young Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger? It’s a silly movie, but still a lot of fun.

Speaking of ’80s classics, in my book, ‘Better Off Dead‘ is one of those rare comedies that gets funnier the more times you see it. The anticipation for each familiar joke is even more entertaining than the punchline. (John Cusack, however, may not agree.) Our reviewer E. says that the Blu-ray isn’t half bad in the technical departments either. Dancing hamburger in high def FTW!

On a slightly more serious note, the 1986 adaptation of ‘The Name of the Rose‘ greatly simplifies Umberto Eco’s densely-plotted novel, and was not all that well received upon release. However, this murder mystery set in a medieval monastery has a lot of atmosphere and some intriguing ideas. I haven’t seen it in years, so now may be time for a revisit.

I suppose that the big day-and-date title of the week would be ‘Rio‘, that animated talking bird movie from earlier this year. Ugh. Didn’t see it. Don’t ever intend to.

The trailer for the indie vampire thriller ‘Stake Land‘ looks like a cross between ‘Daybreakers‘ and ‘30 Days of Night‘. Hey, I guess we should be grateful that some filmmakers out there are trying to make vampires scary again. That’s got to count for something.

The infidelity drama ‘Last Night‘ stars Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington and Eva Mendes. Yet I had never even heard of it until now. Had you? That’s probably not a good sign.

On the TV front, HBO offers up both the first and second seasons of ‘Eastbound & Down‘, the alleged comedy in which Danny McBride stars as a loser asshole who does remarkably unfunny things while incessantly belching in the general direction of the camera. Apparently, the show is pretty popular. I barely made it through the first episode without a single laugh. I just do not find anything remotely appealing or entertaining about McBride. I feel like I need a vaccination just from looking at him on TV. Your mileage may vary on that.

Other notable titles include breakout editions of the famous Westerns ‘The Magnificent Seven‘, ‘A Fistful of Dollars‘ and ‘For a Few Dollars More‘ – all of which were previously only available in box sets paired with other titles.

Do you see anything else worth mentioning?


  1. ok josh. you’ve done it now. you have insulted one of all time favorite movies , conan the barbarian by calling it silly. now the sequel is silly its not as good but as humor goes its far better than michael bay humor. could be worse it could be dune. 🙂

  2. Looks like Chronicles of Narnia got pushed back to August 30th. Kinda annoyed about that – that they did not release this a few months ago with the 2D version. I got it unopened on the shelf, maybe I can sell it before the 3D version comes out.

    • Drew

      The Chronicles of Narnia was not pushed back to August 30. It was always planned as a Best Buy exclusive on August 2, and then all retailers will have it on August 30. Furthermore, if consumers purchase any two new release Blu-ray 3D films from Best Buy this week, Best Buy takes an additional $10 off. So, you can buy Narnia and another new release Blu-ray 3D for $50. Not bad at all.

  3. Josh, you have also insulted TWO of my all-time favorite movies. You say Conan the Barbarian was Schwarzenegger’s break-out role, but you forget Hercules in New York (1969) starring Arnold Strong and Arnold Stang and Cactus Jack (1979). These early pinnacles in his filmography proved he had the mettle to be a movie star and will certainly make more Top 100 lists as critics reexamine his body of work.

  4. Haven’t been on the site much lately, due to a family bereavement (Not that it put me off the site, I just didn’t have the time!). But it’s great to see Conan finally released!!! 😀