Monday, December 19, 2011

Top 10 Blu-ray releases of 2011

It was almost impossible to decide on my favorite Blu-ray releases for 2011. Should I rank them in order of enjoyment or importance, or the quality of the release? I decided to go for overall enjoyment and include the releases that made me happiest over the course of the year. I am not fully qualified to judge because I haven’t seen everything that was released, but I can rank what I saw.


1. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994) Lionsgate/Miramax















2. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986) MGM















3. The Double Life of Veronique (Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1991) Criterion















4. Three Colors Trilogy (Krzysztof Kieslowski - Blue, White, Red) Criterion















5. Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001) Lionsgate/Miramax















6. Jackie Brown (Quentin Tarantino, 1997) Lionsgate/Miramax















7. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (Hayao Miyazaki, 1984) Walt Disney Video 















8. The King's Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010) Weinstein/Anchor Bay















9. 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet, 1957) Criterion















10. Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, 2011) Sony Pictures Classics















The selections were dominated by catalogue releases and only two new films made the Top 10. Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown were long overdue and replaced my import versions. Blue Velvet included almost an hour of lost footage. Perhaps the most beautiful of those I included were the Kieslowski selections. They deserved the Criterion treatment and I was thrilled to pick up all four on release day. 

My biggest wish for 2012 is to see a lot more Studio Ghibli releases on Blu-ray. I’m holding off on the imports for now, with the exception of Optimum’s Arrietty Collector’s Edition which will feature a British voice track not available on the eventual US Disney release. 

I would like to thank Criterion for another wonderful year and also mention Artificial Eye for offering such good Region B alternatives for many of the same titles. 

Here, in alphabetical order, are the other titles worthy of mention from those that I have seen this year: 

The Bicycle Thieves (UK import)
Blood Simple
Broadcast News
Certified Copy
Dumbo
The Killing 
The Lady Vanishes
Laputa: Castle in the Sky 
The Lion King
Memento (10th Anniversary Edition)
Taxi Driver 
The Tree of Life

Monday, September 26, 2011

Upcoming Blu-ray releases: September 26-30


US Blu-ray releases

September 27

Another Take on Catherine
Aspen: The Complete Mini-Series
Basket Case
Battling Butler / Go West
Ben-Hur
The Blood Trilogy
The Boondock Saints / Die Hard
Bride Wars / 27 Dresses
Carlos (Criterion Collection)
Chopin: Piano Concertos
Christmas Lights 2
Colditz: Escape of the Birdmen
Dead Cert
Dragon Crusaders
Europakonzert 2011 Madrid
Extract
Fall Classics at Fenway Park
Fever Pitch
A Fish Called Wanda
Footloose
Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris
The Gamera Trilogy
Good Neighbors
Groupie / Detention
Handel: Frideric Alcina
Haunting at the Beacon
Heathers
The Horror Within
The Hour
How to Make It in America
Hung: The Complete Second Season
Iggy and the Stooges: Raw Power Live – In the Hands of the Fans
Inside Out
Janacek: Jenufa
Jeff Dunham: Controlled Chaos
John Tucker Must Die
Just My Luck
The Ledge
Legally Blonde
Mahler: Symphony No. 2
Mahler: Symphony No. 8
The Man in the Iron Mask
Marley & Me / The Princess Bride
The Matrix Reloaded / Matrix Revolutions
Max Payne / Hitman
Mimic
Mr. Write
Mysteries of the Deep: The Best of Undersea Explorer – Coral Reefs and Undersea Adventures
Mysteries of the Deep: The Best of Undersea Explorer – Lost Ships
Mysteries of the Deep: The Best of Undersea Explorer – Unique Ocean Creatures
Never Been Kissed
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 & 3: Freddy’s Revenge / Dream Warriors
Ocean’s 12 / Ocean’s 13
The Phantom Carriage (Criterion Collection)
Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon – Immersion Edition
Puccini: Turandot
The Ray Harryhausen Double Feature – She / Things to Come
Schuman: Scenes from Goethe’s Faust
Sounds and Silence
Szymanowski: Symphonies No. 3 and No. 4
The Stool Pigeon
Tha Crib
Torso
Trigun: Badlands Rumble
Turnage: Anna Nicole
Verdi: Aida
Without Men
Yu Yu Hakusho: Season Three

