Blu-ray Spotlight

Blu-ray SpotlightYou’re not the average movie fan. You are the type who is up on technology, pushing the limits of your home theater (and your wallet) with the latest advancements in an attempt to achieve nerdvana in your living room. And the Blu-ray format is your weapon of choice. Come along on a magical journey with FSR Editor Neil Miller as he explores the best, worst and otherwise notable releases in the world of Blu-ray.

Updates Every: So Often


Another seven days of movie watching, another week of Blu-ray releases to be dissected. As we move through the back-end of awards season, it’s going to be time for all of those hot Oscar hopefuls to make their play toward cashing in on all the buzz. The benefit to you is that you’ll get to see or own most of them very soon, and you don’t even have to leave your couch. This week brings us Animal Kingdom, the still under-the-radar crime thriller from down under. It also sees the streak of Criterion continue, with two more of their films ending up in my Buy section. I’m not pandering, I promise. They are just really good at releasing films on Blu-ray. It’s almost unfair to everyone else. Except for those of us who buy their stuff, of course. All this and more is just one click away in the latest entry of This Week in Blu-ray.



In this edition of This Week in Blu-ray, we’re going travelin’. We will take a trip to Mars, where a resourceful astronaut has been stranded and must breath with the aid of yellow rocks. We will head out west, where the story for Avatar was birthed by Kevin Costner. We will head back in time, when things were simple and Facebook didn’t rule our lives. And we will travel to a miscellaneous Spring Break destination, where a bunch of agitated pre-historic Characiformes are waiting to take a bite out of our favorite porn stars’ silicon implants. And Jerry O’Connell’s junk. Of course this will all make sense, as long as you hit ‘read more’ below and check out this week’s Blu-ray slate.



Welcome to the first edition of This Week in Blu-ray for 2011. Want to know what my New Year’s Resolution was? 52 consecutive Tuesdays with Blu-ray advising for my adoring fans. Needless to say, we’re off to a good start. That is if we consider timing and completion to be the pinnacle of success with this column. This week’s releases won’t exactly blow you away, as we’ve got some very middling movies to talk about (I’m looking at you, Dinner for Schmucks, Catfish and Machete). However, there are some winners in one back-breaking horror film and a back-catalog release that will likely cause a backdraft of fireballs aimed right at your pocketbook. Does anyone else see a theme here? And why does my back hurt all of the sudden? Quick, you read the column while I go stretch.



Now that Christmas is over, those of you who partake in the getting of gifts from relatively clueless relatives may have emerged victorious with gift cards to delightfully under-stocked retail stores. What will you do with said gift cards? Will you buy something to put into that shiny new Blu-ray player you also received from Santa (I know you still believe!)?  Unfortunately for many of you, this week’s round of Blu-ray releases isn’t quite as fruitful as one would hope for the week after the big holiday. But I’m sure if you come along with me on a little journey, you might find something worthy of your time and magnetically-striped money.



It’s time to draw in a big yawn and look over this week’s slate of releases. If you’re the type who heads down to your local Blockbuster (assuming you still have one) and loads up on rentals for the weekend, you might have yourself a good time — plenty of movies worth that once-over this week. But luckily, and somehow inexplicably, the week of Christmas brings us very little to spend quality dollars on. The best recommendation I could muster relates directly to the world of Family Guy, and my track record should show that I’ve never been a fan. It’s no South Park, but it did get the nod of approval from George Lucas to make fun of that really famous space opera. That has to count for something, right? That’s how we’re rolling This Week in Blu-ray…



Thanks to the calendar-makers over at Warner Bros., I’m pulling double Blu-ray reviewing duty this week. You’ve already seen my rundown of Tuesday’s releases in the regular column, but did you know that two more worthwhile Blu-rays hit shelves on Friday? Yeah, I hate it when they do that, too. And normally I wouldn’t give two shakes at a pair of Friday releases. Then again, normally we aren’t talking about two movies I would definitely have in my collection, if I were you.



Trash-pickers who take down major weapons dealers, animated villains looking to steal the moon, an angry one-eyed John Wayne and a team of tough guys who specialize in the ridiculous. This Week in Blu-ray is going to be a busy one. Then again, isn’t it always sort of busy for this column? With more and more classics being brought to the most modern format and a slew of pre-holiday releases hitting shelves, the war being waged against your pocketbook has never been more intense. Lucky for you that I’m here to help. I may not be a man with grit that’s true (and thus have never had a song sung about me by Glen Campbell), but I do have some knowledge about all things Blu-ray. I also have DVD reviewer extraordinaire Rob Hunter swooping in to help out. Now onward with this week’s release slate.



