The Big Movie House's Top Ten Recent Blu-ray Purchases

Every once in a while I like to go over my collection and just stare at what I have bought. With the death of the video store (which was really done in with the death of Family Video in February of 2021.), we really have no other place to rent and buy DVDs and blu-rays. 
I know that there are stores, like Orbit DVD, that cater to our needs but these places are not all that common. I couldn't tell you where the closest video store to me is because there isn't one. Sure, there are used shops, but most of them are there to rip you off. So, I sit in my movie room and look at my collection from time to time and try to take it all in. 

Here is a list of blu-rays and 4K blu-rays that I have bought over the last few months that I really love (not necessarily the film but the media it is on)

48 Hours/Another 48 Hours (Paramount)
Over the years, my love for the first 48 HOURS has deepened. At first, I didn't like the film. I thought the action was lacking and the relationship between Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte was ok at best. Of course, I was wrong. Both of these things are great and the film is a lot of fun too. The sequel, however, is not all that good. It is essentially a remake of the first film, but done so with almost none of the care or heart that the first one had in spades. Both actors look like they don't want to be there and director Walter Hill directs the film with a paint-by-numbers mentality. The 4K blu-ray from Paramount is really nice if lacking in the special features department. We do get an interview with Hill but that's about it. This is a collection that will always have a place in my collection even if I don't like the second film. 

Bog/Mako: The Jaws of Death (Dark Force Entertainment)
Dark Force Entertainment is a small company that focuses on exploitation and horror releases and they do a pretty good job at getting these things released. They like to do double features of films that were very popular in the drive-in circuit during the films' releases. This release features two films that were probably very popular at drive-ins. BOG is a monster film that barely has any monster in it. It is a decent flick that, once the monster does show up, is pretty fun. MAKO: THE JAWS OF DEATH is considered a JAWS rip-off, despite the fact that the script for the film was around before JAWS was made. The film is BORING with nothing happening for long periods of time. This blu-ray is nice. It includes the option to watch both films separately as well as a double feature drive-in mode with trailers for other drive-in films in between the two film.  

Bond 50 (MGM)
The James Bond films have been a staple of cinema since the first film, DR. NO, was released in 1962. We get a Bond film every few years and they are always an event. This collection brings all the official Bond films (not including 1967's CASINO ROYALE as well as 1983's NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN) all the way until SKYFALL (which you have to buy separately, but has a spot in this collection). Each film has a wealth of special features and the picture and audio are top-notch as well. This is a great collection and I am happy to have it in my collection.

Clint Eastwood 20-Film Collection (Warner Brothers UK)
Clint Eastwood is a filmmaker who has been in the industry since the 1950s. He is an actor, producer, director, and composer. He is a filmmaker actors like to work for because he respects the job of an actor. This collection brings together 20 films that Eastwood either acted in or directed and there are some heavy hitters here. DIRTY HARRY, UNFORGIVEN, MYSTIC RIVER, MILLION DOLLAR BABY, etc are all here and they are glorious. Sure, this collection is from the UK, and a few of the discs are region locked for some reason, but the cost of this set makes it worth it. 

Company of Wolves, The (ITV DVD UK
) Sometimes a company in the US will get the rights to a film to release on blu-ray and then charge an arm and a leg for said release. A few years ago, there was a German box set that brought together seven Hammer Horror films. They contained transfers Studio Canal had done. There weren't that many special features but the transfers were nice. Scream Factory released each of the films separately with more special features and a slipcover. Each of these releases was $30 a piece while the box set was $40. Sure, there are fewer special features but the cost for all seven blu-rays from Scream Factory would have cost over $200 while I paid $40 for all of them in the set. THE COMPANY OF WOLVES is the same thing. I want to see the film but I didn't want to pay out the ass for it. I found the UK blu-ray of the film at my local library for $4. I am ok with that as I may not like the film.