September 29

Shostakovich: Symphonies of the Soviet History

September 30

100% Love
Transformers: Dark of the Moon


Canadian Blu-ray releases

September 27

Basket Case
Battling Butler / Go West
Ben-Hur
BKO: Bangkok Knockout
The Blood Trilogy
Bored to Death: Season Two
Clash of Empires
Dance Flick
Dead Cert
Dragon Crusaders
Eco Walk
Fall Classics at Fenway Park
Footloose
Frisson des Collines
Ghost Town
Grace for Drowning
Halloween
Handel: Frideric Alcina
Heathers
How to Make It in America
Hung: The Complete Second Season
I Am Legend / Omega Man
Iggy and the Stooges: Raw Power Live – In the Hands of the Fans
Inside Out
Janacek: Jenufa
Jeff Dunham: Controlled Chaos
The Ledge
Mahler: Symphony No. 2
Mahler: Symphony No. 8
The Matrix Reloaded / Matrix Revolutions
Mimic
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 & 3: Freddy’s Revenge / Dream Warriors
Nirvana: Live at the Paramount
Ocean’s 12 / Ocean’s 13
The Phantom Carriage (Criterion Collection)
Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon – Immersion Edition
Queen’s Blade 2: The Evil Eye
Schuman: Scenes from Goethe’s Faust
The Stool Pigeon
Szymanowski: Symphonies No. 3 and No. 4
Torso
Trigun: Badlands Rumble
True Legend
Turnage: Anna Nicole

September 30

Transformers: Dark of the Moon


UK Blu-ray releases

September 26

2001 Nights
Action Starter Pack
Airplane
Beethoven: The Complete Symphonies
Ben-Hur
Beverly Hills Cop
Bizet: Carmen
Bizet: Carmen 3D
Blitz
Blood Out
Bruckner: Symphony No. 7
Cannibal Holocaust
Cat o’ Nine Tails
Clear and Present Danger
Cold Mountain
Delibes: Coppelia
Erotibot
Europakonzert 2011 Madrid
Fringe: The Complete Third Season
Fringe: Seasons 1-3
Giordano: Andrea Chenier
Harakiri
Hawaii Five-O: Season 1
House M.D.: Season Seven
The Hunt for Red October
Kill the Irishman
The Killing: Season One
Latter Days
Le Mans 2011
Mahler: Symphony No. 2
Mahler: Symphony No. 8
Maneater
Mayr: Medea In Corinto
The Naked Gun
Nirvana: Live at the Paramount
Our Planet
Patriot Games
Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon – Immersion Edition
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Puccini: Tosca
Schubert: Complete Overtures
Shall We Dance?
Talbot / Wheeldon: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland Ballet
Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels
Thor
Thor 3D
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil
Various: Thielemann Conducts Faust
WWE: OMG! The Top 50 Incidents in WWE History

September 27

Grace for Drowning


Australian Blu-ray releases

September 28

Kill the Irishman
Rio
Rio 3D

September 29

All Good Things
Honey 2
Wrecked


French Blu-ray releases

September 26

Grace for Drowning
Nirvana: Live at the Paramount
Sounds and Silence
Talbot / Wheeldon: Alice's Adventures In Wonderland Ballet

September 27

2 Fast 2 Furious
The Big Lebowski
Biutiful
The Blues Brothers
Cry-Baby
Fast & Furious 4
The Fast and the Furious
The Fast and the Furious Steelbook
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Fast Five
Kill the Irishman
Le Sauvage
Sinking of Japan

September 28

Arrietty (Kari-gurashi no Arietti)
Laputa: Castle in the Sky
My Neighbors the Yamadas
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Yogi Bear

September 29

Berlioz: Les Troyens
Bertolt Brecht et Kurt Weill: Grandeur et decadence de la ville de mahogany – Fura dels baus
Dvorak: Rusalka
Puccini: Madama Butterfly
Various: Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra - The Salzburg Concerts

September 30

Akira

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Upcoming Blu-ray releases: September 16-22


US Blu-ray releases

September 16

LEGO Star Wars: The Padawan Menace
Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Star Wars: Original Trilogy
Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy

