The Blu-ray Blog Blu-ray disc news, reviews, opinions and deals. Everything that's fit to print about the world's favourite HD format!Fri, 13 Jun 2014 14:33:04 +0000en-UShourly1 June 2014 Blu-ray titles: A Hard Day’s Night, Picnic at Hanging Rock, All That Heaven Allows, 18 Mar 2014 07:05:44 +0000 and gentlemen, Criterion have The Beatles! It’s hard to believe they were able to grab back the rights to A Hard Day’s Night – possibly the greatest film ever made about a rock band, released by Criterion on laser disc back in 1987 – but it looks like they’ve put the license to good use, affording it a 4K restoration and a brand new 5.1 mix by Apple studios! Exciting! June will also see the long awaited high-def upgrades of several popular DVD titles – Peter Weir‘s Picnic at Hanging Rock, Douglas Sirk‘s All That Heaven Allows and Michelangelo Antonioni‘s l’Eclisse. It’s gonna be a great month for classic Criterion!

All That Heaven Allows (1955) - The Criterion Collection

(June 10, 2013 – MSRP $39.95)
Video: 1.77:1 1080p
Audio: uncompressed monaural soundtrack

Special Features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary featuring John Mercer, coauthor of Melodrama: Genre, Style, Sensibility, and film scholar Tamar Jeffers-McDonald
  • Rock Hudson’s Home Movies (1992), a groundbreaking essay film about the actor by Mark Rappaport
  • French television interview with Sirk from 1982
  • Excerpts from Behind the Mirror: A Profile of Douglas Sirk, a 1979 BBC documentary featuring rare interview footage with the director
  • Contract Kid: William Reynolds on Douglas Sirk, a 2007 interview with the actor, who costarred in three Sirk films, including All That Heaven Allows
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Laura Mulvey and an excerpt from a 1971 essay by filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder on Sirk

    New cover by Robert Hunt

L’eclisse (1962) - The Criterion Collection

(June 10, 2013 – MSRP $39.95)
Video: 1.85:1 1080p
Audio: uncompressed monaural soundtrack

Special Features:

  • New, restored high-definition digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary by film scholar Richard Peña, former program director of New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center
  • Michelangelo Antonioni: The Eye That Changed Cinema (2001), a fifty-six-minute documentary exploring the director’s life and career
  • Elements of Landscape, a twenty-two-minute piece from 2005 about Antonioni and L’eclisse, featuring Italian film critic Adriano Aprà and longtime Antonioni friend Carlo di Carlo
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Gilberto Perez, as well as excerpts from Antonioni’s writing about his work

    New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang

Hearts and Minds (1974) - The Criterion Collection

(June 17, 2013 – MSRP $39.95)
Video: 1.85:1 1080p
Audio: uncompressed monaural soundtrack

Special Features:

  • High-definition digital restoration, supervised by director Peter Davis and cinematographer Richard Pearce, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary featuring Davis
  • A collection of over two hours of never-before-seen outtakes from the film, including interviews with presidential adviser George Ball, broadcast journalist David Brinkley, French journalist and historian Philippe Devillers, political activist Tony Russo, and General William Westmoreland
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Davis, film critic Judith Crist, and historians Robert K. Brigham, George C. Herring, and Ngo Vinh Long

    New cover by Luba Lukova

Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) - The Criterion Collection

(June 17, 2013 – MSRP $39.95)
Video: 1.77:1 1080p
Audio: 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack

Special Features:

  • Remastered high-definition digital film transfer, supervised and approved by director Peter Weir, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  • Extended interview with Weir
  • New piece on the making of the film, featuring interviews from 2003 with executive producer Patricia Lovell, producers Hal McElroy and Jim McElroy, and cast members
  • New introduction by film scholar David Thomson, author of The New Biographical Dictionary of Film
  • A Recollection . . . Hanging Rock 1900 (1975), an on-set documentary hosted by Lovell and featuring interviews with Weir, actor Rachel Roberts, and source novel author Joan Lindsay
  • Homesdale (1971), an award-winning black comedy by Weir
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by author Megan Abbott and an excerpt from film critic Marek Haltof’s 1996 book Peter Weir: When Cultures Collide; a new paperback edition of Lindsay’s original novel, previously out of print in the U.S.

