As the year’s movie award season draws to a close, the hugely acclaimed and respected finale to the most beloved film franchise in the entire history of cinema finally comes to Blu-ray. Oh yeah, some black & white thing about people who’ve been dead for seventy years is also available, but that one doesn’t have any glittery vampires in it at all.
Winner of the prestigious Golden Raspberry Award, ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2‘ completes the epic journey of Edward and Bella, the two most important literary characters that anyone under the age of 15 has ever heard of. As I understand it, in this one, Bella’s former romantic interest Jacob the werewolf falls in love with her infant vampire daughter. (No, that’s not a joke. That actually happens in the book and movie.) Technically, the Blu-ray was released on Saturday, which means that I probably should have mentioned it last week. I’m sure the Twi-hards will forgive me. It’s not like there will be any shortage of this on store shelves anytime soon.
Almost certainly a better bet is Disney’s Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature, ‘Wreck-It Ralph‘, available in both 2D and 3D. I didn’t get a chance to see this in theaters and have been waiting to catch up with it on Blu-ray. By most accounts, the film was robbed at the Oscars by the less-deserving ‘Brave’, which seems to have won based solely on being produced by Pixar.
In the Golden Globe-nominated ‘The Intouchables‘, a French adrenaline junkie winds up a paraplegic after a paragliding accident. I assume that he will learn some important life lessons about himself as a result, as tends to happen.
Anyone could have told you that remaking the ’80s cheesefest ‘Red Dawn‘ was a bad idea. The original was indelibly a product of its time, and updating the villains to North Korean was laughably ridiculous. (The movie was actually shot with the invading army identified as Chinese, until someone pointed out to the studio heads that China is a big foreign market that they probably don’t want to piss off. Cue last-minute rewrites and reshoots.) Anyway, the movie bombed, as everyone expected it to. I don’t imagine that it will catch fire on video either.
Last week saw the Blu-ray release of the Gerard Butler flop ‘Chasing Mavericks’. This week follows that up with his other recent box office dud, the rom-com ‘Playing for Keeps‘. Someone remind me how Gerard Butler is still a movie star.
From the indie scene, Don Coscarelli (director of ‘Phantasm’ and ‘Bubba Ho-Tep’) brings us his latest weird cult flick, ‘John Dies at the End‘. This one garnered a mixed reaction on the festival circuit and never made much traction in general release. The chief criticism against it seems to be that it tries too hard to be an instant cult classic. However, it’s likely to pick up fans over time.
On the other hand, despite some big-name stars like Bruce Willis and Vince Vaughn, the gambling comedy ‘Lay the Favorite‘ is destined to fall into obscurity. When he saw it over a year ago, Luke called it one of the worst films he’d ever seen at Sundance.
The past year has been very good to Steven Spielberg on Blu-ray. Many of the director’s best and most famous films have been nicely restored for the format. This week, Universal brings us a 20th Anniversary Edition of the movie that finally won him his first Oscar, the Holocaust drama ‘Schindler’s List‘. This is undeniably a very fine film, though also one that many people will have a hard time rewatching. Interested collectors may want to consider importing the nice Digibook packaging edition from the UK.
If perhaps not quite as important a work of art as that, the sci-fi thriller ‘Westworld‘ marked the feature directing debut of author Michael Crichton (who later collaborated with Spielberg on ‘Jurassic Park’). Although the technology on display may already seem a little dated, the movie holds up as an entertaining tale of robots run amok at a theme park. (You can probably tell that Crichton was working out some ideas that he’d refine in future works.)
Also notable, Warner Bros. has finally released the ‘Nightmare on Elm Street Collection‘ and the ‘Terminator Anthology‘ from Best Buy exclusivity into general retail. Be warned: the latter does not contain the recently-released remastered edition of the first ‘Terminator’ movie.
I’m definitely down for ‘Wreck-It Ralph’, as well as ‘Westworld’. I suppose ‘Schindler’s List’ belongs in my collection too, even if I don’t plan to watch it right away. Which discs will score your dollars this week?