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This Week on Blu-ray: November 13-20

Posted November 11, 2012 08:36 AM by Josh Katz

Show all Blu-ray releases this week

When talking about this week's notable Blu-ray releases, we need to go back to November 9th; Sony released The Amazing Spider-Man on that date, the rebooted beginning to the Spider-Man franchise. The worst thing anyone can say about the new film is how similar its setup is to Sam Raimi's 2002 box-office smash Spider-Man. Both The Amazing Spider-Man and the earlier film focus on how brainy high-schooler Peter Parker became...well, The Amazing Spider-Man. However, with (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb helming Spidey Version 2.0, the film has pleasing grit and understated heart. The CGI-based theatrics are fairly rote, but the development of Peter and Gwen Stacy (the wonderful Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone) feels quirkier and less familiar - these two could have stepped straight out of The Breakfast Club, and for that fact alone, The Amazing Spider-Man merits a viewing.

In his Blu-ray review, Martin Liebman expresses the same satisfaction, writing that the movie "works on every level. It's not just a 'cool new movie' but also a rather deep character study and human drama mixed together with polished action and fine visual effects. The movie is a little slow out of the gate and the digital monster doesn't look seamlessly fantastic, but otherwise this is a real winner, a superb picture and an excellent movie revamp of a franchise that, perhaps, didn't scream out as needing a second look but that definitely benefits from it. Director Marc Webb's slightly more human take on the series works very well, as does the ensemble cast that largely beats out the primaries from the earlier films."

Another high-profile new release is Disney/Pixar's Brave. This animated adventure didn't net Pixar the same critical and commercial praise that films like WALL•E and Up drew; the story of a Scottish princess trying to forge her own destiny, Brave is a little too familiar, a little less inspired. It is also (give me a minute) funny, exciting, heartfelt, and genuinely engaging. This might be lesser Pixar, but it's worthy lesser Pixar, and hardly deserving of the scorn that met the Cars series.

Kenneth Brown reviewed the film, noting that "it's easy to dismiss Brave. It isn't as moving, awe-inspiring, invigorating, intelligent or sweeping as Pixar's best. But it also has valuable things to offer those who won't notice how familiar it all feels, who won't see its squandered potential, or care about its small-scale ambitions. A lesson in respect, honor and love. A tale of a family capable of weathering the worst storms. An adventure built on the notion that youthful impulse and tradition aren't mutually exclusive, and the idea that one is inadequate without the other. A magnificently animated entry in a master animation studio's catalog. Lesser Pixar film or no, Brave is all these things, and children, especially little girls, will adore everything it has to give."

One of cinema's crown jewels finally hits the HD format this week with the Blu-ray release of Lawrence of Arabia. No small screen can adequately display David Lean's masterful epic; Lean crafted every shot for maximum big-screen absorption, and even though Sony has spared no expense in providing Lawrence of Arabia with a sparkling 4K restoration, the grand visuals suffer somewhat on even the largest big-screen television. However, that format concern is the only issue plaguing this classic, which remains the great screen spectacle. Robert Bolt's screenplay is literate and highly relevant, and Peter O'Toole's performance as the title character is one for the time capsule.

Martin Liebman's Blu-ray review expresses the highest praise for the feature, how "film just doesn't get better than Lawrence of Arabia. This is an epic masterpiece if there ever was one, the cinephiles' film, the picture that defines everything that's great about its medium. The film boasts perhaps the finest direction and cinematography ever to shape a film, never mind its outstanding score and exacting acting. It's an unforgettable viewing experience...No surprise that this is perhaps the best Blu-ray release of the year -- save, perhaps, for the larger collector's edition set with added supplements and incentives"

Finally, the world of TV-on-Blu-ray gets a big addition with the release of Friends. One of the most popular series to ever air on television, David Crane and Marta Kauffman's iconic sitcom focuses on six young professionals sharing an apartment together in Manhattan. The program, which ran for ten years on NBC, made international stars out of its young cast, which includes Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer; the deluxe Blu-ray set compiles all ten seasons in one twenty-one-disc package.











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

News comments (34 comments)


Romansh
  Nov 11, 2012
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Any official statement from the staff as to when the Friends BD review will show up?

thelittleprince
  Nov 11, 2012
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Lawrence of Arabia and Brave for me this week.

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zoodermin
  Nov 11, 2012
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Brave and Lawrence of Arabia for me! A great week. I’ll pick Spider-man and Friends in the future.
Shatterer
  Nov 11, 2012
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Lawrence of Arabia, Brave, Amazing Spider Man, Empire of the Sun, and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. Awesome week!
anomaly7
  Nov 11, 2012
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What a fantastic week. I'm getting Brave this week, but Lawrence of Arabia, Amazing Spider-man, Empire of the Sun, and Pixar's short film collection volume 2 are on my wish list.

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Wdm81
  Nov 11, 2012
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I'd love to get amazing spiderman this week...except that i got it last week. Why wasn't it apart of last weeks releases? Just curious as it doesn't make any sense

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mreeves83
  Nov 11, 2012
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I'm picking up Brave, Lawrence of Arabia, and Bill & Ted. "All we are is dust in the wind, dude." And like wdm81 I picked up Amazing Spider-Man last week when it came out. Friends is on my wishlist.

spanky87
  Nov 11, 2012
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I wonder if the title is ironic, because the new spiderman was anything but "amazing"

rollinwith26s
  Nov 11, 2012
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The Lawrence of Arabia trailer sent chills down my spine. I know what I'm getting on Tuesday.

