What’s going on, people? Joseph here, and I’ve got the crème de la crème in Bluray for October 2nd, 2012. In this week’s episode, we talk about dreaded pirates, cute orphans, the most awkward pair of shoes ever, displaced heroes, and a groovy vampire. We’re also gonna be talking about spy chicks and a few good British aristocrats. You ready, yet? I know I am!
The Princess Bride (PG)
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 96%
Released on September 25, 1987, this movie – based on William Goldman’s novel of the same name – is staged as a book read by grandfather (Peter Falk) to his ill grandson (Fred Savage). Falk’s character assures a romance-weary Savage that the book has much more to deliver than a simpering love story, including but not limited to fencing, fighting, torture, death, true love, giants, and pirates. The movie also stars Cary Elwes before he became Robin Hood, Robin Wright before she became a Penn, Billy Crystal before he became Mr. Botox, and Mandy Patinkin who wants to remind you that the word may not mean what you think it means. This movie is making its long overdue arrival to Bluray, and it comes chock full of special features, including the prerequisite audio commentary, a video diary from Cary Elwes, lots of featurettes, and more! This movie has a lot of heart and it’s a lot of fun, and it’s my pick of the week.
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 50%
This movie roared from the Broadway stage to the big screen on May 21, 1982. Well, technically, it would be more accurate to say it roared from the comic strip to the Broadway stage to the big screen, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, the movie is about a fiery young orphan named Annie (Aileen Queen) who lives in an orphange run by Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett). She gets chosen to spend a little time at the home of wealthy munitions industrialist Oliver Warbucks (Albert Finney). Using her own precocious charms (and lots and lots of singing), she changes their lives forever. This movie is making its first appearance on Bluray as a 30th Anniversary special, and it will come with new special features. The movie is a bit of a classic, and the music is charming…especially when you remember that Jay-Z brought it back to the conscioiusness of America with his hit “Hard Knock Life.”
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 96%
Released on March 4, 1950, this movie – based on the fairy tale “Cendrillion” by Charles Perrault – came to theaters. Cinderella has faith her dreams of a better life will come true. With help from her loyal mice friends and a wave of her Fairy Godmother’s wand, Cinderella’s rags are magically turned into a glorious gown, and off she goes to the Royal Ball. But when the clock strikes midnight, the spell is broken, leaving only a single glass slipper…the only key to the ultimate fairy-tale ending! There are three different versions of this classic coming to Bluray: a Two-Disc Diamond Edition Bluray/DVD Combo in either DVD or Bluray packaging, a Three-Disc Diamond Edition Bluray/DVD/ + Digital Copy, and a Limited Edition Trilogy in Collectible Jewelry Box Packaging. This movie comes with a lot of special features, including a continuation to the flim “Tangled” called “Tangled Ever After.” This is a heartwarming and charming movie, and if it weren’t for “The Princess Bride,” it would be my pick of the week. As it stands, it’s a very close number two.
Masters of the Universe (PG)
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 13%
Released on August 7, 1987, this movie – based on the cartoon and action figures of the same name – stars Dolph Lundgren, Frank Langella, Jon Cypher, Chelsea Field, and Birmingham’s own Courteney Cox (this is me swelling with pride). Planet Eternia and Castle Greyskull are under threat from the evil Skeletor (Frank Langella) who wants to take over the planet. A group of freedom fighters, led by the heroic He-Man (Dolph Lundgren) are accidentally transported to Earth by a mysterious Cosmic Key which holds the power to make Skeletor all-powerful. Once on Earth, He-Man joins alliances with two teenagers as they attempt to find the key and return home. I have memories of this movie growing up; whether they’re good or bad memories are subjective. This movie is making its first appearance on Bluray for its 25th Anniversary, and it will come with the usual refinements and special features. It’s schlocky and cheesy, but it has a young Courteney Cox in it; so it has that going for it, which is nice.
Dark Shadows (PG-13)
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 40%
This movie came to theaters on May 11, 2012 as a mixed bag. Starring Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tim Burton’s Helena Bonham Carter, and Eva Green, it’s a film that’s based on the 1966-71 TV show of the same name. From the wonderfully warped imagination of Tim Burton comes the story of Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), a dashing aristocrat who is turned into a vampire by a jilted lover and entombed for two centuries. Emerging from his coffin into the world of 1972, he returns to his once-majestic home, only to the few dysfunctional descendants of the Collins family who remain. Determined to return his family name to its former glory, Barnabas is thwarted at every turn by his former lover – the seductive witch Angelique (Eva Green). This release will come with the standard fare of special features. I wasn’t looking forward to this movie in theaters, and I’m certainly not looking forward to this movie on Bluray. I think I’ll look the other way on this one.
Nikita: The Complete Second Season (TV-14)
In the previous season of this suspenseful series featuring international action star Maggie Q, the charming and deadly Nikita waged a war against Division, the agency that created her. Michael – the man who trained her, a man she trusted – was hunting her. But Nikita had an ace up her sleeve: Alex, a girl she trained to infiltrate this secret unit of the government. At the end of Season One, Nikita and Alex’s relationship has been shattered, and Nikita and Michael’s relationship has been restored. In Season Two, Nikita and Michael are on the run with a hard drive containing the government’s darkest secrets and conspiracies. Together, they are going to right the wrongs that Division has committed over the years, one mission at a time. But leading the hunt for them this time is Alex … and she knows all of Nikita’s tricks!
I loved the first season of Nikita, but missed out entirely on the second season. I’m not entirely sure why, but I did. That being said, I will definitely be checking this out, because I enjoyed the hell out of the stories from the first season, and I have a crush on Lyndsy Fonseca – don’t judge me.
Downton Abbey Seasons 1 & 2 Limited Edition Set – Original UK Version Set
The original and unedited UK version of both seasons of the hit show Downton Abbey.
Downton Abbey—a sprawling, lavish Edwardian mansion nestled in the Yorkshire landscape—needs an heir. Dame Maggie Smith stars as Violet, the stubborn Dowager Countess of Grantham, matriarch of Downton. Hugh Bonneville stars as her son, the stoic, unflappable Lord Crawley; Elizabeth McGovern is his far-sighted American wife, Cora. From Academy Award®-winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park).
Season 1 Bonus Features include “Making of Downton Abbey – A House in History” and “Great British Heritage Pass, a promotional spot for British tourism.”
Season 2 of the Emmy® Award-winning Downton Abbey returns as The Great War rages across Europe, and not even the serene Yorkshire countryside is free from its effects. The men and women of Downton are doing their part both on the front lines and the home front, but the intensity of war only serves to inflame the more familiar passions—love, loss, blackmail, and betrayal.
Includes the Downton Abbey Christmas Special.
Season 2 Bonus Features include “Fashion and Uniforms,” “Romance in a Time of War” and “House to Hospital.”
I’ve been meaning to watch Downton Abbey for the longest, as I am developing an almost irrational love of all things UK. Plus, it has Professor McGonagall in it, and you can’t go wrong with her…kinda makes you wonder if she calls people out for behaving as a babbling, blundering, band of baboons. Anyway, this is a look at aristocracy at its wittiest, so give it a go!
So, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Got any questions or comments? Did I miss anything? By all means, please let me know in the comments below!
Until next time…