Blu-ray Highlights: Week of September 13th, 2015 – Why So Furious?

Last week slowed down a bit for new Blu-ray releases, but this week revs back up to speed with a huge volume of new titles, including one of the biggest box office hits of all time. Is that disc, or much of anything this week, really worth buying, though?

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (9/15/15)?

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New Releases

Furious 7‘ – $1.5 billion in box office grosses says that I am decidedly out of touch with what people want to see in a movie theater. I don’t get the appeal of the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise. I mean, yeah, fast cars and explosions… whatever. You can get those in lots of other movies. Admittedly, I’ve only seen the first one (a lame ‘Point Break’ knockoff) and the third (which wasn’t great either). Supposedly they start getting better with the fifth one, but who sits through five whole movies waiting to be entertained? Anyway, my feelings notwithstanding, the seventh entry was a massive hit. A lot of that may come down to the curiosity factor of seeing Paul Walker’s final performance. (Then again, that parkour movie that came out soon after his death tanked.) If you saw the movie in a theater, do you plan to buy it on disc too, or was one viewing enough?

Cinderella‘ – Disney continues its streak of live action re-imaginings of its own classic animated properties, and continues to have success with them. In this case, the movie is more of a straightforward remake than, for instance, ‘Maleficent’ or ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Of all people, Kenneth Branagh directs, and apparently did a good job with it. Reviews were favorable and the movie made decent money.

Monkey Kingdom‘ – Monkeys are cute. Monkeys are very easy to anthropomorphize. Thus, monkeys make pretty obvious subject matter for the latest DisneyNature documentary. My kids will probably love this sort of thing in a few years.

Love & Mercy‘ – Both John Cusack and Paul Dano (who look nothing like one another) play Beach Boys singer Brian Wilson at different points in his life in a musical bio-pic that most critics were very kind to. Screenwriter Oren Moverman also wrote Todd Haynes’ bizarre ‘I’m Not There’, which took a similar approach to casting multiple famous people to play the same musical celebrity (Bob Dylan there). This looks a little more conventional than that one, fortunately.

Reality‘ – French surrealist Quentin Dupieux (director of the oddball evil tire movie ‘Rubber‘) goes super meta with a Hollywood satire about a filmmaker whose entire movie project will collapse if he can’t find the perfect groaning sound effect within 48 hours. This is for those of you who thought that ‘Birdman’ just wasn’t weird enough.

Catalog Titles

In anticipation of the upcoming theatrical release of ‘Spectre’, MGM is reissuing all of the James Bond movies yet again, this time in a series of smaller collections grouped by actor. Nine of the films will also get individual new SteelBooks through Best Buy. As far as I’m aware, all of these are the same Blu-ray discs released previously. However, if you buy the Amazon-exclusive Ultimate James Bond Collection box set, you’ll get a new bonus disc with a 90-minute documentary.

Also from MGM is a breakout release of the so-called “Producer’s Cut” of ‘Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers‘ (a.k.a. ‘Halloween 6’). This version of the movie was previously exclusive to the complete franchise box set released last year.

Out of the Warner Archive comes the film noir Raymond Chandler adaptation ‘Murder, My Sweet‘, starring Dick Powell as the author’s hero Philip Marlowe.

The Criterion Collection’s sole addition this week is Krzysztof Kieslowski’s metaphysical drama ‘Blind Chance‘. I tend to lose a lot of points as a film nerd whenever I admit that I don’t think much of Kieslowski’s wildly overrated ‘Three Colors Trilogy’, so I’ll pass on this one. From the plot summary, it appears that the later Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle ‘Sliding Doors’ was an unacknowledged remake of this.

Arrow Video celebrates a very different Polish filmmaker, Euro-sleaze auteur Walerian Borowczyk, with his 1974 erotic drama ‘Immoral Tales‘ and 1975 horror fantasy ‘The Beast‘.

Mill Creek digs up Christopher Guest’s 1989 Hollywood satire ‘The Big Picture‘ and the goofy 1990 alien invasion spoof ‘Spaced Invaders‘.


Tons of TV box sets hit store shelves in time to promote their upcoming seasons. These include Season 1 of ‘Empire‘, Season 1 of ‘Aquarius‘, Season 2 of ‘Sleepy Hollow‘, Season 8 of ‘The Big Bang Theory‘, and Season 12 of ‘NCIS‘, as well as the Marvel pairing of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘ Season 2 and ‘Agent Carter‘ Season 1.

The final episode of HBO’s gripping documentary miniseries ‘The Jinx‘ (from Andrew Jarecki, director of the equally stunning ‘Capturing the Friedmans’) actually led to the arrest of its subject, alleged serial killer (or, as he tells it, unluckiest man in the world) Robert Durst.

