10 Fall Catalog Releases That Aren't Named 'Star Wars'

Posted Wed Sep 7, 2011 at 02:10 PM PDT by

by Aaron Peck

Yes, we all know that ' Star Wars' finally hits Blu-ray later this month. That's not really news. We've heard endless amounts of information about the release. Many of us have been anticipating it since the inception of the high definition video format. It's finally here, and the world knows.

But along with 'Star Wars,' some other huge catalog releases are expected this fall, like 'Jurassic Park,' and 'Citizen Kane.' Most movie buffs have been waiting years to get their hands on these movies in high-def.

It's important to remember that other than George Lucas' dual film trilogies, this season is also packed with a few lesser-known catalog titles that are finding their way to the format for the very first time, or getting released in special editions that just may warrant a double dip.

'12 Angry Men' (Criterion)

Blu-ray Release Date: November 22nd

Not only are we getting the cinematic classic '12 Angry Men' on Blu-ray this fall, but Criterion is releasing it. This means we can almost certainly expect a spot-on treatment of the source material giving us the best looking transfer possible. We can rely on Criterion to reproduce the original sound with clarity. And finally, we can only hope that they pack that release full of new and old (DVD release) extras.

'Ben-Hur: Ultimate Collector's Edition'

Blu-ray Release Date: September 27th

If the gargantuan Ultimate Collector's Edition of 'The Ten Commandments' is any kind of barometer, we can expect 'Ben-Hur's giant box set will be well worth owning even if it takes up an entire shelf by itself. 'Ben-Hur' is definitely one of the greatest film achievements in the history of cinema, but it's release has sort of been overshadowed by the release of another classic in 'Citizen Kane.' When the AFI-appointed number one film of all time comes to Blu-ray, it's kind of easy to forget about number 100 .

'Birth of a Nation'

Blu-ray Release Date: November 22nd

D.W. Griffith's controversial silent film will be getting the high-def treatment this fall in a two-disc special edition. 'Birth of a Nation' is film history in and of itself. It will be interesting to see how this always controversial film, now nearly 100 years old, transfers to Blu-ray. Film aficionados will no doubt want to add this one to their Blu-ray collections.

'Blue Velvet'

Blu-ray Release Date: November 8th

For better or worse, David Lynch is in a league of his own. Fans of the director have most likely been looking forward to a release of 'Blue Velvet' on Blu-ray. The time has arrived. Lynch's film is definitely one that you must watch, even if by the end you don't understand what you just saw. I know I'm still trying to piece together the pieces of 'Muholland Drive' in my mind, and 'Blue Velvet' is no different. The movie has that dtsinctly Lynchian feel to it, and will likely be a sneaky must have on the format considering everything turns out all right in the authoring process.

'Breakfast at Tiffany's'

Blu-ray Release Date: September 20th

The classic Audrey Hepburn film is getting a 50th anniversary treatment in high definition. It's always nice to see classic films such as this find their way to Blu-ray. The format really brings older movies like this brand new life. This is one of those movies that may get lost in all the hubbub about 'Jurassic Park' and 'Star Wars,' but it's probably just as important in the grand scheme of things.

'Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Editions'

Blu-ray Release Date: November 22nd

Normally, I wouldn't list a double-dip like this, but these new extended editions promise to add "over 2 hours of additional, never-before-seen feature content," according to the Amazon.com pre-order page. That's enough for me to bite. I'm a huge fan of the books and the movies, and the promise of that much more Noomi Rapace has me excited already. If you've read the books and seen the films, you've noticed that while they have been fairly faithful adaptations, they've had to leave stuff out due to time constraints. Here's hoping that these extra hours flesh out some of the stories that were left on the the cutting room floor. This, to me, is the most intriguing double-dip opportunity of the fall.


Blu-ray Release Date: November 1st

I know 'Hook' has its detractors, but I can't figure out why someone would dislike such a loveable movie. I'm excited for 'Hook' to get the Blu-ray treatment, and with Sony releasing it, it's sure to get a well done audio and visual presentation. For my money, one of the better Peter Pan adaptations out there.

'Jackie Brown'

Blu-ray Release Date: October 4th

One of the big releases this fall is 'Pulp Fiction.' So, it's kind of easy to forget that another famous Tarantino movie comes out the same week. 'Jackie Brown' is perhaps the best adaption of an Elmore Leonard novel other than 'Get Shorty' (screw you 'Be Cool'). 'Brown' has that decided Tarantino feel, and is still considered one of his best movies, but it seems to be constantly overshadowed by 'Pulp Ficition.' Either way, October 4th is going to be a busy Blu-ray release day for Tarantino fans.

'Looney Tunes - Platinum Collection: Vol. 1'

Blu-ray Release Date: November 15th

Isn't it about time we had some volumes of classic TV animation on Blu-ray? 'Looney Tunes' is finally getting the treatment it deserves. Since the DVDs came out not too long ago I thought that the Blu-rays were going to be quite far down the road. Fortunately, I was wrong. I'm very excited to see how Bugs and the rest of the gang look in HD.


Blu-ray Release Date: November 1st

Every year I celebrate part of my Christmas holiday with stingy old Bill Murray as Frank Cross, a maniacal, impersonal television executive who hates everyone and everything. 'Scrooged' brought Dickens tale into modern times, but now that a few decades have passed since it was made it hardly seems modern anymore. I still laugh at the fact that Frank uses the gift of VCRs for the people he wants to impress. Even after all these years though, 'Scrooged' is still a must-see movie over the holiday season. It's funny, clever, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a funnier portrayal of Scrooge than from Bill Murray.

Yes this fall seems to be packed with the summer's blockbusters, and has seemingly been taken over by talk of the 'Star Wars' Blu-rays and how much tweaking has been done to the films. With all that commotion it's easy to forget some of cinema's most important and memorable movies are coming to Blu-ray.

What catalog titles are you excited for this fall? Let us know in the forums.

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Tags: Fall 2011, Fun Stuff, Aaron Peck (all tags)