*The Special Edition will be resuming shortly. In the meantime, this.
Fans of animation, both CG and hand-drawn, have much to anticipate in the second week of March as it’s loaded with some dazzling animated spectacle. Throw in a little indie fare, a couple classics doubling up and fucking Madmartigan to round out the rest of the goodness and it’s a sweet week. Clicking on the pics will take you to Amazon where you can buy the disc and support CHUD all at the same time. But talk is cheap, I want your body:
Life of Pi Blu-ray 3-D ($27.99)
Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is everything you’d expect from the brilliant filmmaker leading up to a pretty deflating ending. Visually vibrant and deftly composed, Ang sticks to the book’s ending and I’m left wondering if he couldn’t have topped it. A story about a boy shipwrecked on a boat, forced to tame a tiger named Richard Parker, Pi was what finally sold me on 3D as a viable format. This three-disc collector’s edition contains the 3D Blu-ray, the regular theatrical Blu-ray and a DVD disc. Discs 1 & 2 are stacked with the typical special features and an Ultraviolet code thrown in as well. If 3D ain’t your bag, there’s a straight BR two-disc for $22.99 available right here.
Rise of the Guardians Two Disc Combo w/ Blu-ray+DVD+Ultraviolet ($18.99)
The best animated wide release of 2012 wasn’t Wreck-it Ralph. Low expectations will end up doing this one a world of good, though it never really showed at the box office. This is a good one to have on hand if you have little ones around this Easter. Or any holiday, really. It’s hard to believe Pixar didn’t even have the second best animated offering this year, but this one’s an easy purchase for me. Just a really good time, especially for those of us who wondered as kids if Santa and the Easter Bunny ever hung out and kicked ass together.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Blu-ray+DVD ($16.99) / The Hunchback of Notre Dame Blu-ray+DVD ($24.99) / Mulan & Mulan II Two-Pack Blu-ray+DVD ($22.99)
That’s not a typo. Amazon’s really letting Who Framed Roger Rabbit? fly at $16.99 for now. A nice perk considering it’s the only one of Disney’s releases worth a damn this week. Hunchback and Mulan, regardless of box office take, were released at a time when Disney’s hand-drawn animation studio was winding down in terms of storytelling quality. Roger Rabbit is released in two different packages, one in the traditional Blu-ray trim and another in gold. Regardless, buyers still get the same thing inside either box. Just something collectors might want to note.
Willow Blu-Ray/DVD Combo ($14.99)
Ol’ neckbeard himself George Lucas collaborates with Opie to make one of the weirdest fantasy films of all time that isn’t Legend. This scene scared the living shit out of me as a kid, but it was also the one I always fast-forwarded to whenever we rented it. There was a minor cottage industry of fantasy films both small and large in the 80s and it’s kind of fun remembering a time when filmmakers didn’t have Peter Jackson’s toolbox at their disposal. In truth, the technology could not yet support the immense scale a fantasy film requires. I’m worried time has been terribly unkind to this effort; but I need human-to-pig transformations and I need them to be in 1080p.
The Blob Criterion Collection Blu-Ray ($26.99)
Steve McQueen is a teenage boy battling an expanding giant purple blob that eats everything in its path. This is grand B-movie cheese of the time, and here it gets the full Criterion treatment. The film’s a little sluggish in parts and the concept is rightly better than the execution (to be improved upon in the surprisingly not-on-blu-ray ’88 remake), but it’s just so god damn earnest that you can’t help but love it. Criterion spares no expense here, springing for the full digital restoration and two audio commentaries. At $27 it’s one of the more modestly priced Criterion releases as well. The cover art here is sublime. I wish I had the dough to justify buying a Blu-ray for its cover art.
Alfred Hitchcock: The Classic Collection Blu-ray
($53.99) / Hitchcock Blu-Ray+DVD Combo ($21.99)
I’ve yet to see Hitchcock. Word of mouth has me thinking I’ll likely stream on Amazon for cheap rather than spring for this disc set. This Classic Collection is a real bummer though. You can have three Hitchcock Blu-rays for $54 dollars or you can go all out and own The Masterpiece Collection for $147.99. Granted, that collection won’t have have any of the three bundled here in the Classic Collection. But personally I’d trade Vertigo, Marnie, Frenzy and North by Northwest for anything in this collection. The Classic Collection will be a steal when it comes down around the holidays. Strong recommendation to wait.
Casablanca | The African Queen Blu-ray Double Feature ($14.99)
A Double Bogie! I want to back up and apologize for that time I referred to this disc set as “A Double Bogie!” It was embarrassing for you and it was embarrassing for me. But it happened and the best thing we can do now is move on with our lives. There are better BR editions of Casablanca out there (here, or more expensively here). But this is the cheapest copy around. And with the addition of The African Queen, this package becomes a sweet deal indeed. A lone BD of African Queen retails around $20 currently. So if you love both films, why wouldn’t you go in here? I already have the hefty Ultimate Collector’s Edition of ‘blanca and I’m springing for this disc solely because it’s the best deal out there on Queen.
Watchmen: The Complete Motion Comic | Tales of the Black Freighter Double Feature w/ Under the Hood
I made the mistake of watching Watchmen: The Motion Comic before catching the Snyder adaptation opening night. It’s not outright offensive but it does apply that audio book method of narration where it’s one guy doing all the voices. It’s sort of like when your parents read you Berenstein Bears except now you’re a grown ass adult and this new book has balls and tits. WB is putting out all sorts of crazy double features this week, but this one’s solely for the Watchman completist.
LIGHTNING BLUS: $10 & Under!!!!!!!
That’s all for now. I’ll likely be back next week pending gonorrhea or a lepus attack.