Blu-ray Highlights: Week of August 24th, 2014 – Come On, Babe, Why Don’t We Paint the Town?

Whether you’re a fan of zombies, musicals, giant monsters or Adam Sandler riding an ostrich, this week may have a Blu-ray or two for you. Just imagine if we could put all these things together into one movie. I’d pay good money to see singing Sandler crushed under the foot of a zombie kaiju.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (8/26/14)?

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New Releases

Blended‘ – I think we all know Adam Sandler’s M.O. by now. Whenever he wants to go on vacation – say, to a water park, a cruise, or an African safari – he gathers some of his friends together and convinces the movie studio to write the trip off as a production expense. Oh, and if they happen to ad lib a few jokes on camera for five minutes a day, that’s good enough to call a feature film. In this one, Sandler tries to restore a little of the good will from his earlier, funnier movies by reuniting with his ‘Wedding Singer’ and ’50 First Dates’ co-star Drew Barrymore. Most accounts say that the rom-com is somewhat better than his other recent outings, but still pretty lazy and inane.

Belle‘ – I mentioned this a couple weeks ago. I guess we had the date wrong. The movie still looks like shameless awards bait.

The Double‘ – Jesse Eisenberg faces off against Jesse Eisenberg in an existential black comedy based on a classic novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Directed by Richard Ayoade, the British goofball from ‘The IT Crowd’. What a strange confluence of talent. The movie sounds interesting and I hear that it’s good.

Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return‘ – Yikes. I suppose this low-budget, animated ‘Wizard of Oz’ spin-off (based on a children’s book by Roger S. Baum, great-grandson of L. Frank Baum) was rushed to theaters last year to piggyback off publicity for Disney’s blockbuster ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’. It looks about Saturday morning cartoon quality. Lea Michele does the voice of Dorothy, in case you needed another reason to avoid it.

Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas‘ – I don’t know what this is. It has a bad title and cheesy cover art. But the plot description (a revenge tale set in the 16th Century) sounds like it could have potential and Mads Mikkelsen usually picks interesting projects. A rental?

Catalog Titles

You know how Criterion will sometimes pair similarly-themed movies together to release on the same date? The only thing linking Bob Fosse’s brilliant, semi-autobiographical musical ‘All That Jazz‘ and the Japanese crime thriller ‘Vengeance Is Mine‘ is that both films were originally released in 1979. Both are worthy movies, but you probably don’t want to watch them in a double-bill.

Kino also has an odd pairing with the classic Gregory Peck post-apocalyptic drama ‘On the Beach‘ and the Peter Sellers/Peter O’Toole screwball sex comedy ‘What’s New Pussycat?‘. The latter co-stars and was an early screenwriting credit for a young comic by the name of Woody Allen. I wonder whatever became of him?

In the lead-up to Warner’s video release of this year’s blockbuster ‘Godzilla’ reboot in a couple weeks, Tokyo Shock is trickling out some of the Big G’s classic adventures. This week brings us ‘Godzilla vs. Megalon‘ and ‘Destroy All Monsters‘.

Listen up, daddy-o: “If you flake around with the weed, you’ll end up using the harder stuff.” Beware the Reefer in the ’50s B-movie gem ‘High School Confidential‘.

Almost as exploitative is the ’70s haunted house thriller ‘The Legend of Hell House‘, now available from Scream Factory.


With new seasons starting shortly, now would be a good time to catch up with the fourth season of ‘The Walking Dead‘, the sixth season of ‘Sons of Anarchy‘, or the fourth season of ‘Haven‘.

Also available are the first season of BBC’s ‘The Musketeers‘ and the HBO TV movie ‘The Normal Heart‘.

I’m quite excited for ‘All That Jazz’, and ‘The Double’ sounds like an intriguing rental. Other titles going on my wish list include ‘Vengeance Is Mine’ and ‘On the Beach’.

What will you buy this week? Did I overlook something you’re excited about?


