Welcome to the DVD & Games Forecast.
It's not a terrible week for releases, but as I'm looking at the weeks ahead, it seems to me like the industry is just going through the motions. I'm a film nerd, so I absolutely will find something to be excited about every week, but for the general public, there are fewer and fewer must-have titles, fewer and fewer great surprise catalog releases. It just seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy, like the industry has decided that VOD is going to take over, so they're doing everything they can at this point to make that come true.
Blech. I love my physical media, and I don't want an all-VOD future. Let's see what's going on this week that will keep me feeling like someone somewhere cares:
THIS WEEK'S FEATURED TITLES:
That's right... the beloved Robert Preston vehicle finally hits BluRay, and that starts with "B" and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for "pool." I watched this Sunday night with both of my boys, and they loved it. The music delights, number after number, the comedy still plays loud and clear, and the new transfer by Warner Home Video is probably the best we could ask of the film. There are places where the grain inherent to the print is a little overwhelming, but for the most part, the colors pop and the image shimmers. This is one of those feel-good movies that you can never overplay, and that was built to last, and this new edition only underlines just how true that is.
I quite liked Ruben Fleischer's debut feature, and the BluRay looks sensational. What's interesting about rewatching the film is that you can clearly see how it was structured originally as the kick-off of a TV series, several episodes from a larger arc smooshed into a theatrical feature instead. The film's got clever to spare, whether in the way it establishes the rules at the beginning or in the case of the Big Movie Star Cameo sequence, and Fleischer has an excellent eye. I think one of the reasons the film ended up being so much fun is because it didn't use the idea of zombies to push a larger metaphor, which is typically how the genre ends up playing out. Not that I dislike zombies as a metaphor, but it's just occasionally nice to see a film cut loose and have fun. It helps that the cast is all on their game, and that the film plays more to the comedy side of the horror/comedy equation. "Zombieland" may not be an all-time genre classic, but sometimes "just plain fun" is exactly what you're looking for.