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DVD Shopping Bag: 100th Anniversary of Universal Studios

What it means in DVDs and Blu-rays

By Robert T. Trate     January 30, 2012

 

There comes a time when you just have to sit and watch that movie. Perhaps you missed it in the theater. It was always on TV, but for some reason you never got to see it from the beginning. My personal favorite is having a job where you have to watch genre based movies all the time and have little time for anything else. I know, pity the guy who has to watch horror, sci-fi, and superhero movies every week. Well, I bent the rules a tad this week and popped in Universal’s new 50th Anniversary Collector's Series Edition Blu-ray ofTo Kill a Mockingbird.
 
Now if you need some genre based tie ins for this title, how about these fun facts: Superman’s favorite book is Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”. This is fitting if you have ever watched the movie or read the book. With this in mind, I had this strange feeling that in a different time and place Gregory Peck would have made a great Superman/ Clark Kent. Another genre tie in is that Brock Peters, who plays Tom Robinson, is a Star Trek veteran. He was Admiral Cartwright in two different Trek movies and played Joseph Sisko on Deep Space Nine. I’ll mention that he was also the original Lucius Fox on the animated Batman series. My final six degrees tie in will be that Robert Duvall, who plays Boo Radley in To Kill a Mockingbird, was also THX 1138 in THX 1138.
 
I am not here to justify my watching a non genre title on the company’s time. What I am here to tell you is that Universal’s release of To Kill a Mockingbird sets a precedent for their other titles slated to be released this year. The special features are identical to the 2005 Legacy DVD Edition of To Kill a Mockingbird,yet this Blu-ray transfer is breathtaking. It looks as if this film was shot only yesterday with the latest technology. The opening title sequence by Stephen Frankfurt is so real I felt as if I could reach up and pull the items down off the screen. The entire film is beautiful to watch and really gets me excited for the other titles slated for this year.
 
If you read this column on a weekly basis, as you should, you’ve noticed a few older Universal titles have already returned. Some, again, to DVD and a few have gotten their first Blu-ray release. Others have been rehashed with the new Universal 100th Anniversary logo on the box. Be ready as not all these titles or individual releases will be created equal. To Kill a Mockingbird alone has three different releases today. Universal promises that 13 of their landmark titles will get a complete restoration. Get ready as the likes of Jaws, Frankenstein, and of course E.T. (which will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year) will finally get Blu-rays. Universal has announced 8 of the tiles so far. Hopefully the likes of Dracula and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds will be in that remaining five.
 
Check the DVD Shopping Bag every week for their releases. Be on the look out for my reviews of these landmark titles in the coming year as well.
 
Top 5 Picks of the Week:
 
1. To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Edition Collector's Series [Blu-ray Book + DVD + Digital Copy]
2. Drive (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray]
3. Das Boot (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray]
4. Star Trek: The Next Generation - Next Level [Blu-ray]
5. Dead Hooker in a Trunk
 
ACTION / ADVENTURE / KUNG FU/ THRILLERS / WESTERNS
 
The Double [Blu-ray] Starring Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Martin Sheen and Stephen Moyer
 
The Double Starring Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Martin Sheen and Stephen Moyer
 
Drive (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] Starring Ryan Gosling and Bryan Cranston
 
Drive Starring Ryan Gosling and Christina Hendricks
 
Fernando Di Leo crime collection [Blu-ray] Starring Jack Palance, Henry Silva, Barbara Bouchet
 
Hunted By Night Starring Jencarlos Canela, Juan C. Bofill, Sonya Smith and Al Galvez
 
One Piece: Collection Four Starring Colleen Clinkenbeard, Eric Vale, Christopher R. Sabat
 
Outrage: Way of the Yakuza Starring Takeshi Kitano and Ryo Kase
 
Outrage: Way of the Yakuza [Blu-ray] Starring Takeshi Kitano and Ryo Kase
 
Texas Killing Fields [Blu-ray] Starring Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jessica Chastain
 
Texas Killing Fields Starring Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jessica Chastain
 
ANIME
 
B Gata H Kei: Yamada's First Time Complete Series (Limited Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Scott Freeman, Atsushi Abe, Brittney Karbowski
 
B Gata H Kei: Yamada's First Time Complete Series (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Scott Freeman, Atsushi Abe, Brittney Karbowski
 
Ef: A Tale of Memories Complete Collection
 
ef ~ A Tale of Memories: Complete Collection [Blu-ray]
 
