ThunderCats: The Complete Series coming to Blu-ray – Show still missed by fans

For every cult-favorite – and cancelled – TV series, there will always be a few fans who wish the show never caught the dreaded axe. For instance, Firefly’s cancellation only made the show more popular. For cartoon lovers, we have sorely missed shows like Young Justice, Sym-Bionic Titan and, who could forget, the 2011 ThunderCats reboot.

After a phenomenal showing in its would-be final thirteen episodes, the ThunderCats reboot went off the air in 2012. At the time, there was no official cancellation announcement. Fans lobbied for its return – as did the voice cast. However, sadly, the ThunderCats were never to yell “Ho!” again on Cartoon Network.

Well, for nostalgic fans, here’s a bit of good news. If you didn’t pick up any of the ThunderCats mini releases (Warner used to pump out quarter season DVD releases for some of its shows, like Young Justice and ThunderCats, to the chagrin of fans), you can get the entire 26-episode series on Blu-ray this November. The full series costs only a fraction of what you would have spent had you bought each mini DVD release separately.

I’ll be checking it out, while complaining once again that this is one show that should have seen, at the least, one more season to close off the story.

Pre-orders for the Blu-ray are open now. Check it out:

Watch The Grand Budapest Hotel be built out of Legos

Grand Brick Hotel

There are fans of Wes Anderson films and then there is Ryan Ziegelbauer and his team of eight model builders who used 575 hours of their lives constructing the Grand Budapest Hotel entirely out of Legos. Using a massive amount of those new pink Lego bricks for something other than girlie constructs and Homer Simpson’s car, and over 50,000 pieces from collectors and wholesale sources in Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Germany, Italy and 14 different states in the U.S. This batboy weighed in at over 150 pounds and stands 7 feet tall and 6.5 feet wide.

This video of their momentous achievement is to raise awareness of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment’s June 17th blu-ray and DVD release of Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which we adored, and maybe there’s some cross promotion with The Lego Movie, which is also due out on the same date – no thanks to Amazon – except the amount of glue that is used in the construction of the #GrandBrickHotel is a little disconcerting. Did Emmet and the “Man from Upstairs” teach us anything? Oh well. This is still pretty phenomenal. Sit back and enjoy.


Sir Ben Kingsley Reprises ‘Iron Man’ role for ‘Thor: The Dark World’ Blu-ray Release

Marvel is continuing it’s new tradition of live-action shorts coupled with its home video releases. Following up the Peggy Carter short that was featured on the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray release, Marvel will be releasing a similar short with Thor: The Dark World.

“All Hail the King” will feature Sir Ben Kingsley, reprising his role as Trevor Slattery. The short takes place some time after the events in Iron Man 3. Slattery is in jail but has received some notoriety for his portrayal of the Mandarin. Now, he’s something of a hero behind bars and a documentary filmmaker wants to interview him. This seems like a one-off story, but if it follows the same motif as the Peggy Carter short, then Slattery may get a chance to see Slattery in a more positive light. I’m not saying that he’ll become a hero, but at least a more ballsy villain instead of a doped up figurehead.

Thor: The Dark World hits Blu-ray and DVD on Feb 25, 2014.

‘The Americans’ Season One Blu-ray Release Date Pushed to February

If you’ve been patiently waiting for the first season of The Americans to hit Blu-ray and DVD, you’ll just have to wait a little while longer.

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment has pushed back the release date from January 24 to February 11. Since The Americans will return to FX for season 2 on Wednesday, February 26, you’ll still have time to watch the entire first season before the sophomore premiere. You’ll just have to commit to marathon of viewing – trust me, it’s worth it.

EDITOR’S PICK: The Americans Podcast: Getting Cerebral with FX’s 80’s Spy Drama

Cars 3D Blu-ray: Ultimate Collector’s Edition

When it comes to memorable Pixar movies, who can forget Cars? No, it’s not because of the abysmal sequel nor because Larry the Cable Guy (as Mater) voiced one of the best darned animated friends to ever hit a Disney or Pixar flick.

Cars holds a special place in Pixar’s library because it was a merchandising success, much like the Star Wars franchise was for George Lucas. From Happy Meals to Legos, kids around the world rejoiced in Cars. And you know what? I’m not mad at them. Personally, I had a blast putting together Lego Lightning McQueen.

