Blu-ray Highlights: Week of June 22nd, 2014 – I’ve Been Working Like a Dog

You know I work all day, to get you money to buy you things. And it’s worth it just to hear you say, you’re gonna give me… a new Blu-ray!

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (6/24/14)?

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New Releases

300: Rise of an Empire‘ – On the one hand, I didn’t think very much of the original ‘300’ movie, and this sequel/prequel/side-quel doesn’t even feature very many of the original cast (all of the main characters having died at the end of the last one). On the other hand, I hear that Eva Green is a lot of fun as the villainess and takes her clothes off a bunch. Also, for what it’s worth, supposedly the 3D is pretty good. So conflicted…

Enemy‘ – Director Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Incendies‘ was so harrowing that it left me an emotional wreck at the end. I haven’t brought myself to watch his follow-up ‘Prisoners‘, because its subject matter of kidnapped children is something that scares the shit out of me at this point in my life. His latest, about a man (Jake Gyllenhaal) who becomes obsessed with an actor who appears to be his doppelganger, has been described as what would result if David Lynch tried to adapt a Kafka novel. I am officially intrigued.

Winter’s Tale‘ – Terrible hack screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (‘Batman and Robin’, ‘The Da Vinci Code’) made his directorial debut with a fantasy/romance concoction that was – surprise, surprise – almost universally derided as an incoherent, unwatchable piece of garbage. The little dial on my Schadenfreude Meter just popped through the glass from spinning so frantically.

Ladies and Gentlemen… The Beatles!

A few years back, I bought a Canadian import disc of the Beatles’ madcap comedy ‘A Hard Day’s Night‘ that I still haven’t gotten around to watching. Our reviewer Steven describes the new Criterion Collection Blu-ray as “a huge upgade in every conceivable way” over that previous copy. It figures. Now I already need to double-dip on a disc I never watched.

Sadly, that’s pretty much it for interesting catalog titles this week.


CBS Films (thought distributor Paramount) inches closer to completing the high-def restoration of ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation‘. This month brings us Season 6, plus a separate release for the ‘Chain of Command’ two-parter. With just one more ‘TNG’ season to go, will ‘Deep Space Nine’ and ‘Voyager’ be treated to the same amount of attention, or left to linger in standard-def misery?

This is a pretty busy week on the TV front. Also available are the first seasons respectively of Showtime’s excellent ‘Masters of Sex‘ and FX’s pretty-good-if-not-quite-great ‘The Bridge‘, as well as the fourth season of the cheesy ‘Lost Girl‘ and, god help us, the fifth season of ‘Duck Dynasty‘.

‘A Hard Day’s Night’ is the only must-buy for me this week, though ‘Enemy’ will go high in my rental queue. Where will your hard-earned dollars be spent?


  1. EM

    I have TNG 6 preordered.

    I imagine Paramount manages to pick up a few extra bucks, but as a Trekkie I question the legitimacy of these continued reëdits of two-parters into “movies”. I grant I was skeptical about the “Best of Both Worlds” reëdit; when its release was imminent I watched the two episodes back-to-back (for the first time ever) and found that part 2 was better than I’d remembered. I ended up picking up the reëdit and found it quite satisfactory. Still, I would expect diminished returns on most of these other ventures. It’s been a while since I’ve seen either part of “Chain of Command”, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen them back-to-back; but my recollection is that part 1, despite having some good moments, is basically just setup for the outstanding part 2, making for a rather uneven movie-length feature. Maybe this reëdit would be better than I imagine. Still, personally I think I’d like to see Paramount go back and seam the two parts of “The Menagerie” together…

  2. William Henley

    I had to cancel preorders this week, because things were adding up on a non-payday week, right after I paid all my bills for the month and had nothing left over (unless I wanted to dip into savings). However, I will pick them up over the next couple of weeks.

    First up is Dragobball Z Season 5. However, as I am still only half way through season 2, I have no issue waiting on this.

    Second for me is Star Trek TNG Season 6. I’ve been waiting on this one, kinda disappointed I had to cancel my preorder. I probably could have went ahead and got it this week, but Amazon wasn’t lowering the price, and I still want to eat this week, so I’ll pick this up in a few weeks when it goes on sale (unless its on sale at Best Buy this week, which wouldn’t surprise me. I’ll look into it – may pick it up Friday if the price is right).

    The last title I am looking at is a blind buy of A Hard Day’s Night. It sounds really good.

  3. Very expensive week for me.
    Star Trek Season 6 of course…. Winter’s Tale and 300/3D combo pack.
    Star Trek can’t wait, the other 2 not for long as I want slipcovers!

    • Josh Zyber

      I believe all that means is that the DS9 station makes an appearance in one TNG episode in Season 6. CBS has not committed to restoring DS9 or Voyager yet. Fans are hoping that the studio may announce something when the final season of TNG is released.

    • William Henley

      Holy cow, that increased in price fast! Although I bet it means that Amazon is out of stock. I tried to pick this up last week at $57.99, but every Best Buy and Fry’s in an hour radius was out of stock, and and was on a 4 week backorder. I took that as a sign to wait to pick it up. 🙂 Now Amazon is saying it is $116.99, which makes it the most expensive I have EVER seen a season of Star Trek sell for on Amazon. I have never seen a season sell out as fast either – I wonder if demand is really that much higher, or if CBS just did not print as many discs in their initial run as they normally do.

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