September 20

3D Safari Africa
Best of Europe: The British Isles
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Bride Flight
Bridesmaids
Casanova ‘70
ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2
Dead Heat
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
Disco Worms
Dumbo
Gary Moore: Live at Montreaux
Gettysburg
Hawaii Five-O: Season 1
Katanagatari: Volume 2 Premium Edition
The Kennedys
Lady Death
Le Beau Serge (Criterion Collection)
Les Cousins (Criterion Collection)
Mike & Molly: The Complete First Season
Modern Family: The Complete Second Season
National Geographic: Ultimate High Definition Collection Vol. 2
The Others
The Ray Harryhausen Double Feature: She / Things to Come
Scary Movie 2
Scary Movie 3.5
Scrooge
Set Up
Sophia Loren: Award Collection
Spooky Buddies
The Strange Case of Angelica
Supernatural: Seasons 1-6
The Sword with No Name
Tajomaru: Avenging Blade
UFC: Ultimate Matt Hughes
Vamp
Visions of Europe


Canadian Blu-ray releases

September 16

Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Star Wars: Original Trilogy
Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy

September 20

Arn: Knight Templar
Billy Connolly: Journey to the Edge
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Bridesmaids
Centurion
Chloe
ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
Cousins
Dead Heat
Dumbo
En Terrains Connus
Ernest Scared Stupid
Eyeborgs
Gary Moore: Live at Montreaux
Gettysburg
Going Postal
How to Make It in America: Season 1
Hung: The Complete Second Season
Interstella 5555
Killer Inside Me
Lady Death
Le Beau Serge (Criterion Collection)
Les Cousins (Criterion Collection)
Meek’s Cutoff
Mike & Molly: The Complete First Season
Modern Family: The Complete Second Season
Night of the Demons
The Notebook / The Time Traveler’s Wife Double Feature
The Others
Rounders
Scary Movie 2
Scary Movie 3.5
Secret of Moonacre
Setup
Sophia Loren: Award Collection
Spooky Buddies
Supernatural: Seasons 1-6
The Sword with No Name
Tajomaru: Avenging Blade
Trainspotting
UFC: Ultimate Matt Hughes
Valhalla Rising
Vamp
Visions of Europe
Y Tu Mama Tambien


UK Blu-ray releases

September 19

51
Arthur
Attack the Block
The Aviator
Being John Malkovich
Big Jake
Billy Elliot
Cedar Rapids
City Girl
City of God
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Constant Gardener
The Complete Humphrey Jennings
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Emma
The English Patient
Firefly: The Complete Series (Amazon Exclusive)
Gary Moore: Live at Montreux
Glee: The Complete Second Season
Good Will Hunting
The Green Hornet 3D
Hero
How to Make It in America
Ice Road Truckers: Deadliest Roads Season 1
Interstella 5555
Jat and Silent Bob Strike Back
Johnny English
More
Nikita: Season 1
The Others
The Persuaders
Prison Break: The Complete Seasons Box Set
The Quiet American
Rambo: The Complete Collection
Retro-Action! Vol. 1
Retro-Action! Vol. 2
Retro-Action! Vol. 3
Rio Lobo
Rounders
The Soviet Influence: From Turksib to Nightmail
Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series
Stieg Larsson: The Girl… Trilogy – Extended Version
Superbad
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Tomorrow When the War Began
A Turtle’s Tale: Sammy’s Adventures
The Twilight Zone: Season 4
United 93
Unknown
Weekender
WWE: Greatest Superstars of the 21st Century


Australian Blu-ray releases

September 21

Hesher
Modern Family: The Complete Second Season
Snowtown
Something Borrowed
Take Me Home Tonight

September 22

Blitz


French Blu-ray releases

September 18

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

September 19

Interstella 5555

September 20

Blood Out
Essential Killing
Gary Moore: Live at Montreaux
Voir la Mer

September 21

Besouro
Bleach: Fade to Black
Fabrice Éboué - Faites entrer Fabrice Éboué
First Squad
I Spit on Your Grave
La conquête
Le gamin au vélo
The Living and the Dead
Pina 3D
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 3D
The Roommate

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Upcoming Blu-ray releases: September 9-15


