If you are wondering why DVD announcements have been light as of late, it is because just about everything has been announced. Aside from a surprising number of arthouse fare awaiting their home dates, only How To Train Your Dragon and A Nightmare On Elm Street lie amongst the in-between through the April releases. Between the former and soon enough announcements for Iron Man 2 and Shrek Forever After, Paramount is going to have one heck of a holiday threesome. Meanwhile, the Elm St. redux will likely be released in the currently barren September and ruefully forgotten about by Halloween.
Sony helped thin the herd of the unannounced this week by proclaiming J.Lo's The Back-Up Plan on the schedule for Aug. 24, just four months and a day from its theatrical release. If only there was someone out there willing to stand up and say "ENOUGH" like Michael Caine as Harry Brown. But he arrives a week late on Aug. 31. If he's not around then try ringing up another H.B. with Jean Dujardin as superspy Hubert Bonisseur de La Bath in OSS 117: Lost in Rio. Music Box will release the sequel on the same day as Harry Brown, but only on DVD. Damn French!
But YAY Australia! One of the better indie crime thrillers to come from there or anywhere in recent years is Nash Edgerton's The Square, also getting a release from Sony on Aug. 24. The classically-plotted noir involving affairs and stolen money is a step above the likes of most overly praised crime debuts. Edgerton's style and twisted sense of humor is more in line with the Coens' Blood Simple and seeing as how he co-wrote it with his brother, Joel (who co-stars in the film), these could be another pair of brothers to watch. Let's hope that Nash's short, Spider, which accompanied The Square in theaters, appears as an extra.
And just one week after we wondered where Adam Green's Frozen is after its all-too-brief theatrical release in February, Anchor Bay has put it on the schedule for Sept. 28. If nail-biting is a requirement for your evening, then queue up this nifty little thriller about three friends trapped on a ski lift with a winter storm on the way. You may never go skiing again and your bones will thank you.
Cult movie fans actually have a few things to look forward to, depending on which cult you belong to of course. If 1970s horror is your thing, then Code Red rewards you with a 35th anniversary edition of the teen Jekyll & Hyde vs. the bullies tale, Horror High on Aug. 10. If Cory McAbee and his mocking sensibility towards classic serials are part of your church, then his 2001 Sundance effort and festival traveler, The American Astronaut, will land on Sept. 21 with an official release from E1 Entertainment. And if you are part of the Blu-Moon cult, how is this for news on a title you never thought would see the light of day on Blu-ray. The Digital Bits are reporting that Hen's Tooth will be releasing the Tim Conway/Don Knotts comedy, The Private Eyes to the format and it will contain the commentary that Conway and director Lang Elliott for the 2000 DVD release.
Blu-ray announcements might not get any better than that this week, but we'll try leading with the delayed release of Matthew Vaughn's Stardust from Paramount on Sept. 7. As an apology for me even hinting that any prints of the Elm St. remake still exist, might I offer a couple better suggestions for your Halloween get-togethers. On Sept. 14, Lions Gate will release one of the oft-copied and little credited horror films of the 90's, Adrian Lyne's chilling Jacob's Ladder with Tim Robbins. If you are still a virgin to this flick, don't say you saw the ending coming. It was well ahead of the curve at the time.
The creme de la creme though comes on October 5. After you have seen Daniel Stamm's The Last Exorcism in theaters this August, you can double up on the nightmares with William Friedkin's original The Exorcist. At least on Disc two of the Blu-ray release. The first disc will contain the title of the package with the Extended Director's Cut. This exciting package will include commentaries by Friedkin on both versions, three new documentaries and all the original extras accompanied by Warner Bros. very cool book packaging with 40 pages of photos and more.
For further planning, just click on the following links for a full schedule of DVD and Blu-ray releases.