Blu-ray Highlights for 11/9/10. What Are You Buying?

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:

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.

4 comments

  1. I am still recovering from the past couple of weeks, and have stuff coming the next few weeks, so this is my week to catch a breath. I might pick up A Christmas Carol eventually, though.

    I would like to point out that, if it is the same Miracle on 34th Street release as before, it does not have the color version on it, despite the screenshots on the case being in color. This was quite a disappointment to me – before the Blu-ray, I had only ever seen this in color, and didn’t know that it was originally filmed in B&W. I am happy that It’s A Wonderful Life gave viewers both versions. I hope if they ever rerelease Miracle, they will release it with both versions. I don’t like being Forced to watch a movie in a way that I have never seen it (wink wink).

  2. Rich87

    Definitely getting scott pilgrim vs. the world, great movie! It’s only a shame it didn’t do better at the box office.

  3. JoeRo

    Picked up Scott Pilgrim this morning, slowly working my way through the bonus content after the initial re-watch. There are like 4 commentaries on this disc, which is awesome, not to mention all of the other material included.

    Of note, you can stream either Tremors or Pitch Black through BD-live until sometime next year. It’s a strange bonus feature, but hell I’ll take it.

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