US Blu-ray releases

September 9

X-Men: First Class
X-Men: First Class (Target Exclusive)

September 12

Lucid Dream

September 13

3 Women (Criterion Collection)
The 10th Victim
17 Miracles
35 and Ticking
The Amityville Horror
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season
Boggy Creek: The Legend is True
Brand New Day
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Camelot
Child’s Play
Circus Maximus
Citizen Kane Ultimate Collector’s Edition
Citizen Kane Ultimate Collector’s Edition (Amazon Exclusive)
Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop
The Count of Monte Cristo
Death of the Virgin
Don’t Say a Word
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Six
The Exterminator
The Frighteners
Ghost Hunters: Season 6, Part 1
Glee: The Complete Second Season
The Hagstone Demon
Halloween II
Haunting at the Beacon
The Haunting of Molly Hartley
Hesher
Hide and Seek
The Hills Have Eyes
The Hills Have Eyes Collection
The Horror Within
Incendies
Inspector Lewis: Series 4
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 6
Kalifornia
K-On! Vol. 3
Lake Placid 2
The Last House on the Left
The Legend of Diablo
Le Quattro Volte
Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West
Lourdes
Love Wedding Marriage
Manhunter
Meek’s Cutoff
Misery
Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro
Mr. Write
My Life as a Dog (Criterion Collection)
Nostalgia for the Light
O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Phobic
Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Pretenders: Loose in L.A.
Procol Harum: Live at the Union Chapel
Queen’s Blade 2: The Evil Eye
Reach for Me
The Return of the Living Dead
Robocop 2
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Sanctuary: The Complete Third Season
Sounds and Silence
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
Supernatural: The Complete Sixth Season
Tha Crib
The Tempest
Thor
Thor (Best Buy Exclusive)
Thor 3D
Trainspotting
True Legend
The Twelve Kingdoms, Part 1: Shadow of the Moon, The Sea of Shadow
X-Cross
Yes: Symphonic Live


Canadian Blu-ray releases

September 9

X-Men: First Class

September 13

The 10th Victim
13 Assassins
35 and Ticking
Adoration
The Amityville Horror
Bachman and Turner: Live at the Roseland
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fourth Season
The Black Blood Brothers: The Complete Series
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Burst Angel Box Set
Child’s Play
Citizen Kane Ultimate Collector’s Edition
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dawning
Don’t Say a Word
Dragon Ball Z Kai: Part Six
Elektra
The Exterminator
The Frighteners
Fringe: Season 1-3
Glee: The Complete Second Season
Halloween II
Hannibal
The Hills Have Eyes
The Hills Have Eyes (2 Pack)
The Hills Have Eyes 2
The Horror Within
Incendies
Inspector Lewis: Series 4
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 6
Kalifornia
Lake Placid 2
The Last House on the Left
The Legend of Diablo
Manhunter
Mr. Write
My Life as a Dog
O Brother, Where Art Thou
Phobic
Poltergeist II: The Other Side
Pretenders: Loose in L.A.
Procol Harum: Live at the Union Chapel
The Return of the Living Dead
Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky
Robocop 2
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Sanctuary: The Complete Third Season
Sounds and Silence
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
Supernatural: The Complete Sixth Season
Take Me Home Tonight
Thor
Thor 3D
Three Women
Yes: Symphonic Live


UK Blu-ray releases

September 12

Ashes and Diamonds
The Aviator
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
City of God
Doubt
Emma
The English Patient
Gone Baby Gone
Good Will Hunting
Heavenly Creatures
Hero
How I Ended This Summer
Incendies
Insidious
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back
Julia’s Eyes
Kevin Smith 3-Movie Collection
Latter Days
Michael Flatley Returns as Lord of the Dance
Mr. Nobody
The Others
Pirates of the Caribbean 1-4 Box Set
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 3D
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides MHV Steelbook
Point Break
Pretenders: Loose in L.A.
Procol Harum: Live at the Union Chapel
The Quiet American
The Roommate
Rounders
The Social Network
Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Star Wars: Original Trilogy
Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy
Sunrise
The Talented Mr. Ripley
There Will Be Blood
True Grit
The Universe: The Mega Collection
Vidal Sassoon: The Movie
Yes: Symphonic Live