    New cover by Eric Skillman

Judex (1963) - The Criterion Collection

(June 17, 2013 – MSRP $39.95)
Video: 1.66:1 1080p
Audio: Uncompressed monaural soundtrack

Special Features:

  • New 2K digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Interview from 2007 with the film’s cowriter Jacques Champreux, the grandson of Louis Feuillade, cocreator of the silent serial Judex
  • Interview from 2012 with actor Francine Bergé
  • Franju le visionnaire, a fifty-minute program from 1998 on director Franju’s career and imagination
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Geoffrey O’Brien, along with reprinted writings by and excerpted interviews with Franju

    New cover by Ron Wimberly

A Hard Day’s Night (1964) - The Criterion Collection

(June 24, 2013 – MSRP $39.95)
Video: 1.66:1 1080p
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Special Features:

  • New 4K digital film restoration, approved by director Richard Lester, with two audio options—a monaural soundtrack and a new 5.1 surround soundtrack made by Apple Records—presented in uncompressed monaural and DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Audio commentary featuring various members of the film’s cast and crew
  • In Their Own Voices, a new piece combining interviews with the Beatles from 1964 with behind-the-scenes footage and photos
  • You Can’t Do That: The Making of “A Hard Day’s Night,” a 1994 documentary program by producer Walter Shenson
  • Things They Said Today, a 2002 documentary about the film featuring Lester, music producer George Martin, writer Alun Owen, cinematographer Gilbert Taylor, and others
  • New piece about Lester’s early work, featuring a new audio interview with the director
  • The Running Jumping and Standing Still Film(1959), Lester’s Oscar-nominated short featuring Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan
  • Anatomy of a Style, a new piece on Lester’s approach to editing
  • New interview with Mark Lewisohn, author of Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years—Volume One
  • Deleted scene
  • Trailers
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Howard Hampton
  • More!

    New cover by Rodrigo Corral

Alexander: The Ultimate Cut annouced and detailed for Blu-ray, 28 Feb 2014 05:48:34 +0000 Stone has re-cut his epic film Alexander. Yet again. On the surface this doesn’t seem like a release I’d be interested in but I’m going to admit I harbour a morbid curiosity about this project. I mean, I really enjoy aspects of the cuts I’ve seen but the film seems flawed at its core – off-the-mark casting and a truly oddball script – to the extent I’m not sure Stone will ever get what he’s looking for out of his footage. Ah well, what do I know. This new “Ultimate” cut could end up being a real revelation. And that’s exciting shit. I kinda can’t wait to watch this and see what the man has cooked up! Alexander: The Ultimate Cut is in stores June 3.

    Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Alexander! Collectible 10th-anniversary edition includes the never-before-seen Ultimate Cut, The Art of Alexander photo book and insightful filmmaker correspondence. Based on the life of Alexander the Great, the epic historical drama is directed by Oliver Stone and features Colin Farrell in the title role. Two versions of the film will be included in this release – the theatrical cut and the forthcoming “Ultimate Cut.” Also included is the brand New documentary The Real Alexander and the World He Made which reveals how Alexander the Great’s vision of uniting East and West helped shape our modern world, and illuminates how different our lives might have been had his empire not fractured upon his untimely death at the age of 32.


(June 3, 2014 – MSRP $49.99)
Video: 2.39:1 1080p
Audio: TBA


  • Alexander: The 206-minute Ultimate Cut
  • The Ultimate Cut Audio Commentary with Oliver Stone
  • Alexander: The 175-minute Theatrical Version
  • Theatrical Version Audio Commentary with Stone
  • New Documentary: The Real Alexander and the World He Made – Learn how Alexander the Great’s vision of uniting East and West helped shape our modern world, and how different our lives might have been had his empire not fractured upon his untimely death at the age of 32.
  • Sean Stone’s Feature-Length Documentary: Fight Against Time: Oliver Stone’s Alexander
  • And much more bonus content, to be detailed at a later date…
  • “The Art of Alexander 40-page art book, featuring numerous concept drawings, production storyboards and behind-the-scenes photographs
  • Collectible packaging, with correspondence memos between Oliver Stone and his cast and crew

