This Thursday’s high-def headlines: “
Flash! A-aah! Savior of the universe!” Yes, you remember the Queen theme from 1980’s cult classic Flash Gordon
. Universal is bringing Ming the Merciless and Flash home on June 15 on Blu-ray for the first time. Extras include “Alex Ross, Renowned Comic Artist, on Flash Gordon
,” “Writing a Classic: Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr.,” “First Episode of The Flash Gordon 1936 Serial” and the theatrical trailer. Go, Flash, go!
Also June 15: Universal is slowly bringing the titles it previously released on the now-defunct HD DVD format to Blu-ray. On deck is Sam Raimi’s first superhero film, Darkman, starring Liam Neeson.
Then hop aboard director Jim Jarmusch’s 1989 dram-com Mystery Train on when it makes its Blu-ray debut. Extras include two video Q&As with Jarmusch, one from the 2009 All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in New York and the other in which he responds to questions from fans. In addition to a documentary on Memphis’s social and musical history, the Criterion Collection Blu-ray comes packaged with a booklet featuring essays by writers Peter Guralnick and Dennis Lim, as well as a collectible poster.
June 8: Rodney Dangerfield gets some respect this Father’s Day when Warner Bros. releases his 1980 golfing comedy Caddyshack on Blu-ray. The disc will contain an all-new 90-minute documentary titled “Caddyshack: The Inside Story,” which contains interviews with the producers and stars about the making of the film.
April 22: After weeks of rumors it has finally been confirmed that Avatar is indeed coming home on Blu-ray on April 22. This will be a barebones release (no extras) that will supposedly free up space to improve sound and picture quality. Producer Jon Landau told The Los Angeles Times,“We wanted to do something really special and reach for the best presentation of any film in the history of the format. Everything that is put on a disc takes up room – the menus, the extras, the trailers and studio promotions – and we got rid of all of that so we could give this movie the best picture and sound possible.” A double-dip with bonus features and possibly an extended cut will show up before the end of the year, followed by a 3D triple-dip next year.
New on BD this week: The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Astro Boy (2009), Did You Hear About the Morgans?, The Fourth Kind, Ninja Assassin, The Princess and the Frog, South Park: The Complete Thirteenth Season, Unrivaled, Vengeance Trilogy and Wonderful World.