This week’s Blu-ray releases bring us a couple of head-to-head battles. In one, we have delayed adolescence versus actual adolescents. In the other, the purest of good faces absolute evil. Let’s get ready to rumble!
Here’s the release slate:
- ‘Antichrist‘ (Criterion)
- ‘Big Daddy‘ (Sony)
- ‘Charlie St. Cloud‘ (Universal)
- ‘The Christmas Collection‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘A Christmas Carol/Miracle on 34th Street (1947) (Holiday Classics Collection)‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘A Christmas Carol (1984)‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Damned by Dawn: The Dead Will Rise‘ (Image)
- ‘DC Showcase: Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Depeche Mode: Tour of the Universe – Live in Barcelona‘ (EMI America)
- ‘Doctor Who: The Complete Fifth Series‘ (BBC)
- ‘The Dry Land‘ (Maya)
- ‘Grown Ups‘ (Sony)
- ‘Grown Ups (Combo Pack)‘ (Sony)
- ‘Hunt to Kill‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘Locked Down‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Lottery Ticket‘ (Warner Brothers – November 11th)
- ‘Love Ranch‘ (National Media)
- ‘Metalocalypse: Season III – The Dead Man‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Mr. Deeds‘ (Sony)
- ‘Night at the Museum Collection‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Ocean’s 11: 50th Anniversary Edition‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Ramona and Beezus‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Robin-B-Hood‘ (Vivendi)
- ‘Scooby-Doo/Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World‘ (Universal)
- ‘Sherlock: Season One‘ (BBC)
- ‘Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Damn the Torpedoes‘ (Geffen)
- ‘Tremors‘ (Universal)
When ‘Scott Pilgrim vs. the World‘ and ‘Grown Ups‘ were both released to theaters this past summer, the family friendly gross-out comedy (what a contradiction in terms!) ‘Grown Ups’ easily came out on top at the box office. I’d expect it to make a big splash in home video sales as well, at least initially. This strikes me as the type of flash-in-the-pan movie that will drop off steeply in just a few weeks. Will anyone even remember that it exists in five years? ‘Scott Pilgrim’ is more of a cult item that will take a lot longer to build an audience, but very well may have more legs in the long run.
The only other notable day-and-date title is ‘Charlie St. Cloud‘, starring Zac Efron as a guy who can talk to his dead brother or something. Oh, I suppose there’s also ‘Ramona and Beezus‘ for the kids. No one paid much attention to either of theses in theaters, and I doubt anyone will on video either.
Do you remember Dana Carvey’s “Church Lady” sketches on ‘SNL’, where he rearranged the letters in “Santa” to spell “Satan”? The catalog front pits these two forces directly against one another. On the one hand, Fox is releasing a slew of holiday movies. You can buy the 1984 production of ‘A Christmas Carol‘ starring George C. Scott on its own. For greater value, you can pick it up as part of the ‘Holiday Classics Collection‘ (which pairs it with the original 1947 ‘Miracle on 34th Street’) or the ‘Christmas Collection‘ (which bundles it with the 1994 remake of ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, ‘Jingle All the Way’, and ‘Home Alone 2’). Meanwhile, the Criterion Collection goes a completely different direction with its new release of Lars von Trier’s controversial ‘Antichrist‘. That’s not one I’d want to watch around the holidays. In fact, considering how despicable I’ve found every other Lars von Trier movie, I don’t ever want to watch it at all.
Hoping to cash in on ‘Grown Ups’, Sony is concurrently releasing two of Adam Sandler’s more forgettable flicks: ‘Big Daddy‘ and ‘Mr. Deeds‘.
In other catalog developments, Warner brings us the original 1960 Rat Pack version of ‘Ocean’s 11‘. If you’ve only ever seen the Steven Soderbergh remake… frankly, you’re better off. Aside from the camaraderie of the cast and the appeal of stepping back in time to 1960 Las Vegas, the original movie is kind of a dud.
Universal ports its cult monster movie ‘Tremors‘ (previously issued on HD DVD) over to Blu-ray. Unfortunately, the HD DVD transfer was an Edge-Enhanced mess, and Universal almost never remasters its catalog titles when it brings them to Blu-ray.
Finally, in TV news, BBC Video offers up the complete first season of ‘Sherlock‘, the modern-day update of Sherlock Holmes starring a guy named Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson. The first season only runs three episodes, but they’re longer-than-normal episodes. The show is currently airing on PBS as part of ‘Masterpiece Mystery’ as we speak. The first episode is genuinely pretty good, but the second is quite dull and predictable. I haven’t seen the third yet.