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug coming to Blu-ray, 21 Feb 2014 04:42:06 +0000 had a great time watching The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in the cinema but man, is it ever a messed up flick. Too long and bloated with tone-deaf action beats and character arcs that meander off to nowhere, all the while leaving the main character, Bilbo – the stories driving force – hung out to dry. It’s really a shame because I feel like there’s a pretty great little movie hiding in there. Maybe one day we’ll see a single cut of all three Hobbit films that does away with everything unnecessary in the narrative. Until then, let’s just enjoy this Blu-ray release of the second film in the trilogy, which’ll be in stores April 8.

    The Hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf and 13 Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, continue their journey to reclaim the Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Along the way, they encounter the skin-changer Beorn; giant Spiders of Mirkwood; Wood-elves led by Legolas, Tauriel and King Thranduil; and a mysterious Man named Bard, who smuggles them into Lake-town. Finally reaching the Lonely Mountain, they face their greatest danger – the Dragon Smaug.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

(April 8, 2014 – MSRP $35.99)
Video: 1.78:1 1080p
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1


  • Peter Jackson Invites You to the Set – Experience the film’s challenges and demands, and journey alongside the director into Mirkwood, Lake-town and Dale as the movie’s most intense, pivotal scenes are created:
    • In the Company of the Hobbit
    • All in a Day’s Work
  • Production Videos – Watch as the production comes to life as Peter Jackson gives you an inside look at the making of The Desolation of Smaug
  • New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 2 – Travel with Peter Jackson and his team across the stunning locations of New Zealand transformed by the filmmakers into Middle-earth
  • Music Video – “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran; the beautiful theme song from the film is illuminated with this intimate music video

The Wolf of Wall Street Blu-ray coming in March, 20 Feb 2014 05:53:08 +0000 made a hell of a flick in The Wolf of Wall Street. It could use about 15-minutes shaved off of it to tighten up the narrative – y’know, get rid of some of the bloat – but honestly there’s nothing wrong the film. Great script, great performances and great style all around. I can’t wait to watch it again. The Wolf of Wall Street will be on Blu-ray March 25.

    Revered filmmaker Martin Scorsese directs the story of New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). From the American dream to corporate greed, Belfort goes from penny stocks and righteousness to IPOs and a life of corruption in the late 80s. Excess success and affluence in his early twenties as founder of the brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont warranted Belfort the title – “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

    Money. Power. Women. Drugs. Temptations were for the taking and the threat of authority was irrelevant. For Jordan and his wolf pack, modesty was quickly deemed overrated and more was never enough.


(March 25, 2014 – MSRP $39.99)
Video: 2.40:1 1080p
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1


  • The Wolf Pack—Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and other cast and crew discuss the incredible journey of making the film. Follow them as they reveal the real story behind Jordan Belfort’s rise to power and how they depicted his world of lavish excess, perseverance and ultimately betrayal.
  • Digital HD copy of the film

Game of Thrones: The Complete Third Season Blu-ray disc review, 18 Feb 2014 22:38:36 +0000 OF THRONES: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON
(2013, Blu-ray released February 18, 2014 – MSRP $79.98)


    In the third season of the hit HBO drama series Game of Thrones, the Lannisters are barely holding onto power after a savage naval onslaught from Stannis Baratheon, while stirrings in the North threaten to alter the overall balance of power in Westeros. Robb Stark, King in the North, is facing major calamity in his efforts to build on his victories over the Lannisters while beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder and his huge army of wildlings continue their inexorable march south. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen – reunited with her three fast-maturing dragons – attempts to raise an army to sail with her from Essos, in hopes of eventually claiming the Iron Throne.


Wow. What can I say about this season of Game of Thrones that hasn’t been exclaimed a thousand times over across the internet? Stunning. Fearless. Red!

I understand the stories that make up every episode and season of this award-winning show are merely adaptations of a popular series of fantasy books and should therefore not have too much praise heaped upon them for remarkable character arcs and groundbreaking plot work but holy good god, never before has anything the likes of Game of Thrones been attempted on the small or, for that matter, large screen. The scripts are tight but give most every character room to breathe and grow, all the while never feeling to the audience as if much time is allowed to pass, each scene bounding breathlessly to the next. It’s a remarkable feat of script craft, to be certain, to achieve this level of narrative depth juxtaposed with so much incredible, high-fantasy action and intrigue in so little screen time. I’m in awe.

