This week’s Blu-ray list is pretty weak on brand new day-and-date releases, but much stronger on catalog titles, especially those with ties to the Oscars. Let’s see what’s cookin’, shall we?
Here’s the release slate:
- ‘All The President’s Men‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Chaplin‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol‘ (BBC)
- ‘Dungeons & Dragons 2-Movie Collection‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Game of Death‘ (Sony)
- ‘Glorious 39‘ (One)
- ‘Hoodwinked‘ (Weinstein)
- ‘Kansas City Confidential‘ (Arts Alliance America)
- ‘Kites‘ (Image)
- ‘Last Tango in Paris‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Lemmy: 49% Motherf**ker, 51% Son Of A Bitch ‘ (Red General Catalog)
- ‘Moonstruck ‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Network‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Rain Man‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Stag Night‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘The Stranger (1946)‘ (Film Chest and Virgil Films &)
- ‘Top Gear: The Complete Season 14‘ (BBC)
- ‘Top Gear: The Complete Season 15‘ (BBC)
- ‘The Twilight Zone: Season 3 (1961)‘ (Image)
- ‘Ultimate Jordan: Deluxe Limited Edition‘ (Image)
- ‘Unstoppable‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger‘ (Sony)
With this year’s Oscars right around the corner, the studios are cranking out former honorees on Blu-ray. These include ‘Last Tango in Paris‘ (Best Actor nominee & Best Director nominee, 1974), ‘All the President’s Men‘ (Best Adapted Screenplay, 1977), ‘Network‘ (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress & Best Original Screenplay, 1977), ‘Chaplin‘ (Best Actor nominee, 1993), ‘Moonstruck‘ (Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress, 1988), and ‘Rain Man‘ (Best Picture, Best Director & Best Actor, 1989).
Of these, the wins (and further nominations in the Best Picture and Best Director categories) for ‘Moonstruck’ are major Oscar embarrassments. That movie is just a dreadful parade of cartoonish Italian-American stereotypes. ‘Chaplin’ is really only notable for Robert Downey, Jr.’s performance, and is otherwise a pretty conventional and formulaic biopic. However, ‘Rain Man’ is a solid movie, ‘Network’ and ‘All the President’s Men’ are terrific, and ‘Last Tango’ is a genuine masterpiece.
Let’s switch tracks to look at the day-and-date releases chugging onto store shelves. Tony Scott and Denzel Washington’s 80th collaboration together, ‘Unstoppable‘, proved to be stoppable after all. The runaway train thriller derailed at the box office last year. (All right, I’m done with the train puns. Sorry!)
Woody Allen continues to crank out his contractually-guaranteed movie a year. His latest is ‘You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger‘. Like most of the world, I didn’t pay much attention to it. I’ll have to rely on our site’s resident Woody fanatic Mike Attebery to fill me in.
On the TV front, we have the recent ‘Doctor Who‘ Christmas special, which Dick thought was pretty great. Image also gives us the third season of the classic ‘Twilight Zone‘.
Finally, I feel like I ought to share a little story about my personal experience with the atrocious live-action ‘Dungeons & Dragons‘ movie. (You know, the one starring Marlon Wayans.) Back in 2001, Mrs. Z and I went on a cruise to Bermuda. The first night, the ship hit extremely rough waters that left the two of us (and, from the sounds of it, pretty much everyone in our section of the boat) violently sea sick. We spent about a whole day doing nothing but moaning in bed and puking our guts out – over and over and over again. The television in the room was plugged into an on-ship entertainment network that only offered two channel choices. One was just advertisements and ship activities announcements. The other was a movie station with exactly two films in constant rotation: ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ and the first ‘Shrek’. Because there was literally nothing else to do (attempting to read just made us more ill), we watched both of these two movies back-to-back-to-back a dozen times each. I got to know every scene and every line of dialogue by heart. Now, even ten years later, the mere thought of ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ instantly triggers my gag reflex. That movie is inextricably associated in my memory with endless hours of projectile vomiting. Fun times. It’s safe to say I won’t be buying this one on Blu-ray.