While next week may feature some more prominent titles, we have a few early July options for your home viewing pleasure. Hobo with a Shotgun and 13 Assassins headline this week’s new DVD and Blu-ray releases. Das Boot also makes its Blu-ray debut.
MGM brings a handful of comedies to Blu-ray this week, but each come with a specific audience. Blu-ray fans will be happy to see When Harry Met Sally, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Throw Momma from the Train, Legally Blonde and A Fish Called Wanda.
Although this week poses few options on the home video front, there should be something in there worth your money. For a preview of next week’s titles, scroll to the bottom of this article and wait until next Tuesday for more.
The following titles can be found on DVD and Blu-ray. Click on any Blu-ray cover to order that film from Amazon.
Hobo with a Shotgun – Fans of Grindhouse will remember Hobo with a Shotgun as one of the “fake” trailers placed within the double feature. Like Machete, this title found its way to the big screen (albeit in limited release) and is now on DVD and Blu-ray. Although nothing official has been announced, we expect that there will be an expansive DVD/Blu-ray pack containing all four Grindhouse movies at some point.
Few people saw Hobo with a Shotgun in theaters, but these movies tend to succeed on home video with a cult crowd. Those fans will be happy with the “B-look” of the film, which translates well on home video, even though it was shot digitally. And even though the movie plays like a classic grindhouse movie, it has very good sound quality in addition to its great video.
For a movie that started as a 2-minute trailer, the bonus features are pleasantly deep. There is a great timeline of materials that follow the film from its inception.
- Shotgun Mode
- Two Commentary Tracks
- More Blood, More Heart: The Making of Hobo with a Shotgun
- Deleted Scenes
- Alternate Ending
- Video Blogs
- Camera Test Reel
- Fangoria Interviews
- HDNet: A Look at Hobo with a Shotgun
- Grindhouse Trailer Contest Winner: Hobo with a Shotgun
- Hobo with a Shotgun Faux Trailer Contest Winner: Van Gore
- Redband U.S. Theatrical Trailers & Canadian TV Spots
VERDICT: Rental (unless you have bought the other Grindhouse titles)
13 Assassins – One of the most legendary Japanese filmmakers ever, Takashi Miike, has another title on home video – this time it is the epic 13 Assassins. Japanese epics have done well with fans, and while this title is lesser-known, one viewing will put it right up there with any of the others. If you thought the final battle scene of Transformers: Dark of the Moon was intense, 13 Assassins review sums up this title’s finale in brief as “one of the best battle sequences ever filmed.”
While 13 Assassins comes to the screen with a classic look, it is a crisp and bombastic experience. On Blu-ray it shines through the monitor and screams through the speakers, especially during its intense final battle. If you have a home theater system and want to put it to the test, get 13 Assassins.
There are not many bonus features to explore on this release, but 18 minutes of deleted scenes should be appetizing enough to accompany the film itself.
- Deleted Scenes
- Interview with Director Takashi Miike
Das Boot – Both the 208-minute Director’s Cut and the 149-minute theatrical cut can be seen on this home video release that brings one of the most well-known World War II films of all time to Blu-ray. The confined spaces of Das Boot do not take away from the cinematic quality of the film and give a new angle to experiencing a classic on Blu-ray.
The classic look of Das Boot is not the perfect example of what Blu-ray can do to even the most worn-down films, but it deserves a place on Blu-ray shelves. Some home theater owners love Blu-ray more for the sound enhancements than the video quality. If that is the case for you, Das Boot is a great purchase.
The bonus features are pretty in depth, although the number of options are few. The extended director’s cut includes an audio commentary that serves as an alternate way to experience the production if the nearly two-hour history-focused documentary is not for you.
- Audio Commentary: Ortwin Freyermuth, director Wolfgang Petersen and actor Jürgen Prochnow.
- Historic Material: Behind the Scenes, The Battle of the Atlantic
- The Perfect Boat — The Director’s Cut
- Maria’s Take
- Captain’s Tour — Inside the Boat
- Wolfgang Petersen — Back to the Boat
The more well-known titles return to shelves next week, so now is the time to save up some money. Television fans will get Robot Chicken: Star Wars III and Entourage: Season 7, while movie lovers get The Lincoln Lawyer, Insidious and the Blu-ray debut of Brazil. With even more titles to choose from next week, it will make for a very intriguing month of movie-watching.
Come back every Tuesday for the latest breakdown of DVD and Blu-ray releases.