August Blu-ray Releases
August 15, 2013
August looks to be even busier than July for Blu-ray, always a good thing for movie fans. Here is a look at what’s coming this month and there’s something to pique everyone’s interest.
The spate of recent releases seeing the light of day in August include the Tom Cruise sci-fi outing Oblivion (**); the Reese Witherspoon-Matthew McConaughey drama Mud (***); the Oscar nominated foreign drama from last year Amour (** ½); Baz Luhrman’s take on The Great Gatsby (***); the Ryan Gosling drama The Place Beyond the Pines (not reviewed); the animated film Epic (not reviewed); reclusive director Terrence Malick’s latest To the Wonder (not reviewed) and the atrocious horror movie parody Scary Movie 5 (no stars and no laughs either).
The Criterion Company has a few cinematic tricks up their sleeve this month. These include a first-ever special edition of the 1942 Jack Benny film To Be or Not To Be (***) and one of my most anticipated releases for quite some time, a new deluxe edition of John Frankenheimer’s superb, 1966 suspense film, Seconds (****).
Reese Witherspoon in Mud
The latter film, which stars Rock Hudson and features a slew of familiar faces in bit parts, deals with a man who is offered the opportunity to change his identity and forge a new life. He also pays dearly when he changes his mind. If you haven’t seen it, find it immediately.
Shout/Scream Factory continues to do amazing work with deluxe editions of cult films and such. Their offerings in August include the 1980 film Roadie (** ½), featuring Meatloaf in a rare lead role; director Taylor Hackford’s 1980 film The Idolmaker (***); writer-director Larry Cohen’s terrific 1982 film, Q-The Winged Serpent (*** ½), which stars David Carradine and deals with a giant Aztec deity roosting on top of the Chrysler building in NYC and ripping the heads off of victims at will. Other offerings from the company in August include the 1975 sci-fi opus A Boy and His Dog (not screened); a double feature of The Hot Spot (** ½) and Killing Me Softly (not screened), a new edition of John Carpenter’s The Fog (***) which features a brand new transfer by cinematographer Dean Cundey, and a special edition of Wes Craven’s The Swamp Thing (** ½).
Starz has acquired a good number of 20th Century Fox’s titles which the company apparently has no interest in issuing.
The Muppets in the original 1979’s movie
They’ve been releasing these for some time and this month’s batch includes such films as the 1976 comedy-mystery Silver Streak(***); the 1986 coming of age drama Lucas (***); and one of actress Molly Ringwald’s lesser films, The Pick Up Artist (* ½).
Twilight Time continues its trend of releasing films in limited pressing of only 3,000 copies. The company announced a release of Brian DePalma’s Body Double (*** ½) for August, but I’ve been told that it’s already out of print due to a large influx of early orders. For those interested, keep looking and maybe some more will turn up. The company will also be issuing the Ben Kingsley drama Sexy Beast (***) as well.
Warners will be busy during the month. Some of their offerings include the 1987 film Action Jackson (**); the 1953 classic Shane (***); the 2000 remake of Shaft (***); Flashdance (** ½); the Sean Connery film The Presidio (not reviewed) and the action film Passenger 57 (**).
Craig Wasson & Melanie Griffith in Body Double, 1984
Disney will be busy during the month with such offerings as Oliver and Company (**); the 1973 animated film Robin Hood (***); The Sword in the Stone (not screened) and the Peter Pan sequel Return to Neverland (* ½). They also will offer up a “Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition” of the original 1979 charmer, The Muppet Movie (***).
Finally, August will also see the release of the 1985 teen comedy Tomboy (** ½); the 1986 Kevin Bacon film Quicksilver (not screened), and the 1941 tearjerker, Penny Serenade (*** ½).
That’s it for August. Hope you find something to your liking.
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