Blu-ray Highlights for August 7th, 2012 – The Trees Have No Tongues

This week brings us quite an eclectic grab-bag of new titles on Blu-ray, from a preachy environmental fable for children to a cult classic comedy about a neurotic hitman. Is there anything in this huge, messy assortment of discs that you might want to buy?

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (8/7/12)?

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Green Eggs and Ham

The only major day-and-date new release of the week is the recent CG-animated adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Lorax‘. Like most attempts to stretch the contents of a 72-page children’s picture book into a 90-minute feature film, this one was met with mixed reviews. Most of the complaints cited its heavy-handed environmental message, which adults found insultingly simplistic and children simply found boring. I’m sure it looks nice in 3D, though.

To capitalize on the publicity from that Universal release, Warner Bros. offers up a Blu-ray + DVD Combo for Seuss’ ‘The Cat in the Hat‘. This is the 1975 animated version, not that live action piece of crap with Mike Meyers. $20 seems like a lot of money for a half hour of content, if you ask me.

I Love the ’80s

If you grew up in the 1980s, you no doubt have fond memories of watching the goofball comedy ‘Adventures in Babysitting‘ in constant rotation on cable. Perhaps you’re also a fan of the silly all-star adaptation of the board game ‘Clue‘? The Blu-ray of the latter offers all three alternate endings that played in theaters.

MGM has also chosen to reissue ‘Spaceballs‘ in a new 25th Anniversary Edition, which I’m sure is just a repackaging of the previous Blu-ray from 2009 with a handful of new bonus features. Sadly, the movie is desperately in need of a remaster, which I doubt we’ll get here.

High School Confidential

Has Facebook made high school reunions irrelevant? These things used to be a big deal before the internet put us in constant contact with all of our old friends. Nowadays, they seem pretty pointless. In any case, comedies about reunions can still be fun, as evidenced by ‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion‘ and ‘Grosse Pointe Blank‘.

Admittedly, ‘High Fidelity‘ has little to do with this high school theme, but it stars John Cusack, and I have nowhere else to put it, so I’m just going to list it in the same category as ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’. I don’t pretend that this makes much logical sense, but it’s what’s happening anyway.

R.I.P. Whitney

If you still haven’t quite come to terms with the loss of Whitney Houston, and you’ve already played your copy of ‘The Bodyguard’ too many times to count, you may be ready to revisit her performance in Penny Marshall’s rom-com ‘The Preacher’s Wife‘, a remake of the (far superior) 1947 film ‘The Bishop’s Wife’. I’d rather just wait for the original, but I will admit that Whitney (when she was sober) and Denzel Washington make a very attractive couple.

Unwanted Sequels

Nobody wanted to see ‘Blues Brothers 2000‘ or ‘Evan Almighty‘ in theaters. I can’t imagine that anybody wants to own them on Blu-ray. What’s the point of releasing discs like these?

Where the Buffalo Roam

After acquiring the Republic Pictures catalog, Paramount has apparently decided that it wants nothing to do with any of the movies in it, and has licensed many of them to Olive Films. This week, among other things, Olive gives us the classic Western ‘Rio Grande‘, directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne.

Friends of Dorothy

I’m unable to describe Nicholas Ray’s bizarre ‘Johnny Guitar‘ better than Roger Ebert did when he called it, “one of the most blatant psychosexual melodramas ever to disguise itself in that most commodious of genres, the Western.” Joan Crawford plays a saloon owner who is allegedly in love with the title character (Sterling Hayden), but has a great deal more heat and sexual chemistry with her rival, Mercedes McCambridge. The film baffled audiences of 1954, but has since gone on to legendary cult status.

Before they entered the Matrix, the Wachowski siblings burst onto the cinema scene with the stylish lesbian crime thriller ‘Bound‘. The movie was frequently called a misogynistic male fantasy when it was released in 1996, but viewed today, looks more like Larry/Lana Wachowski must have been working through some personal gender issues.

Something Fishy

Don Knotts turns into a cartoon fish in ‘The Incredible Mr. Limpit‘. I don’t think I’ve watched this movie since I was five-years-old, but I have a vague memory of my grandfather finding it hilarious.