Australian Blu-ray releases

September 14

Bedevilled
Boogie 3D
Insidious
K-On! Vol. 2
Mars Needs Moms
Source Code
Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy
Star Wars: Original Trilogy
Thirteen

September 15

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil 3D


French Blu-ray releases

September 12

Priest Steelbook
Priest / Legion

September 13

Bathory
Don’t Let Him In
Nurse Jackie: Season 2
Pretenders: Loose in L.A.
Procol Harum: Live at the Union Chapel
The Rainbow Tribe
Stone
Wrecked
Yes: Symphonic Live

September 14

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Dexter: The Fifth Season
The Legend of Bruce Lee
Le Beau Serge
Les Cousins
Sex and Death 101
Source Code
Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Star Wars: Original Trilogy
Star Wars: Prequel Trilogy
Turn the River

September 15

Schumann: Scènes Du Faust De Goethe
Szymanowski: Symphonies N°3 Et N°4

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Upcoming Blu-ray releases: September 5-8




US Blu-ray releases

September 6

40 Days and 40 Nights
America: Live in Chicago
Big Momma’s House
Big Momma’s House 2
Black Blood Brothers: The Complete Series
Burst Angel: The Complete Collection and OVA
The Caine Mutiny
Children of the Corn
Clash of Empires
Dressed to Kill
The Entitled
Everything Must Go
Fringe: The Complete Third Season
Genevieve
Glad Christmas Tidings
Hanna
Hellbound: Hellraiser II
Hellraiser
The Hills Have Eyes
A Horrible Way to Die
Last Night
The Office: Season Seven
REO Speedwagon: Live in the Heartland
Scarface (Limited Edition with Humidor)
Scarface (Steelbook)
Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur
Scream Trilogy
Straw Dogs
Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels
United 93
WWE Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator


Canadian Blu-ray releases

September 6

America: Live in Chicago
Battle for Marjah
Big Momma’s House
Big Momma’s House 2
Children of the Corn
Disco Worms
Dressed to Kill
Emerson, Lake and Palmer 2010: 40th Anniversary
Everything Must Go
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec
Fringe: Season 3
Grand Canyon Serenade
Hanna
Hellraiser
Hellbound: Hellraiser II
A Horrible Way to Die
The Killer / Hard Boiled
Little Big Soldier
The Office: Season Seven
REO Speedwagon: Live in the Heartland
Scarface
Scarface (Limited Edition with Humidor)
Scooby-Doo! Legend of the Phantosaur
Straw Dogs
Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels
United 93
The Vampire Diaries: Seasons 1-2 Complete
Wrecked
WWE Randy Orton: The Evolution of a Predator


UK Blu-ray releases

September 5

13 Assassins
Boyz n the Hood
Cobra
Das Boot
Demolition Man
Dexter: The Fifth Season
Fast Five
Fast Five (Steelbook)
Fast and Furious 1-5 Collection
Fast and Furious 1-5 Collection (Limited Collector’s Edition)
Fortress of War
Kind Hearts and Coronets
The Last Airbender
A Little Bit of Heaven
Modern Family: The Complete First Season
Modern Family: The Complete Second Season
Modern Family: Season 1-2
Once Upon a Time in the West
Priest
Priest (HMV Exclusive Steelbook)
Priest 3D
Puccini: Turandot
Scarface
Scarface (Limited Edition with Humidor)
Scarface (Steelbook)
Shaolin
Take Me Home Tonight
TT On-Bike Experience
The Ultimate Gangsters Box Set
The Veteran
Water for Elephants
Xam’d: Lost Memories – Collection 2


Australian Blu-ray releases

September 7

Cedar Rapids
Country Strong
Drive Angry
Drive Angry 3D
The Roommate

September 8

Inhale
Your Highness


French Blu-ray releases

September 5

Scarface (Limited Edition Collector’s Pack)
Scarface (Steelbook)

September 6

Forever Strong
Mon père est femme de ménage
The Rules of the Game
Tenderness
Tunnel Rats

