Skip or Double Dip is a monthly column that takes a closer look at those movies hitting shelves again to see if their new, updated editions are worth your attention.
Die Hard 25th Anniversary Blu-ray Collection
Just before Bruce Willis is set to return to the big screen as John McClane in A Good Day to Die Hard comes this set of the previous four films: Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard with a Vengeance and Live Free or Die Hard. Die Hard was one of the most requested titles back in the early days of Blu-ray, so the four movies made their Blu-ray debut in the Die Hard Collection on November 20, 2007.
What's New?: This 25th Anniversary Collection has the same movies from the previous collection, each with its own set of standard movie-specific bonus features. What's new is an additional disc of all-new bonus features, including "Modern-Day Hero" about the casting and evolution of John McClane, "Along for the Ride" about McClane's sidekicks, "Bad to the Bone" about McClane's foes, featurettes on the effects and stunts, and a look at the appeal and influence of the Die Hard films on pop culture.
Skip or Double Dip?: While the new special features are a welcome addition and make the 25th Anniversary Collection the obvious choice for first-time buyers, we can't imagine most fans that own the original Blu-ray collection will scream "Yippie ki yay!" about paying $40 to buy the same four movies over again just to see some new supplements.
Cujo 30th Anniversary Edition
Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, Cujo stars Dee Wallace as a woman who becomes trapped in her broken-down Pinto with her young son because the titular 200-pound rabid St. Bernard won't let them get out without attacking. Lionsgate released a 25th Anniversary Edition in 2009 before Olive Films snagged the rights to release a 30th Anniversary Edition this month.
What's New?: The Lionsgate version had a decent picture, a new surround mix, audio commentary with director Lewis Teague, and a three-part documentary called "Dog Days: The Making of Cujo." The new Olive Films version has a slightly different aspect ratio (1.78:1 as opposed to Lionsgate's 1.85:1) and only has a mono soundtrack. The 30th Anniversary Edition has one extra: a newly recorded audio commentary with Teague and host Jeff McKay.
Skip or Double Dip?: When compared to the Lionsgate edition, this new Olive Films edition is for the dogs. The picture quality between the two is pretty much a draw, but the Lionsgate edition has a more immersive sound mix. Both have different commentaries by the director, but you'd have to be a rabid fan, ahem, to buy this movie again on Blu-ray to hear it. Skip it and stick with the Lionsgate version instead.
Horror Pack Blu-ray Triple Feature (The Ring, Case 39, The Uninvited)
This collection has three unrelated movies bundled together: The Ring, starring Naomi Watts; Case 39, starring Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper; and The Uninvited, starring no one really worth mentioning. All three movies are available individually on Blu-ray.
What's New?: All three movies are slapped together in this value pack with the same extras that were included in the standalone releases. There is nothing new except for the fact that this will take up less shelf space.
Skip or Double Dip?: The problem here is the varying quality of the titles involved: The Ring is classic J-horror adapted for American audiences and features a standout performance by Watts, Case 39 is an interesting change of pace for both Zellweger and Cooper even though it doesn't really come together in a totally satisfying manner, and The Uninvited is an underwhelming stepmother-vs.-stepdaughters PG-13 thriller.
But let's say you want them all—then it all comes down to price. Amazon has the triple feature priced at $31.99, while The Ring, Case 39 and The Uninvited are priced at $12.96, $12.99 and $14.99, respectively. You'll save money by buying them all together, provided that you want them all. If you already own one or two of the standalone releases and now want all of these movies, you'd be better off skipping this triple pack and buying them individually.