Make on this season and those before might sound akin to hyperbole but Game of Thrones has proven itself, thus far, to be absolutely critic-proof (aside from those staunch hold-outs who insist on comparing the show to the book.) One can pick nits, sure, but on the whole, this is the best the medium has ever been. I only thank the good lords and ladies of HBO that there’ll be more!

In terms of the audio/visual presentation of the series on Blu-ray, well, I’m sure if you’re an avid reader of this site you know what to expect. Game of Thrones is, once again, the height of technical perfection on Blu. It looks far more detailed, colourful and vibrant than even the very attractive 1080p broadcast version of the show you no doubt viewed via cable or satellite last year. Audio is perfectly immersive and dynamic in another series of spot-on DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 tracks. These are very near reference quality discs.

Special features are once again plentiful (you’ll find a complete list below the screencaps), with the number of informative and fun commentary tracks outnumbering the actual episodes. In addition to the usual plethora of featurettes, deleted scenes and in-episode guides, this 5-Blu-ray set also includes a pretty rad picture-in-picture type of in-episode experience, not unlike Warner’s much-loved Maximum Movie Mode. There are a ton of interviews and behind-the-scenes videos to be screened within The Rains of Castamere Unveiled feature, as well as in-experience clickables. There’s no shortage of material to delve into here. Enough to please even the most passionate GoT fan.

Highest possible recommendation!!

Click to enlarge
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  • A Gathering Storm – Look back at the stormy events of Season 3 in this 14-minute recap with cast and crew.
  • The Politics of Marriage – Cast and crew examine the institution of marriage and its place in Game of Thrones.
  • Inside the Wildlings – Go beyond the Wall with this introduction to the wildlings.
  • New Characters – Meet the new faces in Season 3: Olenna Tyrell, Missandei, Mance Rayder, Tormund Giantsbane, Orell, Jojen & Meera Reed, Blackfish & Edmure Tully, Thoros of Myr, and Beric Dondarrion.
  • Deleted Scenes/Extended Scenes – Five deleted and extended scenes.
  • Audio Commentaries – 12 audio commentaries with cast and crew including David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, George R.R. Martin, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Michelle Fairley, Kit Harington, Richard Madden, and more.
  • In-Episode Guide – In-feature resource that provides background information about on-screen characters, locations, and relevant histories.
  • Histories & Lore – Learn about the mythology of Westeros as told from the varying perspectives of the characters themselves.
  • The Rains of Castamere Unveiled – Get an in-depth look at the creation of the most pivotal episode of Season 3 in this comprehensive exposé featuring cast and crew.
  • Roots of Westeros – Explore the interconnected web of relationships, rivalries, and conflicts between the noble houses of Westeros with this interactive guide.

Criterion May 2014 Blu-ray titles: Red River, The Life Aquatic, Like Someone in Love, 17 Feb 2014 03:25:25 +0000 Another killer month of new Criterion titles including the long-awaited high-def reissue of Wes Anderson‘s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and a totally drool-worthy edition of Howard HawksRed River that features not one, but two versions of the film, both newly restored. As excited as I am to get my hands on those titles, the film of the lot I’ve been dying to see is Abbas Kiarostami‘s Like Someone in Love, the legendary director’s latest opus. I just love the fact that an Iranian filmmaker took the chance to make a movie in Japan, shot in the land-of-the-rising-sun’s native tongue. Awesome!


