The Shelf: Harry Potter, Titanic and The Terminator Anthology
by Brian Walton on September 11, 2012
Every Tuesday is a day of quiet jubilation for many of us, as new movies come out for Blu-ray and DVD. The Shelf is going to sift through the releases to let you know what titles are essential to your collection and which movies are gems that you may have missed the first time around.
When the complete Harry Potter collection was released last year, many Potter heads were dismayed to learn that the complete set would actually be a sparse deal, with the release only containing the film discs from the previously released issues of the movies. Warner Brothers rectified the situation quickly, though, and announced the Wizard’s Collection to make up for the skimpy previous release. In stores now, the Collection contains all 8 of the Potter films plus plenty of discs of bonus footage, a cloth map of Hogwarts, a book of labels from the film, and a set of design cards for the Harry Potter films. Among the 31 discs included in the set is a special features/documentary disc for each movie, so you can see how the magic of the books translated to the screen. Of special note is the short doc “The Harry Potter You Never Met,” a feature exclusively about the stunt men and women of the Harry Potter franchise. The set is a bit pricey, but the amount of Potter goodness it contains makes it worth every penny.
This week sees the release of Titanic 3D on Blu-ray. The movie pioneered innumerable filmmaking techniques to bring the destruction of the world’s largest cruise ship to the silver screen, and is pretty much a must-own title no matter the format. The release of Titanic on Blu-ray, though, is only half the story, and since we’re getting the big boat movie today, Disney is being kind enough to release Cameron’s wonderful follow-up documentary Ghosts of the Abyss on Blu-ray today as well. The documentary fully explores the submerged Titanic and gives us the story of her maiden and final voyage without all the unnecessary drawings of women like French girls. Interestingly, the filming of this doc ended 11 years ago today when the crew was brought up and told about the September 11th attacks, a moment the filmmakers decided to leave in the final movie. Both discs are filled with behind-the-scenes features, and the Titanic release has over 30 deleted scenes and both films look stunning in high definition and will look equally stunning on your Blu-ray rack.
If all of that Titanic goodness didn’t fill your James Cameron appetite you can always gorge yourself on the Cameron franchise not called Avatar with the Terminator Anthology box set. Released two weeks ago exclusively to Best Buy, The Terminator Anthology collects all four Terminator films in one set for the first time, a move that was highly unlikely in recent years because of the legalities of the films’ different copyrights and distributors. MGM, Lionsgate and Warner Brothers somehow managed to get all of the legal and financial ducks in a row and give us a collection that any completist will want sitting next to the Alien Quadrilogy in their living room. Sure, maybe the first two will be watched a little more often than the others, but sometimes you just need to see Angela Chase and Batman fight Skynet.
Also out this week:
Greta Gerwig’s Lola spends a year trying to figure out what went wrong with her perfect life after her fiance ends their relationship. Dynamic and likeable supporting characters draw you in and Gerwig does an excellent job of maintaining some charm as her character continues to do painfully obvious stupid things. The awkward moments pile up in this movie, but the payoff comes in the best worst sex scene to be filmed in recent memory.
There is nothing scarier than a clown, except for maybe a demon clown and a robot clown and definitely the alien clowns in Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Taking simple pleasures like cotton candy and popcorn and turning them into the stuff of nightmares, this dark comedy/horror gem is a masterful example of taking a premise and maximizing it to its full potential.