Posted Sun Nov 19, 2023 at 09:00 AM PST by D. LaFontaine
With Black Friday towards the end of the week, and the US celebrates the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday, it is very uncharacteristic for so many 4K titles to be released on such a week. From the latest Expendables, the second half of Barbenheimer, the latest Saw film, catalog title with Richard Kimble, Stalag 17, and so much more! Did you save any money for your holiday meal, or Black Friday, or Cyber Monday? This week is another whopper!
Welcome to Volume 4 Episode 25 of our weekly release guide. A look at the highlights of what's coming to disc the week of November 19th - November 25th, as well as a look at announcements from last week.
With new releases first, let's post them by order of Rotten Tomatoes scores.
It seems only fitting that the other half of Barbenheimer (Oppenheimer) takes first place under our Rotten Tomatoes (RT) criteria. This film ranked very high among audiences and critics (currently 91/93). Available in Standard Edition, Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook and WalMart Exclusive Icon Edition packages. For an amusing image (and article) about Barbenheimer, head on over to Wired Magazine.
With two more new releases this week, you would be wrrriight if you guessed Saw X to have the higher RT score (89 audience/80 critics). Surprisingly, LionsGate did not opt for a SteelBook option here.
And lastly, Expend4bles (Expendables 4), with a bunch of well known talent, a terrible score of 14% among reviewers, but a 71% audience score. You can get this as a Standard Edition, an Amazon Exclusive and/or a Best Buy Exclusive SteelBook. Walmart also has a 4-film SteelBook collection of their own available as well. This franchise to me is like Lethal Weapon, Con Air or Armageddon, I watch them every so often, but leave any critical thinking at the door, and bring in the popcorn (or chicken wings or whatever is your fancy).
Next from Universal, Love Actually, which is donning a 20th Anniversary Edition.
Mean Streets is available from Criterion Collection this week, and you guessed it, it had its 50th Anniversary. If swag is your thing, Second Sight UK has a fat-pack currently slated for January 15th which has the same source transfer, but with their usual swag packed edition.
From Kino Lorber, Stalag 17 with William Holden and Billy Wilder. And keeping with the theme, this one had a 70th Anniversary.
On to double-dips of sort. If you bought the Resident Evil Movie Collection a couple of years ago, now you can buy it all over again, but in a SteelBook Package and a Dolby Vision upgrade.
You can also get Train to Busan / Peninsula in a 2-film collection package.
Next week, despite conflicting with Cyber Week, there are actually *more* titles available than this week, Wandavision, Barbarella, Tremors 2, The Sandman Season 1, The Monster Squad and so much more!
As far as blu-ray releases, someone did get the memo that this is a holiday week that includes Black Friday, so there are fewer titles to choose from.
Anime highlights this week include two super long titles, Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?! Season 4 Part 1 and Peter Grill and the Philosopher's Time Super Extra: Collector's Edition (SteelBook).
Under the Indicator Series label, look for The Criminal Acts of Tod Slaughter: Eight Blood-and-Thunder Entertainments this week.
Another box set delayed a little bit but available this week (I think), Doctor Who: Limited Edition Complete New Who Collector's Blu-ray Giftset.
The Police Academy Collection is available on the Shout Select label this week. Previously the only way to own these movies on blu-ray was to import them, I look forward to seeing how this set compares.
Also from Shout Factory, another box set, Farscape: The Complete Series. Again, same question arises, how does this one compare to the set released over a decade ago?
Honorable Mention: Not exactly AAA material, but Kino Lorber this week has Babes in Toyland. We've seen it on TV enough times, now we can get it on disc!
A very exciting story (for MANY of us) came out on Monday, I am referring to news about those James Cameron titles we have waited decades for! Yup, The Abyss, True Lies, Aliens. And, in a relatively short time, special editions of both Avatar movies. One thing Cameron movies have done to my wallet, they've made it a bit lighter. I have lost count how many time I have bought T2 over the years. Paramount already has Titanic slated for next month in two editions as well. According to Bill Hunt at The Digital Bits, he said Dolby Vision is finally coming to the physical releases. Which, from Disney, no doubt a demand from Mr. Cameron! Even though the official press release says the 4K edition has Dolby Vision, so many times in the past that meant streaming 4K only, so thank you Bill for confirming it with 100% certainty.
Monday was also the chosen day for Criterion to announce their February slate. After Christmas was supposed to be a time to lick our financial woulds and it looks like Criterion has lined up January and February with some solid releases.
Vinegar Syndrome has reminded us that recovering from Christmas expenses might be pretty difficult, Subscriber Week runs January 1 - 7. Take a look at an aricle from Matthew Hartman a couple of years ago. It made me take the leap and subscribe, and I renewed the very next year, with plans on doing it again.
Paramount has announced that a 4K release of Varsity Blues will be available on January 9th.
Sony Pictures has announced a 4K SteelBook for The Raid: Redemption, with a street date of January 16th.
If you were wondering if Sony was going to release another Columbia Classics box set, wonder no more as Columbia Classics Volume 4 is arriving on February 13. Visit the link for the full press release.
Next week I expect this paragraph to be pretty empty, most studios are running on a skeleton crew, smaller labels are getting ready for Black Friday.
Which titles are you buying this week? Which ones are on your wishlist, be it to buy as an impulse buy or to wait for the right price?
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