New Blu's On the Block - September 11, 2012


Rating: Various

Distributor: Various

Released: September 11, 2012


Written by Sara Michelle Fetters



New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for September 11, 2012

The big news is obviously Titanic (which, technically, released on Monday), everything else sort of paling in comparison. Read on for more.





Ghosts of the Abyss 3D

James Cameron’s massive Oscar-winning epic comes to Blu-ray, in both its recent converted 3D incarnation as well as its original 1997 2D presentation. Say what you will about the film itself, but this high definition four-disc presentation is nothing short of extraordinary, audio and visual transfers as glorious as any the format has ever seen. Also, packed with special features, some new, some available on previous DVD releases, the extent a fan of the film can dive into the production and discover all of its nuances is something else entirely. As releases go, this is without question one of the very best 2012 has seen, and as such I can’t help but give it my highest recommendation.


As a companion to the filmmaker’s Academy Award winner, releasing today is Cameron’s excellent 2003 IMAX Titanic documentary Ghost of the Abyss, available for the first time in 3D. As I wrote in my original theatrical review (read it here): “[Technical] wonderment aside, the real glory of Ghosts of the Abyss is how valiantly it speaks to the humanity this ship’s sinking led to by those on board. In fact, Cameron recreates much more fluidly and effectively the acts of the Titanic’s crew here than he ever did in his Oscar-winning epic. For all of Titanic’s strengths as a motion picture, painting a clear picture of the events surrounding the crew’s involvement in the cruise ship’s destruction wasn’t one of them. He changes that here, and the effect is haunting.”



Snow White and the Huntsman

From my theatrical review (read it here): “First thing to note about Snow White and the Huntsman is that it is visually astonishing…The next thing of merit is hardly a surprise, but it can’t help but be mentioned all the same. Charlize Theron, robbed of an Oscar nomination for her work in Young Adult, long believed to probably be this film’s chief asset well before the first trailer saw the light of day, is simply incredible.”



What to Expect When You’re Expecting

From my theatrical review (read it here): “There is little in the way of surprise, subtlety is almost nonexistent and much of the comedy feels forced and unnatural. The devices used to bring all five of the couples into contact with one another is beyond maudlin, and by the time the film reached its preordained conclusion I was a little shocked the majority of the audience hadn’t fallen asleep.”



Lola Versus

From my theatrical review (read it here): “The wild card in all of this is Gerwig…As Lola, she finds levels and goes to depths the script itself only hints at, leading to scenes of striking power or unforeseen whimsy that had me bursting with joy…But the film has trouble rising out of sitcom level platitudes, and while some of the dialogue can crackle with electricity the majority come off like stale verbal retreads recycled from similar dramas made at any point during the preceding three-plus decades.”



Where Do We Go Now?

The women of a small Lebanese village conspire amongst themselves to ease tensions between their Muslim and Christian husbands, using tiny bits of marijuana as a catalyst to accomplish their task. That’s the basic story behind this charming comedy, although quite obviously its themes are far grander than that simple explanation obviously implies. A wonderful, magnificently entertaining effort, this sublime little gem never goes too far and doesn’t try to exceed its miniscule reach while at the same time asking questions about the Middle East and the world at large that are in desperate need of being discussed. Highly recommended.



Beyond the Black Rainbow

Psychadelic acid trip of a retro science fiction thriller set in 1983 and involving a young woman with telepathic abilities trapped in a mysterious facility by an obsessed scientist, I’m not sure Beyond the Black Rainbow has any desire whatsoever to make a lick of sense. Nonetheless, the movie is eerily hypnotic, containing a smorgasbord of inspired visual and featuring an electronic score by Jeremy Schmidt that kept my pulse continually racing.



For Greater Glory

For Greater Glory has an outstanding cast. Andy García, Oscar Isaac, Catalina Sandino Moreno,  Eva Longoria and Peter O'Toole all make appearances, suggesting that this dramatization of the Cristeros War (1926-1929) was a labor of love for many of those involved. Too bad the movie itself a maudlin, didactic, self-important mess, otherwise there might be something of merit to be talking about.




