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Today on Blu-ray - December 2nd

Posted December 2, 2008 03:18 PM by Josh Dreuth

Show all Blu-ray releases this week

Author Stephen King is generally known as the king of horror, and many of his novels have gone on to become very successful horror films. And it is that generalization that catches most people off-guard when they find out that one his short stories was the inspiration for 'The Shawshank Redemption', one of the greatest films ever created. Sure, "film critics" are more likely to select films such as 'Citizen Kane' or 'Casablanca' as the best of the best, but movie watcher lists, such as IMDb's Top 250, will place this modern masterpiece at the top.

Why has this film risen to the ranks of 'The Godfather' and 'One Flew Over the Cuckcoo's Nest'? Its because this drama presents a story of hope and brotherhood that inspires viewers to rethink their own barriers in order to achieve at a higher level. Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) has his life stolen from him, but instead of being beat down by overwhelming circumstances, he continues to rise above them and never gives up hope. He is, in short, a leader. 'The Shawshank Redemption' is out on Blu-ray today.

For this wonderful film, Warner Brothers presents a beautiful VC-1 encode that shines in many places where the DVD failed. Blacks are rich and colors, when they appear, are deep and vibrant. The soundtrack too gets star treatment, with a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that really heightens the emotional state of the film. Bravo to WB for making sure this classic got the proper treatment.

On the new release front, Universal releases 'Wanted' today, and I have to admit that I was surprised by this film. The story, while by no means deep, did keep my interest long enough to bridge the amazing action sequences. The Blu-ray release is, of course, excellent. If you haven't caught on by now, Universal has become the most impressive studio as far as Blu-ray releases, and 'Wanted' is no exception. Video looks great and the soundtrack is extremely dynamic. I thoroughly enjoyed the disc, and I imagine that any action film fan will as well.

Also of note for new release today is the second film in 'The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian'. I am a huge fan of these books, having read them in grade school (and once again before the first film came out), so I have a great appreciation for Disney creating these films. I still feel, however, that director Adam Adamson is trying way too hard to duplicate the success of 'Lord of the Rings' and should stick closer to the books. But regardless, the films are enjoyable and its sure to be a popular title this holiday season.

As far as "true" classics are concerned, Fox today releases the original 'The Day the Earth Stood Still: Special Edition on Blu-ray while Warner releases 'Casablanca: Ultimate Collector's Edition'. Its studio dedication to preserving the classics that really shows their dedication to the format.

Fox is also releasing both X-Files films ('Fight the Future' and 'I Want to Believe') and Warner releases some of Mike Myers' best work with the 'Austin Powers Collection: Shagadelic Edition'.

And finally Sony is releasing a Will Ferrell hit ('Stranger than Fiction: Special Edition') and a miss ('Step Brothers') on Blu-ray today. Will Ferrell's performance in 'Stranger Than Fiction' is exemplary, and gives me hope that he will soon begin rejecting horrible comedy scripts and get into some serious drama work. Seriously.

Oh, and because I can't believe how popular this film still is, Fox is releasing 'Home Alone' to begin the month with a holiday themed bang.

Next week: The Dark Knight'. 'Nuff said.

For a complete listing of all the Blu-ray titles released today, click here.


Source: Blu-ray.com | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (25 comments)



Blu-Ron
  Dec 02, 2008
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Not a bad week! Austin Powers and Home Alone for me!

visual0ne
  Dec 02, 2008
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So many good ones. Santa please bring me one of each.

Marine Mike
  Dec 02, 2008
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"'The Shawshank Redemption', one of the greatest films ever created. "

Not according to the Blu-Ray.com movie review, lol.

bhampton
  Dec 02, 2008
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No mention of La Femme Nikita?
JohnnyBlue
  Dec 02, 2008
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My copy of Casablance arrived from tower.com yesterday. I watched it and am thoroughly impressed with the sparkling, clean, clear, rock-steady image.

The picture is so clear that it's possible to read words on newspapers and on other materials that I could never before read (or which I never even noticed). The film looks new.

Amazon tells me they shipped me "The Day The Earth Stood Still" today. I'm looking forward to seeing that one as well.

rghuxley
  Dec 02, 2008
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It's STEPHEN, not STEVEN.

Top reviewer
Top contributor
Josh
  Dec 02, 2008
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Thanks for that catch, huxley.

