Afternoon, folks. Sorry for the lack of an update yesterday. I’ve been working on some little tweaks and bug fixes on the new site design here. Still, Dr. Jahnke’s Oktoberfest review for yesterday went live as expected - Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator on Blu-ray from Image - while his review for today is none other than Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse now on Blu from our friends at Shout! Factory via their Scream Factory line. Enjoy!
A number of you have asked if we’re going to be posting reviews of E.T., Prometheus and the Bond 50 box set, and the answer is definitely yes! E.T. will be up early next week and I’m hard at work on Bond right now. I’m only a couple films into the Bond set given my recent travels, but I’ll tell you it’s pretty terrific. How nice it is to finally have all the films in a single box set... and in high-definition too! More on Bond hopefully next week, but I would say that if you’re a fan don’t hesitate to pick yourself up a copy. The BD upgrade is worth the money.
As for Prometheus - now THAT is a more complicated subject. I’m definitely working on a review and frankly I can’t wait to A) watch our friend Charlie de Lauzirika’s in-depth documentary on the set and B) listen to the audio commentary tracks on the film. I just wish I liked the film more than I do. I actually watched it for a second time yesterday and unfortunately it did nothing to improve my feelings that this film tried to be both an Alien prequel and a completely original sci-fi story at the same time and failed at both. A few of my friends who liked the film tell me “Yeah, but you must have missed all the amazing symbolism and metaphor...” and “But there’s all this other great backstory going on... all these great high-concept ideas...” Sadly no. I got all of it. I understand the implications of "2,000 years ago" and the murals changing when the humans walked in. I mean, come on... they named both the ship and the film ‘Prometheus’. They weren’t exactly subtle. But the script is just full of holes - not so much the backstory or larger concept but I’m talking about stupid characters doing really stupid things on a trillion dollar space mission. I simply wish that director Ridley Scott had focused on making a great Alien prequel OR making a great and completely original sci-fi film - just not both at the same time. Because the film that resulted is a gorgeous looking mess in my opinion. And I think a lot of people are giving the film a bit of a pass because it's "Ridley's big return to the genre", etc. Anyway, if you loved the film... more power to you. I just wish I had. More in my review of the Blu-ray again hopefully next week.
By the way, I’m still working on answering all those e-mails you guys have sent in. Just so you know!
In announcement news today, Universal has set Cape Fear (1962), Fear and The Bone Collector for Blu-ray Disc release on 1/8/2013.
Okay... regarding the Best Buy-exclusive Bond movie BD singles - On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice and The Spy Who Loved Me - we’re hearing from sources that they’ve been delayed from release in Best Buy stores until 10/23. This despite the fact that one or two readers HAVE reported finding them in their local stores. We’re not sure what the confusion at Best Buy is, though it might be due to product supply issues. In any case, it looks like they’re still coming. And Walmart and Target stores do seem to have their own Bond BD exclusives out on store shelves.
Speaking of Best Buy-exclusive Blu-rays, many readers are reporting that the retailer does now have an exclusive 7-film Nightmare on Elm Street Blu-ray box set available for around $45. Do check it out if you’re a fan of the series.
And while we’re talking Target exclusives, they apparently have a Blu-ray Book edition of The Dark Knight Rises coming on 12/4 for $31.99. Thanks to Bits reader Steve for the heads-up.
Is anyone else frustrated by all these retailer exclusives? It’s not that some of them aren’t cool and desirable, it’s that allowing titles to be exclusive to a particular retailer or chain makes it harder for customers to track them down - particularly when the chain in question has no locations near you. From our standpoint, they’re also frustrating because the studios typically refuse to provide information about the exclusives, instead allowing the retailers to take the lead on disseminating information about them. And outside of appearances in their Sunday circular ads, the retailers are all uniformly bad about making them known to fans. Ah well.
A quick note: Ben Affleck’s Argo arrives in theatres this weekend and early word is it’s pretty terrific. Be sure to check it out.
Finally today, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of former Detroit Lions lineman and actor Alex Karras. TV fans will remember him as George Papadapolis on Webster, thought I’ll always recall him fondly for his appearance as Mongo in Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles. "Mongo only pawn in game of life." So are we all, Mongo. Karras was 77.
Here's a look at the Blu-ray cover art for Warner's A Star is Born (2/5/2013) and Grand Hotel (1/8/2013), and Universal's Ted (12/11)...
Have a great weekend and stay tuned.
- Bill Hunt