This Week on Blu-ray: HARRY POTTER Wizard’s Collection, THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT, PIRANHA 3DD, FRINGE, BORED TO DEATH, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 330 days ago

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This week on Blu-ray is a little light on new film releases, but it does include the Harry Potter mega-set that puts any and all collectors’ sets to shame.  Briefly:

Hit the jump for all the details, folks. 

The Five-Year Engagement (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)

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This Judd Apatow-produced reteam of Forgetting Sarah Marshall co-writer/star Jason Segel and co-writer/director Nicholas Stoller runs a bit long, but the film’s finale and emotional pull nearly makes up for its mammoth runtime.  The supporting cast is top-notch, with Community’s Alison Brie and Parks and Recreation star Chris Pratt stealing the show.  The film is most definitely worth checking out, and the Blu-ray comes with both the theatrical cut and a 131-minute extended cut of the film, as well as a feature commentary with Stoller, Segel, Pratt, Brie, Emily Blunt, and Rodney Rothman.  The disc also includes 12 deleted scenes, a collection of extended and alternate scenes, the Apatow staple “Line-O-Rama”, a 9-minute gag reel, a 42-minute documentary covering the film’s production, and a few more little featurettes.

To catch up on all of our previous coverage of the film, click here.

Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection (Blu-ray / DVD Combo + UltraViolet Digital Copy)

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The most successful film franchise of all time is now available in one of the most massive and all-encompassing home video collectors’ sets we’ve ever seen.  The box itself is a marvel, as it opens to reveal drawers and hidden compartments which contain all eight Harry Potter films on Blu-ray, DVD, and UltraViolet digital copy.  Included are all the special features that have been on previous releases, as well as over ten hours of new bonus content and five hours of never-before-seen footage.  We get three new documentaries: The Harry Potters You Never Met (focusing on the stunt doubles), Creating the World of Harry Potter, Pt. 7: Story, and Creating the World of Harry Potter, Pt. 8: Growing Up.

Also included is the full, extended version of the conversation between Daniel Radcliffe and J.K. Rowling that was included on the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Blu-ray.  The set also comes with a number of physical collectibles including a replica of the Horcrux Locket from the final two films, black-and-white concept sketches from Stuart Craig, a cloth map of Hogwarts, a blueprint of Hogwarts castle, a 48-page book featuring the favorite props from the film’s graphic designers, a collection of prop labels, and much more.  This set may be a tad expensive, but Warner Bros. spared no expensive in packaging the complete Harry Potter collection in grand fashion.

Hocus Pocus [Blu-ray]

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While this 1993 Disney film isn’t exactly a classic, it holds a special place in the hearts of many “90’s kids.”  Thackery Binx is now available in HD, as the film hits Blu-ray for the first time.  Directed by High School Musical’s Kenny Ortega, Bette Midler, Kathy Nijimy and a young Sarah Jessica Parker ham it up as a trio of witches brought back from the dead on Halloween in present day, where “the new kid”, his sister, and the cool girl on whom he has a rather large crush must work to stop their evil plans before sunrise.  This is a fun one to add to your Halloween Marathon collection, and the disc comes with both a Blu-ray and DVD version of the film.

High School [Blu-ray]

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The stoner comedy that hit theaters earlier this summer is now available on Blu-ray.  The film centers on a soon-to-be valedictorian (Matthew Bush) who smokes pot for the very first time, only to find out that a mandatory drug test has been scheduled at school.  In a moment of panic, Bush and his friend (Sean Marquette) conspire to spike the school’s bake sale brownies with the help of a law-student-turned-drug-dealer (Adrien Brody) in order to make everyone fail the drug test.  Brody’s over-the-top performance drew a number of positive reviews.

To catch up on all of our coverage of the film, click here.

The Navigator: Ultimate Edition [Blu-ray]

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This Buster Keaton classic is now available on Blu-ray for the first time ever.  The silent comedy was Keaton’s biggest commercial success, and it’s presented on Blu-ray largely as-is, with no major restoration work done.  The special features include an audio commentary from silent film historians Robert Arkus and Yair Solan, a short documentary by historian Bruce Lawton about the making-of the film, a recording of “Asleep in the Deep,” and a gallery of images.

Piranha 3DD (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy)

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This breast-enhanced 3D sequel didn’t exactly make waves with audiences earlier this year, but fans of the film can now own the blood-soaked horror comedy in all its glory.  The disc includes an audio commentary from director John Gulager, producer Joel Soisson and co-writer Marcus Dunstan, deleted scenes, a short featurette with interviews from the cast, Gary Busey bloopers (oh my), and a featuretted titled The Hofftastic World of David Hasselhoff.  So there’s that.

To catch up on all of our coverage of the film, click here.

Re-Animator [Blu-ray]

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The cult hit based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft hits Blu-ray for the first time, as fans can now experience the gore-tastic horror comedy in glorious HD.  The story centers on a professor experimenting with the effects of re-animating the dead and launched a series of films under the “Re-Animator” moniker.  The disc comes with a bounty of special features including a commentary by director Stuart Gordon that was recorded in the mid-1990s and a reunion commentary with producer Brian Yuzna and actors Bruce Abbott, Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Compton and Robert Sampson.  Also included is a 78-minute documentary that covers everything from make-up effects to cinematography, deleted and extended scenes, and retrospective interviews with Gordon, Yuzna, writer Dennis Paoli, composer Richard Band, and Fangoria Magazine editor Tony Timpone.

Safe [Blu-ray + Digital Copy]

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The latest actioner starring Jason Statham hits Blu-ray this week, on which Statham die-hards can yet again watch him run around with a gun and hit people.  The story finds Statham as a cage-fighter protecting a young girl from some ruthless gangsters who killed his wife.  The disc is light on extras, but it includes audio commentary from writer/director Boaz Yakin and three behind-the-scenes featurettes.

To catch up on all of our coverage of the film, click here.

Bored to Death: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray]

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Though the series has since sadly been cancelled, the third and final season of HBO’s comedy Bored to Death comes to home video.  Jonathan Ames’s quirky detective series never broke big with the mainstream, but the show’s three leads—Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson, and Zach Galifianakis—did excellent work.  The third season sees guest appearances by Patton Oswalt, Casey Wilson, and Stacy Keach.  The box set includes commentaries on four different episodes with Ames, Schwartzman, Danson, Galifianakis and John Hodgman as well as the episodes’ directors.  Also included are “Inside the Episode” featurettes, deleted scenes, and outtakes.

Fringe: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray]

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The Fox series is currently heading into its fifth and final season, but fans can revisit the latest batch of episodes from the genre-bending show as a refresher before the new season premieres.  The Blu-ray comes with a number of featurettes, “Peter Bishop Audition Tapes,” the comic book Beyond the Fringe, a gag reel and deleted scenes.  Exclusive to the Blu-ray set is The Scientist Roundtable, Fringe Decoded, and an UltraViolet copy of every episode.  The digital copy is a nice touch for a TV box set, but it’s a shame that it’s through the awful UltraViolet service.

The Office: Season Eight [Blu-ray]

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Also heading into its final season is the seasoned NBC comedy The Office.  The Season Eight box set includes a whopping 104 minutes of deleted scenes, a collection of webisodes, NFL promos for the show, a blooper reel, and extended cuts of “Angry Andy” and “Fundraiser.”  The first Steve Carell-less season of the show stumbled a bit in the ratings, but enough extras have been packed in to appease the die-hard fans.

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