This Thursday’s high-def headlines:
Attention George Lucas: yet another Steven Spielberg movie is making its way to Blu-ray before any of yours. The latest is War of the Worlds
starring Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning and those giant aliens that make that cool subwoofer-rumbling schwaanng
sound when they attack. Paramount’s Blu-ray debut of War of the Worlds
invades on June 1 with over two hours of bonus material, including in-depth production diaries following the crew across the country, featurettes on H. G. Wells’s legacy, scoring the film, the characters and pre-visualization, multiple photo galleries and more.
There is still one ring to rule them all, but now there is more than one way to bind them. We’re talking about the Blu-ray discs inside The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy, which comes out on April 6. If you pre-order Peter Jackson’s Oscar-winning epic on Best Buy’s website you’ll get an exclusive steel case that holds six of the set’s nine discs (everything but the digital copies). The handsome case is also available in the blue-brick stores with a $5 down payment towards the “precious” collection.
It’s not easy being green, unless you’re Shrek in 3D. In an exclusive partnership between Dreamworks Animation and Samsung, the 3D Blu-ray version of the Shrek Collection will be available in the second half of this year only with select Samsung products. “We are thrilled to be able to offer audiences the exciting opportunity to bring the world and characters of all of our Shrek movies home with them this year in 3D," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation CEO. He later confirmed with USA Today that the 3D trilogy is “exclusive to Samsung for one year.”
Attention action fans: Park Chan-Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy and Lady Vengeance) will be released on Blu-ray on March 16 as a Best Buy exclusive until June. The three-disc set is loaded with special features, which improves upon the previous BD release of Oldboy with the inclusion of a three-hour video diary called “The Autobiography of Oldboy.”
William Friedkin received a lot of static from high-def enthusiasts when the director supervised the remastering of The French Connection and his movie ended up with a strange, otherworldly color palette. Now the hue-challenged maestro is supervising The Exorcist for this fall’s Blu-ray release. “If I want a scene bluer, I get that scene bluer,” he said. Uh-oh. If his work on The French Connection is any indication, Linda Blair might be vomiting up something that looks more like Smurf juice than pea soup.
She may have lost her “electric youth” after being a pop star in the late ‘80s, but now you can place your bets as Deborah Gibson shakes her love between two marine monsters in Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus. The laughably low-budget flick from Echo Bridge Entertainment co-stars Lorenzo Lamas and has become a cult favorite on DVD. The Blu-ray will come out on May 18 at the bargain-basement list price of only $11.99, which is about half the cost of the movie’s special-effects budget.
New on BD this week: Boondog Saints II: All Saints Day, Capitalism: A Love Story, Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, Ninja, Old Dogs, Planet 51, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, The Stoning of Soroya M. and Up in the Air.