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Brandon’s Wishlist: 14 Blu-ray Hopefuls For 2014

14 for 2014Happy new release Tuesday!  It’s also the first Tuesday in November.  Meaning, all the dates for Blu-ray releases through the end of the year are pretty much set and locked in by now.  There could be a wild card for late December thrown in somewhere, but it’s highly unlikely it would be an older catalogue release.  So with all this set, I wanted to compile my own personal list of films I’d like to see finally hit Blu-ray in 2014.  These are films that aren’t available in ANY territory.  So, if you happen to be like list potentials Blue Steel and The Man Who Wasn’t There (sold in other territories as “The Barber”) who have releases in Germany and France you are not eligible for this list.  These are also titles that have not been announced at all.  Also, thanks to Scream Factory for announcing Sleepaway Camp last Thursday as it was originally on this list!  I was going to make this list just 10 movies, but then I noticed I was editing stuck at 14 titles which oddly became appropriate.  Trust me, there were plenty omissions from this list as well.  What are some of your hopes for Blu-ray in 2014?  After my list, let me know what some of yours are below!

Before I begin, head honcho/Blu-ray Jesus Brian White would like it to be known that it is a crime against humanity that Normal Life and Double Jeopardy are not yet on Blu-ray (seriously though, how is Double Jeopardy not on Blu yet?)

All titles appear in alphabetical order.

Coffy

Coffy (1973)

Pam Grier’s breakout role.  How is this not out yet?  As a matter of fact, almost the entire Blaxploitation era of the 70s is sorely missing from Blu-ray.  Maybe 2014 could rectify this.  Maybe a Pam Grier box set including other classics like Foxy Brown, Friday Foster and Sheba, Baby could be in order if licensers are weary of individual title sales.  Right now, as we sit, I think the original Shaft is the only film representative of this era.  I’m a big big fan of a lot of these films and would love to see them restored to their original Grindhouse print quality.  There are many great historic stars and characters in not just black cinema history, but film history in general.  Bring back and restore Cleopatra Jones, Dolemite and Fred “The Hammer” Williamson please!

Cruising

Cruising (1980)

William Friedkin’s long lost film Sorcerer is finally coming to Blu-ray in 2014.  Let’s make this double awesome by including his oft maligned highly underappreciated undercover thriller, Cruising.  If you’re not familiar with the film, it follows Al Pacino as a cop who fits the description of a serial killer’s victims.  The victims are homosexuals involved in the “underground” gay nightclub scene.  I think uncomfortable homophobia may have been a reason why this film is dismissed a lot.  I’ll admit, as a heterosexual male, its challenging watch at times.  But that’s the point.  The film is supposed to get under your skin.  It’s also a very surreal mystery.  Everything is very ominous.  Friedkin has directed a film that really impacts you and you’ll never forget.  I think maybe in the more informed and mature era that we live it, this film could stand a chance.  It’s a terrific, thrilling emotional film that I really think needs to make the leap to Blu.

Ghostbusters II

Ghostbusters II (1989)

This is a crazy entry on here.  How is this title not out on Blu-ray yet?  It seems like shoe in.  Everybody knows it, it’s big mainstream entertainment.  Even as a lesser sequel to an incredibly loved and popular first film, people will still buy it due to liking this one or their OCD “must have all entries!” collecting.  Ghostbusters II has been on the docket before for release, but nothing ever came to fruition.  Its never been “officially” announced though.  There was also a 2-pack with the first one that never came out either.  One day it has to, right?  Make it 2014 for the 25th anniversary!

Ghost World

Ghost World (2001)

You can trace my Scarlett Johannson fandom back to this movie (though, even she pushed me away for a few years until Avengers brought me back).  I was quite delighted with this little indie back in 2001.  While a uniquely humorous film, it also is a coming of age film that actually follows GIRLS!  There are goofy characters and a colorful atmosphere.  For some reason I saw Scarlett as someone who was going to hit it big here when I saw this.  The film also boasts the last notable role of the late Brad Renfro.  It’s a comic book adaptation, but it never once feels like it.  With Winter Soldier coming out, and Black Widow as a player in it, the time is right to go back and see where Scarlett came from.

Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps (2000)

And rounding out the 3 G’s is Ginger Snaps.  This little Canadian werewolf film happens to be my favorite werewolf film of all time.  Yes, come at me with your silver bullets.  This one takes a wonderfully unique twist on the genre following two teen girls coming of age and blending it with werewolf transformation.  This is where fanboys were introduced to the lovely Katharine Isabelle as well.  It’s a niche series, but it has a big enough fanbase to warrant a release.  I’m surprised Lionsgate hasn’t delved in and given this proper 1080 treatment.  It’s a fun movie, it’s a dark movie and it’s somewhat scary.  I’d really really love to replace my frickin’ pan and scan VHS of this (so pissed, it was all that was available when I got it a decade ago).  I’d take a bare bones release.  I don’t need special features for it.

Hitchcock

Dial H For Hitchcock

More Alfred Hitchcock movies on Blu-ray please!  We had a year where the vaults were being unleashed, but not a peep since last January’s Criterion release of The Man Who Knew Too Much.  I’d be tickled if Criterion rounded out the 1930’s spy movies with Secret Agent, Young And Innocent and Sabotage.  Or it’d be right up Criterion’s alley to do The Lodger as well.  For more mainstream audiences, there are plenty not on Blu out there.  I Confess, Foreign Correspondent, Suspicion, Stage Fright and The Wrong Man are all biggies that stand out.  There’s plenty to play with and I really dream of his entire library being restored and transferred to Blu.

Life Aquatic

The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)

I’m not letting you go yet, Criterion.  I fully expected this one to be released in 2013.  There had seemed to be a Wes Anderson pattern with Criterion and this would have been fitting to be the next in line.  Alas, we went a year with no Criterion Wes Anderson release.  While this is a lesser entry on his filmography for most, it’s one of my favorites.  I really really like it a lot.  It’s also got a killer score and songs that would make great for an uncompressed audio track.  This one has to show up sooner or later. Wes Anderson has a new release scheduled for 2014 so it may be time to put this one out.

Munich

Munich (2005)

It’s pretty baffling this one isn’t on Blu-ray yet.  It’s a Spielberg film and it was coming to home video right in the advent of Blu-ray taking off for the public market.  It was also nominated for plenty of Academy Awards that year, including best picture.  I don’t know how this film eluded high definition.  Universal at the time was backing HD-DVD, but STILL didn’t release Munich.  I find it to be one of Spielberg’s very best and a terrific movie.  It’s rather long, but completely engaging and entertaining.  Plus you get pre-Bond Daniel Craig in a scenery chewing role.  Let’s go Universal, pop this baby out!

Nick Of Time

Nick Of Time (1995)

The Johnny Depp/Christopher Walken thriller might just be the most underrated and forgotten movies of the entire 90s.  It took FOREVER just to get to DVD.  Let’s not make that mistake here on Blu-ray.  Paramount sold a lot of their catalog to Warner Bros, so maybe this one is there.  Its Johnny Depp, it sells! Right?  This little movie is a fantastic high stakes race against the clock thriller.  I remember when I first saw it as a VHS rental, I was shocked at how good it was.  Forward the clock 10 years and this would have been a big A picture instead of the little B level counterprogramming kind of release it was.  Plus, if you’ve seen this movie you can spot all the “fake” or “mainstream” Johnny Depp fans if you ask them about it and they say “huh?”  For me this is up there as one of his best films.

Pumpkinhead

Pumpkinhead (1988)

Iconic and legendary special effects man Stan Winston only directed only 2 films in his life and its kind of a shame.  After putting together famous monsters/villains like the Aliens, Terminator and Predator, Winston went on his own and created Pumpkinhead.  This badass monster resembles that of the xenomorphs, but is its own thing as well.  The monster was quite popular for some time and has bowed plenty from the mainstream conscious in the last 20 years, but the movie still works.  It stars Lance Henriksen as a father who raises the monster to take vengeance for his son’s death.  It’s monsters against teen/college age kids, but with a more mature hand behind the camera and plenty of gruesome death abound.  It features plenty of practical effects wizardry for us old school horror lovers of the 80s.  MGM has the home distribution rights and has done plenty of cooperative ventures with Scream Factory in their run so MAYBE…just MAYBE this becomes a big big title for them in 2014.

