Tuesday, June 16, 2009

BLU-TUESDAY .. June 16

Although this week is weak on first run releases, the titles making their way to BD for the first time are abundant. With all the chatter about a new film potentially in the works, GHOSTBUSTERS on BD should satisfy those need of an ectoplasmic fix now. Another classic comedy, SPACEBALLS, the Mel Brooks STAR WARS spoof comes back to show all the current spoofers how it’s done. And the Criterion folks release their latest BD treatment of a film classic, in this case, Ingmar Bergman’s THE SEVENTH SEAL. But wait, there’s more …

FRIDAY THE 13TH (parts 1-3)
Who would have thought that it has nearly been 30 years since horror icon, Jason, first terrorized a bunch of innocent campers in their cabins and sleeping bags? To commemorate the anniversary, Paramount is releasing the first three films in the now 12-part long series on BD. The first installment was released in an uncut version earlier this year but now finds the “Killer Cut” coming out. This pretty much means more blood and more gore. Though a series reboot attempt proved to be only minutely successful this year, a sequel is already in the works so it should be long before more reissued Jason adventures find their way to BD. Though the features vary from film to film, you can expect to find a sampling of the following extras …

- Director/Screenwriter commentary
- Director profile
- 2008 panel discussion revisiting the films
- Special effects showcases
- Trivia
- 3rd installment is in 3D

In 2007, a good chunk of Stanley Kubrick classics were remastered and reissued on DVD. A notable absence was this particular favorite that was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Director, back when I was initially released in 1964. It is now ready for BD release in the year of its 45th anniversary so Kurbrick fans will be one step closer to completing their collections. Always putting his bravest foot forward, Kubrick tackled the nuclear scare in this satire and did so with biting comedy that found audiences laughing instead of worrying for a change. Aside from about a half dozen special featurettes, the BD edition also contains …

- Picture in Picture trivia track
- Interview with former Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara

I am by no means an American history buff and I know for certain that I am not about to pick up an American history book to get up on it. And so I am thankful for the good people at HBO for bringing me this miniseries. Now I can learn all about the birth of the United States in a Tom Hanks produced series that is impeccably acted by Emmy and Golden Globe winners, Paul Giamatti, Laura Linner and Tom Wilkinson. I have only up to now watched the first episode and, for a heavily wigged period piece, it is compelling and tense. I am not advocating doing all of your historical learning through fictionalized drama but you could do a lot worse than this. This 3-Disc set contains …

- Making of John Adams
- Portrait of author, David McCullough
- Pop-up historical guide
- Episode recaps

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