This week’s Blu-ray announcements are dominated by new releases, including the Parker announcement we broke exclusively this week, leaving a tiny bit of room for some catalog classics that will compete for our shelf space this summer. Shelf Space Weekly is where we look ahead and make plans to clear our shelves appropriately
A Good Day to Die Hard - June 4, 2013
The latest Die Hard was a disappointment, and I can’t imagine it will look good on Blu-ray with that shakycam and blue tinted lighting. However, as you may know by now, I’m Franchise Fred, so I’m going to own it anyway. I have to keep my Die Hard collection complete, and I look forward to revisiting A Good Day to Die Hard and at least weighing in with my thoughts.
The Blu-ray release promises an extended cut, but with a running time still of 98 minutes, that can’t be more than a few minutes. If they replaced every shot with tripod-mounted footage, then we’d be talking. The collection of seven deleted scenes may be a better hint at what Die Hard 5 could have been. Bruce Willis already told us about one scene that didn’t make the final cut.
A bonus feature called “Anatomy of a Car Chase” might be interesting, particularly if the car chase in question is the incomprehensible Moscow street chase. Maybe that anatomy will help us put together what we were supposed to be seeing. There are segments in the big “making of” on Camera Work and Color Grading, which may just be beating a dead horse here.
The Odd Couple and Shane - June 4, 2013
Two classics I wouldn’t necessarily lump together, but the classic Lemmon/Mattheau comedy and the classic western referenced in both a “Married with Children” episode and The Negotiator arrive on the same day from Warner Home Video.
I’m hearing a lot of conflict over the Shane aspect ratio. It was filmed 1.37:1, so the 1.66 Blu-ray version actually crops the top and bottom, as Jeffrey Wells reported from George Stevens Jr., the director’s son. The controversy is that it was released theatrically widescreen, so that is the theatrical ratio, but was shot full frame and has existed as such on televised and DVD releases.
Meanwhile, the Blu-ray release of The Odd Couple gets us one step closer to an Odd Couple/Grumpy Old Men/Grumpier Old Men three pack! (Odd Couple II is still a Paramount movie so unless their ‘90s catalog was also sold to Warner Home Video, Franchise Fred’s dream of the two franchises in one set cannot be fulfilled.)
Warm Bodies - June 4, 2013
They’re touting this hit as the Zombie Rom-Com, so I do have to point out that Shaun of the Dead invented that phrase. As long as credit is given where due, Warm Bodies earned it, touching hearts as a zombie boy learns to not eat the girl of his dreams and communicate with her enough to express his love.
The zombie apocalypse is sure to look good on Blu-ray, and there are tons of extras accompanying this movie. Nine featurettes include a personal item from Teresa Palmer and Rob Corddry respectively, plus deleted scenes and gag reel, and an audio commentary with director Jonathan Levine, and stars Palmer and Nicholas Hoult.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters - June 11, 2013
The first fairy tale revamp hit of the year (followed by Oz, the Great and Powerful) was an, action-packed follow-up to Hansel and Gretel. Now all grown up, Hansel and Gretel have a lot more weapons to combat witches than just pushing them into ovens. The visual effects extravaganza is sure to look great on Blu-ray.
The Blu-ray release also offers an unrated version. I missed this film while I was covering Sundance so I will look forward to catching up, and maybe clearing some permanent shelf space myself.
Street Trash - June 11, 2013
Somehow this is an ‘80s gore movie I missed back in the day. The fact that it’s getting a proper Blu-ray release with a remastered transfer from cult video dealer Synapse means it must be worth my attention. At least it will look great when I discover it for the first time.
I mean, it’s junkyard wine that melts people, and the box art shows someone being flushed down the toilet, so how can it not be great? And the main character is named Fred! Besides The Flintstones, Drop Dead Fred, Right Said Fred, and Nightmare on Elm Street, when do I get that kind of relatability? Tons of extras too, including the original 16mm Street Trash short and the ingredients to “Tenafly Viper” wine. Consume at your own risk.