May 30, 2011

Stuff to Buy, Put on Your Shelf, and Never Watch: 05/31/11


I'm still working out how and when to post this, and exactly what the format will be... but here goes v2.

What's New on 5/31:

-A Clockwork Orange arrives on Blu-Ray for the second time, to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Personally, I saw nothing wrong with the one that came out a year or two ago. It had some excellent special features, and they're not really adding anything of note here. Also arriving are Barry Lyndon and Lolita, or get them all together with the Shining, 2001, Spartacus and Full Metal Jacket in the Stanley Kubrick Limited Edition Collection.

-George Lucas' American Graffiti is making its debut on Blu-Ray. Universal put an amazing special edition out a decade ago, and all those marvelous special features are carried over onto this new disc, adding a new video commentary from Lucas.

-Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox and Bill Murray star in Mitch Glazer's Passion Play. It had a very small theatrical release a few weeks ago - don't know if that's due to contractual obligations or to keep it from being labeled as 'straight-to-video' - and I can't wait to see it. I like Glazer (listen to his commentary on Mr. Mike's Mondo Video for a great take on his collaborations with Michael O'Donoghue) but this has been getting the worst reviews.

-We caught Drive Angry in theaters earlier this year. We got suckered in by the whole 'Shot in 3D' thing so we paid the premium. It really shouldn't be seen in either 3D or 2D. Another sad example of Nicolas Cage taking whatever he can get. Skip it.

-Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West - one of the most beautiful works ever committed to film - is making its debut on Blu-Ray this week. Again, Paramount's excellent standard-def features are carried over in a full. I think with any Leone film, it's safe to say that it's worth the upgrade to see it in high-def.

-The Ridley Scott/Tom Cruise collaboration Legend will be out on Blu as well on Tuesday. I don't remember which version I saw. I own the DVD but only watched it once. The film has its fans, and while I dug the way it looked, I can't really count myself as one. Maybe I should revisit it sometime.

-On Tuesday, MGM is rolling out a slew of blu-rays exclusively at Best Buy. Presumably, these will all carry over the standard def special features (some of them had some great stuff, so I certainly hope so). They are:
  • Back to School
  • City Slickers
  • The Firm
  • Get Shorty
  • Maverick
  • Midnight Cowboy
  • The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (1974 original)
  • and Wild Wild West
Best of all, prices range between 10 and 15 bucks.

I didn't find any real deals of note, except for this one: All four X-Men films (X-Men, X2, Last Stand and Wolverine) are $7.99 on Blu (or $3.99 on DVD) at Best Buy, and each comes with up to $12 of free movie cash for the upcoming X-Men: First Class, out in theaters next week. An uncanny deal.

Also, if you're into obscure TV shows, HBO's very first original series 1st & Ten, which aired for 6 seasons in the 80s and starred Delta Burke and the hilarious/brilliant/multi-talented superstar-of-stage-and-screen OJ Simpson, is currently on sale at graveyardmall.com for $3.99. That's for the entire series. Free shipping. That's a dime for each hour of hilarious 80s football humor.

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