Chat talk and light discussion

The Blu Ray Christmas Onslaught!

Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:19 am

Every year it happens - classic and cult movies are given the blu ray treatment in the hope of winning the hard-earned cash of relatives of movie-lovers during the Christmas buying frenzy. This year there are some very nice releases (in the UK at least):

Pioneers of African American Cinema is a multi-disc set covering films by African-American filmmakers from the first half of the 20th century. Some will be familiar to silent film buffs, others won't. It was a massive undertaking, and much of the cash for it came from a kickstarter campaign. No doubt the boxed set will go down as one of the most important released in either the blu ray or DVD era when it comes to cinema history.

Napoleon is the first official release of Abel Gance's five hour plus silent epic - and the restoration of the film has been the life's work of historian Kevin Brownlow.

Jamaica Inn is generally not a revered Hitchcock film, but personally I think it's a blast with Charles Laughton at his most over the top. Great to see it coming out on blu ray.

More up to date we have half-good Stephen King TV adaptation, IT, no doubt being released in order to catch some of the publicity from the big screen version currently in production.

Early Murnau takes us back to the silent era, with five, well, early Murnau films appearing in a boxed set. All have been on DVD in the past, but this promises to be a significant upgrade.

I have to say I'm rather fond of Frogs, which is making a somewhat unlikely appearance on blu-ray. Often regarded as little more than a joke by those who haven't seen it due to the title, this is actually a surprisingly good eco-horror film from the early 1970s.

Some of the others worthy of note:

Kes
The Blue Dahlia
The Man Who Fell to Earth
The Cat People
The Glass Key
Carmen Jones
Matinee
The Importance of Being Earnest
Hangmen Also Die
A number of 1970s Woody Allen films
Tales from the Crypt/Vault of Horror
Odds Against Tomorrow
Paris Blues

Expensive few months methinks!

Re: The Blu Ray Christmas Onslaught!

Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:14 am

There's some great films and hopefully excellent Blu-ray releases due over the coming months. I've already got some of the titles you've mentioned on pre-order, namely Jamaica Inn, Kes, The Blue Dahlia, The Glass Key, Odds Against Tomorrow, Hangmen Also Die and Matinee. The Glass Key is one I'm double-dipping on due to some of the extras and the likelihood that Arrow will better Koch Media's Blu-ray, which is very good. Whilst I'm happy with the Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror Blu-rays that I already have.

The latter part of the year does seem to be a time for studios and distributors to push out numerous releases, as has been the case for the past few years. And with several new independent and boutique labels securing the rights to some fantastic titles, it seems like I've always got something on pre-order. So, in addition to the above, some of the other Blu-rays I'm looking forward to are -- The Human Condition, Cleopatra Jones, 10 Rillington Place, Five Element Ninjas, House of Traps, The Water Margin, Black Magic, Flight of the Phoenix, Hex, Dark Water, The Hills Have Eyes, Paths of Glory, One Eyed Jacks, the Lone Wolf and Cub box set, and the Musashi Miyamoto Samurai Trilogy.

Those should keep me going for a little while.