Series 7

Series 7 (2001)

I think this satirical romp of reality television still works in spades today.  While a dark comedy through and through, the film does display some good suspense and has incredibly great plot twist shockers.  It plays like a marathon of television episodes that revolve around players in a game randomly selected by a lottery to kill each other until there is one left.  The prize for survival? You get to play in the next season.  The film has no “big” stars but does feature some people who have now become recognizable faces on television.  I’ve been championing this film since 2001, and will continue to do so.  Seek it out, but I hope there will be a Blu-ray in the near future to open it up to a whole new audience.

Top Secret

Top Secret! (1984)

Dirty little secret?  I enjoy this one more than Airplane!  Val Kilmer kills in his role as Nick Rivers here.  This movies is the Abrahams-Zucker follow up to Airplane! and Police Squad.  It wasn’t received well back then, but I discovered it for myself in the early 90s and fell in love.  I’m not sure it would connect well with many younger audiences today, no matter how crappy of artwork you could photoshop for the cover.  It features a lot of references to many older movies that don’t tend to fall into discussion nowadays.  But for us film historians and appreciators of vintage cinema, they could do us a solid and throw us this one on Blu-ray.

UHF

UHF (1989)

More obscure comedy.  This was one of the many comedic bibles for me and my friends in high school.  We would quote this thing up the wahzoo.  I tend to get loud chuckles at some of the less played out humor in this.  And if you know me, I tend to laugh big at stuff that just doesn’t make a lick of sense intentionally and this movie is full of it.  It also features some very funny parodies and Weird Al being Weird Al.  The pre-Seinfeld Michael Richards is also a scene-stealer here.  I don’t know if UHF could work for a kid today, but I’m sure this movie could definitely bring back a nostalgia and fondness for different times to older audiences.  Plus its, Weird Al Yankovic, he’s got a pretty sizeable (not large but bigger than “cult” status) audience.  Give this to them already!

Universal Monsters

Universal Monsters Collection Volume 2

I’ve said many times, my biggest Blu-ray disappointment of 2013 was the fact Universal did not follow up their incredibly awesome classic monsters box set from last year.  I wasn’t here at Why So Blu? last year, but it would have rated as my #1 Blu-ray release of last year.  Instead, they opted for individual releases this year.  Guess what Universal, all the people that would buy the individual releases already own them because they bought the box set!  You could possibly finish out a lot of the series by having 2 movies share a disc if you want.  Or cut the cost of Volume 2 by have the 8 films on 4 discs.  Son Of Frankenstein desperately needs to be available in HD if anything.  A set featuring Son Of Frankenstein, Dracula’s Daughter, Ghost Of Frankenstein, Son Of Dracula, The Invisible Man Returns, The Mummy’s Hand, Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman and Revenge Of The Creature would be a good start.  And I wouldn’t be angry either if they opted to revamp their Legacy Collections for Blu-ray either instead.

Okay, that was me, now you.  What Blu-rays do you want to see in 2014?

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

18 Responses to “Brandon’s Wishlist: 14 Blu-ray Hopefuls For 2014”


  1. Brian White

    WOW!
    Great original post, Brandon! Love the content!!! You should post this on the forums *cough, cough* great conversation piece!
    Anyway, LOL, I LOVE this:

    “Before I begin, head honcho/Blu-ray Jesus Brian White would like it to be known that it is a crime against humanity that Normal Life and Double Jeopardy are not yet on Blu-ray (seriously though, how is Double Jeopardy not on Blu yet?)”

    Yeah seriously!