September 7

Boyz n the Hood
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 3D
Country Strong
Eden of the East: The King of Eden / Eden of the East: Paradise Lost
Et soudain, tout le monde me manqué
Fire of Conscience
Hall Pass
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 3D
La Croisière
The Man from Nowhere
Sexy Devil
South Park: The Complete Fourteenth Season
Street Kings / Street Kings 2
Street Kings 2: Motor City
Water for Elephants
WWE Wrestlemania XXVII

September 8

The Eagle
Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece / Tintin and the Blue Oranges
Various: Achucarro & Rattle - Nights in the Gardens of Spain

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Upcoming Blu-ray releases: August 28 - September 1



US Blu-ray releases

August 30

The 5th Quarter
The 10th Victim
All About Eve
Angie
The Ant Bully
Batman
Bereavement
BKO: Bangkok Knockout
Blood Simple
Boys
The Brave One
Carmen
The Cemetery Club
Children of the Corn: Genesis

The Coen Brothers Collection:
Blood Simple / Miller’s Crossing / Raising Arizona / Fargo

The Complete Jean Vigo (Criterion Collection):
À propos de Nice / Taris / Zéro de conduite / L’Atalante

Counting Crows: August and Everything After
Crossing the Bridge
Daniel Tosh: Completely Serious
Deadgirl
Final Destination 2
Final Destination 3
Forks Over Knives
Fracture
Funny Bones
Gantz
The Gauntlet
Good Will Hunting
Heartbreak Hotel
House: Season Seven
If…. (Criterion Collection)
In a Better World
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Latter Days
Madea’s Big Happy Family
Maillot, Jean-Christophe: Le Songe
The Mummy Trilogy
Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D
Nikita: The Complete First Season
Ocean’s Twelve
Orpheus (Criterion Collection)
The Perfect Host
Point of No Return
Prom
Radley Metzger’s Erotica Psychedelia
Raising Arizona
Rio 3D
Rumor Has It…
Rush Hour 3
Semi-Pro
Set It Off
Shoot ‘Em Up
Shrek
Shrek 2
Shrek the Third
Skateland
Sons of Anarchy: Season Three
Spice and Wolf: Season One
Spice and Wolf: Season Two
Strike
Swordfish
Tango & Cash
Top Gun
Torso
Tributes - Pulse
The Twilight Zone: Season 5
UFC: Bad Blood
Under Siege
The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Second Season
Various: Eastern Voices
Various: Salzburg Festival Opening Concert
We Are Marshall
The Wild Bunch
Wonders of the Universe
Wrecked
The Wrong Guy


Canadian Blu-ray releases

August 29

Counting Crows: August and Everything After

August 30

The 5th Quarter
Alien
All About Eve
Alvin and the Chipmunks
An Affair To Remember
Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend
Bereavement
Best of Travel: South Africa
The Big Bang
Blood Simple
The Borgias
Bulletproof Monk

The Coen Brothers Collection:
Blood Simple / Miller’s Crossing / Raising Arizona / Fargo

The Complete Jean Vigo (Criterion Collection):
À propos de Nice / Taris / Zéro de conduite / L’Atalante

The Conspirator
Daniel Tosh: Completely Serious
The Devil Wears Prada
Eden of the East: Paradise Lost
Edward Scissorhands
Ernest Goes to Jail
Gantz
Holy Matrimony
House: Season Seven
Ice Age
If….
In a Better World
Last Dance
Madea’s Big Happy Family
Miami Rhapsody
Miller’s Crossing
Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
Night at the Museum
The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D
Nikita: The Complete First Season
Orpheus
Perfect Host
Play It to the Bone
Prom
Radley Metzger’s Erotica Psychedelia
Raising Arizona
Ring of Fire
Scenes From a Mall
Shrek
Shrek 2
Shrek the Third
Sons of Anarchy: Season Three
Spice and Wolf: Season One
Spice and Wolf: Season Two
Strike
The Tie That Binds
Top Gun
Tributes - Pulse
Tropical Rainforest
The Twilight Zone: Season 5
UFC Bad Blood: Liddell vs. Ortiz
Ultimate Jordan
The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Second Season
Various: Eastern Voices
Various: Salzburg Festival Opening Concert
The War at Home
The Ward
X-Cross


