Blu-ray Highlights: Week of December 29th, 2013 – Not with a Bang but a Whimper

This is the way the year ends. Don’t be surprised that this is another slow week for new Blu-ray releases. After Christmas, no one has any money left or much interest in shopping. Nonetheless, another small handful of new titles will trickle out. Perhaps you’ll find something worth at least renting?

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (12/31/13)?

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New Releases

When the trailer for ‘Don Jon‘ was released earlier this year, I wrote the following on my Facebook page:

So, Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets the opportunity to direct his first movie, and what does he do? He writes himself a screenplay in which he plays a super-stud who has sex with Scarlett Johansson. Joseph Gordon-Levitt wins at life. He’s got this thing figured out. He makes the rest of us look like chumps.

That trailer was pretty terrific. The movie, in which JGL plays a Jersey Shore mook who lets his addiction to pornography interfere with his relationship with the hottest woman on the planet, was received to respectable if mixed notices. A lot of reviews criticized its broad Joisey stereotypes. When Aaron saw this at Sundance, he mentioned that the movie had a surprising amount of explicit hardcore porno visible on screen. I never heard anyone else talk about that again, so I have to assume that most or all of it was cut from the final release version. This seems like good rental material to me.

The horror comedy ‘Hell Baby‘ stars Rob Corddry and Leslie Bibb as a couple who discover that their house is haunted by… well, by a baby from hell. This one comes from admitted, unabashed hack screenwriters Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant – whose work, when they actually develop it themselves and care about it, tends to be pretty funny. (See: ‘Reno 911!’, which they created.) This could be another worthy rental.

In the musical bio-pic ‘CBGB‘, Alan Rickman plays Hilly Kristal, owner of the iconic punk rock nightclub of the title. Originally produced with the intention of being a theatrical release, negative buzz against the movie (see its 8% Rotten Tomatoes rating) was so toxic that the studio dumped it direct to Video-on-Demand instead. Honestly, I’m surprised that it’s even getting a Blu-ray release.

Catalog Titles

Just about the only notable catalog release this week is the cult zombie flick ‘Nightmare City‘. If you love schlocky Italian horror from the ’80s, RaroVideo has you covered.

As far as purchases go, I’ll sit this week out again. Will you buy or rent anything during this last week of 2013?


  1. justme

    Saw Don Jon in theaters and loved it so much I pre-ordered the BD as soon as it was announced.

    BTW I loved the trailer, too, but the movie turned out to be a different animal. It stuck with me and I can’t wait to watch it again.

  2. “Joseph Gordon-Levitt wins at life.” is a t-shirt-worthy quote. You are good at these kind of snappy phrases, Josh (cf. plague of blindness)

  3. Lord Bowler

    No blind buys for me this week.

    Although I will rent Don Jon and Atilla, I love B-Movies… or wait until Atilla hits Netflix Instant Watch.

  4. Dave

    The US release of WWE: Best Pay-Per-View Matches 2013 was cancelled. WWE has cancelled a bunch of US Blu-rays in the past few years.

  5. William Henley

    DragonBall Z arrived Monday for me. Ironically, this is now the only Blu-Ray I own, and nothing to play it on. I had a fire early Monday morning and lost everything. So, I now own one Blu-Ray and nothing to play it on.

    I am starting to really appreciate the fact that I have 25 movies in UltraViolet and the fact that my movie database is backed up online with DVD Profiler, as I am going to need that info for the insurance.