The Bard

I’m not sure which is the more unconventional adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest‘, Derek Jarman’s 1976 version or Peter Greenaway’s ‘Prospero’s Books’, but I think these two films would make an excellent double feature.


Those of you who still have space on your shelves to collect TV series may take interest in NBC’s ‘Grimm‘, Cinemax’s ‘Strike Back‘, or Seth McFarlane’s ‘Star Wars’ spoof ‘Family Guy: Blue Harvest‘. I’m not sure whether ‘Blue Harvest’ was really animated in high definition, or if this is another crummy upconversion.

Out of all that, you can put me down for ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ and ‘High Fidelity’. How about you? Which titles interest you this week?


  1. Yay! I’m a fan of Blues Brother 2000!

    No! There goes my credibility!

    I’m sure JM/Jane Morgan/Johnny Mnemonic is very interested in ‘Bound’. If I’m not mistaken, it’s one of her favourite movies (and it made a big impact on her when she was younger).

  2. William Henley

    I have “Evan Almighty” on HD-DVD. Got it on a closeout – I paid maybe $3 for it. Sadly the HD-DVD side is not playable, only the DVD side, but I only watched this movie once after I bought it, and have no desire to see it again.

    “Spaceballs” I already own.

    “The Cat and the Hat” was a fun thing to watch when I was a kid, but shelling out $20 for it holds no intrest for me. Maybe if it drops to around $5 I would consider picking it up.

    “Grimm” I am watching on Hulu. “Family Guy: Blue Harvest” I already have in a boxed set.

    “Clue”, “Adventures in Babysitting” and “The Incredible Mr Limpet” are all rentals for me.

  3. EM

    I did want to see Blues Brothers 2000 in the theater…it was only the staying-till-the-end part that was a challenge.

    In my opinion, the draw of Johnny Guitar is seeing Joan Crawford in a western. If that doesn’t intrigue you, the movie’s probably not for you. If it does intrigue you…well, it’s probably not for you either, but you might as well get it out of your system.

  4. HuskerGuy

    Clue is all this week. I’ve had it preordered for months as my wife is a huge fan of the movie.

    Now they just need a Weekend at Bernie’s blu and she’d be as happy as can be.

  5. Shayne Blakeley

    This is where the weeks start getting expensive for me, and it doesn’t seem to let up for the rest of the year. High Fidelity and Clue are must-have’s, I just ordered Jaws for next week which might show up today, Grosse Point Blank and Romy & Michelle will have to wait for swaps probably.

  6. Drew


    Agreed. I think it’s going to be expensive from now through the end of December. The slow/cheap Tuesday’s are OVAH!

  7. JM

    The sex scenes in ‘Bound’ were choreographed by Susie Bright, a sex-positive feminist writer and sex educator. It’s practically an after school special.

    Only in the insanity of LGBT politics would 12% of straight male liberal critics call this film misogynistic.

    If you want to ride a high horse and defend things with your cock, side with bisexuals, who are currently taking it hard from both ends.

  8. JM

    ‘Bound’ was the first indie film from a pair of D&D dorks, and not much different than ‘Sex, Lies, and Videotape,’ ‘Reservoir Dogs,’ ‘Desperado,’ or ‘Clerks.’

    Viewed today, is ‘Desperado’ simply Robert Rodriguez working through his personal Mexican issues?

    Is ‘Bound’ that different, psychologically, than Sorkin’s ‘The Newsroom’?

    Artists create whatever they want. Critics should spend less time whining that things aren’t customized to their taste, and more time playing matchmaker.

  9. JM

    “Friends of Dorothy” is a weird subtitle, as it’s mostly used by gay men. You could have gone with something sexier, i.e. “Lipstick Mafia.”

  10. JM

    [None of this AOJ (attack-on-Josh), I can recognize snark from snot. Mostly I’m pissing on Todd McCarthy, the asshole of Variety, who sits around naked googling himself every Tuesday afternoon. Hi Todd.]

    ‘Bound’ aside, my most anticipated blu-ray of the week is a tie between ‘Grosse Point Blank‘ and ‘Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale.’

    – Johnny Mnemonic