Merchandising aside, the story of a hot shot rookie race car stranded in Radiator Springs is a joy for kids. It’s one of those films that teaches you a lesson in humility, while giving you a few laughs along the way.

Cars is the latest animated feature from the Disney-Pixar family to receive a 3D Blu-ray upgrade, along with an exclusive Pixar short – Mater And The Ghostlight.

Stepping backwards a bit, Disney has been doing an exceptional job re-releasing some of its classic films in theaters so that younger audiences get a taste of the Golden Era of Disney. The studio did a phenomenal job with The Lion King and subsequently, The Little Mermaid. Both films were made well before the true, 3D era of movie theaters. Yet, the studio was able to smartly upgrade both 2D features in just the right places – so that they were neither gimmicky nor of poor quality.

Unlike 2D films like The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, the CG nature of Cars generally lends itself more to a 3D transfer. There’s already a lot of depth when you see Lightning McQueen aside Sally, Matter and Doc Hudson. However, in 3D, the world opens up into something that’s a totally different experience from your original 2D viewing.

Lightning and his friends really stand out from the backdrop of old Route 66. You can feel the cars flying towards you as the rocky backdrop diminishes in their dust. The Grand Canyon-like environments are perfect for 3D, presenting a lot of opportunities for separation between the foreground action and the exquisite set pieces.

There are moments, however, when races start to having minor ghosting. This generally happens in horizontal motions and only when there are several cars on the screen or when there’s smoke during the race. It doesn’t take away from the overall experience, nor does it get too annoying to bear.

I was really happy with the sound quality. My ears tend to get sensitive when I have to ride the levels because either the sound effects or music track are too overbearing and hurt the dialogue. Thankfully, this has a superb mix. Viewers get a sense of really being inside the theater and soaking in all the engine revving that Director John Lasseter intended.

Cars: Ultimate Collector’s Edition [3D Blu-ray]

Starring: Owen Wilson, Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Larry The Cable Guy, Cheech Marin
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 29, 2013

8 / 10

Blu-ray Releases to Check out Week of October 1

This week is a little light on new Blu-ray releases worth checking out. But there are several re-releases that are getting significant Blu-ray upgrades. Also, there are a couple of anime picks on our list to hold us over until the summer blockbusters make their way to Blu-ray. Personally, I’m waiting for Man of Steel, Pacific Rim and The World’s End.

For now, here are our picks to kick off October.

This is the End
This is the End is probably one of summer’s biggest surprises. The story stars James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride as themselves. You would think that it’s a little superficial and vain to portray yourself in a movie, but that’s exactly what these comedians go for when Armageddon approaches. There’s lots of unexpected laughs in this very non-traditional apocalypse movie.

The Little Mermaid
The Little Mermaid finally gets a Blu-ray release and it’s one of my top picks for this week. This is the movie that help bring Disney animation back from the grave. Wonderful songs, beautiful animation and unforgettable characters all came together cohesively to kick-start a new era for Disney… one that would bring us Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. This is also the movie I could stick my baby nephew in front of at the time so that I could peacefully play video games in the other room. Boys will be boys.

The Wizard of Oz 3D
I know some purists will start kicking and screaming when they find out that The Wizard of Oz has received a 3D release. I’d empathize if it was Casablanca… or Citizen Kane… or The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. However, in this particular case I’m all in. This is probably the first classic fantasy movie of the 20th century. It’s only right that a movie like this be brought up to modern movie-watching standards so that newer audiences can appreciate it. And, hey, the release comes with the standard Blu-ray as well so you can enjoy it as you always have done, while your kids watch it in 3D.


Hakuoki Season 3: Dawn of the Shinsengumi
For all the samurai lovers out there, we’ve got Hakuoki Season 3: Dawn of the Shinsengumi. The season focuses on a group of samurai police, called the Roshigumi. The force has been split in two by rival factions and Ryunosuke Ibuki lies trapped inside a web of deceit and assassination due to a blood debt.

