NOTE – As there is only two major releases this week, I’m including a couple of must-haves that are arriving on Blu-Ray.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – This is the big title of the week, and with good reason; this is the first time the film has been released on Blu-Ray. The improved sound and picture should make this film quite the experience to watch, and I’m sure fans will pick this up. For those who do not know, the trilogy follows Frodo and the Fellowship on a quest to destroy a ring – the ring that rules them all. The word “epic” is the perfect word to describe Peter Jackson’s films, and it should move off the shelves in a hurry. Please note that the trilogy is only sold as a trilogy, not individually, and only contains the theatrical versions. I’m sure the extended cuts will come to Blu-Ray soon enough.
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – This is really the only other major new release of the week. The film is a sequel to Harvey Keitel’s and Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant in name only. The film follows Nicolas Cage as a cop in New Orleans. He is not a nice guy by any stretch, and he ends up injuring his back on the job, which gets him addicted to drugs and he becomes even more out of control. The film rests on Cage’s performance, and I’ve heard very mixed reactions on it. Cage did receive some excellent notices for the film, and you know you’re getting something different when Werner Herzog is the director. A challenging film for sure, but worth watching.
Cocoon – This film is coming to Blu-Ray for the first time, and it follows a group of seniors who are trying to cover up the fact that aliens have landed in their retirement community. For those who have seen Ron Howard’s film, I’m making it sound more conspiratorial than the film is. The cast is outstanding as it features Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Don Ameche, Brian Dennehy, Maureen Stapleton, Wilford Brimley and Steve Guttenberg. It truly is a great film, and the cast who make up the seniors put on a master class of acting. I highly recommend this film if you do not have it in your collection. On a side note, Don Ameche won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance.
The Natural – Another excellent film that is arriving on Blu-Ray for the first time is Barry Levinson’s baseball drama. The film stars Robert Redford as a former baseball prodigy who returns to the game after a freak incident that side-lined his career. With his homemade bat from a tree that was struck by lightning, Redford’s character starts tearing up the baseball leagues and he begins to live up to the promise he once had. The film is one of the best baseball films that I have ever seen, and like Cocoon, it features an all-star cast that includes Redford, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Barbara Hershey, Wilford Brimley, Robert Prosky, and Richard Farnsworth. The climatic sequence is one of my favourites, and is highlighted by a fantastic score. The film captures the period wonderfully, and if you haven’t seen this film yet, you should definitely pick it up.
TV ON DVD
Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series – The series has already been released on Blu-Ray once before, and from what I have read, this version is a slightly improved. The packaging is much better, and the special features now include “The Plan” and some webisodes. Only worth double-dipping if you are a massive fan.
Until Next Tuesday!