Blu-ray Highlights for July 31st, 2012 – Get Your Ass to Mars

This week’s Blu-ray release slate is low on new titles that many people are likely to have heard of, and heavy on double-bill reissues of previously released movies. However, we also have a handful of really good classics on tap today as well. (Yes, I count the Schwarzenegger picture as a “classic,” thank you very much.)

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (7/31/12)?

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New Releases

Last week, the Criterion Collection brought two of director Whit Stillman’s old movies to Blu-ray, presumably to tie in with his new ‘Damsels in Distress‘, which Sony offers up today. Rising starlets Greta Gerwig (‘Greenberg’) and Analeigh Tipton (‘Crazy, Stupid, Love.’) play sorority sisters who take it upon themselves to improve the social scene in their university by dating and “taming” the boorish men on campus. As a Whit Stillman movie, expect a bunch of characters who all look, sound, act and speak exactly like each other to stand around talking, and talking, and talking and talking.

Speaking of Greta Gerwig, back in 2006, the actress made an indie comedy called ‘LOL’. Unfortunately, that’s not the ‘LOL‘ we get on Blu-ray today. This one is Miley Cyrus’ latest attempt to pretend she’s a movie star. That should be all you need to know to keep moving along.

Beyond that, the only other new releases are the low-budget horror thrillers ‘ATM‘ and ‘Detention‘. The latter has Dane Cook in the cast. That’s reason enough to skip it.

Catalog Titles

First off, have you looked at some of Fox’s double-bill pairings on the list today? Some of them make sense, like matching up the Farrelly brothers’ ‘Me, Myself and Irene’ with ‘Shallow Hall’, or the putting the thematically-similar comedies ‘Just Married’ and ‘What Happens in Vegas’ together. But what do ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ and ‘Date Night’ have in common? I think that even Marisa Tomei fans will find ‘My Cousin Vinny’ and ‘Cyrus’ a bizarrely discordant double feature.

In better news, Fox also celebrates the iconic Marilyn Monroe with the ‘Forever Marilyn‘ collection, as well as standalone editions of ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’, ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’, ‘River of No Return’, ‘The Seven Year Itch’ and ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’. True, ‘Some Like It Hot‘ and ‘The Misfits‘ were previously released, but I never got around to buying those, so this box set seems like a good deal to me.

The Criterion Collection brings us ‘Le Havre‘, the latest deadpan comedy from Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki (director of ‘Leningrad Cowboys Go America’).

Meanwhile, Lionsgate ports over the Studio Canal Collection edition of Jean Renoir’s World War I POW classic ‘La Grande Illusion‘. Unlike some of Studio Canal’s previous botched releases, this one is said to feature an excellent video transfer.

Just in time for this week’s remake, Lionsgate has also freshly remastered the original ‘Total Recall‘ for the stupidly-named “Mind-Bending Edition.” Given how crummy the Blu-ray from 2006 was, this is bound to be a welcome improvement.


The only notable TV release this week is the Emmy-nominated miniseries ‘Hatfields & McCoys‘, starring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton. Admittedly, I didn’t actually watch this, but every single clip I saw of it looked insanely cheesy. Is that unfair?

You can put me down for ‘Grand Illusion’ and ‘Total Recall’, and the Marilyn Monroe box will go on my wish list for a later date. What catches your interest this week?


  1. HuskerGuy

    Total Recall. For some reason I didn’t own this on either blu or dvd and the price is right at $7.99.

    • William Henley

      I am glad to hear this – the 2006 Blu-Ray has been on discount shelves for years, and as they never retired it, it would just be silly to cost anything more. Still debating, though, if I am going to pick it up as I have the 2006 edition, and while I like the movie, its not to the point that I feel that I have to rebuy it.

      I know, its only $8. If I see it next time I am at Wally World, I will probably go ahead and pick it up/

  2. Drew

    ‘Total Recall’, and the Marilyn collection for me. Another slow week. Thank you, blu-ray God.

  3. I probably would have bought TOTAL RECALL for $15…but at $7.99, it’s a no-brainer. Plus, it will give me something to watch after I’m disappointed with the reboot. 🙂

  4. Yeah, the original Blu-ray of ‘Total Recall’ is terrible.

    This is a movie that I remember being better than it is. Nostalgia for the early 90s sci-fi actioners I guess. I revisited it a little while ago and I would say that I much prefer other Ah-nold titles like ‘Running Man’ over it. But that’s just me.

      • EM

        It just so happens that last night I watched Total Recall for the first time. I found it to be as risible as I had expected from the publicity back in 1990. I did see The Running Man when it was new, and fortunately my memories of that film have mostly dissipated. But I will agree, at least, that I prefer other Schwarzenegger fare over Total Recall. Arnold’s acting “talent” seems best served in movies like the first two Terminators in which he portrays no emotions.

  5. Drew

    ‘Running Man’ over ‘Total Recall’! That’s a laugh.

    You must be joking, right? A little dry humor, with no hint of sarcasm?

  6. Drew


    Preferring the ‘Terminator’ films over ‘Total Recall’ is one thing. Preferring ‘The Running Man’ over it is something entirely different.

    ‘Total Recall’ is superb Sci-Fi. It’s a classic. Period. ‘The Running Man’ is forgettable drivel. It never even made an impact during it’s original release. It’s essentially irrelevant.

    The James Cameron ‘Terminator’ films are both nearly flawless works of a master in his prime. Like I said before, preferring them to ‘Total Recall’ is one thing. Let’s just pretend like nobody tried to do the same thing with ‘The Running Man’. 🙂

      • William Henley

        Well, if you were using the right absorbancy, it wouldn’t have come out, now, would it?

    • EM

      If only a viewing of classic, superb sci-fi last night could be inserted into my memory in place of the puerile hokeyness that I actually experienced! Exclamation point!

    • William Henley

      I must agree. “Total Recall” is no “Terminator”, but it is still enjoyable. Maybe I am just biased by nostalgia, but this is one of my favorite early-90s movies. I will probably watch it this weekend – the rest of my week is jammed packed and won’t get a chance to watch ANYTHING except the Olympics, which we have on at work (we have to have the televisions on a news channel, but MSNBC, CNBC and NBC ARE news channels, whichis how we geet around it)

  7. Drew

    Yeah, I could tell it did. That probably happens to you a lot when you discuss periods. 😉

  8. Drew


    Not your best quip. I’m moderately disappointed, and deducting for lack of originality and thesaurus-like adjective use. :). C’mon, you can do better!

    It still won’t change the fact that ‘Total Recall’ is a classic, however.