Blu-ray Highlights for October 16th, 2012 – What Kind of Bird Are You?

In an odd quirk of fate, this week’s Blu-ray release slate brings us one of the best films of the year, as well as one (or more) of the worst. Choose wisely.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (10/16/12)?

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New Releases

After a couple of box office disappointments, Wes Anderson returned to the top of the art film scene with ‘Moonrise Kingdom‘, one of the director’s best reviewed and highest grossing movies to date. I’ve enjoyed all of Anderson’s films, but I know that his emotional aloofness is a turn-off for some viewers. This one has more heart and should be more accessible than most of his other pictures. I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets some attention come Oscar time.

Rest assured that the only award Adam Sandler’s latest cinematic turd, ‘That’s My Boy‘, might garner at year-end is a Razzie (or several). About the only thing this one has going for it is the casting of Andy Samberg as Sandler’s son, which is fairly inspired given that one of the first skits Samberg performed on ‘SNL’ was an Adam Sandler impersonation. Beyond that, everyone who’s seen this is in agreement that it’s a terribly unfunny waste of time. In other words, it’s exactly the same as most of Sandler’s movies. Yet people continue to pay to see them. The world is a strange place.

Speaking of lazy, unfunny comedies, DreamWorks has cranked out another ‘Madagascar‘ sequel. This one’s called ‘Europe’s Most Wanted’. I wonder if anyone at the studio is aware that Madagascar isn’t anywhere near Europe? I guess kids like these flicks. Fortunately, I don’t have any kids, so I’m not forced to watch them.

Amazingly, the “found footage” horror genre hasn’t played itself out yet. From the studio’s perspective, the appeal of these things is that they’re so incredibly cheap to produce that even a small box office gross will yield a solid return on investment. Thus we have ‘Chernobyl Diaries‘, which does the “Oh my god, what’s that scary thing over there in the dark that I’m shaking my camera vaguely in the direction of while screaming loudly?” thing in Russia. Ooh, what a twist.

Having previously directed ‘Neil Young: Heart of Gold’ and ‘Neil Young: Trunk Show’, Oscar-winning filmmaker Jonathan Demme returns to his favorite musician with his latest documentary, ‘Neil Young Journeys‘. If you like Neil Young as much as Jonathan Demme does, this must be a very exciting development.

Catalog Titles

After two years of being stuck as a manufacturer exclusive only available in Panasonic bundle packages, the 3D edition of ‘Avatar‘ finally breaks loose into general retail today. Does anyone still care about ‘Avatar’ anymore, or are you all finally over it now? For what it’s worth, this triple-dip edition contains only the theatrical cut of the movie in 3D. If you want the extended cut in 3D, I guess you’ll have to wait for the inevitable quadruple-dip. Thanks a lot, James Cameron.

Olive Films has once again licensed a bunch of vintage titles from major studios that don’t seem to care about them anymore. The one that catches my eye this week is Max Ophuls’ classic melodrama ‘Letter from an Unknown Woman‘.

Children of the 1970s may look back nostalgically at Disney’s live-action/animation hybrid ‘Pete’s Dragon‘ with some fondness. I’m not sure how much this will entertain children today, though. Maybe very, very young toddlers.

Finally, Sony pitches the girls can play baseball too drama ‘A League of Their Own‘, while Warner repackages Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Full Metal Jacket‘ into yet another new edition. Be warned: The latter is the same disc that’s been available for years, now in a Digibook and with a soundtrack CD thrown in.


TV fans can look forward to the second season of ‘That ’70s Show‘, the fifth season of ‘Mad Men‘ and the first (only) season of ‘Alcatraz‘. I don’t regret watching ‘Alcatraz’ during its broadcast run, but I feel no need to own it.

The only title on my to-buy list this week is ‘Moonrise Kingdom’. What interests you?


  1. EM

    Looney Tunes interests me, but I haven’t made a purchase decision yet. I was pretty slow about the first volume, but I did eventually buy it.

  2. William Henley

    I had originally preordered Pete’s Dragon, but canceled it last week when it finally occured to me that, as a child, I hated this movie, and haven’t seen it since. It was one of those movies that adults seemed to love, so natually their kids would like it too, right, and they made me watch it again and again. I went from really not carring for it to intensely disliking it by the time I was six. I think I originally preordered it when Disney was announcing several of their discs, and I just impulse preordered tons of movies.

    Santa Claus and Santa Claus 2 are musts for me. I bought the third one when it came out, but have been patiently awaiting the first two for years.

    Avatar 3D I will probably pick up in a few weeks. I am still recovering from all the buying of the last couple of weeks.

    I want to pick up Loony Toons but still need to pick up the first volume.

    Ga-Rei Zero is a possibility, but I will probably check my streaming services first. Funimation is really good about releasing their series in HD to many of the streaming services. There are a few I buy simply because I love the series, but I rarely blind-buy, and instead watch them online. Thanks Funimation for that!

    • You just missed a great opportunity to pick up the first Looney Tunes Platinum Blu-ray. Amazon sold it for $26 in August and September. It’s back to $45 now, though.

      It’s definately worth getting, and even if you don’t, there’s really no reason to wait with vol. 2. This isn’t a TV season, you know. The two volumes are completely standalone.

      • William Henley

        Good point on season 2. Back in August, I was going through some financial difficulties, so most of my buys got pushed off a couple of months. Things are better now, so I am buying again, but I did miss many good sales. I will check the price of Loony Toons come Friday and see what happens. I also don’t mind buying used, so usually if I don’t get something on release date, I just go ahead and wait a few months until I can pick a movie up for like $10.

  3. paramedic0112

    Moonrise Kingdom is a must for me. I picked up the Royal Tenenbaums criterion blu when it came out at best buy for 20.00! I’m loving all this Wes Anderson in high def. Just have The Life Aquatic left! I was mildly interested in Gone in 60 seconds because they reference it in Death Proof and I’ve never seen it.

  4. EM

    [Pardon the incongruity of this post. I wished to post it with the Blu-ray Highlights for October 2 〈〉, but that blog entry is no longer accepting comments.]

    Today I received the UK Universal Classic Monsters singleton releases that I ordered. 🙂 Contrary to Josh’s report, the Spanish-language Dracula is not exclusive to the box sets: it also appears as a special feature on the singleton release of the English-language Dracula.

    So far the discs are making me very happy. BWA HA HA HA HA!!!