Cyborgs-10 Movie Collection (DigiDreams GER)
I love the cyber thrillers of the late 80s and 90s. There are so many of them that you could watch a ton of them and there would still be a ton for you to watch. I wanted to buy THE DEMOLITIONIST on blu-ray and it was going to cost me at least $30. I didn't want to pay that much for a film that I had never seen before so I started looking for deals. I was on Orbit DVD and they had this CYBORGS set from Germany. The set contains 10 films, ranging in release from 1989 to 1996. The set included the very THE DEMOLIOTIONIST blu-ray that was going for $30 along with nine other blu-rays including the director's cut of CYBORG (titled SLINGER in the set) and all four NEMESIS films. Half of this set is made up of Albert Pyun films which is always a plus. So, how much did I pay for this set? $40. So, if you look at the cost of the THE DEMOLITIONIST blu-ray ($30) and subract it from the price I paid for the CYBORGS set ($40), I paid $10 for nine more blu-rays. This is one of the best purchases I have made all year.

The Fabelmans (Universal)
My father died at the beginning of 2023 and my wife wanted to make things easier for me during this time, so she would tell me to go see movies to keep my mind off of things. I went to see a lot of films during the first month following his death and THE FABLEMANS was one of the first films I watched after he died. I had to drive out to a theater that was quite a ways from me (this was before the Oscar nominations had been announced that brought the film back to theaters), but it was worth the drive. I loved this film. It feels like Spielberg was spending his whole career making films and honing his craft just so he could make this film. Every frame is chosen wisely and the acting is spot on. The film is two and a half hours long but it never felt like it. The film is so gentle and comforting that we fall hard for it. The 4K blu-ray doesn't have that many special features but the picture and audio are amazing so we don't really care about the features. This is a film that everyone needs to see.

Halloween 4K Collection 1995-2022 (Scream Factory)
The first HALLOWEEN film I had ever seen was THE CURSE OF MICHAEL MYERS. I love that film. It is so much fun and it is one of the only films in the series that actually feels like it takes place on or around Halloween. I love both versions of the film and consider it my favorite of the series. I had to get the film on 4K blu-ray, but Scream Factory only released it in a collection with H20 and RESURRECTION. They did this because they knew that people would only buy H20 and leave the others to rot. I only wanted part 6 and couldn't care less about the other two (which I consider two of the worst films in the series). Is the set worth it? Yeah. Each film is given a nice 4K transfer that really brings life to each film. The special features are largely the same for each film, but RESURRECTION gets some new features so there's that. I would wait for a sale on this set before buying especially if you only want one of the films in the set.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Warner Brothers)
I am a child of the 80s. I grew up with HE-MAN, TRANSFORMERS, THUNDERCATS, and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. I also grew up with 80s comedies. BACK TO THE FUTURE, SPACEBALLS, GHOSTBUSTERS, POLICE ACADEMY were all films that I loved growing up. When NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION was released in 1989, there was an excitement in the air from my parents and their friends. The previous two VACATION films had been hits and were favorites at the video store. When CHRISTMAS VACATION was released on VHS in 1990, it was always rented out at our local video store for weeks. When we finally were able to watch it, it was a really good film. I liked it, but because the hype was so big, there was no way for the film to live up to it. Over the years, I had soured on the film. I thought it wasn't very funny and there wasn't really anything for me to latch on to. This changed over the least few years. The look and feel of the film is exactly what Christmas used to look and feel like when I was a kid. I can't really put to words what I mean by that but it's true. Whenever I think back to what Christmas was like when I was a kid, my memories feel like what CHRISTMAS VACATION and HOME ALONE feel like. Anyway, Warner Brothers released CHRISTMAS VACATION on 4K blu-ray in 2022 and it righted all the wrongs that had plagued home video releases of the film for decades. The special features are the same as previous releases but the picture and sound are now where they are supposed to be.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 3-5 Collection (Lionsgate)
The SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT films were always a mixed bag. The first film is a true slasher classic. It is fun and bloody which is all we need from a slasher film. The second one is a glorified clip show with a few new scenes mixed in so that it could be considered a new film. These films were always in the video store when I was a kid. Parts 3-5 were direct-to-video affairs and we never really cared about them. I think this is because none of them were anything like the first two. BETTER WATCH OUT (part 3) is a direct sequel to the first two but it is boring an uneventful. THE INITIATION (part 4) is an "in name only" flick that has witches in it. Sure, it takes place during Christmas but that is it. THE TOYMAKER (part 5) has a neat premise but doesn't really do anything fun with it. It is nice to have this collection, though. It was a decent time revisiting these films after decades of their release and there are some really nice special features here.

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