At first glance, this seems like another light week of DVD and Blu-ray releases. But any week that sees John Landis’s 1980 classic The Blues Brothers arrive on BD is a good one in my book. The Blues Brothers is one of those movies that just gets better with each passing year. Universal’s Blu-ray includes both the original theatrical cut as well as the 148-minute extended version, plus extras ported over from previous DVD releases.
As far as I’m concerned, The Blues Brothers represents John Belushi’s finest hour on film. However, there are those who make a case for National Lampoon’s Animal House. It too arrives on Blu-ray today courtesy of Universal. Now if only the studio would release Steven Spielberg’s 1941 on BD, we could have a killer Belushi triple feature at home.
The Criterion Collection has three new releases today, including Todd Solondz’s Life During Wartime (DVD/BD), the quasi-sequel to his 1998 film Happiness. Criterion also returns to one of their favorite filmmakers, Jean-Pierre Melville, releasing his 1961 drama Léon Morin, Priest (DVD/BD). If you get just one Criterion release this week, make it Akira Kurosawa’s High And Low, a crackerjack 1963 thriller based on a novel by Ed McBain. It’s one of Kurosawa’s best and Criterion today gives it a BD upgrade.
As for new movies, Summit Entertainment debuts Jake Gyllenhaal in the sci-fi thriller Source Code (DVD/BD). This received a number of respectable reviews and I’m a big fan of director Duncan Jones’s previous film, Moon, so I’m looking forward to checking this out. David Schwimmer moves further away from Friends’ Central Perk by taking the director’s chair on Trust (DVD/BD from Millennium), a drama about online sexual predators starring Clive Owen and Catherine Keener.
There are also two movies hitting shelves today you probably missed, if you knew they existed at all. Jonathan English’s medieval adventure Ironclad (DVD/BD from Arc Entertainment) boasts an intriguing cast that includes James Purefoy, Brian Cox, Jason Flemyng, and Paul Giamatti as King John (say it with me huh?). Also, Brandon Routh stars in Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night (DVD/BD from 20th Century Fox), an adaptation of the fantastic Italian comic series by Tiziano Scalvi that previously served as the inspiration for the cult classic Cemetery Man.
On the televisual front, Bruce Campbell gets his own spinoff in the TV-movie Burn Notice: The Fall Of Sam Axe (DVD/BD from 20th Century Fox). If you can’t get enough of Supernatural, Warner Home Video has Supernatural: The Anime Series (DVD/BD). For classic TV fans, Shout! Factory presents Dennis The Menace: Season Two (DVD only). And for those of you who want to hasten the fall of western civilization, MTV/Paramount has Jersey Shore: Season Three Uncensored (DVD only).
Finally this week, Warner Archive adds six films starring Clark Gable to their MOD collection, including William Wellman’s Across The Wide Missouri, Victor Fleming’s Adventure, Mervyn LeRoy’s Any Number Can Play, Jack Conway’s The Hucksters, Vincent Sherman’s Lone Star, and Charles Brabin’s Sporting Blood. If your tastes are slightly more modern, they’re also debuting the fishy 70s TV series Man From Atlantis starring Patrick Duffy.