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This Week on DVD & Blu-ray (02-19-13)

February 19, 2013
It’s the Tuesday before Oscar Sunday! So, that means we’ll be getting some Oscar-nominated films released on DVD & Blu-ray. The studios are savvy and they want you to play a little at-home catch-up before the Big Night. It’s just too bad they don’t make all the Oscar-Nominated Shorts more accessible. Here we have Ben Affleck’s “Argo“, which received 7 nominations – Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Original Score. It’s really between this, “Lincoln” and “Silver Linings Playbook” for the Best Picture award.  There’s also Joe Wright’s “Anna Karenina” with 4 nominations  – Best Costume Design, Best Production Design (formerly known as Best Art Direction), Best Cinematography and Best Original Score. I’ve seen “Argo” and feel it’s a good movie, but not Best Picture quality and I have yet to see “Anna “Karenina”.
While there are some randomly bizarre releases out this week, such as….
A Special Edition of Charles Chyer’s 1984’s “Irreconciable Differences” is being released for some reason (maybe because of Drew Barrymore’s birthday this Friday? I’m at a loss.) unbeknownst to me.  This was sandwiched between two horror flicks for the pouty young Barrymoore, after “Firestarter” and before “Cat’s Eye”, and has her playing the precocious daughter to Ryan O’Neal and Shelly Long, who is suing them for being obsessed with their careers and themselves. How very 80s. I never saw it. I was fourteen.  
Also for unknown reasons, there’s a version of 1991’s  “Highlander 2” being released. They’ve dropped “The Quickening” and replaced it with “Renegade Version” – at least, I think. I’m sure there’s “Highlander” geeks out there who know more than I do. It may be directed by Russell Mulcahy, who directed the first movie, but I mostly remember this being a nonsensical mess.
Other questionable releases include, “Lake Placid: The Final Chapter” and “just because” two Arnold Schwarzenegger releases “The Running Man” and “The Terminator“.
Two recent 3D releases, “Monsters, Inc” and “Top Gun” are now out on Blu-ray….if you have 3D home capability, that is. I didn’t see either fo those during their recent theatrical run, but I heard the 3D in “Top Gun” was kinda grainy.
What am I looking forward to? Well, I do want to catch up with “Sinister” the horror flick released this past fall starring Ethan Hawke, which was co-written by film critic Robert C. Cargill with director Scott Derrickson (who also wrote and directed “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” a solid courtroom procedural). I heard mostly good things about it. Since 2012 wasn’t a banner year for horror, it might be worth checking out.
The Big Deal  though, is the Criterion release of Best Picture winner, “On the Waterfront“, directed by Elia Kazan, who won the Oscar for Best Director. It’s not just one of my favorite Marlon Brando films (which he won an Oscar for), but also one of my favorite crime dramas of all time. Screenwriter Budd Schulberg (“The Harder They Fall” and “A Face in the Crowd”) won an Oscar for his wonderful work in a film that  also stars Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb and Rod Steiger. It was also the feature film debut of Eva Marie Saint (at age 30) who would go on to earn a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role. Including those 5 wins, the 1954 film went on to win 8 Oscars, including Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Editing, out of a total of 12 nominations.
As usual, the Criterion design and packaging is just as phenomenal as the bells and whitsles that the stuff their titles with. Take a look for yourself! The standout for me is the fantastic artwork by Sean Phillips, one of my favorite artists.
That’s enough for this week! Previous reviews will be highlighted below! Enjoy the Rundown….
  • 4 Assassins (DVD)
  • An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Anna Karenina (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Argo (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Atlas Shrugged Part II (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Closure (DVD)
  • Don Giovanni (Blu-ray)
  • Duck Dodgers: Dark Side of the Duck – Season 1 (DVD)
  • Easter Parade (Blu-ray)
  • The Factory (DVD)
  • Fun Size (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Game of Thrones: The Complete Second Season (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Gossip Girl: The Complete Series (DVD)
  • Gossip Girl: The Complete Sixth & Final Season (DVD)
  • Hats Off to Dr. Seuss Collector’s Edition (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Highlander 2: Renegade Version (1991) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Hipsters (DVD)
  • Innocent Bystanders (1972) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Insider (Blu-ray)
  • Iron Doors (DVD)
  • Irreconcilable Differences (Special Edition) (1984) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Les Miserables (1958) (Blu-ray)
  • Jetsam (DVD)
  • Junior High Spy (DVD)
  • Lake Placid: The Final Chapter (DVD)
  • Live Nude Girls (1995) (DVD)
  • Marvel the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Volume 6 (DVD)
  • The Monster Squad (1987) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Monsters, Inc. (3-Disc Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • Monsters, Inc. 3D (5-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • Naked City: 20 Star-Filled Episodes  (DVD)
  • Night of the Demons 2 (1994)  (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Nova: Ultimate Mars Challenge  (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • On the Waterfront (Criterion Collection)  (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Package (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Prison (Collector’s Edition) (Blu-ray)
  • The Running Man (1987) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Seeds of Destruction  (DVD)
  • Sinister (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 3 (DVD)
  • Small Apartments (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Sushi Girl (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Terminator (Remastered)
  • TerrorVision / The Video Dead (Combo Pack)
  • That Cold Day in the Park (1969) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • The Thief of Bagdad (1924) (DVD/Blu-ray)
  • Top Gun (Limited Edition 3D) (Blu-ray)  
  • Undefeated (DVD/Blu-ray)



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