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Blu-ray Releases In April

April 3, 2014

Spring has definitely sprung and, even though many will be enjoying outdoor activities, it is certainly worth noting the high quality of product that the studios are seeing fit to release on Blu-ray during the month of April. Without further fanfare, here is a look at what to expect.

Here are the recent theatrical releases making their video debut during the month. These include The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (** ½); August, Osage County (***); Black Nativity (not reviewed); Nut Job (not reviewed); Escape From Tomorrow (not reviewed); Paranormal Activity-The Marked Ones (* ½); Devil’s Due (not reviewed); 47 Ronin (not reviewed); Anchorman 2 (**); Grudge Match (not reviewed); Justin Bieber’s Believe (not reviewed); Philomena (*** ½); Gimme Shelter (not reviewed) and The Legend of Hercules (not reviewed).

Rod Steiger in The Pawnbroker

Universal is combing their vaults once again and will be issuing such titles as King Kong Vs. Godzilla (** ½); King Kong Escapes (** ½); Joe Kidd (***); Two Mules For Sister Sara (***); Mallrats (***); Rooster Cogburn (** ½); a 20th anniversary edition of Reality Bites (** ½); a limited edition of Touch of Evil (***) and the Billy Wilder classic Double Indemnity (****).

Warner Brothers will be issuing a massive Harry Potter Hogwarts collection along with Conspiracy Theory (***); The Wedding Singer (***); both the 1971 version of Get Carter (***) and the Sylvester Stallone remake (* ½); Rock Star (not reviewed); Funny Face (not reviewed); the 1954 version of Sabrina (*** ½); Vanilla Sky (**); and Exit Wounds (* ½).

Fox will be busy as well during the month and will offer such titles as Notes on a Scandal (***); a remastered Fargo (*** ½); Once (*** ½); and a 35th anniversary edition of Norma Rae (*** ½) while Criterion is offering special editions of The 400 Blows (*** ½) and Breaking the Waves (*** ½).

Roy Scheider in Sorcerer, 1977, now on Blu-ray

Several limited editions, courtesy of Twilight Time, being issued in April include Broadway Danny Rose (*** ½); Wild at Heart (** ½) and Used Cars (*** ½). Other unrelated noteworthy releases during the month include Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (***); the 1998 version of Great Expectations (not reviewed); a 25th anniversary edition of Chances Are (***); The Pawnbroker (*** ½); and The House on Sorority Row (** ½).

On a personal note, my most anticipated release of April would have to the Blu-ray debut of director William Friedkin’s (The Exorcist) 1977 masterpiece Sorcerer. The film, a remake of the 1953 French film The Wages of Fear, spins the tale of four imprisoned men who must drive trucks of nitroglycerin across mountainous South American terrain in an effort to put out raging oil fires burning there. It’s an astounding achievement that surpasses the original in many ways and was grossly neglected during its original release. I highly recommend it. 

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