What's New on DVD's?

Sep 7, 2012

It never comes as a surprise when the summertime blockbuster and family vacation movie going season comes to a close. You can almost feel that door close behind you. This year, that door closing came earlier than usual. Following the last blockbuster release of The Dark Knight Rises, Hollywood seemed to hibernate in deference to the Olympics.  So now, in preparation for the films that will be in the running for Oscar nominations, you will need to be a little creative in designing some cinematic entertainment. And what better place to start that your own living room, or media room. Here are some upcoming DVDand Blu-Ray releases that are worth your time and effort to tide you over until the good stuff starts flowing again into cinemas.

Coming out on September 18th is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, with Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, and others. It was an art-house hit and proved once again that films aimed at senior moviegoers can have an impact at the box office. On that same day, the Oscar-nominated animated film Chico & Rita is available. This is animation for adults featuring gorgeous images and a terrific jazz score. Unless something drastic happens between now and the end of the year, Chico & Rita is likely to end up on my “ten best” list for 2012.

Wes Anderson’s best film to date, and most popular, is Moonrise Kingdom. If you missed it in theatres, check it out on October 16. Wry, wistful, and totally captivating, Moonrise Kingdom boasts a director’s dream cast including Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray and Edward Norton.

If you’re in the mood for something you’ve heard of before, there are plenty of those to go around. The latter-day film noir from 1961, Man-Trap, stars Jeffrey Hunter, Stella Stevens, and David Janssen, and is directed by Oscar-winning actor Edmond O’Brien. It’s not The Big Sleep, but is good enough to warrant a viewing, and is available for the first time in its original widescreen format.

With Halloween just around the corner, you might indulge in some scary goings-on with the great Vincent Price. The MGM Scream Legends Collection contains some of Price’s more memorable titles, including The Abominable Dr. Phibes and its even better sequel Dr. Phibes Rises Again, and Theatre of Blood, in which Price plays a ham actor continually skewered by the critics who decides to take Shakespearean revenge on the entire lot of them. Among these and the four other films in the set, you’ll also get some fine performances from folks like Joseph Cotton, Diana Rigg, Robert Morley, Coral Browne (Price’s wife), and Robert Quarry.  This collection has been around for a while, but is well worth seeking out.

However, as tempting as all these video viewables are, if you still absolutely, positively have to indulge in a trip to the cinema, there’s a new remastered IMAX print of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark on screen until Thursday. It’s only at the AMCNewport on the Levee and the Showcase Springdale, but is being shown as a precursor to the new Blu-Ray edition release. Such big screen treats are getting harder to come by, so it may be worth your time and distance to catch this while you can.