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Jun 4, 2013

Blu-ray / DVD News: CLINT EASTWOOD, BREAKING BAD, DIE HARD, FALLING SKIES, MAD MAX

Clint Eastwood Pale Rider

Notable releases for today, June 4, 2013, include Clint Eastwood: Twenty-Film Collection, Breaking Bad: the Fifth Season, A Good Day to Die Hard, Falling Skies: the Complete Second Season, and Mad Max Trilogy (Metal Box Set).

The big release this week—literally–is the Clint Eastwood: Twenty-Film Collection box set from Warner Home Entertainment. The set has some overlap with an earlier 10-film Eastwood box set release Clint Eastwood Collection, though it omits The Rookie, Absolute Power, Where Eagles Dare, and Kelly’s Heroes and adds Trouble With The Curve, Hereafter, Pale Rider, Magnum Force, and Sudden Impact. The films featured in the Twenty-Film Collection are: Dirty Harry, Every Which Way But Loose, Firefox, The Gauntlet, Gran Torino, Heartbreak Ridge, Hereafter, Invictus, J. Edgar, Letters From Iwo Jima, Magnum Force, Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, A Perfect World, Space Cowboys, Sudden Impact, Trouble With The Curve, and Unforgiven. The set comes in a slipcover with original pressing with a digibook, 20 BDs, and 2 DVDs.

Fans of Eastwood’s acting should note he only appears on-screen in 15 of those 20 films. Some of his more notable fare is missing from the set: In the Line of Fire, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, White Hunter Black Heart, The Bridges of Madison County, and Flags of Our Fathers—the latter being the companion piece to Letters From Iwo Jima. Only three of the five Dirty Harry films were included and not one of his Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns is here, though that is forgivable since Warner does not own the rights. Still, the set feels incomplete without them. At a SRP of $129.95 ($90.86 + free shipping on Amazon) this set of 20 is a bargain and an Eastwood fan’s dream.

Sony‘s Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season should be named “The Fifth Season, Part One” since the included episodes comprise the first half of the fifth season, with the remaining eight scheduled to air this August. Vince Gilligan and his team have crafted a masterpiece of transformation from benign everyman into drug kingpin worthy of Scarface or Nino Brown. Bryan Cranston takes another brilliant turn as a high school chemistry teacher turned head of a wide-reaching meth empire. He has gone from warm and identifiable to something cold, primal, brutal, and exhilarating to watch. Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season is available as a 3-disc DVD set (SRP $55.99) and a 2-disc BD w/UV set (SRP $65.99). The Blu-ray set has a lot of extras spread across the two discs, most notably Inside Breaking Bad, an episode-by-episode supplement that looks at location choices, set construction, character development, and other behind-the-scenes additions.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings the fifth installment in the Bruce Willis Die Hard action vehicle A Good Day to Die Hard. This piece of the franchise finds John McClane battling villains in Russia with non-stop action. Willis may be getting long in the tooth, but he and his contemporaries Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone refuse to completely relinquish their action crowns to the likes of Jason Statham, The Rock, Mark Wahlberg, and Vin Diesel. A Good Day to Die Hard is available on DVD and in Blu-ray combo pack (Blu-ray, DVD, iTunes Digital Copy, and UltraViolet Copy). The 2-disc combo pack has a SRP of $39.99 and comes with quite a few extras including: audio commentary, trailers, deleted scenes, a 26 minute behind-the-scenes documentary about the opening car chase, and a 15-part making-of documentary that clocks in at over one hour, as well as other extras.

The survivors of a world-wide alien invasion continue to struggle for survival and mount a rebellion against their otherworldly occupiers in Falling Skies: The Complete Second Season. Three months have passed since resistance leader Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) surrendered to an alien ship in an attempt to free his son and gather intelligence on their master plan. In his absence, his two remaining sons, Ben and Hal, have stepped up and clashed for leadership of the group in this Steven Spielberg series. This season is available as a 2-disc BD set for $49.99 or a 3-disc DVD set for $39.98.

Warner Bros. will release a boxed set of the trilogy that made Mel Gibson famous. Mad Max Trilogy features three films and clocks in at 290 minutes of post-apocalyptic, bewhiskered, leather-clad mayhem. Mad Max (1979), The Road Warrior (1981), and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) will be presented in a 3-disc, widescreen Blu-ray disc metal boxed set with a SRP of $49.99.

Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment has announced it will release filmmaker Mira Nair‘s The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012) on disc September 9, 2013. The film stars Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland, and Liev Schreiber and follows Wall Street broker Changez (Ahmed) as he thrives in his adopted homeland. In the wake of the September 11th attack, his involvement with pro-Pakistani organizations is called into question, forcing him to choose between his motherland and his new way of life.

Studio Canal has revealed it plans to bring director Neil Jordan‘s Byzantium (2012) to Blu-ray. The film starring Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Caleb Landry Jones, and Thure Lindhardt is scheduled for release on September 23, 2013.

IFC Films has acquired the rights to director Abel Ferrara‘s Welcome to New York starring Gerard Depardieu, Jacqueline Bisset, Marie Moute, and Natasha Romanova. The film, which chronicles the rise and fall of former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, received a lot of buzz at the Cannes Film Festival this year. IFC will also release the horror film Would You Rather (2012) on July 9, 2013.

Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel will release a combo pack of their film What Maisie Knew (2012) starring Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan, Alexander Skarsgard, Joanna Vanderham, and Onata Aprile through Millennium Entertainment on August 13, 2013. Millennium will also release director Ariel Vromen‘s crime thriller The Iceman (2012), starring Winona Ryder, Michael Shannon, and Chris Evans, on September 3, 2013.

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will release this year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, Amour, on Blu-ray in the United States August 20, 2013; the film is already available on Blu-ray in the United Kingdom.

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment has announced several different editions for its The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season home video release: a standard Blu-ray, a limited edition digipak, and a steelbook edition available exclusively at Target. The releases hit the streets August 27, 2013.

Other notable releases include:

Identity Thief

Warm Bodies

Adventure Time: the Complete First Season

Adventure Time: the Complete Second Season

Escape From Planet Earth

Fearless Planet: Great Barrier Reef Blu-Ray

Die Hard Legacy Collection Blu-ray: Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard With A Vengeance, Live Free or Die Hard, and A Good Day to Die Hard

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (BD only)

Alfred Hitchcock: the Essentials Collection Blu-ray (Psycho, Rear Window, North By Northwest, The Birds, Vertigo) (BD only)

Sadako 3-D Blu-ray

A Beautiful Mind/Cinderella Man

Scent of a Woman/Sea of Love (BD only)

The Hangover/Old School

Children of Men/Repo Man

Patrick Swayze: Triple Feature Blu-ray (Point Break, Next of Kin, Ghost)

The Shadow

Creature From the Black Lagoon 3-D Blu-ray (BD only)

The Thing (BD only)

Out of Africa (BD only)

Killer Elite (BD only)

Tower Heist (BD only)

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