Dru here, back with another instalment of Dru on Blu, where I’ll fill you in on all the upcoming releases of comic book films to DVD and Blu-ray. There’s a lot of cool stuff this time, so let’s get right to it.
First of all, the good folks at Warner Archive sprung the release of the third season of Superboy (known as The Adventures of Superboy as of this, its penultimate season) without much warning! There wasn’t much fanfare surrounding this release, and you certainly shouldn’t expect any bonus features or expensive remastering of source materials. But what you can expect is a show that, from what I understand, only got better the longer it goes on. This season sees Clark and Lana outside of “the college years” and in a proto-X-Files kinda situation, working as paranormal investigators. That oughta keep Superboy busy! This release is only available through the Warner Archive, so if you want to get it shipped to Canada, I think amazon.com is your only option.
I’m particularly excited about the release of Wes Craven’s Swamp Thing on Blu-ray. One of the great pleasures of that film is the tactility of the costume — you just want to reach out and touch it! — and I imagine that will only be magnified by the HD presentation. Hold on to your DVD copies, though, as I understand that this Blu-ray from the Scream Factory only includes the theatrical cut, whereas the DVD included a longer, slightly more Barbeau-licious version… Wes Craven does a commentary track, which should be a hoot as well. This comes out this Tuesday, August 6.
I’ll straight up admit that I haven’t seen a second of Arrow, the latest DC superhero to make his way to The CW, but I’m intrigued enough to give this first season a rental when it comes out on September 17. I’m really hoping to avoid another Smallville situation where I watch the first few seasons and then feel like I’m in too deep to not see the thing through (FOR TEN LONG YEARS!), which is why I’m hesitant. I’ve been reading the O’Neal/Adams Green Lantern/Green Arrow comics, and I actually think they’re pretty stupid so far, but I’d watch this just in hopes that Oliver Queen will compare somebody to Hitler youth at the first sign of bowing to authority. There was some interesting news about starting to introduce a broader DCU in the next season out of Comic-Con, and with a Flash show in development, it might be a good idea to get on board with this one while things are still relatively simple!
I really couldn’t care less about all the frills and doo-dads they’re including in the upcoming reissue of Christopher Nolan’s overrated Dark Knight trilogy, but the bonus features have me quite intrigued. In addition to the films themselves, which I’m sure you already own, there’s a new doc they’re calling The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of the Dark Knight Trilogy, which will include heretofore unseen behind-the-scenes footage as well as interviews with people not directly involved in the productions, including Guillermo del Toro, Zack Snyder, Michael Mann (Dave just hit the pre-order button), and Damon Lindelof (perhaps he learned that audiences don’t care if endings make sense from Nolan and Goyer’s screenplays!). But here’s where things get really interesting: the disc of new content will also include a conversation between Christopher Nolan and Richard Donner, and all of the IMAX sequences from The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises in their original IMAX aspect ratio (1.43:1, not the 1.85:1 of the previous releases). There’s also some stupid Hot Wheels, some “art prints” (read: postcards) and a hardcover book.
At this point in the summer, Iron Man Three is looking pretty good, possibly the best superhero film we’ll see this year. The Blu-ray release is appropriately stacked, with a commentary track by director Shane Black and screenwriter Drew Pearce (no Downey? Boo!) a gag reel, deleted and extended scenes, a featurette specifically devoted to the Air Force One set piece, and more general doc about the making of the film. The release will also include a preview for Thor: The Dark World, which should further whet the appetite of all those who make theirs Marvel (he wrote, ruining the alliteration). This streets the same day as the Dark Knight trilogy above, September 24.
Without a doubt, though, the coolest upcoming release is this one, though I imagine that it might chafe those of you who picked the individual films up. You’ve gotta think long-term, people! Of course WB would release Batman: The Dark Knight Returns as a single feature-length animated film. What a no brainer! And to make the urge to double-dip all the more unbearable, they’re adding some new bonus features — featuring Frank Miller, no less! At 148 minutes, this is going to feel like a real movie this time! I thought the individual parts were good — admittedly Dark Knight Returns has never been my favourite Batman story — but I’m pumped to revisit them in this form. Like the other DC Animated releases, expect some episodes of the old shows, featurettes, and a sneak preview of their next animated release (probably Justice League: War). They announced at Comic-Con that they’ve got two more Batman projects on tap, so look forward to Son of Batman (based on Grant Morrison’s “Batman and Son”) and Batman: Assault on Arkham, a tie-in with the popular video game series.
Lastly, a release I don’t know much about: Necessary Evil: The Villains of DC Comics. I would expect something similar to the Ryan Reynolds-narrated Secret Origin doc released a while ago. Extras are still TBA on this one, but more info should be forthcoming prior to its release date of October 25.
Update: DC Comics just posted this clip on their YouTube page. I’m not sure if this is from the movie itself or from the extras, but it’s a cool clip that speaks to the thoroughness of the endeavour.
- Now Available: The Adventures of Superboy: The Complete Third Season (DVD)
- August 6, 2013: Swamp Thing (Blu-ray + DVD)
- September 17, 2013: Arrow: The Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
- September 24, 2013: The Dark Knight Trilogy Ultimate Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
- September 24, 2013: Iron Man 3 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
- October 8, 2013: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Deluxe Edition (Blu-ray + DVD + Ultraviolet)
- October 25, 2013: Necessary Evil: Villains of DC Comics (Blu-ray)