Blu-ray Highlights for 1/17/12 – Beware the Ides of January

Welcome back from another long weekend. We needed the extra day to rest up from the Golden Globes live-blog, but we’re ready to get back into the swing of things today with a look at this week’s Blu-ray releases. Unfortunately, we’re still stuck in January, which means that the pickings are pretty slim.

Here’s the release slate:

Of the day-and-date titles, George Clooney’s political drama ‘The Ides of March‘ is clearly the most appealing. Honestly, it’s the only movie in this group with any appeal at all.

The latest lazy, brain-dead comedy from Adam Sandler’s production company, ‘Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star‘, was a major box office bomb last year, even considering its modest budget. Not even Sandler himself (who wrote the damn thing) bothered to go see it, that’s how bad it is. And we know what low standards Sandler has.

If you want a good laugh, you’re more likely to find one in ‘Abduction‘, Taylor Lautner’s attempt to become an action hero. Did anyone realize that John Singleton directed this? Was that even advertised anywhere? What the hell happened to this once-promising director?

The Kendrick brothers, purveyors of previous incompetencies ‘Facing the Giants‘ and ‘Fireproof‘, are back with their latest painfully amateurish religious drama, ‘Courageous‘. Our site forum’s discussion thread on this one saw a fairly interesting debate about whether “message” movies like these should be held to the same standard as any other film ever made, or if we’re just supposed to accept that they’re exempt from criticisms against bad acting, bad writing, bad directing and bad production values because they claim to be pro-Jesus.

Fortunately, there’s more interesting activity on the catalog title front. The Criterion Collection comes out swinging this week with Luis Buñuel’s masterpiece ‘Belle de Jour‘ (in which Catherine Denueve stars as a bored housewife who decides to play at being a prostitute during her weekdays), and Steven Soderbergh’s Oscar-winning drama about the war on drugs, ‘Traffic‘. In his review of the latter, Luke says that the Criterion disc has a much better supplement package than the prior Blu-ray from Universal.

If you held off buying ‘Citizen Kane‘ because you didn’t want to deal with a bulky collector’s box on your shelf, the slimmed-down Digibook edition that was previously a Best Buy exclusive has finally expanded to general retail.

Robin Williams gets a lot of love on Blu-ray this week, in the form of two of his best dramatic roles, ‘Dead Poets Society‘ and ‘Good Morning Vietnam‘.

Finally, HBO offers up a trio of the network’s acclaimed TV movies: ‘The Josephine Baker Story‘, ‘Thurgood‘ and ‘The Tuskegee Airmen‘.

Is there anything on the list you plan to buy this week, or are you saving your money for bigger releases later in the year?


  1. HuskerGuy

    Picking up Tuskegee Airmen this week and that’s it. I’ve been wanting to own this ever since I saw it on HBO way back in the day. I’ll be curious to see how the new Redtails movie stacks up to it.

  2. JM

    What’s the buzz on ‘Redline’?

    Variety called it “Visually spectacular… genuinely astounding.”

    It’s the feature-debut from Takeshi Koike, the animator behind the O-Ren Ishii origin sequence in Kill Bill Vol. 1.

    Random people on the internet are framing ‘Redline’ as sci-fi modern art, lite on plot, heavy on metal, with transforming robots, gratuitous nudity, and psychedelic gore. Everything a growing fangirl needs!

    I put it on my Nexflix Q, but I’m curious if HDD is reviewing it?

  3. EM

    Citizen Kane, on order. On the one hand, I can appreciate there being multiple configurations of product available; on the other hand, multiple configurations can be confusing. Until last week, I wasn’t even aware that this same edition had been available from Best Buy (if I missed coverage on the Bonus View or High-Def Digest proper, then shame on me!). Oh, well, I’m getting it soon enough for my purposes.

    • Josh Zyber

      Best Buy exclusives are not well publicized or even acknowledged, even within Best Buy. I only knew about the Citizen Kane Digibook because I happened to come across it in a store while looking for something else a few months ago.

      • EM

        That’s truly pathetic. My understanding of store exclusives is that they’re supposed to draw customers to the store—not just to buy the exclusive but, the store hopes, to buy other merchandise as well while there. If the exclusive languishes in obscurity, the plan fails utterly.

  4. There are a couple of rentals for me on this list (that is, if Blockbuster or Netflix will start stocking catalogue movies on Blu-Ray – both companies are REALLY bad about that, and Blockbuster is guilty of letting you add stuff to your queue that they don’t even have), but as for movie buys, nothing until next week. I got one next week, and two the week after that.