Sam Mendes's Oscar-winning American Beauty
starring Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch and Mena Suvari gets a much-deserved Blu-ray upgrade on September 21 as part of Paramount's Sapphire Series. In 1080p, maybe now you'll be able to see the beauty in that plastic grocery bag floating in the wind that Wes Bentley's character saw…or not. Either way the movie is going to look the best it has since theaters and includes commentary with Mendes and writer Alan Ball, "American Beauty
—Look Closer…" and a storyboard presentation with Mendes and director of photography Conrad L. Hall.
Red Dragon, the prequel to The Silence of the Lambs, is the last entry in the Hannibal Lecter series starring Anthony Hopkins to get a Blu-ray upgrade, which is currently scheduled for October 12. Both The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal are already available on Blu-ray packaged with Manhunter, the original Hannibal movie that does not star Hopkins. Red Dragon also stars Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Harvey Keitel and Philip Seymour Hoffman and comes to BD with a banquet of bonus features, including commentary with director Brett Ratner and writer Ted Tally; music score commentary with composer Danny Elfman; Lecter's FBI file and life history; "Inside the Mind of a Serial Killer," hosted by John Douglas; "Anthony Hopkins: Lecter and Me;" "The Making of Red Dragon;" additional scenes; Brett Ratner's student film; "The Burning Wheelchair;" "The Leeds' House Crime Scene" screen tests and more.
The 1983 animated cult film Rock & Rule gets resurrected on Blu-ray on September 28. Punk and new wave music lovers know that the apocalyptic film, directed by Clive A. Smith, features unreleased music by Debbie Harry, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and Cheap Trick.
Unlikely pair George Clooney and Nicole Kidman teamed up to fight nuclear terrorists in the 1997 thriller The Peacemaker, which makes its Blu-ray debut on September 21. Supplements include stunt footage and some material from the cutting room floor, which can't be much considering the lack of extras.
Attention stop-motion enthusiasts: Sony wants you to vote for the next Ray Harryhausen film to hit Blu-ray in celebration of the legend's 90th birthday. The choices are The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger and Mysterious Island!. So far the latter is winning, but that could all change with more votes. Click here to cast yours.
Good news for PlayStation 3 owners who are eager for an upgrade to the next dimension: Sony has announced that the firmware upgrade to make the PS3 able to play 3D Blu-rays is coming in September. The bad news is that you'll still need to pick up glasses and a 3D-ready TV if you don't already have one.
Also new on BD this week: Assault on Precinct 13 (2005), The Bounty Hunter, Caught in the Crossfire, Chloe, The Greatest, Greenberg, In Bruges, Insomnia, Middle of Nowhere, Our Family Wedding, Parasomnia and White Collar: The Complete First Season