  1. Judging by the cover art (but without doing any research), I’d say ‘Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas’ sounds like a prequel/sequel/spin-off of Mikkelsen’s Danish ‘Valhalla Rising’, the acclaimed film by Josh’s favourite director Nicolas Winding Refn.

  2. William Henley

    Nothing that I preordered, but I will probably pick up Godzilla.

    Also, I have two seasons of Heaven’s Lost Property, but they were blind buys and I haven’t gotten to them yet. I am not sure if this release is the same series or not

  3. Chris B

    Sigh…so due to unfortunate economic circumstances,, my Blu-Ray buying habit is being placed on indefinite hiatus (with the exception of the upcoming Halloween box set…no comprimises on that one). In a way it’s kind of good because I’ll have a chance to watch the 50 or so discs I haven’t even opened yet. In another way it’s really depressing…especially on a monday 🙁

        • Chris Bennett

          Actually, I find it’s good not to open them but still place them on the shelf. That way when you’re looking for something to watch, the shrink wrap and security film act like an indicator as to what you’ve seen and what you haven’t.

          • William Henley

            Same here. I used to open them and pop them in to see how they looked, but I rarely do that now.

            However, I now have so many unopened, that I redesigned how I sort movies. The top shelves are the Watched movies, then I have a shelf for “currently watching” which is about eye-level (think TV series, boxed sets, or multi-movie combo packs, so the Star Trek movies, Pirates of the Carribean, and the Goonies/Gremlins/Gremlins 2 disc are at eye level), then below that are my unopened discs. Then below that are television shows and concert discs, then video games. I should point out that my Unwatched shelves are only for movies, unwatched television goes with the Television shows, and it is the shrink wrap that gives it away, although currently watching television shows goes into the currently watching pile. Its pretty much that way so that I will try to knock out a few movies before tackling a television show, to try to cut down on the unwatched pile)

      • Chris Bennett

        HaHa wow, I thought I was gonna hear a comment expressing the opposite I.E. “holy shit, quit buying already and watch the ones you have!” Good to know I’m not alone in my unwatched stack…

        • Well, I always buy one disc at a time, which will be the first movie on my ‘to see’ list. So I never have an unwatched pile. I do have an unplayed pile of video games, and it always makes me very sad to see all these games waiting for me to reach ‘the end’.

          • Chris B

            Do you guys ever get static from your spouse/family/friends etc about your movie buying compulsion? Stuff along the lines of: “why spend so much on movies? You can’t possibly watch them all? They mostly just sit on your shelf anyways, isn’t it a waste? Etc.” How do you guys respond?

          • Sometimes I get some static from the Mrs. but not too bad, my friends sometimes make fun of my movie buying addiction but all in good fun. I have one particular friend who really makes fun of me because when I buy catalogue titles, I do screen by screen comparisons, and she thinks its the funniest thing in the world. Sometimes I like to quiz my wife and daughter on which one looks better. My response is,”it’s my only real vice, I don’t go out drinking and staying out late at night, (unless its to a movie) so let me have this.”

          • William Henley

            I’m not married, but I always get it from friends and family. My response is always “I will buy it if the price of owning is less than renting for the amount of times I plan to watch it”. For example, I go through the harry Potter movies every Thanksgiving – its a tradition. Interview With The Vampire I watch about 2-3 times a year.

            That said, many discs do only get played once, and there is a large unopened pile. But I at least always plan for multiple viewings of discs I own.

  4. Lord Bowler

    My most desired movie on this list is “Cast a Giant Shadow”, Kirk Douglas and John Wayne.

    On the TV Front, Haven Season 4 and possibly Musketeers.

    I’ve already pre-ordered The Walking Dead Season 4.

  5. Walking Dead: Season 4 for me…although it will probably sit on the shelf in shrink wrap until I finally decide to watch it – and realize I could have bought it later for half as much. 🙂

  6. EM

    I saw The Double on the arthouse circuit. The film is strange, philosophical, moving, and downright hilarious. I expect you’ll have a good time, Josh, and I hope to see your comments.

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