News is thin this week, but more summer titles are coming home sooner than you think. Two of the worst films of the year and two of the best films of the summer bookend this week's releases. Do you like your good news or bad news, first? We'll start with the bad and get it out of the way.
If you have been following the column the past few weeks, you know that Paramount's Iron Man 2 was first out of the gate to mark its territory in September. Then came word that Disney was going to trump that by coming out two weeks earlier with Prince of Persia, which has been officially confirmed this week. Now, Fox is going two weeks earlier than Bruckheimer and giving us the true dog of the summer.
Available this very month on Aug. 31, Marmaduke, with its $33 million, when all is said and done this season, could rank third ahead of Jonah Hex and MacGruber as the box office losers. Only The Last Airbender (8%) and Grown Ups (10%) have lower ratings at Rotten Tomatoes this summer than the Great Dane with the voice of Owen Wilson. Only eight positive reviews there for Marmaduke, one of them being Cole Smithey, aka one of the three who panned Toy Story 3. Smithey also liked Warner Bros. dreadful A Nightmare On Elm Street remake with its 13% RT rating. With its official announcement, that means you can double-up on Halloween fare from the studio on Oct. 5, when their Splice will also be released.
On to better times though. The funniest film of the summer (at least until The Other Guys is released this weekend) will be available in a fabulous package come Sept. 28. Nicholas Stoller's follow-up to Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Get Him To The Greek, will feature an unrated version of the film (along with the theatrical cut) including commentary with not just the director but stars Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, Rose Byrne and Elisabeth Moss. The Digital Bits reports that it will also feature even more deleted scenes, a gag reel, five music videos featuring the alter-egos of the film, concert footage from Infant Sorrow's famous 1999 performance at the Greek Theater and the 2009 comeback show, three documentaries and a promo for Sarah Marshall's new TV series. And, on top of all that, the Blu-ray will also feature more Aldous Snow performances from The Today Show and VH-1 Storytellers, audition footage and an option to do Karaoke with 15 of the film's songs. Plus, you get a really funny movie.
Not quite as funny, but certainly not to be overlooked is Debra Granik's Winter's Bone. The toast of Sundance is still one of the year's very best films, featuring a sure-to-be-considered Oscar-caliber performance by Jennifer Lawrence (recently cast as the young Mystique in the new X-Men film) and a supporting turn by Deadwood's John Hawkes that deserves discussion as well. The Ozark thriller will be available from Lions Gate on Oct. 26 just as awards season lurks around the corner. The DVD and Blu-ray will feature deleted scenes, commentary, featurettes on the locations and the making-of, plus a music video with Aldous Snow. Just kidding. About Aldous. You will still get the music video.
SPECIAL EDITIONS AND BLU-RAYS
As mentioned earlier it is a slow news week of note so we will temporarily combine these sections. We may not be getting a Blu-ray edition of John Carpenter's Dark Star from VCI, but a 36 1/2-year Anniversary Hyperdrive Edition will be available on Oct. 26 featuring a new digital restoration of the picture and over two hours of new special features not included on the previous release. Both the shorter and extended versions of the film will be available, along with interviews from author Alan Dean Foster and Lt. Doolittle, Brian Narelle, a 3-D guide to the spaceship, a written intro by the late Dan O'Bannon, trivia and a full-length commentary by "superfan" Andrew Gilchrist. There is also a brand new feature-length documentary called Let There Be Light: The Odyssey of Dark Star that chronicles the making of the film to its days as a cult classic.
And if you are in one of those cults, you may be interested in Fox's 35th Anniversary Edition of The Rocky Horror Picture Show hitting Blu-ray on Oct. 19 with all the goodies from the DVD edition. Finally, is it a coincidence that on the same day you can pick up Winter's Bone, Lions Gate has also announced the Blu-ray release of the 25th Anniversary Edition of Santa Claus: The Movie?
As always for further planning, just click on the following links for a full schedule of DVD and Blu-ray releases.