As we gather for our first post-Black Friday, post-Cyber Monday, post-Turkducken day edition of This Week in Blu-ray, it isn’t very hard to see that most studios decided to take a bye week. Universal saw fit to release two Ben Stiller comedies, and not very well. Disney is bringing Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel to the party, as willy wizards surrounded by some of the more interesting effects work we’ve seen all year. They also took time to bring a truly beautiful animated musical (or two) to Blu-ray for the first time. Also, Rob Hunter stops by to recommend a movie with “kill” in the title, which is never a bad thing. All things considered, it may not be the most robust week of Blu-ray releases, but there are certainly some interesting twists and turns.



Back in the saddle again here on This Week in Blu-ray. I don’t want to jinx anything, but I will say that I’ve been on-time (read: published sometime during the week) for several weeks now. Pretty soon Rob Hunter will stop snickering every time he writes “Neil Miller’s hilariously titled This Week in Blu-ray” in his well-read column, This Week in DVD. But until then, I press on with a passion for that which can only be enjoyed in 1080 lines of resolution. This week we explore the past with several very old men, the likes of Fritz Lang and Sylvester Stallone. We also get to enjoy a light week that should have you (and your pocketbook) well rested for the upcoming holiday weekend. Apparently people shop like crazy on Friday, but I’ll believe it when I see it. For Tuesday, I will spare you the erroneous purchases so that you might sniff out the best Blu-ray deals Black Friday has to offer…



Re-releases are a tough business, I tell you. And this week is full of them. Be they the re-lighting of the old flame that still burns from Chaplin’s last trip as the Little Tramp or James Cameron’s twice released (this year) mega-event movie Avatar, This Week in Blu-ray is full of stuff that we’ve seen before, in various capacities. That doesn’t mean that some of these titles aren’t worth buying, as you might expect. A few of these titles will be welcomed additions to your collection. They may also have you cursing the names of faceless Fox executives who duped you into buying Avatar the first time around. Or Blu-ray column writers who recommended it, despite the obvious lack of special features… Actually, lets not focus on that last part. Why don’t we just move on to this week’s selection of high definition wonders.



This Week in Blu-ray, we give ample time to the Brits. God save the Queen, and all that. It’s unavoidable though, as both Doctor Who and a completely (and gloriously) reborn Sherlock Holmes come crashing in with sets that will have you using deductive reasoning to substitute buying Blu-rays for buying food for the next seven days. We also spend time with a favorite Brit filmmaker, Edgar Wright, as he brings Scott Pilgrim to the format of champions in a way that makes us feel complete. And it’s nice to feel complete. Unless, of course, you’re feeling completely surrounded by former comedic talents in an Adam Sandler-led movie about man-children. Then perhaps complete isn’t healthy. In the end, it’s another fun week of flicks and picks, all coming to you in glorious high definition…


Also on Blu-ray this week

Last week, I picked perhaps the worst week of the year to take a break from This Week in Blu-ray. As you will see in this week’s entry, two or three of the most impressive releases of the year hit store shelves. And it’s likely that they – the likes of Alien, Back to the Future and Hausu – have already made their way into your collection. I will be talking about them anyway, dear reader. For those of you who need a little extra nudge, here it comes. I also have plenty to say about this week’s releases, including a few deliciously crafted releases for some legitimate cinematic classics. Julie Andrews sings, Dick Van Dyke flies through the air and Bing Crosby tap-dances with Danny “F**kin’” Kaye as our weekly Blu-ray buying budget empties faster than our tear ducts during the final act of Pixar’s Toy Story 3. Give it up, Blu-ray lovers, it is perhaps the most magical time of year. Also, This Week in DVD host Rob Hunter stops buy to review a few releases that were well off my radar screen. And he does so with gusto!



This Week in Blu-ray, my usual role as expert tour guide through the wild and wonderful world of Blu-ray takes a back seat. Emerging in its place is my new role: guy who points out the obvious. For instance, if I told you that Criterion successfully put out an impressive version of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, I wouldn’t exactly blow chunks of your brain out of your skull and all over your office walls. If I said that Universal took great care in presenting Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho in glorious high definition on its 50th anniversary, it wouldn’t slice through the fabric of your reality, revealing for you a fresh, unique worldview. And if I told you Robert Rodriguez’ Predators was just ok… well, you get the idea. The time is now for me to tell you that which you probably already know. But I will certainly try to do so with style.