Jeepers Creepers, Killer Klowns from Outer Space,

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

Not sure any of these needed Blu-ray releases, but I’m sure fans will eagerly snap up copies right away all the same. For my part, each has its merits (the first half of Jeepers Creepers is excellent, Dennis Hopper’s sensational hyperactive performance in Massacre 2 must be seen to be believed, Killer Klowns is, well, Killer Klowns, an all-time so-bad-it’s-good sensation), but I’m not sure I’d be willing to fork over the cash to have any of them in my own hi-def library.



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·         Adopting Terror

·         Airplane!

·         The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season (Read Rachel’s Blu-ray Review)

·         Cleanskin

·         Elles

·         The Firm (Read Mitchell’s Blu-ray Review)

·         Goats

·         Karate-Robo Zaborgar

·         Paranormal Activity Three-Movie Collection (Read Sara’s Theatrical Reviews: PA1, PA2, PA3)

·         Produced by George Martin

·         The Ring (2002) (Read Sara’s Theatrical Review)

·         Rosewood Lane

·         Spartacus: Vengeance

·         The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Third Season




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6 Bullets

Veteran mercenary Samson Gaul (Jean-Claude Van Damme) knows that in the heat of battle, every bullet counts. He retired from combat when his actions resulted in the deaths of helpless victims, but now he's the last hope for a desperate father. Mixed Martial Artist Andrew Fayden (Joe Flanigan, Stargate: Atlantis) knows how to fight, but alone he's unprepared to navigate the corrupt streets of a foreign city to find his kidnapped daughter. Together, these warriors will stop at nothing to tear apart a vile network of criminals that preys upon the innocent. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



Girl in Progress

Grace (Eva Mendes) is a single mom. She is too busy juggling work, bills, and the very married Dr. Hartford (Matthew Modine), to give her daughter, Ansiedad (Cierra Ramirez), the attention she desperately needs. When Ansiedad's English teacher, Ms. Armstrong (Patricia Arquette), introduces her students to classic coming-of-age stories, Ansiedad is inspired to skip adolescence and jump-start her life without mom. While Grace becomes preoccupied with the increasing affections of her co-worker (Eugenio Derbez), Ansiedad enlists the help of her loyal friend, Tavita (Raini Rodriguez), to plot her shortcut to "adulthood". But as her misguided plan unravels, Ansiedad and Grace must learn that sometimes growing-up means acting your age. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



The Loved Ones

Hell hath no fury...like a prom queen scorned. When Brent rejects Lola's invitation to prom, he sets off a chain of events that leave him the victim of her twisted revenge.  Now he's the only guest at Lola's terrifying and demented prom, and must fight to survive what could be his final dance. Will Brent live through this nightmare of drills, nails, glitter and syringes…or become one of Lola's ‘loved ones’? (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



We Have a Pope

Actor/director Nanni Moretti (Quiet Chaos) joins forces with legendary French actor Michel Piccoli (Contempt) to tell the story of Cardinal Melville, an unassuming man of the cloth who suddenly finds himself elected as the next Pope. Caught off guard and unwilling to take the job, Melville panics as the faithful wait for the new Pope's appearance in St. Peter's Square. To prevent a worldwide crisis, the Vatican calls in an unlikely psychiatrist (Moretti) to find out what is wrong with Melville and get him to take the position. While the world nervously waits outside, inside the therapist works desperately with Melville to rid him of his fears and reaffirm his duty to God. A marvelous insight into the man responsible for being God's representative on Earth, We Have a Pope is both wonderfully humorous and deeply touching. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)



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·         30 Rock: Season Six

·         Blue Bloods: The Second Season

·         Castle: The Complete Fourth Season

·         Private Practice: The Complete Fifth Season

·         Terra Nova: The Complete Series

·         Up All Night: Season One








·         Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (Oct 16, 2012)

·         Ruby Sparks (Oct 30, 2012)

·         Safety Not Guaranteed (Oct 30, 2012)

·         Fire with Fire (Nov 6, 2012)

·         Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Nov 13, 2012)

·         Catch Me If You Can (Dec 4, 2012)

·         Eastbound & Down: The Complete Third Season (Dec 4, 2012)

·         Girls: The Complete First Season (Dec 11, 2012)

·         The Island (1980) (Dec 11, 2012)



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