Welcome back from another long weekend, folks. We hope you had a good one. This week’s selection of new Blu-ray discs gives us a diverse assortment of titles, from the latest installment in an animated franchise that just won’t die, to a failed Oscar-bait bio-pic, to (ugh) Channing Tatum. Let’s take a look.
Here’s the release slate:
- ‘Alien vs. Ninja (Combo Pack)‘ (FUNimation)
- ‘Anatomy of a Murder‘ (Criterion)
- ‘Blank City‘ (Lorber Films)
- ‘Broken Blade: Complete Collection‘ (Sentai Filmworks)
- ‘The Fades: Series One‘ (BBC)
- ‘Fort Apache‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Honey‘ (Universal)
- ‘Honey 2‘ (Universal)
- ‘J. Edgar (Combo Pack)‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘J. Edgar (Movie-Only Edition)‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Kansas City Confidential / The Stranger‘ (Film Chest)
- ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Meatballs‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Nurse Jackie: Season Three‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Puss in Boots” (DreamWorks – February 24th)
- ‘Puss in Boots – 3D” (DreamWorks – February 24th)
- ‘Santana: Greatest Hits – Live at Montreux 2011‘ (Eagle Rock)
- ‘Scorpions: Get Your Sting and Blackout Live in 3D‘ (Sony Music)
- ‘The Son of No One (Combo Pack)‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘The Son of No One‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘Strike Witches: Season 2‘ (FUNimation)
- ‘Tower Heist‘ (Universal)
- ‘Unforgiven: 20th Anniversary Edition‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘War of the Arrows‘ (Well Go USA)
- ‘The Way‘ (Arc)
- ‘Weeds: Season Seven‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Where the Dead Go to Die‘ (Unearthed Films)
- ‘World on a Wire‘ (Criterion)
- ‘WWE: The Rock‘ (Vivendi)
- ‘Zaat‘ (Cultrare)
Remember when DreamWorks Animation promised that the last ‘Shrek’ movie would be absolutely, 100%, no doubt about it, the final installment of the franchise, now and forever, pinky-swear on their mothers’ graves so help them God? Well, the studio then went ahead and immediately dropped what amounted to a giant “Ha ha, fooled you!” with the ‘Shrek’ spin-off, ‘Puss in Boots‘. That seems fairly mean-spirited, if you ask me. But then, I was never a ‘Shrek’ fan to begin with. Most accounts are that this one is actually pretty good on its own merits. If you have kids, you probably have no choice but to buy this when it streets on Friday, available in your choice of 3D or standard 2D. Coming soon, twelve sequels already in production.
Although he may no longer be in his artistic prime, I have to respect that Clint Eastwood is still out there at over 80 years of age making movies on his own terms the way he wants to make them. His political bio-pic ‘J. Edgar‘ received a bit of acclaim for the lead performance of Leonardo DiCaprio, but was otherwise generally panned by most critics. It also failed to land any of the hoped-for Oscar nominations. I’m something of an Eastwood apologist and am willing to cut the director a lot of slack. I received a screener disc of this for my other job and plan to watch it soon. Hopefully, I won’t find it as bad as Luke did.
‘Martha Marcy May Marlene‘ was one of the most buzzed-about indie films of last year, especially for its breakout performance by Elizabeth Olsen (yes, really, younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley) as a former religious cult member having difficulty adjusting to life back in the normal world. I need to catch up with this. It sounds pretty fascinating.
Of dramatically less interest to me is ‘The Son of No One‘, a police drama starring Channing Tatum… and with that I’m done talking about this one. Next.
Emilio Estevez directs his father Martin Sheen in ‘The Way‘, a well-meaning inspirational drama about a father who makes a spiritual pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago in Spain where his son died. Your grandparents will love this, but they can probably wait for it to air on the Hallmark Channel.
Tom’s recent post here about the SteelBook release of the Korean historical epic ‘War of the Arrows‘ was the first I’d heard of the film. The trailer looks pretty exciting (see that SteelBook post) and Luke gave the movie high marks in his Blu-ray review too.
As a tie-in with ‘J. Edgar’, Warner Bros. has issued a new 20th Anniversary Edition of Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-winning Western ‘Unforgiven‘. Unfortunately, this appears to be a simple Digibook repackaging of the old Blu-ray release from 2006, which doesn’t even have lossless audio. The powers-that-be at Warners can be infuriating cheapskates sometimes.
New to Blu-ray for the first time is the Bill Murray goofball classic ‘Meatballs‘. This has always been a cheap (and cheap-looking) movie, so I wouldn’t expect miracles out of the Blu-ray. Coming from Lionsgate, one thing we can expect is a string of about twenty forced trailers before the main menu.
Speaking of Lionsgate, the studio also offers up the latest seasons of the Showtime series ‘Nurse Jackie‘ and ‘Weeds‘. Because I’m not a Showtime subscriber, I’ve only had limited exposure to either show. I’ve liked what I saw of ‘Nurse Jackie’, but from what I hear, ‘Weeds’ ran out of steam a long time ago.
Finally, the latest batch of titles from Criterion gives us Otto Preminger’s 1959 thriller ‘Anatomy of a Murder‘ with James Stewart and Lee Remick, and the oddball “virtual reality” sci-fi tale ‘World on a Wire‘ from mad German genius Rainer Werner Fassbinder. I can’t believe the latter has eluded me until now. Described as a zero-budget precursor to ‘The Matrix’ or ‘eXistenZ’ made for German TV in 1973, it sounds amazing. Consider both of these ordered.
Do any titles catch your interest this week?