(May 6, 2013 – MSRP $39.95)
Video: 1.33:1 1080p
Audio: uncompressed monaural soundtrack

Special Features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary by film scholar Neil Sinyard
  • Portrait of a “60% Perfect Man”: Billy Wilder, a 1980 documentary featuring interviews with Wilder by film critic Michel Ciment
  • Interview with actor Kirk Douglas from 1984
  • Excerpts from a 1986 appearance by Wilder at the American Film Institute
  • Audio excerpts from an interview with Wilder’s coscreenwriter Walter Newman
  • Video afterword by filmmaker Spike Lee
  • Stills gallery
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: Essays by critic Molly Haskell and filmmaker Guy Maddin

    New cover by F. Ron Miller

Overlord (1975) - The Criterion Collection

(May 13, 2013 – MSRP $39.95)
Video: 1.66:1 1080p
Audio: uncompressed monaural soundtrack

Special Features:

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director Stuart Cooper, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary featuring Cooper and actor Brian Stirner
  • Mining the Archive, a 2007 piece featuring archivists from London’s Imperial War Museum detailing the footage used in the film
  • Capa Influences Cooper, a 2007 photo essay featuring Cooper on photographer Robert Capa
  • Cameramen at War, the British Ministry of Information’s 1943 film tribute to newsreel and service film unit cameramen
  • A Test of Violence, Cooper’s 1969 short film about the Spanish artist Juan Genovés
  • Germany Calling, a 1941 Ministry of Information propaganda film, clips of which appear in Overlord
  • Excerpts from the journals of two D-day soldiers, read by Stirner
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones, a short history of the Imperial War Museum, and excerpts from the Overlord novelization by Cooper and coscreenwriter Christopher Hudson

    New cover by Steve Chow

Like Someone in Love (2012) - The Criterion Collection

(May 20, 2013 – MSRP $39.95)
Video: 1.66:1 1080p
Audio: 3.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio

Special Features:

  • New digital master, approved by director Abbas Kiarostami, with 3.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  • Forty-five-minute documentary on the making of the film
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar and critic Nico Baumbach

    New cover by Sarah Habibi

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) - The Criterion Collection

(May 27, 2013 – MSRP $39.95)
Video: 2.35:1 1080p
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio

Special Features:

  • New, restored digital transfer, approved by director Wes Anderson, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
  • Commentary by Anderson and cowriter Noah Baumbach
  • New interviews with actors Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, and Jeff Goldblum
  • This Is an Adventure, a documentary by Antonio Ferrera, Albert Maysles, and Matthew Prinzing chronicling the production of the movie
  • Mondo Monda, an Italian talk show featuring an interview with Anderson and Baumbach, hosted by Antonio Monda
  • Interview with composer and Devo member Mark Mothersbaugh
  • Ten performances of David Bowie songs in Portuguese by Brazilian recording artist and actor Seu Jorge
  • Intern video journal by actor Matthew Gray Gubler
  • Multiple interviews with the cast and crew, featuring behind-the-scenes footage
  • Making-of featurette
  • Nine deleted scenes
  • Behind-the-scenes photos and original artwork from the film
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An insert featuring a cutaway view of The Belafonte, the ship from the film, Eric Anderson’s original illustrations, and a conversation between Wes and Eric conducted in 2005

    New cover by Eric Chase Anderson

Red River (1948) - The Criterion Collection

(May 27, 2013 – MSRP $49.95)
Video: 1.33:1 1080p
Audio: monaural soundtrack

Special Features:

  • New 4K digital restoration of the rarely presented original theatrical release version, the preferred cut of director Howard Hawks, with monaural soundtrack
  • 2K restoration of the longer version of Red River
  • New interview with filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich about Red River and the two versions
  • New interview with critic Molly Haskell about Hawks and Red River
  • New interview with western scholar Lee Clark Mitchell about western genre literature
  • Audio excerpts of a 1972 conversation between Hawks and Bogdanovich
  • Excerpts from a 1970 audio interview with novelist and screenwriter Borden Chase
  • More!
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien and a 1991 interview with Hawks’s longtime editor Christian Nyby; a new paperback edition of Chase’s original novel, previously out of print

    New cover by Eric Skillman

Scream Factory bringing Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre to Blu-ray, 14 Feb 2014 02:12:20 +0000 Herzog‘s take on Nosferatu is one of my all time favourite films. It’s also been one of the DVDs in my collection that perpetually pains me. It’s old, non-anamorphic transfer is like a pox on my eyes. A pox I’ve been suffering since the ’90s. Thanks to the lords of horror home video, otherwise known as Scream Factory, I’m about to be able to bin my old, well worn DVD and grace my poor, sullied eyeballs with a brand spanking new high-def transfer of one of the best films ever made. Nosferatu the Vampyre hits Blu on May 20.

