It seemed like a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away when the wait for the original Star Wars trilogy on DVD was finally over. We all assumed that the wait for any of the Star Wars films on Blu-ray would be just as long, but George Lucas has surprised everyone by announcing that all six Star Wars films will be arriving on Blu-ray in a boxed set in 2011. "Blu-ray is the absolute best way to experience Star Wars at home – in pristine high definition," said Lucas. "The films have never looked or sounded better." New, extensive special features are being prepared, including documentaries, interviews, retrospectives and behind-the-scenes footage from the Lucasfilm archives. Star Wars purists will be disappointed to know that the original theatrical versions of the first three films, which were begrudgingly added as non-anamorphic bonus DVDs in the 2004 Special Editions, will not be included on Blu-ray in any form. That's right my little Stormtroopers—on Blu-ray, Greedo shoots first.
Classic film fans will rejoice on November 16 when Criterion Collection dusts off two vintage titles for Blu-ray debuts: 1955's expressionist horror masterpiece The Night of the Hunter starring Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters, and the 1936 Charlie Chaplin film Modern Times. Charles Laughton's The Night of the Hunter features an audio commentary, a two-and-a-half hour treasure trove of outtakes, a new documentary and many other behind-the-scenes featurettes and archival footage related to the film. Modern Times comes with audio commentary by Chaplin biographer David Robinson, two segments removed from the film, "Chaplin Today: Modern Times," and other vintage treats.
The live-action adaptations Scooby Doo and Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar and Matthew Lillard zoink their way onto Blu-ray in one family double feature pack. Supplements include filmmakers' commentary, cast commentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes, additional scenes, music videos and additional Scooby snacks like "Dancing Dog," which teaches you how to dance like a CGI-generated talking dog.
James Cameron just revealed in a recent interview that he has done a "complete remaster of Aliens" for its October 26 Blu-ray debut in the Alien Anthology boxed set. In a move that is sure to ruffle the feathers of some fanboys, Cameron said he completely removed all the noise and grain from the extended version of the film. "It's sharper and clearer and more beautiful than it's ever looked," said the King of the World.
Troll 2—one of the worst films of all time according to its ranking on IMDb—has developed a devoted cult following that no doubt contributed to MGM's decision to release the horror stinker on Blu-ray on October 5. There is no word yet on any special features, but this Troll will come packaged with a DVD version as well, just in case you want to spread the magic all over your home.
Also new on BD this week: Black Orpheus, Cemetery Junction, Dexter: The Fourth Season, DOA: Dead or Alive, Furry Vengeance, Hamlet (1996), The Killing Room, The Last Song, Nanny McPhee, Skellig: The Owl Man and The Good, the Bad, the Weird.