Blu-ray Highlights: Week of March 31st, 2013 – Let There Be Blu!

Did the Easter Bunny bring you lots of yummy chocolate this weekend? It’s a shame that he doesn’t carry any Blu-rays around in that basket of his, because the home video studios seem to have forgotten to release much of interest this week. Pickings are pretty slim when the top title of the week is a TV miniseries that just aired for free on cable literally yesterday, and will no doubt be re-run annually for years to come.

Displayed: Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (4/2/13)?

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‘Survivor’ producer Mark Burnett wants ‘The Bible: The Epic Miniseries‘ to be considered the most faithful and historically accurate adaptation of the holy text ever put to screen – which is why he’s added ninjas, cast a white guy to play Jesus (sorry, but he wasn’t), and depicts the great evil Satan as a lookalike for our current President of the United States. Just like God told him to.

On a separate note, why is it that HBO can make such great TV series, but most of the network’s original movies are pretty lousy? Admittedly, I didn’t watch much of ‘Hemingway and Gellhorn‘, but the few minutes I saw of Clive Owen in a ridiculous fake mustache doing some sort of cartoon caricature impersonation of Ernest Hemingway were almost howlingly awful. Most reviews seem to back up this impression. I don’t feel like I missed much.

New Releases

I wrote up a blurb for the cult click ‘John Dies at the Endalmost a month ago, but we apparently either had our release date wrong or the disc was pushed back. That’s sadly the only notable day-and-date title this week.


If you’re in a musical mood and love exclamation points, Fox offers up Barbra Streisand in the 1969 adapation of ‘Hello, Dolly!‘ or Tom Hanks’ 1996 directorial debut, ‘That Thing You Do!‘.

I think I’ll sit this week out. How about you?


  1. William Henley

    I’ve had Europe’s Most Beautiful Places preordered for a while, but its looking like it has been delayed yet again until May 19th. If memory serves, this is the second time its been delayed.

    I originally had The Bible preordered, but was less than thrilled with what I saw. It was okay, but nothing great. They glance over like the first 15 chapters of the Bible in 30 seconds and cut straight to Abraham (which shows up around hour 3 in The Bible:In The Begining), completely ignores the bad stuff Lot and his daughters do, takes several liberties with the story of Abraham (who looks way too much like Mr Edwards from Little House on the Prairie), completely ignores Issac, Jacob and Joseph, glances over the plagues in Egypt in under a minute, Moses ages but Pharo never does, you get the impression that Moses is a bit senial, the entire nation of Israel looks like its made up of 50 people, and after Moses recieves teh 10 commandments, we immediately jump to the spies entering Jerico 40 years later. It’s like the show’s creators completely wanted to glance over all the bad stuff in the Bible and show that these people were completely perfect and blameless, and that is just not true. The Bible spends probably as much time pointing out these people’s weaknesses and sins as it does pointing out the good stuff they did.

    I haven’t watched past Samson yet (many of my friends had issues with Samson being African, but I said “well, it doesn’t say he’s not either”), but I had enough issues with the show to cancel my order. Yeah, I get that you can’t cover everything in the Bible, but I just wasn’t that impressed. I didn’t hate it, but I am certainly not spending $35 on it either. MAYBE if it drops below $15 I may pick it up, which I doubt it will.

    I guess my biggest issue is the show had so much hype, and it disappointed so much.

    • I had the biggest problem with Barrack Obama playing Satan. There are millions of ways to portray Satan but the producer had to pick the person who looks like a twin of Obama. Also, the producers went for an interview with Bill Oreilly. That pretty much says it all.

      What is wrong with a black playing Samson? I just laugh at how ignorant religious fanatics are. Do some research. Lemba people who reside in Zimbabwe and South Africa have more than 50% Y-chromosomes in Semitic origin. DNA testing also showed they have many Jewish genetic markers. We’re talking about black people who are descendant of Jewish. It’s funny how racists will ignore the science.

  2. John Dies at the End for me at some point, fantastic movie and if you are a fan of Coscarelli who did Phantasm and Bubba-Ho-Tep, I think you will quite enjoy this one 🙂

  3. William Henley

    I had trouble reading your message, but I think you may have misread what I was getting at. I am not arguring color one way or the other. I am arguring that I don’t understand why people are having issues with it.

