This Week On DVD/BD: Arnold's Conan Goes Hi-Def

Plus Rio, Soul Surfer, Spy Kids, Eastbound & Down and MST3K Vs. Gamera

By , Columnist

Unless you’re looking to upgrade some DVDs to Blu-ray this week, there isn’t a whole lot going on in VideoLand. Arnold Schwarzenegger leads the "New to Blu" horde with high-def reissues of Conan The Barbarian and Conan The Destroyer from Universal, just in time for the 3D theatrical remake.

John Milius’ 1982 original is a must-own and one of the very best examples of the genre. The 1984 sequel, directed by Richard Fleischer, is less essential, but any movie that teams Arnold with Grace Jones can’t be all bad.

Also this week, Warner Home Video brings Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Name Of The Rose with Sean Connery to BD for the first time. The studio also upgrades Barry Levinson’s Sleepers and the Sigourney Weaver thriller Copycat. Paramount presents the John Cusack cult comedy Better Off Dead on BD, while Lionsgate gives the HD treatment to the first three Spy Kids movies.

The week’s biggest new release is the animated comedy Rio (DVD/BD from 20th Century Fox). A Blu-ray 3D edition is on the schedule for August 30. If animation’s not your bag, check out the inspirational drama Soul Surfer (DVD/BD from Sony). The great character actor J.K. Simmons gets a rare leading role in The Music Never Stopped (DVD from Lionsgate).

For vampire fans, Stake Land (DVD/BD from Dark Sky) is one of the most acclaimed horror movies of the year. And Everybody Loves Raymond creator Philip Rosenthal goes to Russia for the culture-clash documentary Exporting Raymond (DVD/BD from Sony).

The week’s most exciting TV release has to be Eastbound & Down: The Complete Second Season (DVD/BD from HBO). Elsewhere on the cable dial, Showtime/Paramount offer up The United States Of Tara: The Third Season (DVD). Warner brings Everwood: The Complete Fourth Season to DVD. And Tom Selleck’s popular series of TV-movies continues with Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost (DVD from Sony).

Finally this week, Shout! Factory continues to give Mystery Science Theater 3000 the respect it deserves with the deluxe box set MST3K Vs. Gamera. The limited edition tin includes all five of the Satellite of Love’s Gamera episodes, long unavailable on DVD due to rights issues. There’s no better way to spend an evening with a giant flying turtle.

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Adam Jahnke has been writing about film since age 13, when he began foisting a self-published newsletter on friends and family (copies of which are now mercifully lost to the ages). In 2000, he joined the staff of the highly respected DVD website The Digital Bits, where he continues to serve as columnist…

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