UK Blu-ray releases

August 29

Beastly
Counting Crows: August and Everything After
Dark Star
Dylan Dog: Dead of Night
Europe: Live at Shepherd’s Bush, London
Farewell
The Founding of a Republic
Hanna
Hanna (Steelbook)
Hatchet II
High School of the Dead
Hop
Miller’s Crossing
The Other Woman
Outside the Law
Something Borrowed
Wrecked

August 30

Chopin: Piano Concertos
Handel: Alcina
Maillot, Jean-Christophe: Le Songe
Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf
Schumann: Scènes Du Faust De Goethe
Szymanowski: Symphonies No. 3 Et No. 4
Tributes - Pulse
Various: Eastern Voices
Various: Salzburg Festival Opening Concert
Verdi: Les Vepres Siciliennes


Australian Blu-ray releases

August 28

Hybrid 3D

August 31

Battle: Los Angeles
The Blues Brothers
Blues Brothers 2000
The Curse of the Golden Flower
Johnny English
The Leopard
Scarface
Spartacus: Gods of the Arena
Stargate Atlantis: The Complete Series 1-5

September 1

Barb Wire
Billy Elliot
Born on the Fourth of July
Candyman
The Faculty
Freddy vs. Jason
The Ladykillers
Middle Men


French Blu-ray releases

August 27

Beethoven / Mendelssohn: Violin Concertos
Ravel: Bolero
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons, Concertos for Double Orchestra

August 29

Puccini: Turandot
Verdi: Aida

August 30

Counting Crows: August and Everything After
Harry Brown

August 31

AC/DC: Let There Be Rock
Scream 4

September 1

5 Days of War
Mogadiscio
Toi, moi, les autres

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Upcoming Blu-ray releases: August 20-24



US Blu-ray releases

August 23

Bambi II
The Beaver
Blitz
Burial Ground
Eden of the East: Paradise Lost
Emerson, Lake & Palmer: 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Henry’s Crime
Hostage
Little Big Soldier
My Dog Tulip
Poetry
Road to Nowhere
Rounders
Samurai Girls: Complete Collection
Secret Sunshine (Criterion Collection)
Super Hybrid
Swingers
Sympathy for Delicious
Tom and Jerry & The Wizard of Oz
Trollhunter
Win Win
The Women in Cages Collection
WWE: OMG! The Top 50 Incidents in WWE History
X-Cross


Canadian Blu-ray releases

August 23

Accidents Happen 
Across the Hall
Amy Winehouse: I Told You I Was Trouble – Live in London
Bambi II
The Beaver
Beneath Hill 60
Bikini Girls on Ice
Blitz
Don McKay
Franklyn
Freeway Killer
Good Will Hunting
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Hairspray
Henry’s Crime
Knut & Friends
Lucky Number Slevin
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation
Samurai Girls: Complete Collection
Sex and the City: The Movie
Shoot ‘Em Up
Super Hybrid
Swingers
Tactical Force
Tom and Jerry & The Wizard of Oz
Trollhunter
The Wedding Singer
Win Win
The Women in Cages Collection
WWE: OMG! The Top 50 Incidents in WWE History


UK Blu-ray releases

August 22

Before the Revolution
The Big Lebowski
The Blues Brothers
Blues Brothers 2000
Brotherhood of the Wolf
Dolphins
Final Destination 2
Final Destination 3
Final Destination Quadrilogy
Fun at St. Fanny’s / You Lucky People
The Hour
Little White Lies
The Living Sea
Our Day Will Come
Red Riding Hood
The Revelation of the Pyramids
Scream 4
Supernatural: The Complete First Season
Supernatural: The Complete Second Season
Tomorrow When the War Began
The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Second Season
The Vampire Diaries: Seasons 1-2 Complete


 
Australian Blu-ray releases

August 23

The Lost Bladesman

August 24

Arthur
Fast & Furious 5
Fast & Furious: The Complete Collection
Sons of Anarchy: Season One


French Blu-ray releases

August 20

Stanley Kubrick Collection

August 22

Donizetti: Don Pasquale
Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier

August 23

Clash of Empires
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Devil
Ice Twisters
Ma part du gateau
Sea Monsters 3D
Venus & Vegas
The World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries

