It’s February, and Valentine’s Day is coming up quickly. Love and romance are in the air. Oddly, the Blu-ray release schedule is loaded up with lovey-dovey movies this week, and basically none on Valentine’s Day itself. I suppose that’s intended to give us time to buy and watch them in advance. As if we’d really do that.
Here’s the full release slate:
- ‘5 Star Day‘ (Breaking Glass)
- ‘Action Triple Feature: Volume 1 (XIII: The Conspiracy / JCVD / Brotherhood)‘ (Phase 4 Films)
- ‘Action Triple Feature: Volume 2 (Spoils of War / BloodRayne: The Third Reich / Ultimate Heist)‘ (Phase 4 Films)
- ‘All’s Faire in Love‘ (Hannover House)
- ‘Anonymous‘ (Sony)
- ‘Ben-Hur (50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Only)‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary Edition (Combo Pack)‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Casino Royale (1967)‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘The Civil War‘ (Image)
- ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – Grave Danger‘ (Paramount)
- ‘Dangerous Liaisons‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Day of the Dead – 3D‘ (First Look)
- ‘Downton Abbey: Season Two‘ (PBS)
- ‘Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat‘ (Universal)
- ‘The Elephant in the Living Room‘ (Level 33)
- ‘Family Triple Feature: Volume 1 (The Missing Lynx / Donkey X / Disco Worms)‘ (Phase 4 Films)
- ‘Filth to Ashes, Flesh to Dust‘ (Midnight Releasing)
- ‘Hawaii Five-0: The Complete First Season‘ (Paramount)
- ‘Horror Triple Feature: Volume 1 (Forget Me Not / House of The Fallen / Red Hook)‘ (Phase 4 Films)
- ‘La Jetée / Sans Soleil‘ (Criterion)
- ‘Lady and the Tramp: Diamond Edition‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Lady and the Tramp: Diamond Edition (3-Disc Edition)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Lady and the Tramp: Diamond Edition (DVD Packaging)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘Lindsey Buckingham with Special Guest Stevie Nicks: Live‘ (Image)
- ‘Love Never Dies‘ (Universal)
- ‘Love Story‘ (Paramount)
- ‘Metal Shifters‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘On the Bowery‘ (Milestone)
- ‘Owl City: Live from Los Angeles‘ (Eagle Rock)
- ‘The Phantom of the Opera: Live at the Royal Albert Hall‘ (Universal)
- ‘The Rebound‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘The Retrievers‘ (Gaiam Americas)
- ‘The Reunion‘ (Vivendi)
- ‘Sengoku Basara – Samurai Kings: Season 1‘ (FUNimation)
- ‘Sengoku Basara – Samurai Kings: Season 2‘ (FUNimation)
- ‘A Star is Born (1937)‘ (Kino)
- ‘The Sunset Limited‘ (HBO)
- ‘This Is Not a Movie‘ (Kino)
- ‘The Town: Ultimate Collector’s Edition‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Track 29‘ (Image)
- ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1: Bella’s Wedding Dress Edition‘ (Summit – February 11th)
- ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (Combo Pack)‘ (Summit – February 11th)
- ‘A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (Movie-Only Edition)‘ (New Line Cinema)
- ‘A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas – 3D‘ (New Line Cinema)
- ‘A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas‘ (New Line Cinema)
- ‘Xam’d Lost Memories: Complete Collection‘ (Sentai Filmworks)
- ‘Yakuza Weapon‘ (Well Go USA)
OMG! Bella and Edward finally get married in ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1‘! ‘Tween girls everywhere will squeal with delight! They might be a little turned off by the part where Edward has to chew through Bella’s abdomen to tear his evil demon baby out of her womb, however. (Yeah, really. You should know what you’re getting into with this.) Then again, what do I know? I recently had the strange experience of watching ‘Jackass Number Two’ with my 13-year-old goddaughter, who howled with laughter from start to finish. Kids can be twisted.
In other romantic news, same-sex life partners Harold and Kumar, along with sex-fiend pal Neil Patrick Harris (who died in their last movie, but whatever) are back for more drug-addled shenanigans in ‘A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas‘. This one is also available in 2D, but what’s the point of watching it that way?
Roland Emmerich, esteemed director of such literary-minded art house fare as ‘The Day After Tomorrow‘ and ‘2012‘, has apparently had his fill of destroying the world. In his latest disaster movie, ‘Anonymous‘, Emmerich sets his sights on destroying William Shakespeare and exposing him as a despicable, pathetic fraud. This is exactly the sort of material that the man who gave us ‘10,000 B.C.‘ is perfectly suited for.
You want real romance on Valentine’s Day? Disney’s animated masterpiece ‘Lady and the Tramp‘ is the way to go. Our reviewer Michael Palmer calls the Diamond Edition Blu-ray “absolutely stunning” and a must-own disc.
Perhaps you’d prefer a little back-stabbing, deceit and betrayal to counter-balance all this love stuff? Stephen Frears’ masterful adaptation of the stage play ‘Dangerous Liaisons‘ is a wicked delight.
The story of ‘A Star is Born‘ has been told on film three times so far, with another remake (directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Beyoncé!) currently in development. Warner Bros. previously released the most famous version, the 1954 film with Judy Garland, on Blu-ray a couple of years ago. This week, Kino takes us back to the 1937 original, with Janet Gaynor and Frederic March.
In more experimental fare, the Criterion Collection gives us a double-bill of Chris Marker’s avant garde art films ‘La Jetée‘ and ‘Sans Soleil‘. The former is perhaps most famous for inspiring the plot of Terry Gilliam’s ’12 Monkeys’.
It had to happen eventually, so we might as well just get it out of the way. The most nauseating romantic movie of all time, 1970’s ‘Love Story‘, is now available on Blu-ray. The film is of course infamous for inflicting the phrase “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” on the world – a sentence which, if you think about it, makes no sense at all. Much like the rest of the movie. Will high definition enhance our ability to scoff at this?
James Bond completists may be interested in picking up the 1967 spy spoof ‘Casino Royale‘ (not to be confused with the later straight adaptation starring Daniel Craig), which finally expands to general retail after a few months of Best Buy exclusivity. The movie isn’t very good, or even particularly funny, but it marks an interesting footnote in the franchise’s history.
On the TV front, we get the second season of the acclaimed ‘Downton Abbey‘ (Mrs. Z is a big fan) and the first season of the dopey ‘Hawaii Five-0‘ reboot. I tried to enjoy the latter for a few episodes, but it turned boring and stupid early on.
Paramount also offers up a single (two-hour) episode from the fifth season of ‘CSI‘. You may ask what the point of doing this is. It’s the episode that Quentin Tarantino directed, of course. This show has had a very spotty release history on Blu-ray. I suppose that fans will have to stick this between their copies of the complete first and complete ninth seasons.
The award for most pointless Blu-ray release of the week goes to Warner’s new Ultimate Collector’s Edition of ‘The Town‘. The movie is OK, I guess. Ben Affleck’s heist thriller is reasonably entertaining, but certainly nothing special. And the previous Blu-ray release was as adequate as it needed to be. Does this movie really have fans eager to buy it again in a deluxe box set? I can’t imagine.
Which discs are on your radar this week?