Blu-ray Buyer’s Guide: July 19

Here we are with the second edition of my Blu-ray Buyer’s Guide. As Boris the Hangman said in Blazing Saddles, “This one is a doozy!” However, it’s not due to a plethora of new releases. It’s just one release with multiple editions.

Here are my pics for July 19, 2016.

BvS RegularBatman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Ultimate Edition)
Warner Bros.
Written by Chris Terrio
Based on characters appearing in DC Comics
Directed by Zack Snyder

While it had its problems, I very much liked Zack Snyder’s approach to Superman in Man of Steel. It was an interesting take on a character I’ve known all my life. His follow-up, Batman v Superman, was a little less interesting, however. There were a lot of problems – problems I just couldn’t avoid. But there was a still a lot to like about the movie. I even like where the story ended up at the end.

This “Ultimate Edition” is a director’s cut – putting about 30 minutes of footage back into the film. I’m hoping that this additional footage fleshes out some of the gaps in logic I witnessed in the theater. Judging by the early reviews, it indeed looks like that’s the case. Each of these editions comes with both versions of the film.

Amazon: Includes collectible statues of Batman or Superman (you have to choose either one or, if you want both, buy the movie twice).

Best Buy: Two different versions – one that includes a “best of” Batman/Superman comic book, and another that’s just a SteelBook edition.

Target

Target: Digibook packaging with exclusive 64-page excerpt from “making-of” book.

My Pick: Since there’s no difference in actual bonus content in any of these releases, I’m going to have to go with the Best Buy SteelBook edition. I don’t much care for overpriced statues (seriously…$116 for a movie?), and I’d rather have the whole book if I’m going to get a “making-of” volume. The comic doesn’t really interest me that much, either. Besides, I have Man of Steel in SteelBook, and I have to admit that I’m one of those anal-retentive nerds who would prefer that all the movies in a series match on my shelf.

Other Notable Releases

Night and FogNight and Fog (Criterion Collection)
Argos Films
Narrated by Michel Bouquet
Written by Jean Caryol
Directed by Alain Resnais

There have been a few films of note that have been made about the Holocaust. It seems that everyone’s go-to film about this horrific event is Schindler’s List, and rightfully so. It’s a wonderful film for what it is. However, for a bare-bones, undramatized, unflinching look at the horror of the Holocaust, this 32-minute documentary from 1955 is what to see.

I watched Night and Fog for the first time fairly recently on TCM, and it stayed with me for days after. It’s succinct in its storytelling and uncompromising in its images. The film is a brilliant retelling of the entire story of Hitler’s “final solution” – from the rise of the Nazi Party to the liberation of the concentration camps. The graphic footage, captured by the Allies upon the discovery of the Auschwitz concentration camp, may be too much for some. But it is a visceral reminder of the evil of which man is capable.

Being a student of history (especially the World War II era), this film is definitely going on my shelf. Criterion always does a great job with their releases, so I’m sure this one will be no different.

That’s it for this edition of Blu-ray Buyer’s Guide. Happy hunting!

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