This week’s home video releases are extremely weak, but one stands out amongst the duds. The cinematic feat was accomplished by none other than Thor director Kenneth Branagh with his 1996 adaptation of Hamlet.
Luckily, there is enough DVD and Blu-ray news to go around beyond this week’s releases. George Lucas announced the Star Wars Blu-ray box set will release in the Fall of 2011 and we also found out the Grindhouse double-feature will hit Blu-ray on October 5th.
But if you need something to pick up this week, you’ve still got to resort to the newest releases and they aren’t pretty. Take a look at what’s in stores now.
The following movies can be found on DVD and Blu-ray.
The Last Song - If you feel the urge to collect Nicholas Sparks adaptations, you will get another shot this week. I’ve never heard of an alternate opening, but The Last Song home video will give you the option of watching one.
The Last Song, starring Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus, provided enough romance to quadruple the production budget at the box office. But a 3.6 out of 10 on IMDb suggests those moviegoers didn’t leave happy.
Credit for any success should go in the direction of Miley Cyrus, who continues to evolve as an actress, but needs a few more movies under her belt. Give this a rent if you need a romantic night, but don’t count on anything close to The Notebook.
Furry Vengeance – In what is considered by many to be the worst movie of 2010. Brendan Fraser’s latest foray into the film world didn’t settle so well in viewers’ stomachs. It couldn’t even muster its own production budget back in the worldwide box office.
Summit Entertainment has released some duds in their days, but this one took the cake of late. Fraser plays a greedy property developer who is swayed by the handiwork of a group of animals led by a raccoon.
The special features of the Blu-ray aren’t as weak as the movie itself:
• Commentary with director and cast
• Deleted scenes
• The Pitfalls of Pratfalls
• Working with Animals
• Gag reel
Hamlet - One of the most epic works of cinematic art finally hits Blu-ray. The first remains the last major dramatic movie to be shot entirely on 70mm film. Kenneth Branagh directed and starred in one of the best film adaptations of William Shakespeare to date.
In an ambitious attempt to honor the work of Shakespeare, Branagh gave the world a 4-hour epic that left few, if any, lines unspoken. It is a direct adaptation of the tragedy that gave us so many memorable moments.
More reason to instantly buy this Blu-ray is the unprecedented cast. Over a dozen Oscar nominees can be found in Hamlet. The movie deserves every bit of the grandeur it presents and dives head first into one of the greatest works of literature on Earth.
The Blu-ray presents a four-hour commentary with Branagh and Shakespeare expert Russell Jackson that spans all levels of background and production to keep you informed for years. Go buy it instantly if you have a Blu-ray player.
Stay tuned for next week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases for some big opportunities. While the overall picture isn’t so great, the entire Lost collection will finally be available.