    What I had problems with the show is that they tended to graze over or completely ignore some pretty important parts of the stories they covered. In many of these stories, the point is that these people all had short comings, sins, desires, etc, but God still chose to use them. That should be hope to the rest of us – no matter how much we screw up or how bad we are, He still loves us.

    I wasn’t wanting to turn this into a religious discussion, I was wanting to stick to technical issues I had, as I would with just about any other movie based on a book (fictional or factual), but it looks like this thread is going to take that turn.

    Josh, I think we should be prepared for this turning into one of those 100 comment threads.

    • William Henley

      BTW, to anyone else who comes, that was a response to a troll, and Josh deleted the offending message. I made a religious statement as the troll was making them. it wasn’t until after I posted this that it occured to me what was going on. Yep, I fell for the troll baiting.

      Anyways, I stand behind my original post – I was pointing out issues with the show, and commented on some of the silly reactions people had to it. I really don’t want to turn this thread into a religious discussion.

  4. Josh Zyber

    Please tone down the religious rhetoric, folks. Pointing out some of the silliness in a TV movie is not the same thing as attacking the religion itself. God didn’t make this miniseries. A very wealthy TV producer did, and his only true religion is money.

    [Note: This was written in response to several trolling comments that have since been deleted.]

  5. William Henley

    Hey, Josh, could you look at the IP addresses of the past comments posted in teh past hour? There are four comments posted within about 10 minutes of each other supposedly from different people, but the writting styles all look the same.

    I may be pretty religious, but this is a movie discussion site, not a religion discussion site, and it looks like this thread is about to get trolled.

    • Josh Zyber

      You’re exactly right. Four different user names, all the same IP address. I’ve purged them and will do the same to any other trolling behavior. Thanks for pointing this out.

  6. RollTide1017

    Both my wife and I were pretty meh about The Bible mostly for the reasons William has already mentioned. This was advertised as the most faithful adaptation of the Bible to date but, it was far from it IMO. I never expected them to include everything of course but, even some of the things they included that didn’t get exactly right. When Mary visits the tomb of Jesus and discovers that it is empty, she had at least 2 other women with her (one of the gospels mentions that 5 women went to the tomb). They were bringing spices to anoint the body because they didn’t have an opportunity to do it on the day he was crucified and the next day was the Sabbath. None of that was portrayed correctly and that is just one thing that popped into my head.

    I was also upset that the book of Revelation was not covered. That book has some of the most amazing imagery of the Bible IMO. I guess there is no one in Hollywood with the balls to tackle Revelation, of course there are many Christians that want to ignore that book as well.

  7. When Game of Thrones season 1 used George W Bush’s head prop, the studios were asked to edit the scene. Thus you have the early edition of Blu-ray with GWB head prop, and later version without. Has anyone demanded the Obama Satan scenes to be edited? The TV producer proposely selected an actor who is almost like twin of Obama to play Satan. You ask 1000 people and 999 would say that Satan looks exactly like Obama. My question to the TV producer is, what did Barrack Obama do to deserve this? Was it because he supported higher tax for the rich? Obama Care? Support Gay rights? Support gun control? Isn’t it double standard when you compare it with Game of Thrones?

    Other than that, I think even though the movie has many flaws, it did capture the essence of the Bible. If you’re a Bible scholar, historian, or devoted Christian, obviously this show is missing a lot of details. If you want to introduce Bible to other people of other faiths, I can’t think of a better movie.

    I have absolutely no issues with a black Samson. Science thru DNA already proved that Lemba black people in Zimbabwe and South Africa are descendant of Jewish people as I mentioned above. I just have a problem with Satan’s appearance.

    • William Henley

      This may go back to the 4 year old belief by some radicals that Obama is the anti-Christ. I may not be a fan of Obama, but I certainly wouldn’t go that far.

      I am not much of a conspiricy theorist, but yeah, Mohamen Mehdi Ouazanni DOES look like Obama. I am sure it was some political statement. Political crap comes out of Hollywood all the time. I usually just try to ignore it when I can, but this one was pretty in-your-face.