Another week gone by, another round of Blu-ray buying and trying, avoiding and really avoiding here at Reject HQ. The release slate is slim and for the most part, it would appear as if home video distributors are afraid of the direct to video level junk they are throwing out there this week, as many a title didn’t arrive at our doorstep. Stuff like Jonah Hex and The Lost Boys: The Thirst are probably best left unreviewed by yours truly. Similar to the way a 30-year old man dominates a toddler tee-ball league, I was looking forward to busting some heads. Sadly, we’ll stick with a more intimate collection of releases this week, including a few nice surprises as we go through This Week in Blu-ray.



The winds of change are blowing here in Austin, Texas. With Fantastic Fest over, a tad-bit of emptiness has washed over the land and left me yearning for more great genre experiences. Which brings me to this week’s selection of Blu-ray releases — one that includes a few unique genre flicks and one lovable turd that reminds me of a documentary that was launched into the stratosphere by the film community here in Austin. Also, there’s this animated movie from the Mouse House that will absolutely blow your mind on Blu-ray. It’s as if the cosmos has looked down upon us in our post-Fantastic Fest haze and said “hey, here are some good movies to satiate your need for the good stuff.” It’s a week full of releases that are delivered right on time, just as the leaves start to change and Halloween begins to peek its head around the corner. Time to spray blood on the walls and fall in love again with a tale as old as time, or some other confused multi-metaphor. It’s another round of This Week in Blu-ray.



Even in the midst of the madness that is Fantastic Fest, I’m here to bring you the best high-definition disc buys, rents and well… avoids in This Week in Blu-ray. I wouldn’t miss another opportunity to write about my own favorite super hero, Iron Man, or the chance to talk about the feel-good movie of the year (Babies). And perhaps throw in a few titles from last week’s selection, including that big mess of a film that Ridley Scott put out earlier this year and something about a family, modern or otherwise. It’s a big week in Blu-ray, so lets get started… …right after the jump, that is.



Surprise, surprise. It’s time for the return of that weekly column you didn’t realize was gone for several weeks. It’s also time for me to write my first article on this fair site since… August, I believe. It has been a long month of moving, shaking and bribing local officials, I have come back to life and returned to that which I am passionate about most: ripping the latest Blu-ray releases a new disc-hole with my not-so-eloquent prose. This Week in Blu-ray, we take a look at several classics, all from different eras, presented with great care and consideration by their respective studios, several new releases that don’t fail to attain mediocre status, and a big list of titles that I wasn’t able to review — perhaps because many home video publicists were under the impression that I had died recently. Damn that Cole Abaius, he’s always starting nasty rumors.



It’s a slim selection in this fine edition of This Week in Blu-ray. This past weekend I sat down to review this week’s list of Blu-ray titles only to find a pair of running themes. One, I received review copies of less than half of this week’s total releases, making it very difficult to make recommendations (Dear Studios, please bite me). And two, that this week is a marathon of 2010’s great disappointments. Everything from the year’s first (of 27) “team of soldiers on a mission” movie to that Kevin Smith movie that dare not speak its name is on my list of underwhelms for the year. It was a mildly depressing weekend for me, but only because I was drinking heavily and reviewing, which is not recommended. The good news is that a few of these releases pulled themselves from the gutter with quality extras and a surprising level of rewatchability. Which is why we’re starting this week’s column in the Rent section, rather than the Avoid section.



Last week saw one of my most prolific entries of This Week in Blu-ray, clocking in at over 3,000 words. Part of it was that there were a ton of quality releases to talk about, and the rest had something to do with me being several weeks behind. As promised, we’re back on the punctuality bus this week, speeding down the road to informationville. All poor analogies aside, I’m happy to report that this week’s column is on time. That said, I’m sad to report that there’s nothing great to report. This week’s release slate is a relative bust . Though I will try my best to find something interesting to talk about.


Blu-rays Worth Buying

June was a rough month for This Week in Blu-ray. Only a few of you actively missed it, judging by the emails, but I’m sure that even more of you felt a hole in your very souls due to the lack of weekly Blu-ray buying advice. By my count I am four weeks behind as of today, four weeks that each had worthy releases — some of which you may have purchased already. So in an effort to be brief, I’ve selected the most prominent releases and mixed them in with the Blu-rays hitting shelves this week. It’s my way of smashing four weeks of release together and wiping away the blood. In the end, it should give you a good road map for what you should have been doing all along.

Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015

Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3