March 23, 2010
| by Arlen Schweiger
Pixar’s at it again. Whether you’re looking for razor-sharp demo material as a custom installer or a good reason to sit through some high-def animation with your children, Pixar has always come through with its standard-def and Blu-ray releases. This week is no exception, as we get both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 sequel on Blu-ray for the first time.
We can’t wait to see all of the details of Andy’s room and his toys in high-definition, along with the enveloping surround sound. No, the Toy Story movies aren’t in super-wide 2.35:1 format like some more recent Pixar Blu-rays such as Wall-E and A Bug’s Life, but those of you with traditional 16:9 screens (especially projection screens) should still have a blast taking in the game-changing animation of the 1995 original and its 1999 sequel. (Click here for our Top 10 Blu-ray releases of the week.)
For a more recent children’s-oriented theatrical release, Fantastic Mr. Fox arrives on Blu-ray format as well this week. Unlike Pixar you don’t get the voice talent of John Ratzenberger (hey, we know he’s not the Toy Story star but we love that he’s in every Pixar movie), but you do get to hear the likes of George Clooney, Bill Murray and Meryl Streep in this Wes Anderson-directed movie.
Speaking of Clooney, even if you’re a fan of his films you may have missed the short-lived Men Who Stare at Goats in theaters. Obviously it’s no Up in the Air, but the solid ensemble cast includes Clooney, Kevin Spacey, Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges and Ewan McGregor, and at 94 minutes it could make for a good high-def rental. For an Oscar-acclaimed release this week, check out Sandra Bullock’s performance in The Blind Side—and it doesn’t matter if you’re a football fan or not.
If you’re interested in catching up on some TV, the best bet this week is the continuing saga featuring the men and women of AMC’s Mad Men—this week marks Season Three’s arrival on Blu-ray disc.
And in case you missed it, the tweeny-bopper fave Twilight got a jump on the traditional Tuesday release date by sending out Twilight Saga: New Moon just after midnight on March 20.
Here’s the full slate of Blu-ray releases for the week (schedule and slideshow synopses courtesy of Blu-ray.com):
The African Queen
Alter Bridge: Live from Amsterdam
Bigger Than Life
The Blind Side
Days of Heaven
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Free Willy: Escape from Pirate’s Cove
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Mad Men: Season Three
Nabari No Ou: The Complete Series
Red Cliff Part 1 & 2
Smokin’ Aces: 2-movie collection
Toy Story 2
Trinity Blood: The Complete Series
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
The Vans Warped Tour 15th Anniversary Celebration
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.