Blu-ray Highlights for 11/1/11 – Beep Beep’m Beep Beep Yeah

The beginning of November is apparently Pixar week on Blu-ray. The month starts off with the studio’s latest blockbuster new release, plus reissues of some of its classics.

The following discs come out this week:

The critical consensus has it that ‘Cars 2‘ is the film that finally broke Pixar’s winning streak. It’s the first Pixar production to be openly savaged in reviews. It currently sits at a lowly 38% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Like many others, Luke here hated, hated, hated it. Nevertheless, the movie grossed almost $550 million and is comfortably sitting among the year’s Top 10 earners. I couldn’t bring myself to see it in theaters, but I have to admit that I’ll still pick up the Blu-ray anyway – first, out of some misguided urge to be a completist Pixar collector, and secondly, because I’m sure that the 3D disc will make splendid eye candy. The first movie practically begged for 3D. Those race scenes have got to look incredible. I’ll just be sure to set my expectations really low.

For really big fans of the franchise, Pixar also offers up a “Director’s Edition” box set that contains both ‘Cars’ features, the ‘Mater’s Tall Tales’ series, and a bunch of collectible swag. I can live without this, personally.

Harder to resist (for 3D fans, anyway) will be the new 3D reissues of all three ‘Toy Story‘ movies. The third film was of course natively created in 3D. Pixar re-rendered the animation for the previous two, which should yield much better results than a typical 2D-to-3D conversion. You can buy these separately or in a box set.

The other big day-and-date releases this week include the romantic comedy ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love.‘, which got some pretty great reviews, and the Robert Pattinson/Reese Witherspoon drama ‘Water for Elephants‘, which didn’t. At all. Oh, there’s also ‘Trespass‘, the latest crapfest from director Joel Schumacher. This one reunites him with Nicolas Cage (from ‘8mm’) and Nicole Kidman (from ‘Batman Forever’), both of whom have Oscars now and really ought to know better. Everyone who’s seen the movie says that it’s awful, awful, awful.

Among the notable catalog titles, we have George Clooney’s directorial debut (with screenplay by Charlie Kaufman) ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind‘, and the 1925 adaptation of ‘The Phantom of the Opera‘, which features a legendary performance from Lon Chaney. When I was a teenager, I thought that Steven Spielberg’s Peter Pan tale ‘Hook‘ was just fantastic. When I saw it again as an adult, it really made me cringe. Even so, I’m sure that the movie has some nostalgic fans who’ll want it on Blu-ray.

The studios continue to churn out Christmas-themed movies as well. The best of them this week would be Bill Murray’s take on ‘A Christmas Carol’, the hilarious ‘Scrooged‘.

If you happen to have a lot of cash on hand and didn’t buy any of the five individual season box sets, Image Entertainment will be happy to sell you a Complete Series collection of the original ‘The Twilight Zone‘. That’s over 150 episodes!

Which discs are you picking up this week?


  1. EM

    Baby, you can drive my Cars—I’m one of those rare adults who really, really like the 2006 film—but I generally don’t care for the sequel. On a strictly technical level, though, it’s pretty good. Josh, I think you’ll be satisfied with the 3D, if little else.

    This week has a slew of interesting titles, but I don’t think I’ll be picking any up. I’ll skip the Cars Director’s Edition in favor of the original Cars Blu-ray I already own. I’m a fan of the Toy Story trilogy and have seen all the movies in 3D in the theater, but as yet I have no 3DTV. I’ve heard of mixed reviews and technical problems regarding Phantom of the Opera’s Blu-ray. Although the Christmas Carol/Scrooge Blu-ray boasts some new special features, I don’t think I’m ready to double-dip; and I’ll take a pass on the It’s a Wonderful Life retread. I already picked up The Taking of Pelham One Two Three during its Best Buy exclusivity window. I still have yet to pick up The Twilight Zone on Blu, but I‘m certainly not going to shell out hundreds of dollars at once for the whole series.

    Wow—lots of intriguing titles, and I don’t have to spend a dime!

  2. Hook, Phantom, Toy Story and Chicago for me. I can’t pick them all up at once, though.

    Pitty Phantom didn’t come out last week, I would have loved to gave had it yesterday.

  3. Drew

    Cars 2 3D, Scrooged, Toy Story 3D (all three in a set), Water for Elephants (don’t ask), and Crazy, Stuid, Love, and Cop Land.

    Josh, you absolutely will not be disappointed with the 3D presentation of Cars 2. Mine arrived last night. It is literally free of any crosstalk, the racing scenes are immersive and offer an endless amount of depth to add realism to them, and every aspect of the film feels as if it was created to bring the viewer deep within the surroundings.

    Watch it when you are in the mood to absolutely not care about the quality of the film itself, and are only looking to be impressed and thrilled visually.

    • Jane Morgan

      Does good 3D make bad movies fun?

      Would Lars Von Trier’s ‘Antichrist’ become endlessly rewatchable with ‘Avatar’-quality 3D?

      • Drew

        You hit the nail on the head when you said, “with Avatar quality 3D.” In that case, I would have to say the answer is, “Hell Yes!”

        Let’s put it this way, there are many terrible movies that would be endlessly entertaining if viewed in superb 3D.

        ‘Cars 2’, and ‘Transformers 3’ are the two movies closest to ‘Avatar’ in terms of 3D quality that have been made. They are both utterly flawless!

        • Drew

          Speaking of that, just want to add that I can’t wait for the ‘Dark of the Moon’ 3D Blu-ray release!

          Does anybody have any idea when it will be released. It seems the rumors are suggesting December.

        • Jane Morgan

          Post-‘Melancholia’ he hopes to begin production on ‘The Nymphomaniac.’

          By the laws of probability, he has to make a watchable film sooner or later.

  4. ‘Hook’ is a masterpiece!! Josh, you’re one of the best critics around, but …

    Does the American Blu-ray have any special features? My UK ‘Hook’ is sadly devoid of any extras … a very average release. Solid picture and audio, though.