Blu-Ray New Releases Rundown Early Sept. 2013

A rundown of the latest Blu-Ray New Releases isn’t something we do here very often, but once in a while you get a very strange week (or two) in the home market, especially when you consider it coinciding with other events in the world.

The early part of September this year isn’t just back-to-school, or the time to prepare for the new fall season of TV, it’s apparently the time when we’re hoping you’re in the market to own some new Blu-Rays.

I suppose back-to-school, as a time of year, has some sell to it already – something to stuff in dorm boxes, and/or the kids are finally busy again, I have a minute to watch something – but, there’s a lot showing up this year, and the battle for your attention is going to be a big one. Get your Amazon gift cards at the ready, clear space on your iPad, sell your DVDs, or nail down that extra job, because you have a lot of things you need to pick up. Let’s take a look at some of the things that want your love.



The Great Gatsby

It didn’t get a lot of love from us during our podcast review, and we didn’t particularly expect it to (or write good reviews of it), but the roughly 50% freshness rating at was not exactly the shellacking some predicted the Luhrman flight of fancy was in store for.

Whatever your thoughts on the treatment of the book, or how this version exists as a workable film, there are some impressive notes to it, as there always are with Luhrman films.

Your best bet may be if you’ve never read the book… like Luhrman.

DiCaprio doesn’t seem at his best to me, and I’m not a fan anyway, but it’s hard to blame him after taking in the entire effort. Put together with the work Maguire gives, and the very talented Mulligan, it looks like he was doing exactly what he was asked to do.


sons of anarchy blu ray new releasesSons of Anarchy: Season Five

The curiously popular, much discussed show about a biker gang has had its snags and rough patches, but heading into season six, we landed some wild twists that we aren’t getting around easily.

Actually, I’ve seen the first three episodes of the new season, and if you’re behind, you’re going to want to catch up.

Even if you aren’t behind, this is a pretty loaded season of television, with expanded episodes, commentary on select episodes, and more.

The Blu-Ray is also amazing quality, almost too good if you have a big enough television set. I’ll expand on that thought in my full review.

For some, not a show that lends itself overly well to repeat viewings, but I know that’s only a small percentage.


Pain & Gain

Pain & Gain Movie - Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne JohnsonThough we ultimately didn’t rate this one very high, it had to do with a lot of missed opportunities, and a kind of lack of commitment to the effort. The film had some problems, but we ended up recommending it, with some caveats about your own views on things. It had a good bit of fun going on, and Wahlberg was surprisingly solid in the performance.

Not surprising because we don’t know he can do good work, but because this is a weird role, and he can’t do everything… can he?

I wish this one would have developed better, but I know there are a lot of people who are going to want to pick this up. Perhaps not that it has infinite rewatchability built in, but the whole thing is just so crazy that getting the story is worth a watch.


Ph: Barry Wetcher

Now You See Me

We were more split than our ratings would suggest about this one, because I focused on positives a lot more, despite not rating it especially high.

Whether it all came together or not, this one was fun. Certain elements are mind-bogglingly unnecessary, and even blatantly nonsensical, but if you can put them out of your mind, you’ve got a fun night ahead of you.

The critic score may be at just about half, but the user rating is significantly higher, and that’s probably the main judge to go into this one with. It’s just that kind of movie.



Arthur Newman

Here’s a little sleeper that didn’t win over many critics, but is tightly focused on a particular niche demographic. If you like it at all, you’re going to love it.

Colin Firth and Emily Blunt ought to draw enough interest on their own, and while this stayed under the radar, it’s worth checking out.

The theory of the story is pretty interesting, and even the details of how our adventure plays out are delivered well, it’s just a matter of where you land on the spectrum of this one possibly working for you.

On the other hand, if you are a fan of either of our stars, you’re probably in for a treat just to watch them work.


Star_Trek_Into_Darkness_Kirk_Spock_Cumberbatch-610x406Star Trek: Into Darkness

This on didn’t wow us either (we covered it during our podcast with The Great Gatsby – link above), but it’s a must-own for many. As much as I ultimately got lost in the near-silly run of a plot rehash, there’s some fun to have here.

Summer popcorn taken to new heights (or depths, depending on who you ask), this isn’t one that needs anyone to sell it.


homeland-season-two-coverHomeland: The Complete Second Season

Another television darling hits, and this one is going to be in a tight race with SOA when it comes to sales. At least, that’s my prediction. With diehard fans going after each, the only question is which fans are more firmly in the “need to own” camp.

It gets to put “Emmy winner” at the top of the case, and that’s all some need to know. It even has a lot of fans who do not consider the genre to be their usual taste, and that’s getting to be a more difficult recruitment all the time.

This one also has some great goodies on the Blu-Ray, and this is another show that definitely has the sort of fans that want some bonuses.


the icemanThe Iceman

You aren’t going to find many films this year of the “small, indie” variety that have had more buzz. Still not on everyone’s radar, The Iceman won critics over, and gave a lot of people one more thing to add to their Michael Shannon is impressive list.

A new angle on mob movies… sort of, the focus on real-life “Iceman” Richard Kuklinski is one that people will be talking about for years to come. Moving between his mob and family life, and portraying his casual transformation, and bizarre ability to be this particular set of “everything,” makes for a completely engrossing film.

It also has more talent backing up the key role than you’d ever expect from a movie you “think you might have heard of,” including James Franco, Ray Liotta, and Winona Ryder.

This is one you don’t want to miss, and it’s worth buying sight unseen, because you’ll watch it again.



Yes, but… hear me out… a lot of people watched it. Plus, don’t forget about the, “hang on, check this out,” factor that will lead to more than a few purchases. And, “well, fine, I have to at least see what the hell this could be.”

On another note, I have to tell you that a lot of people are picking this up for any number of reasons. It isn’t really my job to know what they are – gag gift extraordinaire, massive Ian Ziering fan, gag gift for massive Ian Ziering fan – though the list is pretty much endless.

Syfy knows how to get people to watch things, and don’t gloss over that “Enough Said!” either, because really, what else could you say?

Fine, don’t add it to your wishlist… but, you know you’re going to.


Like I said, it’s a serious time in home video releases, and this isn’t the half of it. It’s time to get ready for some purchases, and moving forward we’re going to get a lot more before you know it. The very beginning of October is another big push, and this clearly isn’t even an exhaustive list of September’s big names. You’d think we’d be holding on for a holiday push, but that isn’t how things work anymore.

However you may look to get these titles, the time is now. Get your Amazon gift cards at the ready, clear space on your iPad, sell your DVDs, or nail down that extra job, because you have a lot of things you need to pick up.



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Marc Eastman
Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.

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