Sankarea Undying Love: Complete Series
Since it is Halloween month, it’s only right that we have some undead action up on the list. So, we’re checking out Sankarea Undying Love: Complete Series. This is something of a Pet Cemetery anime. The story revolves around a guy named Furuya, whose cat dies. When he tries to bring the cat back from the dead, he discovers that real zombies exist and falls in love with one. It’s a zombie rom-com of sorts.

Pacific Rim hits Blu-ray just in time for Some Halloween Cosplay

Get ready for giant robots in 3D home video lovers. Pacific Rim will be hitting Blu-ray, DVD and 3D-HD on Oct. 15. So if you want to make any last minute adjustments to your NY Comic Con or Halloween cosplay plans, now’s the time.

As for Sons of Anarchy fans, you’ll get to see Charlie Hunnam (aka Jax Teller) in his biggest Hollywood blockbuster to date as well as Ron Perlman (SAMCRO’s Clay Morrow). Idris Elba (Thor, Luther) and Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) also appear.

This film is filled with giant robot nostalgia, so anime and sci-fi lovers alike will get a chance to reminisce about the good ol’ days.

Both the 3D and Blu-ray combo packs include an added bonus feature, entitled The “Directors Notebook,” with director Guillermo del Toro.

Preorder Pacific Rim on BLu-ray and DVD

The Legacy Comes to an End: Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters – Predacons Rising

All good things must come to an end. And so it was with Transformers Prime.

It seemed like everyone finally jumped on the Prime bandwagon when Beast Hunters premiered. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep the series alive for another season on The Hub Network. While the show may have ended its run on the network, Hasbro Studios and Shout! Factory are releasing one final chapter to the Prime saga.

It comes home as a special 90-minute epilogue to the series. If you’ve watched Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters, I don’t have to tell you that this is a must see. Plus, for the G1 fans out there, it’s got Unicron in it – hell-bent on destroying Cybertron. Sound familiar? Decepticons and Autobots teaming up with some Predacon action on the side. There’s also a floating Megatron body that may get possessed. Does anybody smell Galvatron? Or, perhaps a subtle nod to the Transformers Season 3 Episode 9 of the G1 series, “Starscream’s Ghost?” Anything’s possible.

One thing’s for sure, I’ll be watching this one, and then I’ll probably rewatch Transformers the Movie 1986 right after (and perhaps right before as well).

Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters – Predacons Rising hits shelves on Oct 8, 2013.

You can also catch the Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters epilogue on the Hub Network Friday, Oct 4 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PT.

General Zod & Superman Figures Packed into ‘Man of Steel’ Blu-ray Collector’s Set

When you were a kid, nothing beat the feeling of watching your favorite cartoon or movie, with your toys sitting by your side. Well if you dug Man of Steel, then you’ll get a kick out of the new Blu-ray collector’s set Warner Bros is releasing for the holiday.

The Man of Steel Blu-ray Collectible Set comes with 4.5 inch scale Superman and General Zod toys. Yeah, that’s pretty awesome. These are PVC figurines from Gentle Giant Studios so you can expect good quality and not the usual blu-ray collector throwaways.

EDITOR’S PICK: Man of Steel Takes Superman to New Heights on Film

Man of Steel will be released on Nov 12, 2013. The Blu-ray collector’s set also comes with DVD and Ultraviolet copies as well as 4 hour of special features. There is also a feature length behind-the-scenes documentary with director Zack Snyder and cast members Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and Diane Lane.

Check out the Gift Set on Amazon:

Robotech: The Mech Giant Returns for Better or Worse

Remember Robotech? It’s that anime-mech series that was on cable or bootleg VHS back when you were too busy watching Transformers G1 and Voltron.

It’s a series that I always wanted to love, but found myself enjoying Gundam, and all its variations, much more. A&E and Lionsgate are bringing the series back with a two-disc set that includes The Shadow Chronicles and a new movie, entitled Love Live Alive.

Check out the box art below. It makes me nostalgic for Gundam. I still remember the first time I saw Jetfire introduced on Transformers. My friend said, “Hey that looks like Robotech.” And, I ignorantly responded, “They must of stole the style from Transformers just like Gobots.” Little did my younger self know the truth.

Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles and Love Live Alive will be released as a 2-disc set on July, 23, 2013. What say you: Transformers, Gundam, Robotech or Gobots?