    It is 1850 in the beautiful, perfectly-kept town of Wismar. Jonathan Harker is about to leave on a long journey over the Carpathian Mountains to finalize real estate arrangements with a wealthy nobleman. His wife, Lucy begs him not to go and is troubled by a strong premonition of danger.

    Despite her warnings, Jonathan arrives four weeks later at a large, gloomy castle. Out of the mist appears a pale, wraith-like figure with a shaven head and deep-sunken eyes who identifies himself as Count Dracula. The events that transpire slowly convince Harker that he is in the presence of a vampyre. What he doesn’t know is the magnitude of danger he, his wife and his town are about to experience.”


(May 20, 2014 – MSRP $24.97)
Video: 1.78:1 1080p
Audio: TBA


  • Both English and German versions of the film
  • Audio Commentary with writer/producer/director Werner Herzog
  • Audio Commentary with Werner Herzog, moderated by Laurens Straub (In German with English Subtitles)
  • Vintage Featurette – The Making of Nosferatu
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • Reversible wrap (with the “white” theatrical poster design)

Blazing Saddles: 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray announced and detailed, 10 Feb 2014 01:31:22 +0000 Brooks‘ cowboy genre send-up Blazing Saddles has been available on Blu since 2006. Warner is finally re-issuing the title in a deluxe 40th Anniversary edition, complete with new special features and added googahs. The VC-1 transfer on the original release was decent but was saddled with a weak, lossy Dolby Digital audio track. If this new edition gives the audio a bump up to lossless DTS-MA, the 40th Anniversary Edition will be a must-buy for all fans.

Note: the new disc appears to have lost the 4-minute long “Intimate Portrait: Madeline Kahn” featurette. If that’s a big deal to you, you better hold on to your old disc.

    Blazing Saddles stars Cleavon Little as an unlikely sheriff in the town of Rock Ridge, Harvey Korman as the villain, Madeline Kahn as a Marlene Dietrich-style chanteuse, Gene Wilder as the wacko Waco Kid and Brooks himself as a dimwitted politico. Once the lunatic film gets started, logic is lost in a blizzard of gags, jokes, quips, puns and outrageous assaults upon good taste or any taste at all. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards®– Supporting Actress for Kahn, Best Editing and Best Song.”

blazing saddles cover02

(May 6, 2014 – MSRP $24.98)
Video: 2.39:1 1080p
Audio: tba


  • Blaze of Glory: Mel Brooks’ Wild, Wild West – In this new feature, Mel Brooks reflects on his own movie-making chutzpah, Blazing Saddles’ lasting cultural impact on audiences of all generations, and alongside co-stars Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn, proves why his film is, without a doubt, the funniest and most outrageous film ever made. Blazing!
  • 10 Exclusive Art Cards with funny quotes and images from the film
  • Audio Commentary with Mel Brooks
  • Back in the Saddle: cast reunion documentary
  • Black Bart: 1975 television pilot inspired by the movie
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

Justice League: War Blu-ray disc review, 08 Feb 2014 23:27:14 +0000 LEAGUE: WAR
(2014, Blu-ray released February 4, 2014 – MSRP $24.98)


    When the powerful Darkseid and his massive, relentless forces invade Earth, a group of previously unaligned super heroes – misunderstood and, in some cases, hunted by the authorities – discover the only way to fend off the attack will be to work together as a cohesive unit. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Shazam and, in his origin story, Cyborg combine their respective talents in an all-out battle to save the planet. Based on the 2012 graphic novel, “Justice League: Origin,” by Geoff Johns & Jim Lee, JUSTICE LEAGUE: WAR provides a glance into the world before the Justice League was created, and offers the initial animated incarnation of DC Entertainment’s “The New 52.”


There’s a lot to like in this incarnation of Justice League but I don’t think it’s for me. Justice League: War is aptly named as most of its brief 79-minute runtime is taken up with battle scenes. Which is great in a comic book action adventure animated feature, don’t get me wrong. But the characters really suffer. There’s only so much you can do in such a short time with such a grand cast. And Justice League: War, for my money doesn’t quite succeed.

