Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist For 2019!

As promised after much delay, the annual wishlist is here! I’m actually glad I waited until the end of January to publish it, because in the time between November and now, many past wishlist titles have been announced for this coming year. So, we can scratch them off the list. There are titles that were originally on this list (Like Klute) that didn’t get a chance to be. The Blu-ray landscape began to evolve a lot in 2018, merely with the decision Warner Bros has made to license out movies to independent distributors like Criterion and Shout! Factory. Sony used to be strict about adding new features to their titles in licensing deals (Hence why many of theirs went to Twilight Time in the past), but appear to have scaled back and now we are getting better editions and titles companies want to pull the trigger on BECAUSE they can make the Collector’s Editions they were wanting to. Its becoming obvious with major studios that home video itself is pushing and moving toward streaming being the dominant format going forward and Blu-ray/4K UHD will go way of vinyl and be a collector’s medium. Premium prices will be more standard, but as long as the big studios are turning a corner like Warner Bros and your Arrows, Criterions and Shouts continue to put out top notch product, things will prosper for us fans of cinema and the physical media formats. 

2018 Wishes Granted

As always, before we unveil the new wishlist, lets take a look at a hella prosperous year for titles that were either announced or released since the last wishlist article. I always love it when ones from the original article get announced (And a BIG one is coming from Arrow this year) as I’d love to see that one complete. Speaking of, I always feel like we are getting so close to having most on the format, but nay, we are still quite far away.

Wishes Since 2013: 125*

Wishes Granted: 74

Success Rate: 59.2% (Up from 48.6% last year)

*Titles on list or mentioned under a general entry like “Hitchcock” or “Marx Bros Collection”

Bucktown (Scorpion Releasing, unspecified 2019) – A Ronin Flix exclusive title.

Critters Collection (Scream Factory, November 27, 2018) – Not just the first, we got all 4!

Cruising (Arrow Video, unspecified 2019) – The controversial William Friedkin/Al Pacino film, whose lack of a Blu-ray release was one of the inspirations for the original wishlist article is finally getting its due from one of the best distributors in the business. CANNOT WAIT!

The Hitcher (Nameless Media, unspecified 2019) – This brought some excitement when first announced, but information has been little. Its an overseas release and hopefully does this long demanded title some justice.

Jungle Fever (Kino Lorber, May 21, 2019) – Kino is not just giving this film some Blu-ray love, but a slew of Spike Lee’s catalog including a couple out of print titles.

Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (Warner Archive Collection, February 13, 2018) – Pretty much a port over from the DVD edition, but that’s fine. There were reports of an issue with the image on this one, but my playback on my monitor never revealed this to be much of a distraction at all.

Malibu Express/Hard Ticket To Hawaii (Mill Creek, April 16, 2019) – Very excited to see more Andy Sidaris films coming to Blu-ray and hopefully these two titles (Arguably THE best of the bunch) mean the rest of the collection is on the way. Kino brought Sidaris’ film Seven out last year as well, but that one kinda sorta isn’t part of the bunch people want from his catalog.

Manhattan Murder Mystery (Twilight Time, February 20, 2018) – Reminder: I still need to pick this one up!

Martin (Second Sight, unspecified 2019) – What was thought to be close to impossible for the time being, is now very possible! Its coming to the UK along with Dawn of the Dead’s return to Blu-ray sometime this year. Second Sight did a FANTASTIC job on When A Stranger Calls, so I have good faith these will be excellent releases.

Meet The Feebles (Unknown Distributor, unspecified 2019) – Peter Jackson has been making it now that 4K restorations have been done on this title as well as Bad Taste and Braindead (Dead Alive) for 2019 releases. Rumor has it either Scream Factory or Arrow Video have all 3. Cannot wait! Early Peter Jackson is bonkers and I love it!

Panic Room (Sony, April 2019 maybe?) – Panic Room looked to be skipping Blu-ray and jumping to 4K UHD last year and then the brakes pumped pretty hard. There are potential overseas releases that may still happen, but we shall have to see. I’ll leave it here because its on the table at this time, but I’m very cautious.

Return of the Living Dead Part II (Scream Factory, August 14, 2018) – One of the first big Warner-Shout Factory dominoes that dropped was this trashy little sequel. Its not a very good movie, but I find some fun with it and the bonus features were fantastic as always.

The Street Fighter (Shout! Factory, March 26 2019) – Not just the first film but all 3 are coming our way. I’m excited to see them in an at least halfway decent transfer. Also coming out around the same time, Arrow is complimenting with the Sister Street Fighter collection.

