We’re all friends here, right? I think that we can be honest with each other. And honestly, it has been a rough month for the Blu-ray Report. In fact, it’s been more of an absent month for the Blu-ray Report as I have been trekking across the country moving the FSR International Headquarters from Ohio to Austin, Texas. But that is no excuse, friends. You need your weekly dose of Blu-ray brilliance, your weekly fix of advice on home entertainment’s platinum format. And I’ve failed you. But I shall do so no longer, as the Blu-ray Report is back in business this week… And coincidentally, we’ve got a long list of releases that are, er, just okay. (Programming Note: Click any of the titles below to check out that title on Amazon.com)
Creme of the Crop:
This week’s best of the best in Blu-ray…
Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder
Through the wonders of Blu-ray releases, I am quickly becoming a fan of Futurama. And while many of you may bemoan the fact that I’ve not been watching this show since it hit the airwaves in 1999, I am impervious — I just never got into it. But now, thanks to their straight to DVD movies of the past few years, I’m getting hoooked. Into the Wild Green Yonder is yet another solid release, packed with much of the same Groening-esque satire that fans have come to love, as well has a few really solid special features. Here’s the important part: the Blu-ray includes a video commentary track (picture-in-picture) with Matt Groening and other member’s of the show’s creative team. Beyond that are a series of featurettes, including an awesome “How to Draw Futurama in 10 Very Difficult Steps” feature, that are also shared by the release’s DVD companion. To be blunt, this is a very, very solid Blu-ray release, especially for any fan of Futurama (new or old). The animation looks beautiful on 1080p, the special features are interesting and fun and the movie delivers the laughs. What more do you really need out of something like this, people?
I was unfortunately unable to review this particular title, but I know it is one that will make a lot of you excited. As well it should, as Akira is a very beloved animated flick from 1988. As Brian Gibson said in his DVDs I Bought This Week column, this is once again a must-own.
Back in my days as a home theater obsessed retail employee, I used to win over customers with the use of a solid surround sound system and the engrossing surround mix of the Super Speedway DVD. Released in 1997 and featuring the late Paul Newman’s narration, Super Speedway is the ultimate reference DVD for anyone who thinks that they have a serious home entertainment system. Want to throw something on that will blow the toupees off your middle-aged friends and have your neighbor’s phoning the local constabulary? Yeah, this will work just fine.
I laughed my ass off. There, I said it. A rental at worst, Sex Drive was one of the most surprisingly funny and deliciously inappropriate movies of last year. It was also one of the most underrated comedies, featuring a stellar performance from Clark Duke. This is the kind of flick that will make you forget about all of the terrible teen comedies that are released on a yearly basis. We were not provided with a copy of this to review, so its hard to make a strong statement of quality beyond that. But I would recommend giving this one a rent, either way.
The French Connection & The French Connection II
Yet another title that I was disappointed about not having the opportunity to review it advance — and another title that I will be picking up on my own dime. Damn you, Gene Hackman — my love for your work is costing me money, again.
The Rest of the Pack:
And now onto the selection of Blu-ray that just isn’t making it into my collection, nor should it be part of yours…
What Just Happened – Robert De Niro plays a Hollywood producer trying to hold his life (and comedic beats) together. Not a bad movie, just not anything that you should be running out to buy.
The Haunting of Molly Hartley – Kevin Carr said back in October that this movie is for “teenage girls who love Chase Crawford.” Deductive reasoning says that this Blu-ray is only for “teenage girls who love Chase Crawford, in HD.”
Hounddog – Dakota Fanning gets raped in HD. The controversial film that time forgot. Not intruiging.