The two best chapters—Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2—in Sam Raimi's superhero trilogy starring Tobey Maguire crawl home on individual Blu-ray releases on November 16. The two movies have been available on BD for some time as part of Spider-Man: The High-Definition Trilogy, but that comes bundled with Spider-Man 3, which seemed to irritate fans of the series more than Sony's announcement of a Spidey reboot with a new cast and director. Here's hoping that Spider-Man 2, the best film of the three, gets more extras than the pitiful few including in the boxed set.
Criterion Collection is feeling cultish this December 7 when it will release Guillermo del Toro's Cronos and David Cronenberg's Videodrome on Blu-ray for the first time. Cronos contains two audio commentaries, an unreleased 1987 short film by del Toro, a tour of del Toro's office and collectibles and new interviews with the auteur and actors. Videodrome—the creepy 1982 cult classic starring James Woods and Deborah Harry—also comes with two commentaries, the short film Camera by Cronenberg, a new half hour documentary on Videodrome, plus a vintage roundtable discussion with Cronenberg, John Carpenter, John Landis, Mike Garris and much more.
Blu-ray Bob's anger crosses all dimensions at the fact that studios are bundling their best 3-D titles (i.e. Avatar and Alice in Wonderland) with exclusive hardware purchases. Warner Bros. is moving in the right direction by releasing six 3D Blu-rays on November 16 that don't require you to buy a new TV set or Blu-ray player to get them—what a concept! The titles include Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (the studio's first day-and-date 3D title), Clash of the Titans, The Polar Express, and the IMAX documentaries Deep Sea, Space Station and Under the Sea. All of the films contain a 2D version that is playable on any Blu-ray player, and the Cats and Dogs sequel will contain the new 3D Looney Tunes short "Coyote Falls" as a bonus.
That firmware update that will enable your PS3 to play 3D movies is coming sooner than expected. During the Tokyo Game Show, Sony announced that the anticipated firmware 3.50 is coming on September 21. The bad news is that you still have to buy a new TV and glasses to enter the third dimension of home entertainment.
Attention warmongers: The award-winning 1973 World War II documentary series The World at War will attack your Blu-ray player on November 16. The nine-disc set of the meticulously restored epic is narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier and features an army of extras, including "The Making of the Series," "Secretary to Hitler," "The Two Deaths of Adolf Hitler," "Hitler is Germany: The People's Community 1933-1939," "Hitler's Germany: Total War 1939-1945," plus a 30th anniversary retrospective and featurettes on restoring the series.
Vivendi Visual Entertainment is resurrecting three catalog titles that suffered the indignity of being released by Weinstein on the long-defunct HD DVD format. Harsh Times starring Christian Bale arrives on December 7, The Matador with Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear comes on the December 21, followed by Derailed with Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston on December 28.
Also new on BD this week: The Amityville Horror (2005), Bloodsport/Timecop, Boogie Woogie, Breathless, A Cinderella Story/Another Cinderella Story, Feast, Fringe: The Complete Second Season, Glee: The Complete First Season, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Five, Jacob's Ladder, Just Wright, Letters to Juliet, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Mercury Rising, Monster House 3D, The Order, Paper Man, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Return of the Living Dead, Se7en, The Twilight Zone: Season One and Unleashed