Today is a good day if you happen to like Disney. On the Blu-ray front, we’ve got The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 hitting the format. But since I expand on both of those sets below, I’d like to alert you to the week’s truly outstanding Disney release, Waking Sleeping Beauty. Unfortunately it’s only available on DVD, but don’t let that stop you from seeing this insightful, intimate documentary about how Disney’s animation department came back from the brink of extinction in the late ’80s and early ’90s.
Made by veteran Disney producer Don Hahn, Waking Sleeping Beauty is bursting with eye-opening behind-the-scenes footage that I guarantee will captivate anyone who with an affinity for Disney animation. It offers such a unique perspective into such a crucial canon of film history that it demands to be in your collection as soon as possible.
New in Blu Key:
Top Shelf – Any elaborate collector’s editions or box sets.
Middle Shelf – Standard releases of fairly well known movies available at a reasonable price.
Bottom Shelf – Titles that are either A) suspiciously cheap or B) being released with very little fanfare.
Fantasia / Fantasia 2000 ($28.99, Disney)
The Movie: There’s no reason to hide it, as I’m sure there will be plenty of people my age who felt the same way growing up, but Fantasia used to scare the crap out of me as a wee little kid. I’m honestly not even sure I’ve ever seen the whole movie because of that. I half-remember watching Fantasia 2000, but my memory on it is hazy enough that I might as well have never seen it. So, this Blu-ray set really is perfect for a Disney fanboy like me who still has a few, regrettable, gaps in his seen-it list.
The Features: As they’ve done with all of their Blu-rays thus far, Disney looks to have loaded this set with plenty of supplemental goodies, but having not seen them, I can only assume they’re on par with their other recent discs.
Who Should Buy It: Disney completionists.
. Everything prior was filled with kiddy-aimed humor and plots. And that’s great if you’re a kid who doesn’t care about story, but for those who can appreciate the bar Pixar sets, this stretch of films doesn’t really hack it.
The Features: Each movie has it’s own set, most likely carried over from the previous (discontinued) Blu-ray releases, but this time around your money gets you both the Blu and an extra DVD copy.
Who Should Buy Them: Parents who spoil their children.
All The Rest:
Cairo Time ($23.99, MPI Home Video)
I actually don’t know anything about Cairo Time other than it’s a should-watch for anyone putting together a respectable Best of 2010 list. And frankly I’d like to keep it that way until I finally get around to watching it. But if you’re anything like me – basically someone who loves to give lesser known films a chance – buzz says this should be on your radar.
Going the Distance ($24.99, New Line Cinema)
I heard nothing but good things about Going the Distance, which by all accounts is an atypical romantic comedy. I regret missing it in theaters – supposedly it’s raunchier edge goes over like gangbusters – but I’m glad to know have the chance to catch up with it.
Kill Zone ($17.99, The Weinstein Company)
If you’re an Asian/Martial Arts buff, you’re bound to better recognize this retitled Donnie Yen/Sammo Hung flick as S.P.L. The name doesn’t matter much, however (they’re both generic titles, anyhow) as this is a terrific, modern martial arts flick. It’s not quite as engaging as some of director Wilson Yips later films involving Yen/Hung (particularly Ip Man), but anyone who likes to watch men punch and kick each other into oblivion should have a blast with it.
Make-Out With Violence ($25.49, Factory 25)
Horror movies are divisive lot and Make-Out With Violence is no exception. It escaped me on the festival circuit and then when it went into limited release earlier this year, so I have yet to actually see it, but I’ve heard this low-budget zombie affair is either a lot of fun or a maddening piece of crap.
Vampires Suck ($22.99, Fox)
And speaking of maddening piece of crap, here’s Vampires Suck, the latest from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. I’m not sure why I’m alerting anyone to its Blu-ray release – as film lovers, we should all probably just pretend it doesn’t exist – but here it is.