    Normal Life has to be one of Luke Perry and Ashley Judd’s best roles ever. I remember running into Perry at LAX and I went up to him and said I loved him in NL. He opened up like none other and said wow that was very original to hear. We chatted for awhile. Nice guy! I have a pic to prove it. LOL.

    But DJ?! Say whaaaat!!! How is that “classic” not on Blu?!!!

    For some reason I thought Ginger Snaps was.

    Hmmm…let me think…what about Bugs on Blu-ray too? Is the Ring 2 on Blu yet?

  2. Gerard Iribe

    Solid list, Brandon!

    Brian, I have Bug on HD-DVD, so those high-def needs have been met.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    I desperately want Life Aquatic, Munich, and Punch Drunk Love on Blu-ray.

  4. Brian White

    I thought of two more I desperately want on Blu-ray US (not HD DVD).

    Turista and P2!

    Both classics that I love!

  5. Gerard Iribe

    I have P2 on HD-DVD, as well.

  6. Mike

    Brandon, I’m with you on Ghost World, although I liked Thora Birch. Which brings me to a few of my holdouts – one she also happens to be in, from the same year – The Hole.

    A few more

    2001 – Evolution
    1997 – Rocket Man
    1996 – There’s 3 – Down Periscope, Ghost And The Darkness & Kingpin
    1993 – My Boyfriend’s Back

    There are a few more, but my VHS copies of those are in the worst shape.

  7. Aaron Neuwirth

    I can get behind Kingpin.

  8. Gerard Iribe

    Yes, I third Kingpin AND would love to Ghost and the Darkness on Blu-ray.

  9. Brandon Peters

    Kingpin was actually one cut from the list.

    And Mike, great list…but wow-EVOLUTION! I forgot about that movie entirely. I really enjoyed if when I saw it in the theater 12 years ago too! I now want to seek it out and watch it again. Thank you!

    Aaron, I agree. Some PDL would be groov-tastic!

  10. Sean Ferguson

    I want to see more Errol Flynn movies on Blu-ray as well as Steven Spielberg’s Duel, and Song of the South.

  11. Brandon Peters

    I did some research fellow readers!

    Mike – Good news for you. The Hole actually is on Blu-ray http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008D1RCLS/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=wsb05e-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B008D1RCLS&adid=0XJ42B0PVWDK3FW580C2

    Brian – P2 & Turistas are both on Blu-ray but it looks like they are both in Region B territories and locked.

  12. Mike

    Wow Brandon. I remember looking at the box office returns years ago, seeing they weren’t great and the fact that it wasn’t ‘mainstream’ I just assumed it would never get a release. Already ordered off E-Bay. Thanks for looking that up!

    Re – Evolution… every time I see that whole ‘giant mosquito/How are you going in? Through the rectum’ scene I literally cry.

  13. Brian White

    This one is supposed to play in Region A. Anyone ever order from here?

    http://dvd.jsdvd.com/product_info.php?products_id=21897

  14. Brian White

    Not sure how we forgot this title, BUT

    The 2000 film “Boiler Room” starring Giovanni Ribisi and Vin Diesel is coming to Blu-ray Disc on March 4th, 2014 via Warner Home Video.

  15. Mike

    I had responded earlier, but it seems like it got lost in cyberspace.

    Brandon – With such poor box office results I never imagined ‘The Hole’ would see the light of day. Ordered off of Ebay, thanks so much for looking. Re – Evolution – that whole ‘giant mosquito/Which way are you going in?/Through the rectum’ scene leaves me crying each time!

    Yet another – ‘The Replacements’. That had a good box office return and deserves a release!

  16. Brian White

    Okay. I finally got Turistas.
    I did think of one more title Brandon.
    Descent 2!!!! The only one I know of is a UK locked Blu 🙁

  17. Brandon Peters

    The Austalian release of Descent 2 is region free

  18. Brian White

    Keeping with my recent string of Ashley Judd US release wants that just so happens to also be Paramount releases, I would also love to see KISS THE GIRLS be made available on Blu-ray and why not, TWISTED too!