Tuesday, August 06, 2013

New Releases On Blu Ray & DVD: 8/6/13


The biggest new release out today on Blu ray and DVD is Joseph Kosinski’s OBLIVION, starring Tom Cruise as one of the last men on Earth in yet another sci-fi thriller set in a dystopian future. It’s a visually stunning ride, but a bit confusing at times as I wrote when the film was released theatrically last April (read my review here). The immaculately CGI-ed spectacle is available in a 2-disc Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet edition, and a single disc DVD version.

Special features: Audio commentary with Kosinski and Cruise, a 48-minute featurette “Promise of a New World,” 4 minutes of deleted scenes, and the isolated M83 score, presented in 24-bit/96kHz Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround. It’s Definitely one to consider over seeing ELYSIUM this coming weekend.
Next up, Derek Cianfrance’s crime drama THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, starring Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper, is out in 2-disc Blu ray (+DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet), and 1-disc DVD editions. The film which consists of two stellar acts, and one so-so one as you can read here, comes packaged with such Special Features as a Director’s commentary with Cianfrance, 10 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, and a 5 minute featurette: “Going to THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES.”

A indie that came out around the same time that I enjoyed quite a bit more is also now available on home video this week: Jeff Nichols’ MUD, starring Matthew McConaughey as a little less confident than usual yet still somewhat slick fugitive outlaw who befriends a couple of kids (Tye Sheridan and Jacob Lofland) on an island in the middle of Arkansas’ Lower White River. Special Features; Director’s commentary with Nichols, and four short featurettes (“A Personal Tale,” “The Arkansas Ensemble,” “Southern Authenticity,” and “The Snake Pit”).

Walter Salles’ not very well received 2012 adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s classic 1957 novel ON THE ROAD, starring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, and Kristen Stweart drops today in both single disc Blu ray and DVD editions, as does Terrance Malick’s TO THE WONDER, also a film that got mixed reviews, starring Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko (she’s also in OBLIVION btw), and Wayne Blair’s much better reviewed ‘60s soul-singing girl group comedy drama THE SAPPHIRES, starring Chris Dowd, hits the shelves in a 2-disc Blu ray set, and 1-disc DVD edition (read my review of the tuneful charmer here).

A documentary that’s gotten it’s fair share of acclaim, Amy J. Berg’s WEST OF MEMPHIS, which concerns the case of the West Memphis Three in a different light than that seen in the PARADISE LOST docs, is now available on Blu ray and DVD in single disc sets with a bunch of Special Features including nearly an hour and a half of deleted scenes, a commentary (with writer/director Berg, Damien Echols, and Producer Lorri Davis), Toronto International Film Festival Q & A and Press conference footage, a brief featurette entitled “Damien's Past (Re-Creations),” and the theatrical trailer.
Older titles out today for the first time on Blu ray: Arthur Hiller’s 1976 Gene Wilder/Richard Pryor thriller comedy SILVER STREAK, Wes Craven’s 1983 cult classic SWAMP THING, David Setzer’s 1986 teen favorite LUCAS, and James Toback’s 1987 rom com THE PICK-UP ARTIST, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Molly Ringwald. 

Also on the vintage front, Disney has out a 50th Anniversary Edition of SWORD IN THE STONE, a 40th Anniversary Edition of ROBIN HOOD, and a 25th Anniversary Edition of OLIVER & COMPANY. All 3 animated titles are new to Blu ray. 

TV season sets now available include Strike Back: The Complete Second Season, Duck Dynasty: Season 3, Community: The Complete Fourth Season, The Borgias: The Third Season, Smash: Season 2, and a “Best of” box of the short-lived SNL rip-off Fridays (1980-1982), that launched the careers of Seinfeld’s Larry David and Michael Richards.

For a more complete list of what’s out this week visit Amazon’s lengthy list at their New Releases department.

More later…

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