Phantom: Requiem For the Phantom (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) Starring Newton Pittman and Shay Moore
 
CLASSICS
 
Das Boot (Director's Cut) [Blu-ray] Starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, Klaus Wennemann
 
To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Edition [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy] Starring Gregory Peck, Frank Overton and John Megna
 
To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Edition Starring Gregory Peck, Frank Overton and John Megna
 
To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Edition Collector's Series [Blu-ray Book + DVD + Digital Copy] Starring Gregory Peck, Frank Overton and John Megna
 
COMEDY AND LOVE Mania Style
 
Adaptation [Blu-ray] Starring Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper and Tilda Swinton
 
Nothing in Common [Blu-ray] Starring Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason and Eva Marie Saint
 
HORROR
 
2 Headed Shark Attack [Blu-ray] Starring Carmen Electra, Brooke Hogan and Charlie O'Connell
 
2 Headed Shark Attack Starring Carmen Electra, Brooke Hogan and Charlie O'Connell
 
The Bunnyman Massacre Starring Cheryl Texiera, Matthew Albrecht, Alaina Gianci
 
Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2012)
 
Dream House Starring Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz
 
Dream House [Blu-ray] Starring Daniel Craig and Naomi Watts
 
Dr. Jekyll Vs. The Werewolf (1972) Starring Paul Naschy, Shirley Corrigan and Jack Taylor
 
Hell On Earth Starring Mary Corrine Miller, Peter Stickles Brett Fallon
 
Mommy's Little Monster Starring Todd Bridges
 
Night Train Murders [Blu-ray] Starring Flavio Bucci, Macha Meril, Enrico Maria Salerno
 
Roxsy Tyler's Carnival of Horror's ''A Leech Named Bassant'' Starring Roxsy Tyler, Johnnie13, John Charles Hunt
 
 
The Thing (2011) Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen
 
The Thing (2011) (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet) Starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen
 
Ubaldo Terzani Horror Show Starring Giuseppe Soleri, Paolo Sassanelli and Laura Gigante
 
MODERN CLASSICS on BLU-RAY
 
Cold Mountain [Blu-ray] Starring Jude Law
 
The English Patient [Blu-ray] Starring Willem Dafoe and Ralph Fiennes
 
Shakespeare in Love [Blu-ray] Starring Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson and Steven O'Donnell
 
SCIENCE FICTION / FANTASY
 
In Time [Blu-ray] Starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried
 
In Time Starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried
 
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Three-Disc Combo: Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy)
 
TV LAND
 
Agatha Christie's Poirot: Series 1 [Blu-ray] Starring David Suchet, Philip Jackson and Hugh Frasier
 
Leave It To Beaver: 20 Timeless Classics Starring Jerry Mathers
 
Star Trek: The Next Generation - Next Level [Blu-ray]
 
BOX SETS
 
Best Picture Academy Award Winners: 5 Film Coll Starring Willem Dafoe and Ralph Fiennes
 
Best Picture Academy Award Winners: 5 Film Coll [Blu-ray] Starring Willem Dafoe and Ralph Fiennes
 
Transformers Limited Edition Collector's Trilogy (Seven-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Boxed Set: Transformers / Transformers 2 / Transformers 3 (+ Blu-ray 3D Version)) Starring Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Tyrese Gibson
 
Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 5 of 5
1 
themovielord 1/31/2012 2:26:58 AM

 the banner ad at the top and the article weren't planned by me (the columnist)

karas1 1/31/2012 5:29:06 AM

What do you mean that you didn't plan the article?  You wrote it didn't you? 

If you mean you didn't plan that the add for Universal's 100th Anniversary edition of To Kill A Mockingbird would be displayed with your article about how great it was, I can see how that might be a little embarrassing for you.

 

themovielord 1/31/2012 10:32:14 AM

I wrote it, I just didn't know the banner ad at the time was going to be to Kill a Mocking bird.

millean 1/31/2012 1:02:17 PM

If it makes you feel any better, apparently not everybody gets the same banners.  I got some kind of computer equipment wholesaler earlier, now I don't even have a banner (guess work must be blocking something).

Been a while since I've seen To Kill a Mockingbird, but it was a good flick.

keithdaniel 1/31/2012 7:41:13 PM

If there is any justice in the world...then George Lucas will wake up and finally release Willow on bluray...WITH A NEW DOCUMENTARY ALONG WITH THE LEGENDARY LOST SCENES!!!  I know, I know...but one can dream!!  LOL!!

1 

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