JACK THE GIANT SLAYER was a giant flop for Warner Brothers back in March, but what’s a studio to do but pretend it wasn’t when it hits the home video market? That’s definitely what they’re doing today with the release of the movie in a shiny new Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack (it’s also available on a single disc DVD). Like just about everybody else, I didn’t see it on the big screen, but for those who are interested, I’ll report that the bonus material includes deleted scenes, a gag reel and an interactive feature called “Become a Giant Slayer,” which contains a bunch of featurettes with titles like “Suiting Up” and “The Magic of a Beanstalk.”
A film I did see in its theatrical release, Dustin Hoffman’s likably fluffy directorial debut QUARTET, starring Academy Award winner Maggie Smith, Golden Globe winner Tom Courtenay, Academy Award nominee Pauline Collins, Golden Globe nominee Michael Gambon and BAFTA Film Award nominee Billy Connolly, is also out today on Blu ray and DVD, albeit in much more modest single disc Blu ray and DVD editions. Special features include a commentary with Hoffman, and a few Behind-The-Scenes featurettes.
Another film releasing today on home video that I quite enjoyed, is Chan-wook Park’s psychological thriller STOKER, starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Good, and Nicole Kidman. Alongside Digital and UltraViolet versions, the fine film is packaged with a bevy of Special Features: the mini-doc “An Exclusive Look: A Filmmaker's Journey,” deleted scenes, a few Behind the Scenes featurettes, Red Carpet Premiere: Emily Wells’ performance of “Becomes the Color,” image galleries, and a free song download.
I proudly didn’t see MOVIE 43, the comedy anthology fiasco directed by a gang of directors headed by Peter Farrelly, when it was released in January, but now that it’s out in what’s called an “Outrageous Edition” on Blu ray and DVD…well, I probably still won’t watch it. But with its all star cast including Chloë Grace Moretz, Emma Stone, Gerard Butler, Stephen Merchant, Richard Gere, and Elizabeth Banks (who also directed a segment), and Richard Roeper calling it “the CITIZEN KANE of awful,” I can’t deny being a little curious about it. Not sure why it calls itself the “Outrageous Edition” when it only has a couple of meager Special Features: a trailer and a featurette titled “Find Our Daughter.”
A movie I wish I’d skipped, the directorial debut of THE HANGOVER scribes Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, 21 & OVER, drops today in a 2-disc Blu ray package (Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack), and on a single disc DVD. The extremely crappy college party comedy concerning the unfunny misadventures of a trio of douches (Justin Chon, Skylar Astin, and Miles Teller) is now joined by Special Features that don’t sound so special - a few featurettes and a gag reel. Bet those are as inessential as the film itself. Read my review of the film from the day it originally opened here.
TV show season sets releasing today: Call the Midwife: Season Two, Body of Proof: The Complete Third Season, Workaholics: Season Three, and Wilfred: Season Two.
On the older films new to Blu ray front there’s Criterion Collection editions of Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor’s 1923 Harold Lloyd classic SAFETY LAST! (one of the Special Features is the 1992 American Masters biodoc of Lloyd, THE THIRD GENIUS), William Cameron Menzies’ THINGS TO COME (1936), and Frantisek Vlacil’s MARKETA LAZAROVA (1967).
On the non-Criterion older films front, the Kino Classics Remastered Edition of OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1934), starring Bette Davis and Leslie Howard, makes its debut on Blu ray. Besides trailers of other classics, the release’s sole Special Feature is pretty special: a feature length biodoc of Somerset Maugham, the British writer who wrote the 1915 novel the film is based on.