August 24

Bleach Film 2: The Diamond Dust Rebellion
Bonobos
Conviction
Fargo
Final Destination 4
The Final Destination Tetralogie
Janacek: Jenufa
Les femmes du 6ème étage
The Lion King
The Lion King 3D
The Lion King Trilogy
Miller’s Crossing
Morning Glory
Mussgorsky: Boris Godunov
Naruto Shippuden: The Lost Tower
Once Upon a Time in America
One Piece
Raising Arizona
Red Riding Hood
Turnage: Anna Nicole

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Big Lebowski: Classic slightly disappoints on Blu-ray

The Big Lebowski (Comedy, Crime)
Directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi

Universal Studios | 1998 | 119 min | Rated R | Released Aug 16, 2011

Video:
Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: DTS 5.1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
French: DTS 5.1 (less)

Subtitles:
English SDH, French, Spanish
English SDH, French, Spanish (less)

Disc:
Single 50GB Blu-ray Disc
Digital Copy
BD-Live

The Film 4/5

The Big Lebowski is essentially about mistaken identity if you care about the plot. Jeffrey Lebowski is known to his friends as The Dude (Bridges) and a gang of criminals pay him a visit thinking that he’s another Lebowski who happens to be a millionaire. After they urinate on his rug, he seeks out the millionaire to claim compensation.

The millionaire’s wife goes missing and the gang asks for a million dollars in ransom. The Dude is chosen as the courier.

That’s about it. The plot is incidental; this is a movie about a way of life.

The Dude hangs out with two of his bowling buddies, Walter (Goodman) and Donny (Buscemi). Walter is a Vietnam veteran who has anger management issues; Donny hardly says a word and is told to shut up every time he tries to make a comment.


The Dude is a mellow kind of a guy. He shops in his robe, gets high, and talks like he's permanently stoned. Walter is a mystery to him because he is so easily annoyed. When a competing team puts a toe over the line during a bowling game, Walter pulls out a gun and insists that it is marked down as a zero. It’s a league game after all.


The movie doesn’t take itself too seriously and can be classed as a comedy more than anything, but the style of comedy may be different to the type you are used to. Many of the jokes are clever and subtle, and it’s rare for the humor to be aimed too low.

Watching The Big Lebowski is an experience. You’re never quite sure what it is or where it is going. The plot elements aren’t very important, but everything adds up and provides a reason for the characters to do what they do. It’s the sort of movie where nothing happens, but you find yourself thinking about it days later.


Fargo and No Country for Old Men are exceptional movies from the Coen Brothers, but many fans would argue that The Big Lebowski is better. I’m not among them, but it amuses me and I’m glad to finally own it on Blu-ray.

Video Quality 3.5/5
Although the Blu-ray is a vast upgrade over the DVD, I’m a little disappointed with the overall look. Colors are much improved and everything looks brighter and cleaner, but the VC-1 presentation could have been better. Fine detail is present in a few scenes, but is lacking for the most part. Faces in particular seem badly defined. It just about earns a passing grade, but don’t expect to be dazzled.

Audio Quality 4.5/5
The English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track sounds great. The songs carry a lot more weight than in previous releases. Dialogue is clear throughout and the predominantly front-heavy mix blends well with the action. No complaints about the sound.

Special Features 4/5

Worthy Adversaries: What's My Line Trivia – A game for one or two players in which you have to supply missing dialogue from The Dude and Walter.

An Exclusive Introduction (4:40, SD)

The Dude’s Life (10:08, HD)

The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later (10:26, HD)

Making of The Big Lebowski (24:35, SD)

The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story (13:53, SD)

Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude (4:20, HD)

Interactive Map

Jeff Bridges Photo Book (17:30, HD) – Bridges took shots while filming and explains them here.

Photo Gallery (3:25, SD)

U-Control: Three features with PiP, text and a profanity counter.
Scene Companion
The Music of The Big Lebowski
Mark It, Dude

28-page digibook

The Big Lebowski is a typically quirky effort from the Coen Brothers. While not their very best work, it deserves a place in your collection. Bridges and Goodman excel in their roles and hold the whole thing together. The Blu-ray presentation enhances the experience, but not quite as much as I had hoped. The packaging is good and there’s plenty of behind the scenes information if The Big Lebowski is your kind of film.