      Truthfully, have we ever been happy with the casting choices for Satan in Biblical movies? Anyone remember the controversey around Satan in The Passion of The Christ? No matter how you cast the role, people are going to find issues with it. “Why is he black, why is he white? Why is he male, why is he female? Why is Satan red, why does he sleep with Sadam Hussain?” You could then cast Satan as a snake, and people would be like “That’s not Biblically accurate”.

      However, in this case, it does look like the casting choice was a deliberate political statement. Oh well, freedom of speech.

      You do make a good point though in your second paragraph, and I have to agree, the show is missing a lot of details, but it is a pretty good movie to introduce people to the story – especially when it gets dubbed into other languages. I am willing to bet that internationally, not nearly as many people will make the connection with Satan, and if they do, it won’t be as big of a deal.

  8. Bruce

    I just got home and checked this tread out. Why is everyone so uptight about a religious discussion ? We’re all mostly adults here?
    I liked the series. Some episode more than others. I agree the first episodes were too rushed.. Didn’t like the guy who played Moses.. I liked the Samson story. It didn’t bother me he was black.. The devil charector was funny. didnt think of obama till the news started spreading on the net. He does, big deal.
    i wish the blu would have been an extended cut, to flesh out the story’s more. Josh don’t be so trigger fingured to close or delete posts man.. You did that with the thread about this show. Good peoplewere making good points and defending their thoughts about this against some trolls or uneducated peeps that like slamming the bibles merits..
    One last note, josh why did you delete the passion of the christs review on this site. i treid finding It the other night and its gone. all that came up was the last temtation of christ. whats up with that? Josh do you not like christian relayed topics? Do t delete me bro!

    • William Henley

      The issue that was going on yesterday was that someone came in, posted several comments under different user names (but same IP address), posting nothing that had to do with the movie, just being preachy and slanderous. It was troll bait, and off topic.

      It was really more because it was toll bait and off topic that those comments were deleted. The topics were religious in nature, pretty much the same as an angry street preacher preaching fire and brimstone and damnation, and “repent for the end is near” stuff.

      If you wish to discuss the show, that should be fine.

    • Josh Zyber

      As William explained, the only comments I deleted here were all from one person trolling under multiple user names, posting a bunch of inflammatory religious crap that had nothing to do with the TV miniseries or anything written in this article.

      I have no control over the Blu-ray reviews on the site. Those are managed by someone else. I found a Disc Details page for that movie, but no review:

      I don’t remember whether we ever reviewed this disc back in the day or not. I’ll look into it. If we did, this may just be a database glitch. We’ve been having a few of those lately.

        • William Henley

          I remember reading a disc review of Passion when it came out, but now that I think of it, it wasn’t at this site. (Rather than saying the name of the site, I will just say that Kenneth Brown now reviews movies for that site). This actually makes sense, because the other site has full-res screencaps, and as I already had the movie on DVD, I probably went to the other site to look at the screenshots.

          I am willing to bet that Bruce probably read the review at another site like I did.

          • Bruce

            I could have sworn I read the blu review here, and it had a pretty positive review. I also saw it on the other site, but this site is my go to site. That’s weird.. I could of sworn it was reviewed here.
            By the way where is Nate boss? I like that guy…

          • William Henley

            Same here, this is my go-to site – I only go to the other site if I want to see full-res screencaps, or if this site hasn’t reviewed it yet.

            That reminds me, saw a Blu-Ray at Wal-Mart this week for movie that I did not know existed, and it recently came out (Return to Nim’s Island). I liked the first, but as I haven’t heard anything on it, I thought I would look up a review for it. According to the other site, its a Wal-Mart exclusive, and came out on March 19th. They don’t have a review of it either, and as it has a different cast, and is a direct to video release, and stars Bindi Irwin, it is probably not going to appeal to anyone over the age of 7 anyways. The movie summery sounds pretty bad. Then again, if you read the movie summery of the first movie, it was pretty much Home Alone set on a tropical island.

    • johnm0019125

      I did not think of Obama, at all when Satan was first show. Then, I don’t go through my life thinking of him. When it became newsworthy (ridiculous), I did see the resemblance. Although he was pretty ugly, so I guess people are saying our president is ugly. I liked the show; but wish they spent more time in the old testament. The Jesus story is already well represented.