SteelBook Alert: Flaming Out

Of its two live-action remakes of old animated (or partially-animated) movies this year, Disney had a lot more success at the box office with one than the other. Regardless, both will get handsome SteelBook editions on Blu-ray. As will a few other notable titles.

Purely by coincidence, the first three of this week’s featured SteelBooks are for movies about people hangin’ around with animals. One’s about a guy hangin’ out all by himself, and the last one is… OK, I don’t have any way to tie that one in with a theme, sorry. But it’s directed by the brother of the guy who made one of the other movies.

‘Pete’s Dragon’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: TBD
Price: £24.99

I scoffed at the first trailer for this movie and am still rather surprised that it got so many good reviews. Apparently, most audiences had the same reaction to the trailer that I did, as hardly any of them turned out to see it opening weekend.

I like the choice of image on this SteelBook (assuming that this winds up being the final design), but I hate Disney’s habit of not printing the movie title anywhere on its SteelBook cases in the UK. This one looks particularly bare in that regard.

Pete's Dragon SteelBook

‘The Jungle Book’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: Aug. 22nd, 2016
Price: £24.99

I don’t think that the old 1967 version of ‘The Jungle Book’ is really one of Disney’s most beloved animated titles, and I doubt that nostalgia for it was what drew audiences to the remake. Rather, it had a pretty good trailer, and that was enough to put butts in seats.

I’m sure that, once you remove the cardboard wrapper from this case, it will also prove to have no text written on it. While disappointing, at least the artwork has enough going on to distract from that annoyance.

Jungle Book SteelBook

‘The Shallows’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: Oct. 31st, 2016
Price: £19.99

Although this case (which is probably not final) is based on one of the theatrical posters for the girl-vs.-shark thriller, most of the other posters, promo materials and trailers tried to sell the movie based on the image of Blake Lively in a bikini. I wouldn’t be surprised if the final art went that direction before this is released.

The Shallows SteelBook

‘The Martian: Extended Edition’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: Oct. 3rd, 2016
Price: £21.99

I was pretty surprised that Ridley Scott’s latest sci-fi opus didn’t get a SteelBook when the original Blu-ray was released. Better late than never. I suppose the Extended Edition is excuse enough to put one out now.

Sadly, the Zavvi listing does not make any mention of UHD, so I assume that format won’t be bundled in the case. Also, as far as I’m aware the Extended Edition does not exist in 3D, just 2D.

The design here looks a little “pop art” to me, but is thankfully done better than most examples of that annoying fad. In fact, I kind of like this one, though I don’t know why the background is cut out in a circle around Matt Damon’s head. (At least there’s no giant text in front of his face.)

The Martian SteelBook

The Martian SteelBook back

The Martian SteelBook inside

‘Top Gun’

Available at: Zavvi
Release date: Sept. 12th, 2016
Price: £15.99

Tony Scott’s cornball classic got a SteelBook here in the States earlier this year. Despite being labeled a “Limited Edition,” that copy is still available on Amazon for cheap.

The belated UK edition is largely similar. Instead of a flag waving behind Tom Cruise, now there are some fighter jets. Whoop-de-doo. In either version, the artwork is disappointingly generic. I also fail to see the point of putting it in a slipcase with the exact same design.

Even though the art features the same image as the 3D conversion from a few years ago, the SteelBook listing makes no mention of including 3D. I assume that the disc is, therefore, the old, overly-DNR’ed transfer from the 2008 Blu-ray. That’s a letdown, but if you’re a huge ‘Top Gun’ fan, you take what you can get.

Top Gun SteelBook

Top Gun SteelBook back

11 comments

  1. Just an FYI, The Shallows is a UK release, not Zavvi Exclusive. Obviously you have provided a Zavvi link as they announced it, not Amazon!
    Regarding Top Gun – was not there a new master created when they made the 3D set? Or am I thinking something else, like they made a 3D master put then packed in the same exact 2D disc? Anyway, the slipcase might be their attempt to sell it better and to protect it from their barely adequate shipping containers. A very high percentage of the Slipcase versions of a particular steelbook on Film Arena sell out within minutes to scalpers. Perhaps because I work for a living I NEVER get in on their releases! I did pay a scalper for the Film Arena Slip Case Jurassic World release, they decided it wasn’t going to sell on ebay at their inflated price so they sold it at cost via a Steelbook Collector group on Facebook.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      I can’t find a link for a Shallows SteelBook on Amazon UK, at least not yet.

      Top Gun received a new film scan for the 3D conversion, however it was only used for the 3D version. The 2D Blu-ray packaged in the same case was the old disc from 2008. The 2D version has not been properly remastered to date.

  2. William Henley

    I saw the Pete’s Dragon one when I got the e-mail the other day from Zavvi, and I was so excited, then I opened up the product description and saw “Number of Discs: 1”. Yeah, that may be a generic place holder, but for now, that’s a no sale for me.

    I do have The Jungle Book one on preorder though.

    Truthfully, I would be surprised if they released Jungle Book in 3D and not Pete’s Dragon – I am sure the product listing will get updated soon.

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