These are the upcoming Blu-ray releases that you really should be buying.
Flying Monsters 3D ... at least you get Sir David's soothing voice
(Credit: 2011 Atlantic Productions Ltd)
Arguably, it's thanks to HBO and the show Oz that we have the current trend for well crafted, detailed TV series' featuring some stellar actors. While Boardwalk Empire doesn't have the cult following of, say, The Wire, it's a powerful bit of story-telling from a truly fascinating time in American history. And the dialogue is probably a little easier to comprehend than the average sentence delivered in Baltimorese. The second season is landing on Blu-ray from Warner Bros ($69.95), or people new to the series can grab both season 1 and 2 for just $10 more.
Booze, broads and boardwalks
(Credit: Warner Bros)
Talking about good TV, Justified season 2 is also landing on Blu-ray, thanks to the awkwardly named Universal Sony Picture Home Entertainment (US, to its chums). This season pits Marshall Raylan Givens (Deadwood's Timothy Olyphant) against the crime matriarch Mags Bennet (Dexter's Margo Martindale, who scored a well deserved Emmy for the role). Justified is easily one of the best adaptations of Elmore Leonard's writing — a list that includes 3:10 to Yuma, Out of Sight, Jackie Brown, Get Shorty and more. As with Boardwalk Empire, you can pick up either stand alone season 2, or both the first and second seasons as a package.
Back in the dim, dark ages, documentaries used to survive remarkably well without CGI. Walking with the Dinosaurs changed all that, which is why it's ok to blame Kenneth Branagh for most of things wrong with the world. That said, if you have to watch a spin-off of Jurassic Park masquerading as an educational show, it should have Sir David Attenborough doing it. Flying Monsters 3D ($29 from Madman) specifically looks at the pterosaurs and how they even started flying — which, we have to confess, is pretty bad-ass for a doco, by anyone's standards.
Finally, two mentions that are a little out of context. Firstly, our good friends at the aforementioned US are slowly putting out a few classic flicks on Blu-ray, and one of the recent releases was Jaws. Everyone remembers the music and the shark, but people tend to forget that Jaws is Spielberg at his finest — the film is a genuine masterpiece of direction and the quality of the Blu-ray version makes this a must-own film.
Jaws finally hits Blu-ray
(Credit: Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Slightly less of a masterpiece of direction, and more in the "rollicking rollercoaster of cracking good fun camp", the 20th Anniversary director's cut edition of Bruce Campbell vs Army of Darkness (better known as just Army of Darkness to most of us) is something that should be on Blu-ray, but sadly isn't. It's easy to lose count of the number of different editions of Army of Darkness that have been released (standard Director's Cut, Boomstick Edition, Screwhead Edition — the list goes on) but this latest does have the advantage of a few nice extras, such as the alternate ending and audio commentary from director Sam Raimi, and human chin Bruce Campbell for both the film and the deleted scenes. It's only on DVD, but Evil Dead completionists should give this a good look.