The October onslaught begins today! As anyone who’s been paying attention to the video release schedule knows, this is going to be a very, very expensive month for Blu-ray fans and collectors. Already, this week sees the release of a huge number of day-and-date films and long-awaited catalog titles. The question isn’t “What are you buying?”, but rather “How many can you afford?”
Just take a look at this release slate:
- ‘2001 Maniacs‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘30 Days of Night: Dark Days‘ (Sony)
- ‘Bad Lieutenant‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Baseball: The Tenth Inning‘ (Paramount)
- ‘Beauty and the Beast (Diamond Edition)‘ (Buena Vista)
- ‘Beauty and the Beast (Diamond Edition) (DVD Packaging)‘ (Disney/Buena Vista)
- ‘The Blair Witch Project‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Blue Mountain State: Season One‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Bones: Season 5‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Delgo‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘The Exorcist: Extended Director’s Cut‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Fingerprints‘ (Image)
- ‘Grindhouse: Special Edition‘ (Vivendi)
- ‘Hard Candy‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘High Tension‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘The Human Centipede‘ (IFC Films)
- ‘The Karate Kid (2010)‘ (Sony)
- ‘The Last of the Mohicans‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Mad Max‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘The Maltese Falcon‘ (Warner)
- ‘The Mission‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘My Bloody Valentine (2009) – 3D‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Ocean’s 11: 50th Anniversary Edition‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Open Water/Open Water 2: Adrift‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Peanuts Holiday Collection‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘RoboCop Trilogy‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Rocky (Reissue)‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Rocky II‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Rocky III‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Rocky IV‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Rocky V‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Undead‘ (Indican)
- ‘The Secret of Kells‘ (New Group)
- ‘Secretary‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Sisters‘ (Image)
- ‘Splice‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Stargate Universe – SGU: Complete Season One‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Troll 2: The 20th Anniversary Nilbog Edition‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Wolf Creek‘ (Vivendi)
- ‘Wonderland (2003)‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘The Year Without a Santa Claus‘ (Warner Brothers)
I hardly know where to begin. I’ll try to highlight the titles that stand out to me, but I’m sure that I’ll miss something that someone finds important. Let’s start with the day-and-date releases.
Hollywood’s obsession with remakes struck gold this summer with the new version of ‘The Karate Kid‘ starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan. Buoyed by better-than-expected reviews and a family-safe rating, the film was a major sleeper hit at the box office. Those who care about such things (who are probably not the target audience anyway) should be warned that – despite the title – there’s not a single moment of karate in the whole movie. The picture was originally going to be called ‘The Kung-Fu Kid’ until the studio chickened out and reverted back to the old title for its name recognition value. The decision apparently paid off.
Less successful was the revamp of ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street‘, which sees Jackie Earle Haley step into the iconic Freddy Krueger role. The movie was savaged by both critics and viewers. Nevertheless, it still managed to draw $63 million in earnings, based on a budget of about half that. Sadly, this means that a sequel is probably inevitable, and we haven’t seen the last of these obnoxious horror remakes.
The other big horror flick of the week is Vincenzo Natali’s ‘Splice‘, which was a hit on the festival circuit and pulled some solid reviews. (Drew here loved it.) Ultimately, the mass audience must have felt that the trailers looked too cheesy (which, admittedly, they did), and gave it a pass. It underperformed in theaters, but may fare better on home video.
Oh, let’s not forget ‘The Human Centipede‘. Or, better yet, let’s absolutely forget it. Ewwwww. That’s all I have to say.
I have to admit that I know next to nothing about ‘The Secret of Kells‘, except that it was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar earlier this year. Did anyone see it?
On the catalog front, we have some really big guns coming out this week. First, there’s Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast‘, thus far still the onlythe first animated film to ever be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It’s a classic. Buy it.
Warner is releasing ‘The Exorcist‘ on Blu-ray with both the original 1973 theatrical cut (thank heavens!) and the vastly inferior Extended Director’s Cut (formerly known as “The Version You’ve Never Seen”). Just watch the theatrical cut and pretend that the other doesn’t exist. Despite some perhaps paranoid fear-mongering that I may have spread here in the blog a little while back (Whoops!), early word has it that William Friedkin has backed off his plans to goofily recolor the movie like he did to ‘The French Connection‘. So, good news all around. I’m looking forward to this now.
After seemingly endless delays, the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez ‘Grindhouse‘ double-bill is finally being released in its original theatrical form, as it was meant to be seen, complete with fake trailers between each mini-feature. Sadly, the new distributor for the film (Vivendi) is pretty incompetent at the whole Blu-ray thing and has neglected to include lossless audio. Bastards!
That wave of Lionsgate discs that were exclusive to Best Buy for a couple months are now hitting general retail. Notable titles include ‘The Blair Witch Project‘, ‘Bad Lieutenant‘, and ‘Secretary‘. I’ll continue to champion that last one, which should prove even to the haters that Maggie Gyllenhaal is indeed hot.
As if all that weren’t enough, I’m also putting ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre‘, ‘The Maltese Falcon‘, ‘The Mission‘, ‘Mad Max‘, and ‘The Last of the Mohicans‘ (the Michael Mann/Daniel Day Lewis version) on my wish list too.
This month has only just begun. There’s going to be a lot more to buy in the following few weeks.