Tuesday, September 29, 2009

BLU-TUESDAY ... September 29

It is the last release date for the month of September and certainly a big one at that. You can tell that distributors and retailers are setting themselves up for what they hope will be the holiday season that makes Blu-Ray a household staple. One of the biggest titles of the year, MONSTERS VS. ALIENS is out today. MANAGEMENT starring Jennifer Aniston was missed in theaters but hopes to find new love on BD. The surprising hit, FIREPROOF, with Kirk Cameron will grace many a Christian household. Cult classics, LABYRINTH and THE DARK CRYSTAL are now available. And SNAKES ON A PLANE finally makes its way to BD. There are three other titles that I'd like to highlight for you all this week. To get to them, we have to take a little stroll down the yellow brick road.

Before we get to that, I'd like to recommend this heartwarming family comedy, AWAY WE GO, by director, Sam Mendes (Academy Award winner for AMERICAN BEAUTY). While still editing his offering from last year, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, Mendes began pre-production work on AWAY WE GO, from writers, Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. (Eggers would go on to co-write the upcoming WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE). John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph are adorable together as a couple expecting their first child who do not know what city they should raise their family in. They travel around the country, even stopping north of the border in Montreal, in search of home and while, it is episodic, it is also good, genuine fun. For my full review of the film, click here.


- Commentary with Mendes, Eggers and Vida
- Making of featurette
- Green filmmaking featurette


This is huge! One of the most beloved films of all time is now given one of the grandest BD releases to date. Thie four-disc set contains a good chunk of all the previous special feature material released on the numerous versions that have come before this one but also contains new features too to whet your appetite ... and justify the purchase for those who may already have it on DVD. The audio and video have also been completely restored and I've heard the results are as magical as one would expect from the merry old land of Oz. I cannot wait to get this one in my collection!


- Commentary with the late Sydney Pollack and Oz Historian (?), John Frick
- Interviews with cast and crew
- A tribute to Oz and a handful of other documentaries on the subject
- Jukebox, with outtakes and original recordings
- Still gallery
- Storybook
- Sing along option!

Earlier this year, I had the chance to catch the first of two Steven Soderbergh pictures being released this year, THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE, at the Tribeca Film Festival. I went on to interview both the director and the star, Sasha Grey. That interview would go on to be my first published for Canada's CBC Arts Online so this film holds a special place in my heart. The heart is an odd place to hold it as it is about a high priced escort facing the hard economic climate but it is also there for me because I truly loved the film. It is stylish without sacrifice of substance, a great experiment and success for Mr. Soderbergh. It is certainly one of his finest features and an excellent first offering in a year that also saw the release of the excellent THE INFORMANT!


- Unrated alternate cut
- Commentary with Soderbergh and Grey
- Featurette about the real girlfriend experience

For my interview with Soderbergh and Grey, click here.

Source: Blu-Ray.com

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