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Blu-ray Releases For July

July 3, 2014

Summer is in full swing and so are the Blu-ray releases. Lots and lots of new releases, so without further fanfare, here are some of the highlights you can expect to see in the next several weeks.

Per my usual custom, I’ll start things off with a look at some of the current crop of recent theatrical releases. These include the Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle Sabotage (Not Screened); Noah (** ½); Heaven is For Real (** ½); Bad Words (Not Screened); The Lunchbox (Not Screened); The Unknown Known (Not Screened); Jodorowsky’s Dune (Not Screened); Under the Skin (Not Screened); Rio 2 (**); Nymphomaniac Volumes One and Two (Not Screened) and Dom Hemingway (Not Screened).

The late Lee Marvin in Point Blank

Universal will be busy pulling catalogue titles from its vault for Blu-ray release. This month’s offerings include Bring it On (** ½); Cry Baby (***); Kindergarten Cop (** ½) and the 1994 update of The Little Rascals (**).  Another of Universal’s titles, Operation Petticoat (** ½) has been picked up by Olive Films and will be issued accordingly.

Warners will be issuing double features of several of its catalogue titles, controlled via its arrangement with Paramount. These include double bills of Face Off (***)Snake Eyes (** ½) and the two Lara Croft Films (Not Screened).  Warners will also see fit to issue the 1967 Lee Marvin classic Point Blank, and a 45th anniversary pressing of Woodstock.

Twilight Time continues its trend of releasing titles that the other studios show no interest in issuing. This month’s release schedule includes Born Yesterday (1950) (***) and Woody Allen’s 1987 autobiographical slice of life, Radio Days (*** ½). These will be issued in limited quantities of 3000 so get yours whilst you can.

Judy Holiday & William Holden in Born Yesterday

Criterion has an interesting slate of titles scheduled for release in July. These include David Cronenberg’s 1981 film Scanners (***); The Big Chill (***); the 1997 version of Insomnia (Not Screened); and a box set of Jacques Demy’s films entitled The Essential Jacques Demy (most of these films average a *** 1/2 rating and come highly recommended).

The independent label Kino has licensed the rights to some of MGM’s titles and will begin issuing these discs in July. Their initial offerings include director Billy Wilder’s 1970 film The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (*** ½) and the 1955 Best Picture winner, Marty (*** ½).

Shout Factory and Scream Factory have some interesting offerings as well during the month.

John Travolta in Face/Off

These include the 1983 fright flick Curtains (Not Screened); a 13 disc box set of the films of Werner Herzog (too many to list here) and the 1982 horror film, Deadly Eyes (** ½) an early eighties staple of HBO whose plot revolves around murderous rats on the loose.

Finally, there are several odds and ends that are worth mentioning that will see release on Blu-ray by various companies. These include the 1960s Godzilla entry, Destroy All Monsters (** 1/2); a special edition of the 1980s cult classic The Legend of Billy Jean (** 1/2); a box set of the 1980s miniseries Shogun (***) and a box set of David Lynch’s acclaimed TV series Twin Peaks, which also includes the theatrical film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (** ½).

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