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Sopranogl
  Nov 12, 2012
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"Friends"?

Where's "Seinfeld"?

Where's "The Wire"?!

Brad1963
  Nov 12, 2012
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Weekend, Lawrence of Arabia and Empire of the Sun for me this week.

vabney84
  Nov 12, 2012
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The Watch, Friends, Savages, Brave, Watchmen,

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repete66211
  Nov 12, 2012
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Another Spider Man. Because Hollywood just quit trying. Because some suckers will eat anything Hollywood feeds them.

rockinrick
  Nov 12, 2012
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Postman Always Rings Twice both versions
Lawrence Of Arabia
Spiderman
Film Noir Collection

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Toasterlad
  Nov 12, 2012
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That's really not even close to the worst anyone could say about Amazing Spider-Man.

PossumPete
  Nov 12, 2012
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Larry, Spidey (Best Buy), and Brave (Target). A pretty good week!

Marciano315
  Nov 12, 2012
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I'll wait for Brave since it's 9 bucks at walmart on black friday, already have Amazing Spiderman, will get Bill and Ted, might get Nitro Circus

coolkev1701
  Nov 12, 2012
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Lawrence of Arabia and Savages for me this week.

Oblivion138
  Nov 12, 2012
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Ah, haters and Tobey fanboys...gotta love 'em. ASM was a Day One purchase. Can't wait for Lawrence. Couldn't care less about the rest of this week's releases.

Boothill Gunslinger
  Nov 13, 2012
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Pixar Short Films - Vol. 2
The Watch
Brave 3D
Amazing Spider-Man
Bill & Ted
Nitro Circus
The Universe In 3D
Lawrence Of Arabia
Snowmageddon

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DrMARK
  Nov 13, 2012
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I pre-ordered 'The Amazing Spider-Man' because I really liked the movie when I saw it in the theater. Its unfortunate that it was not given the 7.1 treatment.

kknight
  Nov 13, 2012
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FRIENDS!!! Finally out on Blu-ray! Brave 3D, The Universe 3D and Amazing Spider-Man 3D... Great week.
Harry Lloyd
  Nov 13, 2012
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TV cuts of Friends is a disappointment. While some of the extended scenes were rubbish, many were great.

"Technical reasons" is not good enough for me. They could have even used seamless branching to mix SD extended scenes with HD TV cuts. Professionals could make that work.
hijeff1
  Nov 13, 2012
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This is an expensive week for me. Amazing Spider-Man, Brave 3D and FRIENDS!!!!!! I'm not happy that the Friends box set does not include the extended scenes but who am I really punishing by not buying the set? Me or the studio, so my vote is I'm BUYING IT!!!!

Grethiwha
  Nov 13, 2012
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Lawrence of Arabia! Lawrence of Arabia! Lawrence of Arabia!

Vico
  Nov 13, 2012
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Brave wasn't that good when the kids and I saw it in the theater. I'll pass on that one.

MJW
  Nov 13, 2012
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Children Who Chase Lost Voices and Brave for me.

ChiefSequatchie
  Nov 13, 2012
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Brave
Lawrence of Arabia (I may wait and get the Collector's Edition when its cheaper)
Empire of the Sun
Astonishing X-Men
The Postman Always rings Twice (Both Versions)
Austin Powers (Triple Feature)

.
mhobart
  Nov 13, 2012
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I was lucky enough to catch the one-day-only theatrical re-release of the restored Lawrence of Arabia. WOW, to put it mildly. It also alerted me that there area now a few studios doing such limited theatrical releases of restored classic movies. I've seen more movies in the last couple of months than in the last couple of years before that period :-)

My copy of the restored blu-ray collector's edition release should arrive in the next two days :-) Not as magnificent an experience but certainly more convenient for access.

Old Bones
  Nov 14, 2012
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Lawrence of Arabia - WOW - 10 out of 10
Spiderman - MEH - 0 out of 10

vaderman
  Nov 14, 2012
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Picked up my favorite show of all time Friends from best buy and also The amazing spider-man

PBateman87
  Nov 14, 2012
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It's about time I watched Lawrence of Arabia...I'll pick that up sometime down the road.

BluPix
  Nov 15, 2012
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This is a big week for blu, actually.

Arriving from my preorders are four films I've been very excited about: Pasolini's Trilogy of Life box set; and Godard's Weekend (1967); plus two all-time favorites I've long yearned for on blu: Spielberg's Empire of the Sun (blu-ray book); and, the biggest and best of all, Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (the 50th Anniversary Limited Collectors Edition).

In the future, I'll likely buy The Amazing Spider-Man (probably in 3D); both versions of The Postman Always Rings Twice; and Watchmen (the Collector's Edition).

Down the line, especially with a sale, I may also buy Savages and Twilight's Last Gleaming

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repete66211
  Nov 15, 2012
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@mhobart: To Kill a Mockingbird will be showing in theaters tonight.


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