Blu-ray Highlights: Week of May 11th, 2014 – That’s Not a Knoife

I don’t know about you, but my Mother’s Day was pretty busy this year – what with motherhood being a more immediately relevant and pressing issue in my household now. I feel like this should be an official work holiday and a long weekend, if only so that dads can have extra time to catch up on everything else they need to do after catering to mom. Unfortunately, it’s not, and we have a new batch of Blu-ray releases to sort through. Are any of them worth buying? Let’s start digging!

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (5/13/14)?

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New Releases

Her‘ – In the latest surreal oddity from director Spike Jonze (‘Being John Malkovich’, ‘Adaptation’), Joaquin Phoenix plays a socially awkward nerd who falls in love with Siri – or a fictionalized version of Siri, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. It’s a far-out concept that our Luke couldn’t buy into at all. Many other critics and the Academy Awards were more impressed. (The film was nominated for Best Picture.) As for the implausibility of the premise, well, Luke might be reminded that people in this world can be damned weirdos.

I, Frankenstein‘ – Aaron Eckhart has built a pretty good career for himself as a character actor, but his attempts to headline movies don’t often work out as well. He must really feel desperate to have signed onto this inane horror/sci-fi mash-up from the producers of the ‘Underworld’ franchise. It looks atrocious.

That Awkward Moment‘ – Do you think Zac Efron’s recent drug escapades will revive interest in this flop comedy from earlier in the year? Doubtful. Based on the trailers, the entire movie seems to be predicated on watching characters behave in ways that no human beings would actually behave – such as when costar Michael B. Jordan walks into his apartment living room naked to show his dude-bros how he accidentally put bronzer on his penis. Har har.

Stalingrad‘ – Taking a page from Michael Bay’s ‘Pearl Harbor’ and other Hollywood ilk of its like, this big-budget Russian WWII epic milks real historical tragedy for shallow action movie spectacle. But wait, this one’s in 3D. Woot!

Catalog Titles

Likely a better candidate for WWII drama is 1975’s ‘Overlord‘, which blends documentary newsreel footage with a fictional story involving the D-Day invasion of Normandy. The experimental film wasn’t distributed in the United States until 2006, but is now available on Blu-ray courtesy of the Criterion Collection.

As the latest attempt to cash in on ’80s nostalgia, Paramount (and distributor Warner Bros.) offer a double-bill of the popular fish-out-of-water comedy ‘Crocodile Dundee‘ and its first sequel. Not included is the third movie, ‘Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles’. I know what you’re thinking: “They made a third Crocodile Dundee movie??!”

The award for most misleading title of the week goes to ‘Hellboy 20th Anniversary‘, which would suggest that it’s a 20th Anniversary reissue of the movie ‘Hellboy’. Yet the first ‘Hellboy’ movie was made in 2004. No, this is actually supposed to be a celebration of 20 years of the ‘Hellboy’ comic book, commemorated with a double feature of the two animated movies ‘Sword of Storms’ (2006) and ‘Blood & Iron’ (2007).

Over at Twilight Time, the label has new 3,000-copy limited editions for Norman Jewison’s 1975 dystopian sci-fi flick ‘Rollerball‘, John Ford’s 1961 Western ‘Two Rode Together‘ with James Stewart and Richard Widmark, the 2009 British soccer hooligan drama ‘The Firm‘ (which has nothing to do with John Grisham or Tom Cruise), the 1964 plane crash drama ‘Fate Is the Hunter‘, and both “Supermarionation” features from the late 1960s: ‘Thunderbirds Are Go‘ and ‘Thunderbird 6‘.


Don’t subscribe to Netflix but have heard the buzz about its original programming? Lionsgate has you covered with the first season of ‘Orange Is the New Black‘.

Elsewhere, HBO spews out the fourth season of ‘Eastbound & Down‘. How that show survived more than one episode is still a mystery to me.

At the very least, I’d like to rent ‘Her’. The lure of limited edition collectibles also tempts me with ‘Rollerball’ and the two ‘Thunderbirds’ movies, but I don’t honestly like them enough to pay Twilight Time’s prices. Beyond that, this week doesn’t have much for me. How about you?


  1. William Henley

    I preordered Stalingrad on a blind buy (it ONLY showed in Imax, was only out for like a week (and a week I was busy), and wasn’t showing at any of the Imax’s close to me(seemed to only show on true IMAX, not Lie-Max screens)). But $25 for a 3D Blu-Ray sounded good, so its a blind buy

    Also have Dragonball Z preordered. I am really getting behind – I just finished disc 2 of season 2 Saturday, and here comes season 4.

    Also ordered Thunderbirds. I would have figured they would have pressed more than 3,000 copies of that, but there are actually many of their movies that I am surprised don’t sell more than the 3,000 they press (although that may be because of their limited distribution).

    Hagani looks interesting, but I haven’t seen season 1, and I normally don’t do more than $25 on a blind buy. Honestly really surprised to see a $50 pricetag on a Funimation season release – seasons of anime normally run $20-$30 from Funimation. Depends on the show, not sure why some cost more than others.

    Never seen Crocodile Dundee, so its probably a future rental for me.

    I, Frankenstein is a rental

    Rollerball is a rental

    Shakespeare: Richard II sounds interesting. Want a review though, as much as I like Shakespeare, I normally don’t like watching stage productions unless I am actually sitting in the theater. If I am watching it on a screen, I like a little bit more production. So it depends if its a filmed stage production or a movie

  2. EM

    While I wish Twilight Time’s pricing were more competitive, Rollerball is a must…not just because of my esteem for the film, but because (so far as I know) no DVD release has even been anamorphic, and so the film is well overdue for an upgrade. I have it preordered, now…thanks for reminding me!

  3. Of the 2 Blus I chose for the week, they only interest me, not a day one must buy purchase. Croc Dundee & Spirit

    On the OTHER list a couple of dvd only movies – COME ON STUDIOS, stop making dvds! You stopped making VHS to get everyone on board!

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