My fingers started cramping, so I had to leave out some important titles There are really some outstanding releases this week.

dmarvin
  Dec 02, 2008
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Will Ferrell has had way bigger misses than Step Brothers. While not a good movie, Step Brothers is hilarious, laugh at loud many times. More than I can say for most of his other recent films.

Prince Caspian was great entertainment and this is a reference-quality Blu-ray.

Shawshank is one of the greatest films of all-time.

Casablanca is right there beside it.

The Day the Earth Stood Still is a quintessential sci-fi classic and this disc is LOADED with bonus content. Love it.

Overall, one of the best weeks Blu-ray has ever had.

Meeklo
  Dec 02, 2008
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Already got Wanted and Shawshank is on it's way!

Galley
  Dec 02, 2008
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Stranger Than Fiction gets delivered tomorrow, and I will pick up Prince Caspian at Sears
shortly.

Top reviewer
nathanp
  Dec 02, 2008
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Pretty big week, picked up Wanted, Shawshank, Caspian and Step Brothers. Waiting for Casablanca and Austin Powers from Amazon.

Minimejer05
  Dec 02, 2008
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Excellent week. Dont know if I will be able to pick them all up.

Jan. 6th looks like to big of a week for me.
Shsinclair
  Dec 02, 2008
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Best movie of all time? Just look at number 4 on that list - Dark Knight- good movie but
nowhere near its ranking on that site. Please avoid the careless proof texting it makes these
reviews seem biased and more about marketing than providing a well rounded and critical
review.

RIKANA
  Dec 02, 2008
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X- files, wanted, and Austen powers for me

RI

frank_t
  Dec 02, 2008
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blu-ray.com really did show shawshank no love in its review.

oh well -- all subjective of course; i was pretty angry after reading the review and felt compelled to post to the forum. this is all i can muster.

shawshank is in my top 10 of best movies ever made.

Ray O. Blu
  Dec 02, 2008
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Shawshank is a great movie, but not a "#1" movie. The IMDB list is hilarious though. Dark Knight at #4 and Pulp Fiction at #6? I like both of them but neither are top 50 material. The Deer Hunter at #134 and no Sling Blade? Enough said. Can't wait for next week.

Ex Accountant
  Dec 02, 2008
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Shsinclair, there are over 300,000 people on IMDB.com who disagree with you about The Dark Knight. I haven't seen it so I can't say whether it is the fourth best movie in existence. I can tell you definitively, however, that it is not the #1 movie of all time. That honor of course goes to Terminator 2: Judgment Day (The Director's Cut)!!!

hostelmovies
  Dec 02, 2008
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I am so sick of Step Brothers not getting the love it deserves.

F-Man
  Dec 03, 2008
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I'd also like to mention that Step Brothers was a HUGE surprise. Each characters are so perfect in their role, and the scene where the real brother's family is introduced, singing so perfectly in their car (except for the wife who obviously hates her life) is beautifully hilarious.

oguh
  Dec 03, 2008
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today i buy mi blu-ray THE DARK NIGHT is on sale now in mexico hahahahahaha.
is AWESOME picture and sound TrueHD IS amazing THE BEST BLU-RAY since IRON MAN.
and buy PRINCE CASPIAN and WANTED, but for now i watch again THE DARK NIGHT the special features is cooooooooooooooool.

Barbie-Shrimp
  Dec 03, 2008
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The X Files timeline feature on I Want to Believe will give me HOURS of fun.

AikonEnt
  Dec 03, 2008
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It seems as though Josh's opinion of this film differs quite a bit from the person that reviewed it on here!

Never actually seen it myself, even though I own the DVD! One day I'll get around to it
1000thblurayMay12014
  Dec 03, 2008
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The Shawshank Redemption, Jingle all the way, Girls Gone Wild blonde on blonde and of course, the most back in the day movie of all time: Home Alone for me today! Blu-ray disc for life!

stewandheath
  Dec 04, 2008
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I pre-ordered my copy of The DARK KNIGHT and well now I'm thinking of picking up Prince Caspian but I just dont know if it's gonna be worth the buy.
whiteboy70176
  Dec 07, 2008
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HELL YEAH! FINALLY! The Shawshank Redemption is finally out on BR! Now I'm just waiting for movies like: The Bourne Identity, The Green Mile, The Fast And The Furious, and more! Just give me more Stephen King movies (such as The Green Mile) and I'm one happy camper!

P.S: I know Bourne and Fast And Furious are not Stephen King movies, in case you should misread my comment. : )


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