Supergirl (Warner Archive Collection, July 24, 2018) – FINALLY! This crazy movie wandered over to Blu-ray with great delight. Basically an upgrade of the limited edition, it was nice to just finally complete my Superman universe Blu-rays. Plus, I’m very fond of this silly movie (I actually prefer it to III, IV and quite possibly Returns).

Universal Monsters (Universal, August 28, 2018) – With the releases of The Creature From The Black Lagoon and Invisible Man Legacy Collections, Universal has completed its Classic Monsters set. This was one of my original requests back on the original list and I’m tickled (As impatient as I was) to have watched this slowly play out over the years. I’m also ecstatic that I wound up getting to review the whole set last year!

Valentine (Scream Factory, February 12, 2019) – This one is coming up, but I’ve already been able to see it and it DID NOT DISAPPOINT! You can check out my review for it now on the site. Both Jamie Blanks slasher films have been given outstanding treatment from Shout! Factory in just period of a couple months. I wish he had more slashers!

A QUICK REMINDER; To qualify for the wishlist, a title must not be available on Blu-ray in ANY Region. For example – If the movie/tv show is available or has been available on Blu-ray, but only in United Arab Emirates, its not making the list.

And now…onto the Blu-ray Wishlist For 2019!

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

This feels like a shoo in for Warner Archive Collection. I’m surprised I’m writing about the uncertain Blu-ray release of a Frank Capra classic in in 2019 even. This Cary Grant film based on the stage production is a fun little measure in comedy and suspense. Arsenic and Old Lace is a pretty well known old title. I imagine its time is coming soon. Criterion would be a cool place for it to land, but I’m honestly fine with the great work WAC do in restorations.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

At first glance, you may think this sounds like a silly pick. But in this streaming dominated era, I grow curious as to what exclusive films will see a physical media jump. The Coen Bros are of my all-time favorite directors and I collect all their films. I’d love to own this one. Netflix displays the anthology western in 4K Ultra-HD on their service, but will it see a 4K UHD Blu-ray release or just a standard Blu-ray as they did for The Cloverfield Paradox? This is another great western from the duo and I hope it can sit right next to Hail, Caesar on my shelf. While I’m at it, (I cut it from the list) I’d love to see GLOW receive a Blu-ray/4K UHD release as well!

Bulletproof (1988)

I’m super into cheesy pure action movies from the late 80s and 1990s. And during this time the genre was trying to do “something” with Gary Busey. What? I dunno. His roles vary from stuff like Lethal Weapon, Pointe Break and Predator 2. Through those, I don’t now what they are trying to launch. But here, in Bulletproof (Not the Sandler one), he tries his hand at being a hero. And this things is pretty outrageous and a fun movie to crack open a beer with some friends and watch. If you’re into stuff like the legendary Stone Cold, this is up that alley. Plus, I NEED this scene in 1080p

Contraband (1980)

No, not the Mark Wahlberg one. THE FULCI ONE! Reading and following me, you know I am  of the #ForeverFulci #FulciLives crowd. Like my last wishlist, I’m going away from his horror output and throwing in the time he did a film in the Poliziotteschi genre and NAILED IT! While he’s forever remembered for his gross out, schlocky atmospheric horror films (Which frickin’ rule), many have never seen that the dude actually was a pretty damn good director. Recently viewing The Psychic on Blu-ray, I was amazed at just how good he truly was. I think when he became an old man he just decided to go crazy and have fun, taking himself less seriously. In this film, he actually delivers a thrilling crime drama with a fun plot to watch unfold, great chases, outstanding shootouts and evening pumping in some of his signature gore. There’s a moment in this film where a guy is shot in the head with a pistol in his mouth at a horse race and his brains explode through the back of his head and its AMAZING! Blue Underground had the US rights to this one and I’m pretty surprised its not been upgraded yet with the cult following Fulci has had on Blu-ray.

