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FEATURE ARTICLE

New Blu's On the Block - August 7, 2012

 

Rating: Various

Distributor: Various

Released: August 7, 2012

 

Written by Sara Michelle Fetters

 

Editor-in-Chief
www.moviefreak.com

New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for August 7, 2012

There’s lots to love about Blu-ray today, most of it of the catalog variety but I’m sure there are a couple of new release items many will find themselves getting excited about as well. Let’s take a look.

 

 

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax 3D

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

I wasn’t a fan of this one when it was released to theatres earlier this year. Nonetheless, it’s probably the week’s biggest release (at least in terms of box office), and I’m sure there are plenty who are going to be picking it up the moment it goes on sale. That said, here’s a bit of what I wrote in my theatrical review (read it here): “To paraphrase from Seuss’ original storybook, he is the Lorax, he spoke for the trees, he spoke for the trees because trees have no tongues. But the CG animated frustration that is Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax doesn’t speak for anyone, no one at all, and if it does have a tongue it’s tied itself into so many knots trying to decipher its points, beyond the obvious ones, of course, is frustratingly impossible.”

 

 

Full Metal Jacket – 25th Anniversary DigiBook

Upgrade time, and by and large Warner has done a decent job (even if their tag on the cover boasting a ‘new’ transfer is a little misleading). The DigiBook packaging, as always, is wonderful, and the big new extra is the 60-minute Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes documentary that comes on a separate DVD. Will this be the last time Warner issues a Kubrick classic on Blu-ray? Probably not. Will I keep lapping them up even though part of me knows better than to waste the money? An equal, maybe even greater, probability.

 

 

 

Johnny Guitar, Rio Grande

Two classic Westerns. Rio Grande is the more traditional one, the second part of John Ford’s fabled ‘Calvary Trilogy’ starring John Wayne, while Johnny Guitar is something of a beloved cult favorite starring Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden even though it’s nowhere near as extreme or wild as its reputation might suggest. Make no mistakes, both are awesome, and if Olive Film’s handling of both Invasion of the Body Snatchers and High Noon is an indication (they’re the only two titles from the label I’ve seen up to now) then I’m sure both look relatively outstanding. Are they worth the relatively high price tag for releases with virtually no special features, though? That, my friends, is entirely up to you.

 

 

 

Grosse Pointe Blank, High Fidelity

I love both of these John Cusack favorites, Grosse Pointe Blank in particular, but if not for the extremely low price point I’d have a hard time recommending anyone pick either of these discs up. Not only is the former billed as a ‘15th Anniversary Edition’ and yet contains no special features of note whatsoever (only the theatrical trailer), it also appears to be sourced from something other than an original negative as quality is all across the board. As for the latter, it looks and sounds a heck of a lot better but is still certainly well below the high standards Disney typically sets for themselves. Again, if they weren’t so cheap, even though I adore and cherish both films, I’d have a hard time telling anyone to fork over the cash to add them to their personal libraries.

 

 

Clue

Before Battleship, before Trasformers, there was Clue, and for the life of my I’ve never understood how this congenial, if messy, murder-comedy has grown so much in popularity over the years. Yet, the movie, mostly thank to Tim Curry (although the rest of the all-star comedy cast do have a few great individual moments, that I cannot deny), does have its share of laughs, and the madcap nature of it all can be oddly transfixing. So, there you have it, my sort of recommendation of Clue, and I didn’t need to club anyone over the head with the candlestick in the kitchen in order to deliver it to you.

 

 

 

Adventures in Babysitting

Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion

Two more catalog titles from Disney, the first of which is easily one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures, and while the transfer is far better than the one for Grosse Pointe Blank much like that title this ‘Anniversary Edition’ also comes with no special features of note, not even a trailer. This is a practice, started back with The Rocketeer earlier this year, that is truly starting to annoy me, and how Disney keeps getting away with it is beyond me. 

 

As for Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion? Not a lot to say. I do kind of like it, but not so much so I’d ever feel the need to pick up the Blu-ray. Granted, all that Barbie Doll pink in the movie might look terrific in Hi-Def. Who knows?

 

 

Blue Like Jazz

Missed this when it press screened and played theatrically earlier this year. Excited to take a look at the Blu-ray, though, as I’ve heard numerous kudos.

 

 

Marley

Another film I missed when it screened theatrically, this doc about the great Bob Marley has met with all sorts of acclaim just about everywhere it has played. Another movie I’ll make sure and watch before the end of 2012.

 

 

Grimm: Season One

I’ve heard rather good things about this show but have never taken the time to watch it. Maybe now that it’s out on Blu-ray I’ll finally give it a shot (once the Olympics are over, of course).

 

 

The Incredible Mister Limpet

Don Knotts. An animated fish. Need I say more?

 

 

Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat (1973)

Cat. Hat. In French chat, chapeau… Forget about the heinous Mike Myeres live-action version, this 1973 television animated version of the Dr. Seuess classic is absolutely timeless. It must be watched. It simply must be (and, if you need to know, both Thing 1 and Thing 2 readily agree with me).

 

OTHER NOTABLE BLU-RAY RELEASES

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·         Benji: Off the Leash

·         Blues Brothers 2000

·         The Boogens

·         Bound

·         Evan Almighty (Read Sara’s Theatrical Review)

·         Killing Bono

·         The Preacher’s Wife

·         Remains

·         Sebastiane

·         Spaceballs – The 25th Anniversary Edition

·         Strike Back: The Complete First Season (Read Mitchell's Blu-ray Review)

·         The Tempest (1979)

·         Warriors of the Rainbow – International Version

 

 

NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

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Bel Ami

Based on Guy de Maupassant's classic novel, this tale of temptation and obsession chronicles Georges Duroy's (Robert Pattinson) rise to power from his meager beginnings as a penniless ex-soldier by using the city's most influential and wealthy women. Set in turn of the century Paris, Duroy seduces Mme de Marelle (Christina Ricci) then marries a former comrade's wife, Madeleine Forrestier (Uma Thurman). Fueled by his insatiable quest of lustful greed, Duroy conquers Madame Walter (Kristen Scott Thomas), only to learn that every conquest is marred by betrayal and true love eludes him. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

 

Girlfriend

Winner of three Audience Awards, Girlfriend is a moving, coming-of-age drama that explores the nature of love and human compassion. Evan, a young adult with Down Syndrome, lives with his mother (Amanda Plummer, Pulp Fiction) in a poor, working-class town. When he unexpectedly inherits a large sum of money, he decides to use it to help out his friend and high school crush, Candy (Shannon Woodward, Raising Hope), a single mother deeply in-debt and facing eviction. The two form an unlikely relationship, and everything seems to be falling into place, until Candy’s volatile ex-boyfriend, Russ (Jackson Rathbone, The Twilight Saga) interferes, resulting in an eruption of secrets and emotions. Girlfriend subverts conventions, presenting a fresh take on love, struggle and family in contemporary society. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

OTHER NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

(Support this site! Click title to buy from Amazon!)

 

·         Garrow’s Law: Series 3

·         Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt

·         Kathy Griffin: Pants Off / Tired Hooker

·         Parenthood: Season 3

 

 

NOTABLE NEW BLU-RAY ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

     

 

·         Blindness (Sept 4, 2012)

·         Annie (Oct 2, 2012)

·         Dark Shadows (Oct 2, 2012)

·         Dark Star (Oct 2, 2012)

·         Red Dawn (1984) (Oct 9, 2012)

·         The Bonfire of the Vanities (Nov 6, 2012)

·         The Client (Nov 6, 2012)

 

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