But the animation is bananas, with strong character designs by Phil Bourassa (Young Justice) and a powerful score by Kevin Kliesch. The voice acting, as usual, is top notch.

Justice League: War is a typical DC animation Blu-ray release with an encode that’s most likely faithful to a source that exhibits “flaws” like the occasional moment of colour banding or aliasing. It looks great for what it is – bright and colourful and very modern – and only suffers at the hands of the lower budget of the feature animation itself. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is suitably aggressive and dynamic. Excellent.

I enjoyed the special features on the Justice League: War Blu-ray but they’re not perfect. In lieu of a full commentary track, Jim Lee, illustrator of the original comics from which the film has been adapted, and director Jay Oliva sit down for a 20-minute long video examination of key scenes. They cover enough material that it feels like a nearly complete commentary track. Lee is also featured in a half-hour long biography doc which is only really relevant to the comic book crowd. The 24-minute long “Act D: From Animatic to Pencil Test” is often technical and offers a deeper look inside the creation of the film. There’s also a 9-minute long preview of the next DC animation project, Son of Batman, and four SD episodes of older DC Universe animated shows.

Click to enlarge
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  • A Sneak Peek at Son of Batman – A look into the next DC Animated Feature with the creators and cast.
  • Deconstructing Justice League: War with Jay Oliva & Jim Lee – Part commentary, part documentary, director Jay Oliva teams up with artist Jim Lee to compare and contrast the comic to screen process of some of the most memorable moments in the film.
  • Creating Heroes: The Life and Art of Jim Lee – This documentary film explores the work of the master artist, from his early days to his current position at DC and collaboration with Geoff Johns.
  • Justice League: War Act D – From animatic to pencil test.
  • From the DC Comics Vault:
    • Justice League Unlimited Season 3 “Destroyer”
    • Batman: The Brave and The Bold Season 2 “The Malicious Mr. Mind”
    • Young Justice Invasion: Destiny Calling Season 2 Part 1 “Happy New Year”
    • Young Justice Invasion: Destiny Calling Season 2 Part 1 “Earthlings”
    • Standard DVD and UltraViolet Digital Copy of the film

Son of Batman animated film on Blu-ray, 30 Jan 2014 00:50:51 +0000 love these DCU animated films to bits. I also love Batman to bits. But I have to admit I’m always a little disappointed when Warner announces that their next DCU flick will be starring the Dark Knight. Haven’t we seen enough of his adventures on film? What about another Wonder Woman film? Or how about giving Green Arrow a chance to prove he’s more than a CW pretty boy? Or hell, how cool would a New Gods movie be? Man, I’d pay top dollar for that.


In the meantime, I’ll watch the shit outta Son of Batman film when it comes out on Blu-ray May 6 and I’ll no doubt love it!

    Hidden atop a secret mountain stronghold lies the League of Shadows and its fearless leader, Ra’s al Ghul. Together with his equally dangerous daughter Talia, he oversees a trained army of assassins with plans for global domination. But an uprising from within the league now threatens to shift the balance of power and sends Talia and her young son, Damian, fleeing to Gotham City. With assassins on their trail, Talia seeks the protection of Batman, who, unbeknownst to him, is the boy’s father. With his son in tow, Batman wages war against the villain Deathstroke and the League of Shadows, all while teaching his headstrong boy that one can’t fight crime by becoming a criminal. With help from Gotham’s finest, including Commissioner Gordon and Nightwing, Batman will soon discover that his son and most trusted ally are one and the same!


(May 6, 2014 – MSRP $24.98)
Video: 1.78:1 1080p
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1


  • Strange Blood Ties
  • Damian Wayne, The Fang, and the Demon Head: The League of Assassins
  • Designing the Characters with Phil Bourassa
  • A Sneak Peek at the next DCU Original Movie Batman: Assault on Arkham
  • Masterpiece: Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns Sneak Peek
  • Four “From the DC Comics Vault” Bonus Cartoons:
    • Batman Beyond: “Out of the Past”
    • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: “The Knights of Tomorrow!”
    • Batman: The Animated Series: “Showdown”
    • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: “Sidekicks Assemble!”