Tuesday, July 27 sees 20-something horror, fantasy, and science fiction titles released on DVD, Blu-ray, and/or Video on Demand, including two high-profile (if not necessarily high-quality) theatrical films and some classic/cult movies repackaged with collectible t-shirts (gotta find some excuse to keep re-issuing those public domain titles!). The 800,000 ton kraken this week is Warner Brothers’ release of CLASH OF THE TITANS, starring Sam Worthington. Fans have their choice of the VOD rental/purchase, a DVD, and a combo pack containing Blu-ray, DVD and a digital copy. Although not a critical favorite (in part because of an unsatisfactory 3-D face lift added in post-production), this remake is actually an improvement over the 1981 Ray Harryhausen original, with a good central idea, decent characterizations and performances, and updated special effects. Like the later JONAH HEX, CLASH OF THE TITANS went through extensive editorial revisions, including the shooting of additional footage. (In the original scenario, Zeus remains a villain throughout, and the lesser gods help Perseus to thwart his plans; the theatrical version gives Zeus a change of heart after he realizes he is being played by Hades.) The DVD bonus features include deleted scenes, which should give some idea of what was originally intended. The Blu-ray also includes the additional scenes, plus an alternate ending, in which Perseus confronts Zeus on Mount Olympus. Other Blu-ray bonus features:
- Sam Worthington: An Action Hero for the Ages: a featurette on the star
- Harnessing the Gods: Maximum Movie Mode: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and director Louis Leterrier offer scene breakdowns, VFX breakdowns, vignettes, and a look at locations, stunt work, and the Kraken, the Scorpiochs, Medusa.
- BD-Live enabled
Also arriving on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD this week is REPO MAN, the rather dismal tale of futuristic collectors who retrieve artificial organs from recipients who cannot keep up with their payments. Bonus features on the DVD and Blu-ray disc include:
- DELETED SCENES with optional commentary with Director Miguel Sapochnik and Writers Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner.
- UNION COMMERCIALS: See the unique Union commercials used in the film in their entirety.
- INSIDE THE VISUAL EFFECTS: Get an “insider’s” look at the unique visual effects used in the film.
- FEATURE COMMENTARY: Director Miguel Sapochnik and writers Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner offer their insights into the film.
Bonus features exclusive to the Blu-ray disc include:
- BD-LIVE™: Access the BD-Live™ Center through your Internet-connected player to get even more content, watch the latest trailers and more!
- MY SCENES: Bookmark your favorite scenes from the movie.
- Pocket BLU™: USHE’s groundbreaking pocket BLU app uses iPhone™, iPod® touch, iPad™ BlackBerry®, Android™, PC, Mac and other devices to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray(TM) player and offers advanced features such as:
- Advanced Remote Control: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease.
- Video Timeline: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the movie.
- Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content to enjoy on the go, anytime, anywhere.
- Browse Titles: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU™-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray™ Hi-Def. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
- Keyboard: Enter data into a Blu-ray player with your device’s easy and intuitive keyboard.
- Social BLU™: Connect with friends on your favorite social networks to share information about your favorite movies, enjoy Blu-ray™ community features and more!
- U-Control™: Universal’s exclusive feature that lets the viewer access bonus materials without leaving the movie!
The animated BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD arrives in almost more iterations than you can count: VOD for rent and purchase, single-disc DVD, double-disc special edition DVD, and Blu-ray disc; the double-disc DVD and Blu-ray are also available (exclusive from Amazon.com) with a limited edition litho cel.
Fans of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD may be interested in the new DVD of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: REANIMATED. This is a sort of artsy experiment, in which different animators were invited to recreate sequences of the 1968 horror film.
Kaiju fans may want to check out DEATH KAPPA, a new Japanese monster movie from th creators of TOKYO GORE POLICE. The story takes the Kappa (legendary Yokai monsters from Japanese folklore) and adds an atomic twist to create a modern monstrosity in the Godzilla mold. The film is available in DVD and Blu-ray from Tokyo Shock Cinema.
If you’re into Italian imports from the gory, glory days of the 1970s, you may want to pull out your vomit bag in preparation for BEYOND THE DARKNESS: BUIO OMEGA. This 1979 Italian voodoo thriller from Joe D’Amato, known as BURIED ALIVE in the U.S., features a score by Goblin.
Synergy Entertainment offers up three old titles on DVD, packaged with collectible t-shirts, featuring reproductions of the original poster art: METROPOLIS, ATOM AGE VAMPIRE, and ATOMIC BRAIN. Each shirt is available in large and extra-large. By the way, the version of METROPOLIS is one of the old, previously available cuts of the film, not the newly restored one currently circulating in art house theatres.
The week’s other releases include:
- STARGATE UNIVERSE SG-U 1.5 on DVD
- A new Blu-ray disc of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON
- PUPPET MASTER AXIS OF EVIL on DVD and Blu-ray
- CRACK IN THE WORLD, starring Dana Andrews, the DVD
- SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH: THE COMPLETE SERIES on DVD
- BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: SEASON THREE on Blu-ray
- Ray Bradbury’s CRYSALIS on DVD
- HELL GIRL: THE TWO MIRRORS, a two-piece DVD set
- THE DEAD MATTER on DVD and 3-disc deluxe edition
- THE BURNT HOUSE on Blu-ray