Blu-ray Highlights for 5/3/11 – Whole Lotta Nothin’

Wow, this is a pretty dreary week for Blu-ray releases. Although the release list may look huge, the vast majority of titles are simply reissues of discs previously released on the format. And no, I don’t mean that these are Special Editions or remasters. They’re literally the same discs, just repackaged or switched over to a new distributor.

Really, look at this:

Even what is, for my money, the best title of the week (John Frankenheimer’s classic Cold War thriller ‘The Manchurian Candidate‘) is simply the wide retail release of a disc that was a Best Buy exclusive for the past few months.

Otherwise, what do we have? The two big day-and-date titles, ‘The Green Hornet‘ and ‘The Dilemma‘, were widely-reviled box office bombs earlier this year. Will you be buying these? Probably not. Even if you 3D owners are desperate for new 3D content, keep in mind that ‘Green Hornet’ was one of those crappy post-production 3D conversions, and I haven’t heard anyone say anything positive about the quality of its 3D simulation. So it’s not even worth picking up for that aspect.

At the very least, the Criterion Collection has a couple of new titles out: Ingmar Bergman’s ‘Smiles of a Summer Night‘ and controversial French director Catherine Breillat’s ‘Fat Girl‘. The former is a light comedy from a filmmaker famous for his dour existentialism, and the latter is an uncomfortable cautionary tale about how awful sex is and how evil men are. That’s an interesting double-bill, for sure.

Hong Kong action superstar Donnie Yen had a pretty big hit with the strangely-titled ‘Ip Man’, an action-filled bio-pic about the martial arts master who instructed Bruce Lee. That was released on Blu-ray last year. It’s being re-released today alongside its sequel, ‘Ip Man 2‘.

I’m not going to pretend that the Robin Williams afterlife drama ‘What Dreams May Come‘ is a good movie. It’s actually pretty dopey. However, it’s a very visually imaginative film (and a visual effects Oscar winner) worth checking out in high definition. This disc will no doubt be a port of Universal’s previous HD DVD release, which was a respectable effort from a studio whose catalog titles are so often below par.

Beyond that, I don’t know. Does anything catch your interest?


  1. I already have What Dreams May Come on HD-DVD. I think I may pick up the Chopin Piano Concerts and maybe Bethovens Symphonies 4-6 this week, and see what I think of concert discs. The Chopin recitals got some bad reviews saying that the mic placement is weird, but for $11, I thought, why not!

  2. I’m actually really curious about the Murdoch Murder Mysteries S3 set. Hoping I see it this week, as it actually sounds somewhat up my alley.

    Green Hornet didn’t hit the spot. Far from it.

    The Echo Bridge titles also didn’t hit the spot. Not by a long fucking shot.