Enemy Territory (1987)

This movie has never even seen a DVD release. But we truly need to rediscover this lost 1980s gem. Enemy Territory  was basically The Raid decades before that movie took the action genre by storm. It also is one of the earliest roles for icon Tony Todd playing the leader of a gang called The Vampires (He plays “The Count”) that holds control over an apartment building an insurance salesman is trying to desperately escape from. And who you gonna call to protect this salesman? Ray Parker Jr. Yeah, Ghostbusters Ray Parker Jr. The film is fascinating to look back on and equally fun. It’d be really cool to see it in its original restored form (VHS rips are the only way to see it now) and with some interviews giving some light on it.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969-1974)

Woah, Brandon! These were shot on video, what a waste! NAY, I say! With the releases of Tom Baker & Peter Davison’s first seasons of Doctor Who last year, I was pleasantly pleased with how the “shot on video” classic BBC shows looked. In the Fifth Doctor’s case, film did exist to restore and insert where appropriate. Flying Circus’ DVDs have also been painfully expensive for the collection and out of print. An upgrade to Blu-ray would provide a cleaner, more consolidated collection, with a chance for us who weren’t able to swing the DVDs when they were affordable and available another shot. If you can do the Who, you can Fly the Circus, BBC!

The Green Hornet (1966-1967)

With the popularity of Batman in the first quarter of 1966, the following television season brought in the spin-off based on The Green Hornet. The show was short lived, so really we only are asking for one season here. There’s also the factor that this is one of Bruce Lee’s most notable roles that still isn’t on the format yet. His collectors alone would probably give this a nice bump. With how wonderful the Batman Blu-rays looked when they arrived, I’d imagine The Green Hornet would look terrific too. Give us some little retro-doc on the show and we’d be set. Warner Archive would be a nice place for this, but I could see Shout! Factory doing a nice set for it, too.

Nothing But Trouble (1991)

A bonkers title, but damn does it need to hit Blu-ray. I would love nothing more than to get the film restored with plenty of bonus features including interviews about what a crazy film this is. You can’t say this movie isn’t entertaining and one that you’ll ever forget. It has its fans too. With Shout! Factory releasing some Dan Aykroyd movies as of late, why not license the 1 film he directed. We talk about midnight movies a lot and this is one of the 90s craziest outputs into that subset.

Steel (1997)

Recently, when reviewing Reign of the Supermen, this movie popped into my mind. While there is no connection, it IS based on a Superman property. Have you seen this movie before? It is HILARIOUSLY bad down to the meta “Shaq can’t hit free throws” jokes that run abound. Have you ever seen Shaq on a motorcycle in full armor driving it upright? Try not to spit out your drink chuckling. If they could get some interviews or insight to go with it, AMAZING. But, the film’s unintentional humor already more than sells itself.

The Two Jakes (1990)

Did you know Chinatown had a sequel? Originally, the intention was to be a trilogy of corrupt events in Los Angeles being uncovered by Jake Gittes. Chinatown was the water and power department, this second film about oil and the third one was to be about the freeway system (I believe). Roman Polanski was obviously not available obviously and this is the project Jack Nicholson wanted to use his newfound Batman clout with, so he took the director mantle and Robert Towne returned to pen. While the film doesn’t hold a candle to the first, its still a pretty entertaining classic noir throwback. Its not perfect and a bit looser and less clean that Chinatown but I feel being held up with one of the greatest films of all time ultimately is hard for many people to see past. In terms of Blu-ray, Warner Bros owns this and they could easily just slide us over one via Warner Archive. And please use the original poster art for it, because its honestly one of the best posters of the 1990s.

Thanks again for wandering through another year of movies I want to see show up on the Blu-ray format in the coming calendar year. I appreciate the patience on those that have wondered about it. With secret titles getting released annually on Black Friday now, I wanted to wait until it had passed and then found myself in a deep workload of reviews/podcast editing. I’m glad I was able to keep to my promise of January. What are some of your most wanted titles on Blu-ray?


4 Responses to “Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist For 2019!”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Another great list!

    The Two Jakes and The Pledge for that matter would be great.

    Green Hornet seems like a no-brainer.

    I’d be all for a Buster Scruggs release to round out the Coen section on my shelf.

  2. Cash

    A lot of my wishlist wishes have been granted over the last few years, more recently manhattan murder mystery but a couple I’m still looking for are Young Sherlock Holmes and Turk 182

  3. Brandon Peters

    Aaron – The Pledge! Yes, that’s been floating around the wishlist for a couple years and not made the list yet.

    Cash – I agree! My list is getting dangerously close to having to dig and/or be more completionist for completionist sake with some franchise titles. Can’t move to 4K because the field is too wide open. Might have to hang the hat on this series depending on what comes out by the end of 2019

  4. Dave

    For my old blog I once did a list like this. Picked 10 movies. And by the end of the year into next 7 of the 10 were released.