Before I get to this week’s new titles I thought I would first point out that Amazon has a sale this week on the Blu-ray edition of Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone’s The Man with No Name Trilogy featuring A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly at only $19.99. I own this Blu-ray trilogy and will admit it isn’t necessarily the best Blu-ray transfer you’re going to come across, but at that price it’s just about right. If you’re interested in picking it up, [amazon asin=”B003EYEF2S” text=”click here”] to take advantage.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s get to this week’s releases.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
It doesn’t actually hit shelves until November 11, but the biggest release of the week — when it comes to the masses — is clearly Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, even though I think we all know there will eventually be a Blu-ray edition with both parts on one single disc. That is the one I want.
This release comes on either DVD, Blu-ray, a “movie only” Blu-ray edition that’s a little cheaper and as part of a box set that includes the entire franchise of films. You can buy it now, but if I were you I would wait as it’s a foregone conclusion something better will be released down the line.
Fanny and Alexander (Criterion Collection)
This is the first of two films in today’s post that made me add the “when it comes to the masses” comment in the Harry Potter blurb above as I am sure there are many like me that find Criterion’s Blu-ray release of Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny and Alexander a far bigger release than the second installment in the Harry Potter franchise. After all, we already know there will be another release of that film, most likely in a super-duper release with the two parts smushed together. Well, that’s what comparison is actually part of what makes Criterion’s release of Fanny and Alexander so great…
If, like me, you own Criterion’s previously released five-disc DVD edition you will open this box set to find only three discs, the first holds the complete 320-minute television version of the film, the second holds the 188-minute version of the film and on disc three are the special features. Personally I hate multiple discs for individual films and the beauty of Blu-ray proves a bonus when it comes to being able to hold that much information on one disc.
When Criterion first announced they were going to begin issuing Blu-ray discs, Fanny and Alexander was one of the first films I thought of, primarily for the beautiful photography from longtime Bergman cinematographer Sven Nykvist and it truly shines on this release, which does improve on the DVD editions if you ask me, though, I must admit the Criterion image is noticeably warmer than it’s DVD counterpart, something you can see for yourself in screen captures right here. Whether this is closer to Bergman’s true intention we’ll never know, but it definitely looks more natural and less blown out when compared to the DVD edition.
Now, if you click the link below and buy it from Amazon it will cost you $39.99, but if you click here and buy it from Barnes and Noble you’ll get it for only $29.99 as part of their 50% off Criterion titles sale, but you better hurry, that sale ends on the 21st I believe.
Blue Velvet [Blu-ray]
Another film that I’m sure excites people more than the Harry Potter finale is David Lynch’s Blue Velvet coming to Blu-ray. Personally, this isn’t a “must” in my book. To be honest, I’m not interested at all in owning this movie, which is a fun curiosity and something I may watch again some time down the line, but there are many more films I’d rather explore for now than watch this one again.
I saw this twice in the theaters and I’ll admit, the second time I didn’t find it as funny as I did the first, but I still laughed a fair amount. That said, I don’t think it’s worth buying though I definitely recommend making it a rental.
This was one of only two films I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival that I never got around to reviewing, not because it was a bad film, but because it was yet another mediocre film and there comes a point where mediocrity can only be described so many ways. This film plays like a television drama more than anything else and won’t disappoint you if you give it a rent, but spend money buying it and you are likely to wish you hadn’t.
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