Danger, Will Robinson! Fox pushes some nostalgia buttons with a complete collection of the goofy sci-fi classic ‘Lost in Space‘.

My $.02

For all that, my only interests this week are ‘Murder, My Sweet’ and ‘The Jinx’, though I will probably also break down and buy some of the 007 SteelBooks to pad out my collection. What are your plans this week?


  1. Chris B

    Nothin for me this week. Speaking of purchases though, this weekend in my town the last remaining video store announced it was closing and all of it’s inventory was up for sale at liquidation prices starting yesterday. I was there as the doors opened and ended up walking away with 17 blu-rays for just under 50 bucks! Even if some if the movies tend to be duds, at 2.50 a pop how can I complain?

  2. Lord Bowler

    For the ‘original’ Fast and Furious franchise films, the only ones of the series that are worth revisiting are 1 & 4. The fourth film brings back all of the cast from 1 with a few additions from 2 & 3 and closes out the story.

    Fast Five rebooted the franchise into an entirely new storyline with fun, over-the-top action and The Rock! They’re still entertaining mindless fun. I’ll buy Furious 7 as I already own all the others, and they dealt with the death of Paul Walker well.

    Speaking of Paul Walker, Brick Mansions was a direct copy of the french film District B13. It even had the star of said film in Brick Mansions. I would say if you would be better off watching District B13 instead.

    Other than that. I already own the 50th Anniversary Edition of James Bond on Blu-Ray, so I’m not ready to drop another $200 on the same films again! I’ll wait for the 75th Anniversary, when they come out on Hologram!

    As for TV, I’ll be picking up Marvel’s Agent Carter and Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 2.

  3. ‘Furious 7’? This came out on disc 5 weeks ago in Belgium. It always baffles me when an American film gets crappy treatment from an American studio. That just, like, disrespect, dude.

    Quentin Dupieux is also quite famous for his song ‘Flat Beat’, starring the late 90’s Levi’s/MTV mascot Flat Eric.

  4. EM

    That dreadful, soul-piercing sound you hear is H.P. Lovecraft turning in his grave at just the mention of the title Call Girl of Cthulhu.

    No must-haves for me, but I’m interested in visiting The House of Long Shadows, tasting Murder, My Sweet, and acquainting myself with Reality.

  5. Csm101

    It looks like a nothing week for me as well. There are some titles that i definitely will out on my wish list starting with Cinderella. I noticed you wrote Malevolent on the Cinderella paragraph, did you mean Maleficent? I saw this in theatres earlier this year and really enjoyed it and was glad they stuck with more of the classic story than a sword wielding “chosen one”. I’m not really a Furious franchise fan, but I am very interested in seeing how they sent off Paul Walker and I’m sure it will be great eye/ear candy. Black Friday maybe? Cushing, Price, and Lee all in the same flick sounds like a must see for sure. The Halloween 6 producers cut seems like a cool one, but I haven’t ruled out getting the big box set from last year. I did not know The Big Picture was a Christopher Guest picture. I saw it many years ago and really liked it, knowing now it is a Guest picture, I gotta see it even if it is Mill Creek. I’m sure it will be really cheap. Has anyone here seen The Legacy? If so, do you remember it well? Anyways, I’m trying to figure out if this could be one of those flicks I saw in my childhood with some scary imagery that I’ve been trying for years to figure out where it came from.

    • Josh Zyber

      Yes, Maleficent. Thanks for catching that.

      The Big Picture was Christopher Guest before he found his mockumentary groove (or re-found it, if you count Spinal Tap as being his movie as much as Rob Reiner’s).

      • EM

        While not a mockumentary, The Big Picture has the “mock” part down, and the various faux film clips resonate a bit with the documentary vibe. Certainly it’s an insightful, incisive (yet not unaffectionate) look inside an entertainment industry in the Spinal Tap vein (sorry for the bodily-fluid mixed metaphor).

  6. William Henley

    This week was expensive for me – I have been waiting for 9 years for Lost In Space to be released on Blu-Ray. I plan to open up the package tonight when I get home. I can’t remember last time I sunk so much money into a single Blu-Ray purchase.

    I am curious about Cinderella. I will probably Redbox it.

  7. Must have (and already bought) is the Disney mega hit live-action Cinderalla. Well, at least they want you to think it is a mega-hit, it’s Disney! Might grab NCIS #12 but an wishing they (CBS) announced intentions of whether or not the earlier seasons will be made available, which then would make me move on it for sure.

    Wish list: The Legacy, Lost in Space Collection & Furious 7. Furious 7 is one of those pushed in your face everyone has to buy it movies, well, not for this reason for me!

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