Franchise Fred should be happy about all the new sequels coming to Blu-ray, and I could comment if I had seen a single one in theaters. I’ll definitely have some homework to do come December, just in time to clear some shelf space for the latest holiday gift givings. Also coming to Blu-ray are some reissues and first time ever discoveries.
All is Bright – November 19
I’m actually mentioning this because I’ve never heard of it before. A Christmas movie starring Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd? They play ex-cons selling Christmas trees, so I’m sold.
It’s actually available on VOD now so you can probably see the HD transfer, but this Blu-ray sounds like a stocking stuffer to me. Ha!
The Grandmaster – November 26
The American edition of Wong Kar Wai’s Ip Man biography comes to Blu-ray, where Wong’s visuals can only look even more magnificent than they did in the theater. This really was a visual treat with complicated martial arts choreography on display in lush, detailed historical settings.
Bonus features include three or more featurettes, one on Ip Man and his student Bruce Lee, one conversation with Lee’s daughter Shannon, one on the RZA (of course), and Behind the Scenes Footage. That may be either footage spread throughout the three features, or an additional collection of B-roll clips. No mention of the international cut of the film.
Ms. 45 – December
Drafthouse Films has acquired the 1981 grindhouse film Ms. 45, a rape-revenge thriller in the vein of I Spit on Your Grave. Zoe Lund plays a mute girl raped twice in one night who goes out on a female Death Wish against New York’s criminals. Oh, and it was directed by an edgy filmmaker you may have heard of, Abel Ferrera.
The remastered HD is going into theaters, and coming to DVD and Blu-ray for the first time uncut. While it’s rough film to watch, I am looking forward to discovering just how ugly, nasty and gritty a Blu-ray edition can be.
Saturn 3 – December 3
This is actually not a sequel to Saturn 1 and Saturn 2. It’s just plain old Saturn 3, directed by Stanley Donen and starring Kirk Douglas, Farrah Fawcett and Harvey Keitel. Scream Factory is putting out this classic sci-fi thriller on Blu-ray and DVD.
Besides a new HD transfer, bonus features include fan and critic commentary, special effects interviews, deleted scenes, additional scenes from TV airings, trailers and stills.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters and Smurfs 2 – December 3
New release alert. The Percy Jackson sequel came at the end of the summer in a not quite epic theatrical release, but now it comes home in full Blu-ray 3D. The latest crop of 3D movies always look great on Blu-ray, even in regular old 2D mode. Bonus features on this one include a motion comic, collectible character cards and three behind the scenes features.
You thought Smurfs 2 was more smurfs? Oh, man, oh man, wait until you see the Smurfs 2 Blu-ray. You’ve got the mini-movie “The Legend of Smurfy Hollow,” which, get this, is based on Sleepy Hollow! How do they come up with this stuff? Three additional bonus features are included, one on the creation of Azrael and two on the Naughties. There are also deleted scenes, and two more bonus features on both DVD and Blu-ray including another Azrael spot and the history of Smurfette.
Despicable Me 2 – December 10
The minions are back, and some other characters too, when the Despicable Me sequel comes to Blu-ray and DVD. CGI animation is another no brainer on Blu-ray, always the sharpest and brightest picture.
Knowing where their bread is buttered, Universal Home Entertainment is including three new minion mini-movies (can’t we just call them shorts?), deleted scenes, a closer look at the minions, and more. May I suggest some more minion specific bonus features?
Adore – December 10
The movie we reviewed at Sundance as Two Mothers comes home this December.
While the film’s utterly sincere tone might have been hard for some audiences to take, given its premise of two moms swapping sons in bed, it is sure to look stunning in HD. Not only the lovely Robin Wright and Naomi Watts and hunky Xavier Samuel and James Frecheville, but the Australian coastline will come alive in your living room.
Big: 25th Anniversary Edition – December 10
Just quickly noting this one because it is a significant anniversary, but there is absolutely nothing new included on the latest edition of Big. It’s been on Blu-ray before and all the bonus features are included, including the extended cut of the film. But now the box plays “Heart and Soul.”
I can imagine it spontaneously singing at 3AM and you’ll search the whole house in the dark before stumbling onto the DVD shelves from whence the muffled piano is emanating.
Force of Execution – December 17
The latest Steven Seagal movie hits just a week before Christmas Eve from Anchor Bay. This time, Seagal is joined by legendary, though still not theatrically bankable costars Ving Rhames and Danny Trejo.
Seagal plays a mob kingpin which worries me that he won’t actually get his hands dirty and fight. Maybe that’s what MMA star Bren Foster is there for.