This weeks best Blu-ray releases deliver us a healthy dose of TV shows, classic films and animation. But nothing can compete with the juggernaut of a series that is Lost! It’s an easy call for the number one slot this week.
Well, this is a no-brainer. If the final Blu-ray season collection of the Lost tv series isn’t on your radar this week you’re missing out. This is one of the strongest releases of the year, featuring one of the best shows ever to air on network television in a damn-near perfect video and audio presentation. Not to mention the incredible and robust set of special features included in the set. I’ll save my musings about this final season of the series for a full review of the season set where I can go on at length about the controversial decisions the production team made to bring the series to a close along with my thoughts on the story in general.
If, by chance, you happen to be one of those rare people who hasn’t had a chance to watch any of the series yet, you’re in luck…
ALSO AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY TODAY –
…because the entire series, all six-seasons are now available in one amazing and convenient boxed set! Owners of individual seasons may even want to trade up to this big, bad-boy as it offers an extra secret disc of bonus content as well as tons of collectibles and goo-gahs.
Hardcore fans might look at this thirteenth season of the long-running animated show as something of a mixed bag as it marks the beginning of Al Jean‘s first season as Show Runner and the subtle (to some, drastic to others) shift in tone from The Simpsons of previous seasons to the style of stories we still see from Jean’s team today. Either way, collectors will be happy to add another season to their shelves and fans will praise the return of creator commentary tracks. Here’s hoping Fox gets us more Simpsons on Blu-ray soon!
I used to collect the Lone Wolf and Cub comic books back in the 80s, when they were first issued in English with those great Frank Miller and Bill Sienkewicz covers (yeah, I’ve still got ’em!) Shogun Assassin is an American edit of the first two Japanese film adaptations of the series, smushed together into one slick package with a brand new rock soundtrack. It might not be as pure as the original versions but it’s still all kinds of fun. Read all about it in our previous post, here: Shogun Assassin coming to Blu-ray.
Okay, this is a gangster film you’ve probably never seen. Why should you care about Machine Gun McCain? I’m going to throw some names at you here to see if I can can convince you – the film stars John Cassavetes, Peter Falk, Gena Rowlands and the always stunning Britt Ekland, with music by…get ready… the master, Ennio Morricone!!! The disc is produced by the Criterion of b-movies, Blue Underground so you’re guaranteed something nice to look at. I mean, aside from the lovely miss Ekland.
Oh man, I was so so so excited for these four classic British movies produced by Handmade Films to make their way onto Blu-ray. But not like this. All four of these should be Criterion releases. Hell, they’ve all been Criterion titles at some point and I wish they would goddamn well get their asses back there, to a studio that will treat them with some respect. Image has just chucked them all unceremoniously onto single-layer discs, compressed to hell with very few extras. And the worst offense? Time Bandits is only presented in 1080i. That’s right. Interlacing on a disc of a movie shot on film, in this day and age. Despite my reservations about the quality of the discs, all of these films are wonderful and most have never looked as good as they do on these cheapo discs.
ANIME OF THE WEEK: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 2
If you picked up Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 1 back in May (it was one of our recommended Blu-ray discs for the week of May 25th!) you’ve no doubt been counting the days until you could get your hands on the follow-up thirteen episodes. Well, anime fans, the day has come and let me tell you, if you’re into this sort of thing, this second boxed set featuring the adventures of the Elric brothers is going to blow your mind!
While the first thirteen episodes were all about set-up, covering familiar ground and essentially condensing the first 30-or-so episodes of the original series into a small, more palatable chunk, the episodes found on the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 2 Blu-ray discs find their way into new, unexpected and exciting territory. Al and Ed Elric are Alchemists – young magicians of a sort – who lost some significant body parts to their forbidden experiments. Their quest to find the mysterious Philosopher’s Stone which can make them whole again now takes a dark turn, leading them to lose dear friends and face painful secrets that could lead the boys to ruin. To speak more specifically about the story would spoil a host of surprises but rest assured, if anime is your thing, you won’t feel cheated by Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Part 2.
The Blu-ray discs look pretty good, for upconverted content and sound great in both Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 and English Dolby TrueHD 5.1. I only wish there were more substantial bonus materials in the Blu-ray set, beyond the two commentary tracks from the English language voice cast.
ALSO AVAILABLE ON BLU-RAY THIS WEEK
Clicking an image will take you to Amazon.com where you can learn more about and purchase the Blu-ray disc: