Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New Releases On Blu ray & DVD: 11/12/13

Along with many other critics, I was super disappointed by last summer’s Superman reboot, Zack Snyder’s MAN OF STEEL as you can read in my review. The Christopher Nolan-produced film, in which Henry Cavill steps into the famous red boots for the first time, was still super successful, being the highest-grossing Superman movie ever, so it’s now available in several different Special Edition sets. 

The most expensive package, at just under $50, is the Limited Collector's Edition (pictured above), which features the theatrical version of the film in 3D hi-definition, hi-definition and standard definition, and also includes a limited release metal “S” glyph with acrylic glass stand. Around the same price is the Collectible Figurine Limited Edition Gift Set (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultra Violet Combo). For folks on tighter budgets, there’s the 3-disc Blu ray + DVD + UltraViolet Combo Pack, and 2-disc Blu ray and DVD editions.

Special Features: “Journey of Discovery: Creating MAN OF STEEL” (the full length film with interviews and visual commentary inserted), a couple of nearly hour-hour long making-of documentaries (“Strong Characters, Legendary Roles,” “All Out Action”), a 6-minute featurette “Krypton Decoded,” a 2-minute Superman 75th Anniversary Short, a History Channel-style featurette called “Planet Krypton,” and, for some reason, the “New Zealand: Home of Middle Earth” featurette from THE HOBBIT Blu-ray (?).

Another summer hit, David Soren’s TURBO from DreamWorks Animation, also releases this week. The family favorite, featuring a snail (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) who dreams of winning the Indy 500, is out in a 2-disc 3D and non 3D Blu ray/DVD Combo Packs and a single disc DVD edition. Special Features include a bunch of short featurettes, music videos, a deleted scene, “The Race – Storyboard Sequence,” segments with Head of Character Animation Dave Burgess showing viewers how to draw the film’s lead characters, and an interactive featurette called “Shell Creator.”

One of the year’s best documentaries, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s BLACKFISH, hits home video today in single disc Blu ray and DVD editions. Read my review: “Anti-Sea World Doc BLACKFISH Makes A Convincing Case” (8/19/13). Special Features: Commentary with Director Cowperthwaite and Producer Manny Oteyza, a bunch of featurettes full of Orca facts, “A Note From Gabriela Cowperthwaite,” and the theatrical trailer.

I had a pretty lukewarm reaction to Noah Baumbach’s vehicle for his girlfriend Greta Gerwig, FRANCES HA, when I saw it last June (my review: “FRANCES HA: She’s Undateable & Her Film Is Just Barely Watchable”), but that was very much an minority opinion as its 93% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and its addition to the Criterion Collection today proves. Supplements on the Director-Approved Special Edition include conversational featurettes with Peter Bogdonich speaking with Baunbach, and filmmaker Sarah Polley with Gerwig, a conversation about the look of the film between Baumbach, director of photography Sam Levy, and creative director Pascal Dangin, and a booklet featuring an essay by playwright Annie Baker.

Also out today: David Gordon Green’s comic drama PRINCE AVALANCHE, starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch; Christian Petzold’s 2012 German drama BARBARA; Diablo Cody’s drama comedy PARADISE, starring Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, and Octavia Spencer; James Cullingham’s music biodoc IN SEARCH OF BLIND JOE DEATH: THE SAGA OF JOHN FAHEY (DVD only); and another notable music documentary: Laura Archibald’s GREENWICH VILLAGE: MUSIC THAT DEFINED A GENERATION.

On the older films out today front, there’s the 25th Anniversary Edition of Katsuhiro Ohtomo’s AKIRA, Oliver Stone’s JFK gets all done up in a 50 Year Commemorative Ultimate Collector’s Edition, the Criterion Collection presents the Blu ray debut of Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 masterpiece CITY LIGHTS, and Kino Classics puts out their 2-Disc Deluxe Remastered Edition of F.W. Murnau’s NOSFERATU (1922).

Finally, Dexter: The Complete Final Season, containing maybe the worst finale episode of any series ever, drops today on Blu ray and DVD. The entire run of the popular Showtime series, starring Michael C. Hall as a Miami-based blood splatter analyst/serial killer of other serial killers, is also available now in Dexter: The Complete Series Collection. The 25-disc Blu ray, and 33-disc DVD boxes are neatly packaged to recreate Dexter’s blood sides collection.

More later…

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