This week's announcements feature a trio of men struggling with their own identity and mortality. One trying to solve a mystery in a mental institution, another a homosexual on the verge of suicide (both in the 1950s) and a third in the wrong place on the wrong date.
Last week, Disney announced the details on the highest-grossing film of the year, Alice In Wonderland, coming to DVD and Blu-ray on June 1. A week later, Paramount is releasing a film that didn't do too shabby either. Perhaps the first serious Oscar contender of the year, Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island will be available on June 8 in both formats but with a spare amount of extras - and only in Blu-ray. No commentary from Scorsese, just a pair of featurettes about the production from novel-to-film and the history of psychiatric therapy. A shame because the film deserves much better. On July 20, Paramount is also releasing to DVD the 5th season of Matlock and, speaking of a group that could benefit from a few lobotomies, the "uncensored" first season of Jersey Shore.
A week before his latest foray into family fare (The Spy Next Door) hits the market, Jackie Chan's attempt at going dramatic in Shinjuku Incident will be released by Sony the same day as Shutter Island (June 8). Director Gregor Jordan is a guy that never seems to get a break (probably because his films just are not good). But going back to the delays after 9/11 when no one wanted to see his Buffalo Soldiers portray the military in a bad light and through further debacles like Ned Kelly and The Informers, Jordan's latest, Unthinkable, is going straight to DVD. Amazing considering it has Samuel L. Jackson as an expert interrogator trying to break down terrorist Michael Sheen's plot to detonate nuclear bombs across the U.S. Can't exactly cry "too soon" on this one, so its release appears a bit dubious. Going to July 6, Sony continues its release of Weinstein titles with A Single Man featuring Colin Firth in his Oscar-nominated role.
Speaking of bad luck, Summit is bringing out Robert Pattinson's bridge between Twilight films, Remember Me, a love story/paternal conflict picture that just happens to take place in or around September of 2001. Jeez, I wonder why any film would set its film around that time? Even more perplexing is why any film would use any historical event that might have happened around that period as a twist. Try finding out the answer for yourself on June 22.
In much happier news, Warner Bros. is all but putting new Blu-ray announcements into your online shopping carts. On August 10, The Digital Bits is reporting that both National Lampoon's Vacation and European Vacation will be hitting the format. Both appear to have the same features as the DVDs including commentary by Chevy Chase on both films, and Ramis and the Griswold family joining him on the original classic. (Christmas Vacation is already available on Blu-ray.) Also on the 10th will be Peter Bogdanovich's What's Up Doc? with Bogdanovich providing a full commentary and assuming these are the same extras DVD, Barbra Streisand doing 12 minutes worth of "scene-specific" thoughts. Far more exciting though is the Blu-ray release on August 17 of Kenneth Branagh's version of Hamlet, which features commentary by Branagh and Russell Jackson. And, although only on DVD, Warner Bros. is releasing a box set of Errol Flynn Adventures including Desperate Journey, Edge of Darkness, Northern Pursuit, Uncertain Glory and Objective, Burma!
Wrapping things up for the week, we can start with a pair of DVD releases for Infinity in June including The Real Story: Escape From Alcatraz (June 15) and Soul of a People: Writing America's Story (June 29). Severin is going DVD and Blu with Loose Screws: Screwballs II on June 29. On the same date, Vanguard has in store Homeland, The Last Big Thing, The Pagan Queen and String Theory and getting an indie release on DVD & Blu-ray is Brock Enright: Good Times Will Never Be The Same.
Ahead to July, Shout Factory is releasing Gamera Vs. Barugon on the 6th and jumping ahead four weeks to August 3, they have another double feature of Roger Corman's Cult Classics with Death Sport and Battle Truck. Back to July Lionsgate will have Caught in the Crossfire on the 13th featuring the long-awaited pairing of 50 Cent and Chris Klein. Also on the 13th for the family, Nickelodeon has Spongebob Squarepants: Triton's Revenge, Strand has My Year Without Sex and Secret Key has 42nd Street Pete's Wild, Nude And Natural. You know, for kids.
Criterion has announced their July lineup. It includes Two Films by Tasujiro Ozu: The Only Son & There Was a Father (July 13), the Blu-ray releases of Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes on July 20 and The Secret of the Grain on the 27th in both formats. Fox is also adding Ally McBeal: The Complete Third Season to DVD shelves on the 13th and the first season of TV's White Collar on the same date on DVD and Blu-ray.
Finally, Virgil films is releasing May 18 a couple of months late on July 20. And BBC has got the first seasons of both Look Around You (DVD only) and the werewolf/vampire/ghost series, Being Human, perhaps right in time for the U.S. reboot by the SyFy channel.