Marvel Cinematic Phase One - Disney - Blu-ray
Films: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avengers, The Avengers
Odds are Marvel fans already own all of the above films individually. Disney and Marvel know this, though, so they've tried to sweeten the collector's edition pot with a very fancy piece of packaging and other physical goodies. As you can see from the picture, all of the Blu-rays come in a swanky metal case with a glowing Tesseract inside it, and they're packaged in cool little dossier sleeves with new, stylish artwork.
If you don't already own these fantastic films, this is a pretty excellent way to grab them all. If you do, then it's probably only going to be of interest to the ultra Marvel fanboys and girls out there, the kind who love to collect all the physical bits they can related to their favorite properties. There is a bonus disc here with some new extra features, but don't expect it to contain any mind-blowing material. You're really getting this for the presentation of it all.
Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collection Romance
Films: Jezebel (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Casablanca (1942), Mrs. Miniver (1942), Now, Voyager (1942), Annie Get Your Gun (1950), A Streetcar Named Desire: The Original Director's Version (1951), Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Splendor in the Grass (1961), Doctor Zhivago (1965), A Touch of Class (1973), A Star Is Born (1976), The Goodbye Girl (1977), The Bodyguard (1992), You've Got Mail (1998), Two Weeks Notice (2002), The Lake House (2006) and Nights in Rodanthe (2008).
It's easy to wish that this was a Blu-ray box set, but even in standard definition this is a pretty damned good deal for those who like a heavy dose of drama and romance in their films. At $90 for the set that averages out to be less than $5 per movie, and considering there aren't any major duds in the bunch, it's a pretty great value. The newer films in the set aren't anything incredible, but there's more than enough classics to compensate.
The packaging here is a pretty standard box set, so don't expect anything elaborate like with the Marvel case above. You're getting what you pay for, and in this case it's a pretty value-packed set of some of the finest romantic films over the last 70+ years.
Other Notable Releases
Please don't judge John Dies at the End by that weirdly vibrant cover art. This isn't some Nickelodeon show from the '90s. This is a freaky, twisty, hard-to-pin-down genre bender from Don Coscarelli, the mind that gave the world Phantasm and Bubba Ho-Tep. It's not a movie for everyone, but if you like films with offbeat stories that blend realities and that have cinematic energy to burn, you should absolutely give it a shot. On the more straightforward horror front there's the Australian film Inhuman Resources, which was previously titled Redd Inc. Fangoria is putting it on DVD here in the States and it's a decent, fairly original movie about a crazy boss who chains a handful of his workers to their desks.
Check out our interview with John Dies at the End director Don Coscarelli.
On the more serious note there's the HBO movie Hemingway & Gellhorn, featuring Clive Owen and Nicole Kidman as the famous literary couple. Then there's a pretty new Blu-ray of the beloved Barbra Stresiand musical Hello Dolly! Fans of Babs will no doubt want to pick this up, but it's not just for her fans. If you like musicals in general, keep in mind this was directed by Singin' in the Rain's Gene Kelly. And for a nonmusical about the music industry directed by another great actor, grab Tom Hanks' charming directorial debut, That Thing You Do!
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