Brace yourselves, folks. September is going to be an expensive month for Blu-ray fans. While the barrage of huge, long-awaited titles won’t hit its peak until next week, this week already brings us several worth consideration.
Here’s the list:
- ‘40 Days and 40 Nights‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘America: Live in Chicago‘ (Image)
- ‘Big Momma’s House‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Big Momma’s House 2‘ (20th Century Fox)
- ‘Black Blood Brothers: The Complete Series (Reissue)‘ (FUNimation)
- ‘Burst Angel: The Complete Series and OVA‘ (FUNimation)
- ‘Children of the Corn (Image Entertainment)‘ (Image)
- ‘Clash of Empires‘ (Image)
- ‘Dressed to Kill‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘The Entitled‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘Everything Must Go‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Fringe: The Complete Third Season‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Genevieve‘ (VCI)
- ‘Hanna‘ (Universal)
- ‘Hell’s Kitchen: Season 6 – Raw and Uncensored‘ (First Look)
- ‘Hellbound: Hellraiser II‘ (Image)
- ‘Hellraiser (Image Entertainment)‘ (Image)
- ‘The Hills Have Eyes (1977)‘ (Image)
- ‘A Horrible Way to Die‘ (Starz/Anchor Bay)
- ‘How to Train Your Dragon – 3D‘ (DreamWorks)
- ‘Megamind – 3D‘ (DreamWorks)
- ‘Monsters vs. Aliens – 3D‘ (DreamWorks)
- ‘The Office: Season 7‘ (Universal)
- ‘REO Speedwagon: Live in the Heartland‘ (Image)
- ‘Scarface (Limited Edition Gift Set w/Humidor)‘ (Universal)
- ‘Scarface (Limited Edition Steelbook)‘ (Universal)
- ‘Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur‘ (Warner Brothers)
- ‘Scream Trilogy‘ (Lionsgate)
- ‘Straw Dogs‘ (MGM/UA)
- ‘Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels‘ (Lyons)
- ‘United 93‘ (Universal)
- ‘WWE Randy Orton: The Evolution Of A Predator‘ (WWE)
- ‘X-Men: First Class‘ (20th Century Fox – September 9th)
The big (mutant) dog this week is ‘X-Men: First Class‘, available on Friday. Although this new prequel wasn’t quite the massive summer blockbuster as previous franchise entries, it garnered a lot of praise from both critics and fanboys, and will undoubtedly do well on video. Personally, I was underwhelmed. I found it kind of boring and repetitive of the earlier ‘X-Men’ movies. Director Matthew Vaughn does basically nothing interesting at all with the ’60s setting, and January Jones delivers what is certainly one of the worst performances of the year – perhaps of any year. On the other hand, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Kevin Bacon are all good. And the movie is nowhere near as awful as the atrocious ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine‘. I’ll probably give it another shot to see if my opinion changes. I’m pretty sure that the movie did well enough that another sequel is already in the works. Will it be called ‘X-Men: Second Class’?
The next significant day-and-date title is ‘Hanna‘, director Joe Wright’s spy thriller starring Saoirse Ronan as a young assassin and Cate Blanchett as the enemy agent who wronged her father. This one blinked in and out of theaters fairly quickly earlier this year, but got some good reviews, including one from our reviewer E. I’m intrigued.
I wrote a little bit about the Will Ferrell dramedy ‘Everything Must Go‘ in last week’s VUDU update‘. I haven’t seen it, but I still think that it looks like an interesting rental.
On the catalog front, Brian De Palma’s gangster cult classic ‘Scarface‘ blazes its way onto Blu-ray in two separate “Limited Edition” packages: a Steelbook case or a ridiculously overpriced box set with cigar humidor. I’m sure that every hip-hop artist in America has already placed a preorder for the latter. The Steelbook will do nicely for me, thank you. (I’m sure that a regular keepcase will also come along shortly.)
As a reminder, we’re giving away one free copy of the ‘Scarface’ Steelbook . Be sure to enter our contest soon, if you haven’t already.
On the subject of Brian De Palma, the director’s signature thriller ‘Dressed to Kill‘ also hits Blu-ray this week. Judging it in a modern light, younger viewers may find some of the film’s much-imitated and much-parodied plot twists a little silly today. And indeed they are, but that’s really all part of the fun. I love this movie.
On a more serious note, Paul Greengrass’ difficult-to-watch 9/11 thriller ‘United 93‘ finally makes its Blu-ray debut. The movie was a marketing nightmare when it was released theatrically in 2006. Frankly, I don’t think that situation has changed much in the years since. I still can’t bring myself to watch it, despite the positive things I’ve heard about it.
It’s a big week for thrillers, apparently. Bracing for the upcoming remake, MGM gives us Sam Peckinpah’s controversial revenge flick ‘Straw Dogs‘, starring Dustin Hoffman as a meek mathematician driven to violence after his wife is raped. As was often the case, Peckinpah proved that even uncomfortable subject matter could make for compelling cinema. We’ll have to see if the remake can claim the same.
In TV news, we get new box sets of both ‘The Office‘ and ‘Fringe‘. We covered both of these shows here in the blog during their broadcast runs. ‘The Office’ had a really uneven season. So did ‘Fringe’, but I’m more inclined to watch those episodes again.
Of final note, DreamWorks Animation will finally release its 3D editions of ‘Monsters vs. Aliens‘, ‘How to Train Your Dragon‘ and ‘Megamind‘ from the purgatory of Samsung exclusivity. Unfortunately, now they’re exclusive to Best Buy, but at least you can purchase them at retail. That’s an improvement. From what I hear, ‘Monsters’ has also been given lossless audio.