Blu-ray Highlights for 1/11/11: What Are You Buying?

There sure are a lot of “1s” in today’s date. Numerologists will have a field date with that, no doubt. For me, I’m just glad that there’s more than one Blu-ray worth buying this week. That’s pretty good for January.

Here’s the release slate:

The Social Network‘ was widely hailed as one of the best movies of 2010, and will certainly see some more love come Oscar time. Drew raved about it as well when he reviewed it here. Somehow, I didn’t get to the theater to see it. That’s the beauty of Blu-ray. I need to fire this one right up.

Drew also lovedPiranha 3D‘ for entirely different reasons. Sometimes a good cheesy horror flick really hits the spot. The movie is available on Blu-ray in either standard 2-D or full 3-D. However, something tells me that this one really needs the communal theater experience to get the most out of it.

Don’t we have enough Blu-ray editions of ‘Avatar‘ already? The damn movie was triple-dipped last year, and now we get yet another … Oh, I’m sorry. That’s not ‘Avatar’. That’s ‘Dances With Wolves‘. You’ll forgive the confusion, but this must happen all the time. Anyway, Kevin Costner’s Oscar-baiting ego trip won over both the Academy and audiences back in 1990, including a teenaged me. But then I saw it a couple more times over the years, after I’d grown up enough to recognize what a crock of liberal guilt bullshit it is. It sure has purdy picture-postcard photography, though. That will probably benefit from high definition.

Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece ‘Raging Bull‘ was released on Blu-ray last year, but is now being re-released as a “30th Anniversary Edition.” Not that I don’t appreciate this, but considering how few Blu-rays MGM releases a year, shouldn’t the studio try to focus its efforts on more titles it hasn’t already put out?

With that said, I should probably be kind enough to mention that MGM actually has three Blu-rays streeting today. In addition to the above two, the studio is also putting out Liam Neeson’s Scottish historical epic ‘Rob Roy‘. When it was released back in 1995, the movie was greatly overshadowed by ‘Braveheart‘, but eventually grew an appreciative audience on home video. This is another one with sweeping travelogue photography that will probably look great in HD.

Speaking of movies that bombed in the mid-’90s, let’s not forget Geena Davis and Samuel Jackson in Renny Harlin’s ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight‘. I’d say that this movie is a crazy-stupid action spectacle, but mentioning Renny Harlin’s name was probably more than sufficient to make that point. In other words: Guilty Pleasure!

[Update: It appears that ‘The Long Kiss Goodnight’ may have been delayed or canceled without announcement. The title has been removed from most online retailer listings, and has not yet been spotted at retail.]

You know, I’ve had a copy of Sergio Leone’s gangster classic ‘Once Upon a Time in America‘ on DVD for ages, but never got around to watching it. Four-hour movies are daunting. Now it’s available on Blu-ray for me to start procrastinating about all over again. Early buzz has it that the transfer used for the disc is old and dated, but I can’t speak to that myself.

Finally, the Criterion Collection brings us new restorations of two very different films from the 1960s: Jean-Pierre Melville’s WWII classic ‘Army of Shadows‘ and the dated-but-interesting sci-fi epic ‘Robinson Crusoe on Mars‘. If there’s a theme here beyond the decade they were both released, I can’t figure it out, but I’ll be glad to pick them both up anyway.


  1. Jane Morgan

    ‘Dances With Wolves’ is awful. None of the bird calls match the onscreen birds. It’s inexcusable.

  2. BostonMA

    blind buy on The Social Network, Once Upon a Time in America if the transfer is good enough, Army of Shadows and Robinson Crusoe if i like it enough when i see it.

  3. I had preordered Social Network, but the after-Christmas bills and job uncertanties caused me to cancel all my preorders to March. 🙁

    That being said, I will probably pick up Social Network in a week or two.

    Dances With Wolves I haven’t seen since I was in middle school (unless you talk about last year’s remake of it). I’ll probably give it a rent.

    Gabriel Ingleses I’m Not Fat, I’m Fluffy is hillarious, but I got it streaming on Netflix. As its standup comedy, I don’t see it benefitting much from the upgrade to Blu-Ray. Now, if it wasn’t on Netflix, I would pick this puppy up, this guy is great!

  4. BostonMA

    i wonder how many people will actually buy the 30th Anniversary release of Raging Bull, since the original Blu was greatly priced for what seemed like the majority of its time on the market.

    the new one is the same transfer right?

  5. Liam

    You gotta love Joshua making another lame Avatar joke. I really don’t think he’ll ever stop. He’ll be cracking them off to his grandkids in 50 years, and they won’t even get the reference. It’s time to get some new material Joshua. Nobody is laughing anymore.

    • Josh Zyber

      I’ll stop saying it when it stops being true.

      Anyway, I won’t need to make fun of Avatar in 50 years, because no one will remember Avatar 50 years from now.

      • Liam

        Well it won’t ever stop being true, so that’s not going to stop you.

        You don’t “need” to make fun of it now, 13 months after it was released, but that certainly doesn’t stop you.

        What does all this add up to? Joshua becoming the creepy uncle/grandpa that is still stuck on the same lame jokes he was making ages ago. And they weren’t even funny then.

        Seriously though, I laughed for the first few months, but the expiration date on your lame jokes passed by a long time ago. They are starting to smell foul.

  6. Calm down guys…James Cameron’s next movie will certainly have stolen from another film (he’s a great director, but the guy hasn’t had an original idea in his life) and Josh can have a whole new joke, like “I liked Avatar 2 a lot better when it was called ‘Shakespeare In Love'”.