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This Week on DVD & Blu-ray (06-12-12)

June 12, 2012
Two sequels stand out this week, both known in their own right amongst pop culture. One is flesh and bone and the other is bone and flame. Robert Downey, Jr. is back as the brilliant, brawling, and smug detective from 221B Baker Street in “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows”. Yes, I agree that Benedict Cumberbatch is a superior Holmes and I prefer Martin Freeman to Jude Law, but just consider this Big Hollywood adaptation of Sherlock as silly fun. It’s not out there for you to take it seriously or show you anything entirely original (other than slo-mo action and a naked Stephen Fry) – that’s what you have BBC Sherlock for. But hey, there’s always something worse you could be watching – like an over-acting (is there any other kind?) Nic Cage, who’s on fire half the time (thankfully!) in “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”. I missed this sequel (well, ahem – not really) in the theaters, so now I can catch this flaming Marvel Comics debacle in the comfort of my own home (or the portable device of my chosing, except while riding my hellfire motorcycle), at least it’s from the team that brought us the “Crank” movies and not the director of “Daredevil” and “Elektra”. Be grateful for the little things.  
There’s also two barely-seen films I’ll be putting in my queue – one is an Oscar-nominated foreign film, “In Darkness”, which I hear is both devastating and compelling drama from Poland about a man who uses his extensive knowledge of sewer systems in a Nazi-occupied city in the Ukraine in order to shelter Jews. Then there’s the indie flick “Thin Ice”, a dramedy that reunites “Little Miss Sunshine” actors Greg Kinnear and Alan Arkin, about an ex-con/insurance salesman and a valuable violin, set in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Each week, there’s always some kind of new-to-Blu-ray release that is coinciding with an upcoming  theatrical release and now with “The Amazing Spider-Man”, Sony is releasing all three previous Sam Raimi movies starring the insecure Web Slinger, which ran from 2002 to 2007 (I know – so long ago). This being summer and all, it’s important to note that Ivan Reitman’s “Meatballs” one of the great summertime comedies is finally out on Blu-ray. Revisit it or watch it for the first time and wonder whatever happened to Chris Makepeace and notice just how old Bill Murray is currently looking.
Another DC Universe Animated Original Movie is out this week, this one, “Superman vs. The Elite”, is written by Joe Kelly, who is adapting his own acclaimed story “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice & the American Way?” from Action Comics #775, which came out back in March 2001. It’s tough to come up with a new story for Superman, but this one is quite good, with extreme circumstances causing the Last Son of Krypton to use extreme measures on a global threat.
There are some Pretty impressive titles released on Criterion this week too! Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush”, Hal Ashby’s “Harold and Maude” and Danny Boyle’s “Shallow Grave” – all of them are worthy of your time and are bound to have some fine Special Features added to their presentation. The cover art alone for these films are worth the purchase.
Well, that’s enough for this week. Previous reviews are highlighted below. Enjoy the Rundown….
  • A Little Bit of Heaven (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Accident (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • All Screwed Up (DVD)
  • Brad Meltzer’s Decoded: Season Two (DVD)
  • The Dark Crystal/Labyrinth (2-disc collector’s Edition)(Blu-ray)
  • Demoted (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Dog the Bounty Hunter: Taking It to the Streets (DVD)
  • Elephant Sighs (DVD)
  • Entourage: The Complete Eighth Season (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • GCB: The Complete First Season (DVD)
  • Gene Simmons Family Jewels: Season 6, Part 1 (DVD)
  • Gene Simmons Family Jewels: Season 6, Part 2 (DVD)
  • Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Gold Rush (Criterion Collection) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Harold and Maude (Criterion Collection) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Hedgehog (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • In Darkness (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Kino Classics Presents: The Lina Wertmuller Collection (DVD)
  • Love & Anarchy (DVD)
  • Meatballs (Blu-ray/Blu-ray)
  • Missing: The Complete First Season (DVD)
  • Red Scorpion(Blu-ray)
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Complete Fifth Season (DVD)
  • Scandal: The Complete First Season (DVD)
  • The Seduction of Mimi (Blu-ray)
  • Shallow Grave (Criterion Collection) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Spider-Man (Blu-ray)
  • Spider-Man 2(Blu-ray)
  • Spider-Man 3(Blu-ray)
  • Superman vs. The Elite (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Thin Ice (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Too Big to Fail (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • tosh.O: Hoodies (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Tyler Perry’s Aunt Bams Place (DVD)



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