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FEATURE ARTICLE

New Blu's On the Block - November 20, 2012

 

Rating: Various

Distributor: Various

Released: November 20, 2012

 

Written by Sara Michelle Fetters

 

Editor-in-Chief
www.moviefreak.com

New Blu's On the Block
Blu-ray and DVD Releases for November 20, 2012

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is typically a slow one for new Blu-ray/DVD releases, and this year is no exception. Take a look and see. On the flipside, look at some of those latest release date announcements. Pitch Perfect and Looper before the end of the year? On the Waterfront and Kid with a Bike getting the Criterion treatment? Three 20th Century Fox classics including John Ford’s superb How Green Was My Valley? To say I’m excited about all of the above would be a decided understatement.

 

 

Heaven’s Gate – Criterion Collection

Looking forward to watching this as I have never watched director Michael Cimino’s epic, so I have no idea if it worthy of all the hubbub surrounding its original release, subsequent retooling by the studio, rep for being the film that killed the Western, initial critical lambasting and, after decades of controversy, eventual revival in some corners for being a misunderstood masterpiece. As Criterion didn’t send over a review copy I guess I’ll have to buy this one, and love it, hate it or something in-between this is one time it doesn’t bother me in the slightest to pick up such a hefty set for my collection sight-unseen.

 

 

The Expendables 2

From my theatrical review (read it here): “There’s no point in going into great detail in regards to The Expendables 2. If you buy a ticket, if you choose to sit in the theatre and watch it, then by golly you more than likely know exactly what it is you are in for. Big, loud, obnoxious, cliché, nonsensical, melodramatic and happily stupid, this sequel to the nearly unwatchable 2010 first film is everything that one was not, and whether that’s a good thing is truly in the eye of the beholder.”

 

 

Tarantino XX: 8-Film Collection

(Death Proof / Inglourious Basterds / Jackie Brown / Kill Bill Vol. 1 / Kill Bill Vol. 2 / Pulp Fiction / Reservoir Dogs / True Romance

Chances are, if you’re a Tarantino fan you already own all of these films. For those that do not, this compilation package contains each of the mentioned motion pictures along with two bonus discs, the first containing the nearly five hour “Critics' Corner: The Films of Quentin Tarantino” while the second, various featurettes notwithstanding, is really nothing more than a preview Blu-ray for the director’s upcoming Django Unchained. Still, it’s an impressive collection, and for those who want to immerse themselves inside Tarantino’s world this set is a wonderful place to start.  

 

 

 

Deathtrap, Gypsy (1962)

Warner Archive goes Blu-ray! Seriously, this makes me very, very happy, and the fact one of their first films out of the gate is the excellent 1962 version of Gypsy with Natalie Wood and scene-stealing Rosalind Russell makes me even more so. I’m also curious to get another look at 1982’s Deathtrap as I don’t think I’ve seen it since I was a kid (and was, at the time, far too little to understand many of its more adult satirical dynamics). Upcoming releases from Warner Archive include Peter Weir’s magnificent Fearless with Jeff Bridges and the Coen brothers’ anarchic The Hudsucker Proxy with Paul Newman and Tim Robbins, so fans of semi-classic but sadly little-seen favorites certainly have something to get excited about.

 

 

The Dust Bowl

Ken Burns’ latest documentary isn’t just for The Grapes of Wrath crowd, the filmmaker offering up an intricate and emotionally moving look at a time and place in American history that’s sadly not very well known and isn’t taught in schools as thoroughly as it probably should be. Extremely informative and, like just about all of Burns’ works, supremely entertaining, even considering the down and dirty (and at times extremely depressing) nature of the subject matter this is one 228-minute opus that deserves to be seen by the widest audience possible.

 

OTHER NOTABLE BLU-RAY RELEASES

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·         Cinderella II: Dreams Come True / Cinderella III: A Twist In Time

·         Game of Thrones – The Complete First Season – Collector’s Edition

·         Grave of the Fireflies

·         Judas Kiss

·         Ramrod

·         That’s Entertainment! The Complete Collection

·         The Trap

·         Zorro (1975)

 

 

NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

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Eclipse Series 37: When Horror Came to Shochiku (The X from Outer Space; Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell; The Living Skeleton; Genocide) – Criterion Collection

Following years of a certain radioactive rubber beast’s domination of the box office, many Japanese studios tried to replicate the formula with their own brands of monster movies. One of the most fascinating dives into that fiendish deep end was the short-lived one from Shochiku, a studio better known for its elegant dramas by the likes of Kenji Mizoguchi and Yasujiro Ozu. In 1967 and 1968, the company created four certifiably batty, low-budget fantasies, tales haunted by watery ghosts, plagued by angry insects, and stalked by aliens—including one in the form of a giant chicken-lizard. Shochiku’s outrageous and oozy horror period shows a studio leaping into the unknown, even if only for one brief, bloody moment. (Description reprinted from Amazon.com)

 

OTHER NOTABLE DVD RELEASES

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·         Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Complete Series

 

 

NOTABLE NEW BLU-RAY ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

 

     

 

·         Pitch Perfect (Dec 18, 2012)

·         Looper (Dec 31, 2012)

·         Dredd (Jan 8, 2013)

·         Game Change (Jan 8, 2013)

·         Gentleman’s Agreement (Jan 15, 2013)

·         How Green Was My Valley (Jan 15, 2013)

·         Wild River (Jan 15, 2013)

·         The Ballad of Narayama – Criterion Collection (Feb 5, 2013)

·         The Kid with a Bike – Criterion Collection (Feb 12, 2013)

·         The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Feb 12, 2013)

·         On the Waterfront – Criterion Collection (Feb 19, 2013)

·         Chronicle of a Summer – Criterion Collection (Feb 26, 2013)

·         Sansho the Bailiff – Criterion Collection (Feb 26, 2013)

 

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