Well, We’re the Millers is the worst new movie to come out on Blu-ray this month, but the Blu-ray actually looks phenomenal. There hasn’t been anything really technically offensive in November but I noticed the most flaws in 2 Guns, with a flickering every time they were in the desert, which is a lot.
Scream Factory’s Assault on Precinct 13 Blu-ray looks pretty phenomenal, blending authentic film look with the benefits of HD clarity. Likewise, you should also be aware of Knightriders, less well known than Precinct 13 but worth a discovery for the runner up.
Well, I hate to pick on Scream Factory since they’re fighting the good fight and doing proper Blu-ray remasters of films nobody else would touch. However, they can’t all look like John Carpenter widescreen and a high tech remaster of The Horror Show does the movie no favors. It looks even cheesier now that it’s in HD, with Lance Henriksen’s sweaty face glistening and Brion James’ electric chair making Shocker look gritty. Scream Factory’s December release of Saturn 3 just missed the cutoff for this month’s Shelf Space Award. Those 1980 visual effects fare even worse under their exquisite technical specs.
I’ve got to give credit where credit is due, the appendices on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - Extended Edition are completely thorough, engaging, and give you nine extra hours of entertainment for re-buying the movie. They’re frank and honest about the rushed production schedule and lack of practical miniatures this time around, but Peter Jackson and Weta’s passion for doing their best with what they have comes through. That passion is more effective to me than the final result, but I can’t begrudge them. If it’s rushed Hobbit or no Hobbit, you make The Hobbit by any means necessary.
There’s a New Zealand promo piece for The Hobbit on the Man of Steel Blu-ray. Come on.
I’m liking the new packaging on Lionsgate’s steelbook rereleases, mainly because it’s the old school First Blood poster with Stallone and the machine gun. Arty covers for Total Recall and Terminator 2 are cool too.
Planes, Disney’s spinoff from the world above Cars, looks phenomenal, even by animation standards. Animation, especially computer animation, always looks outstanding on Blu-ray, but Planes outdid itself. Shots of New York City at night with all the buildings lit up, and India and all the other worldwide locations are all material you’ll use to show off your home theater. And this is only in 2D! I imagine the 3D is even more stunning.
You know, I didn’t get the James Dean Collection (not to be confused with The James Deen Collection), so I’m sure that’s the one. But I can tell you that “Star Trek: The Next Generation” Season Five continues to be a masterpiece of remastering, with technicians re-assembling the edits of episodes from the original film negative, and recompositing visual effects. They’re not perfect but the effort going into them is palpable when you see the detail in Worf’s Klingon forehead.
We know that the home video market likes to double dip and some movies are clearly bound for special editions. While I’d love to think there is a special edition of Jobs coming one day with massive bonus features, I think I’ll be waiting a long time for that so I’ll be happy with what I got there. I’m actually going to predict we’re getting a bigger special edition for Man of Steel someday, and that’s already a pretty loaded Blu-ray with the enhanced viewing mode Zack Snyder likes. We know they’re going to double dip when Batman Vs. Superman comes out, so you may just stick with the digital copy rental of Man of Steel until then.
I’ve got to admit, November was a pretty slow month for Blu-ray announcements. With all the Christmas buying titles announced, we’re not seeing a lot of big stuff for the beginning of 2014. The biggest news this month was probably Synapse’s plans for a remastered Suspiria Blu-ray sometime in the next year, or maybe even 2015.
The biggest Blu-ray next month will be Furious 6 (aka Fast and Furious 6 to people who don’t get it). Sadly, I am writing this on the day I heard the news that Paul Walker died in an automobile accident on his way home from a Reach Out Worldwide charity event. I look forward to reviewing the film in full on Blu-ray, with an extended cut promising more awesome, but a second viewing will come with a heavy heart.