Blu-ray Highlights for July 17th, 2012 – What a Glorious Feelin’


I’m singin’ in the rain
Just singin’ in the rain
We’ve finally got Blu-rays
Worth buyin’ again!

All right, maybe there aren’t that many Blu-rays worth buying today, but considering how slow things have been recently, it’s nice to have at least one major title to get excited about. In fact, a few discs have perked up my attention.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (7/17/12)?

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New Releases

Unfortunately, none of those interesting titles are new releases. From this sad bunch, the only movie I might even consider as rental material is the Luc Besson-scripted sci-fi actioner ‘Lockout‘. Or, as everyone else refers to it, ‘Escape from Space York’. Guy Pearce stars as a Snake Plissken wannabe who must rescue the President’s daughter (the perpetually-kidnapped Maggie Grace) from a space prison taken over by the inmates. The movie was a big ol’ flop at the box office, but looks like it could be silly guilty pleasure fun.

Otherwise, what do we have? Will Ferrell does a fully Spanish-language comedy in ‘Casa de Mi Padre‘. Other than the gimmick that this one’s in Spanish, it looks like every other dopey Will Ferrell comedy. Meh. The Farrelly brothers finally dump their long-threatened, modern-day reboot of ‘The Three Stooges‘ onto a world that absolutely does not and will not ever want it. Blech. Lasse Hallstrom serves up more attempted Oscar bait in the awkwardly titled ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen‘. Yawn.


Now this is more like it. Warner Bros. pulls out all the stops for a brand new restoration of the Technicolor classic ‘Singin’ in the Rain‘, available in either one of those ridiculously oversized box sets (this one packaged with an umbrella) or a standard keepcase edition. I think I’ll go for the latter, unless some retailer out there gets a Digibook exclusive. If anyone finds information on that, please let me know.

In dark and gritty contrast to the bright and colorful musical splendor of ‘Rain’, Warner also gives Martin Scorsese’s first breakthrough motion picture ‘Mean Streets‘ the Blu-ray treatment. I would not recommend playing these two movies as a double feature. Then again, that might be perversely fascinating.

Olive Films has obtained the licensing rights to a couple of major classics: the Gary Cooper Western ‘High Noon‘ and the original sci-fi chiller ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers‘. I’d be a lot more excited for both of these if Olive had a better reputation for the quality of its discs.

Meanwhile, Criterion adds Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Down by Law‘ to the Collection. I’ve never really warmed up to Jarmusch’s minimalist deadpan schtick (though I do love his ‘Broken Flowers’) and I really can’t stand Roberto Begnini, so the combination of the two doesn’t appeal much to me. Honestly, I can’t even remember if I’ve already seen this one. Most of the director’s early movies tend to blur together in my memory.

Guilty Pleasures

Between Warner and MGM, we get a perfect trifecta of ’80s action cheese this week. Steven Seagal proves that he’s ‘Hard to Kill‘, Chuck Norris roundhouse kicks his way through a ‘Code of Silence‘, and Patrick Swayze goes a-huntin’ redneck baddies to avenge his ‘Next of Kin‘. Look for all of these to turn up in your local Best Buy’s bargain bin shortly.

Jackie Chan in his prime was an amazing performer to watch, and both ‘Project A‘ and ‘Operation Condor‘ are great entertainment – in their original forms. Sadly, Echo Bridge insists on crapping the badly dubbed and edited versions onto video in North America. I can’t recommend that anyone support this miserable company.

‘Singin’ in the Rain’ and ‘Mean Streets’ are must-haves for me. I’ll put the Jarmusch title on my wish list, and approach both of the two Olive Films discs with caution. What will you buy this week?


  1. JM

    Is ‘Get The Gringo’ Mel Gibson’s first direct-to-dvd movie?

    Since he wrote it, is it insane?

  2. William Henley

    I had preordered the collectors edition of Singing In The Rain, but I canceled it on Friday and ordered the keepcase. $13.96 vs $60? Yeah, no contest. Now if the collectors drops down below $40 in the future, I will consider picking it up.

    I am watching Full Metal Alchamist right now on Hulu (found something useful for it while all the new shows are in reruns – Subtitled Anime!). Figured I should go back and watch the original series (as I had only seen a few episodes in the past) before I get into Brotherhood. But that series is available on Hulu as well (actually, I bet its also on Netflix – may look later, I was just playing with Hulu last night and ran across it).

    As for Johnny Carson I would like to see a review. This actually reminds me of a commercial I saw today – it was from the 1996 Olympics of Kari Strugg’s vault. Suddenly it caught my attention – the clip was in HD! Either that was one heck of an upconvert, or they had shot part of the Olympics on film! Anyways, just got to wonder how well Johnny Carson will look on Blu-Ray.

    Also thinking about picking up one of the 3D Bikini Girls shows. Not too sure about this particular release or even this series, but I have been really pleased with Ultimate3DHeaven’s other releases.

  3. JM

    Doesn’t Mrs Z like romance?

    ‘Salmon Fishing in the Yemen‘ has Emily Blunt as the perfect love vessel.

    ‘Friends With Kids’ also looks incredibly rentable, from writer / director / star Jennifer Westfeldt.

    Why don’t you spotlight female filmmakers? Especially when they make sometime actually watchable.

    ‘Casa de Mi Padre‘ got 4 Stars from M. Enois Duarte, so it’s on the Q!

    ‘Boss’ S1 also looks very nuanced for Starz (not counting the cover) making me poli-curious.

    ‘3D Bikini Girls in Action Paintball Girls – 3D’ looks like it’s ripped right out of ‘Jackie Brown,’ so I might have to rent this for the kids.

          • JM

            ‘Get The Gringo’ is at 79% at RT, which is not bad for man pulp.

            The idea that you’ve never heard of it I never even considered.

            All this time I’ve been assuming that you were omniscient. My bad. 🙂

            I guess marketing is tricky when you can’t pimp the movie star.

          • Josh Zyber

            Looking it up now, it appears that the movie went through some title changes prior to release. It was on my radar when it was called “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” but dropped off after that.

    • M. Enois Duarte

      uh-oh. Always be wary of my recommendations. My tastes in movies are very unique along with what I think is funny. 😉

  4. JM

    ‘The Fairy’ is 92% at RT, and I’m in the exact mood for a genre-bending romantic romp, but I don’t entirely trust the Belgiums…

      • EM

        Perhaps she was thinking of the Lower Countries era. Or perhaps of the Flemish–Walloon tensions that occasionally give rise to talk of deunification.

        • Good point. It is difficult to keep track of a country with three governments for a mere 10 million people. Crazy, come to think of it.

      • JM

        I’m naturally suspicious of any country where Tintin is popular.

        But that’s totally tempered by my love for Vlaamse stoofkarbonaden.

  5. Jason

    other than SitR and High Noon I’ll be spending my hard earned cash at B&N on Criterion blus.

  6. Mike

    I got Get the Gringo. Pure guilty pleasure.

    Friends with Kids has a strangely unpleasant undercurrent to it. Started out well, then I started to think all the characters had really caustic personalities and spoke like prison inmates. The majority of my friends are women, and none of them have ever said the awful crap the characters in this movie say incessantly.