Blu-ray Today: “Summer Disappointments Week” – The Lone Ranger, Elysium, Kick-Ass 2 Headline


Sometimes, themes just suggest themselves. I’m not sure that the big movie studios coordinated to put out many of the highest-profile summer disappointments the day before Christmas; perhaps the hope is that they’ll be grabbed by desperate shoppers who can’t find anything else. Regardless, for those who like to go against the grain, this is a banner week.

“Disappointment” is obviously a relative term – The Lone Ranger happens to be my favorite film of the year, for reasons I’ve enumerated elsewhere. I am bummed that the extras are so skimpy: one deleted scene, a blooper reel and a couple of pretty short featurettes. Still, given that there’s not a lot of love in other quarters for this movie, counting on a double-dip seems akin to waiting for a new director’s cut of John Carter. So grab it now if you want it.

And by the way, you don’t have to share my interpretation of the film to like it – my wife enjoys the film’s nods to a Native American sense of humor and spiritism, and thinks I’m full of shit to read anything more in. You just have to not expect a conventional action movie, or a remotely canonical take on the characters.

The Percy Jackson franchise is one I’ve continued to miss, somehow – every press screening it’s ever had has been one that I’ve been somehow unable to attend for last-minute reasons. I hear it’s a bit of a letdown, but can’t deny that the hook of the children of Greek gods seems enticing. Plus Nathan Fillion is in this new one, Sea of Monsters, which will be sufficient for some of you.(For real, how many of you started watching Xena when you heard Bruce Campbell was in it? And speaking of which, the complete Burn Notice is now out on DVD, but not Blu-ray yet.)

Kick-Ass 2 had its moments, but nowhere near as many as the first film, feeling decidedly less anarchic in the hands of a big studio. Jim Carrey’s performance was a highlight, so of course he promptly disowned the film. I hope someday Neill Blomkamp disowns the heavy handedness of Elysium – I love the hip-hop, sci-fi slums he creates, but they all fell into the service of an overbaked lecture about universal healthcare. Maybe he and Carrey can collaborate on a new movie about guns being bad.

But if you tink daaaat’s bad…remember the time there was a twelfth season of Family Guy, seemingly on DVD only? Seth MacFarlane must be so tired of hearing sentences phrased that way, which is exactly why I’m gonna keep doing it.

The first three Indiana Jones movies are available individually on Blu-ray as of today, so if you’re part of the vocal percentage that insists only Raiders and Crusade are the good ones, or like me think Temple of Doom deserves far more rewatches than the rest, today is your day.

Finally, I have to put in a personal plug: series three of Shameless comes out today, and episode three of it features an appearance by my wife. She plays a promiscuous girl named Angie who appears about halfway through the episode, and apparently there has been fan fiction written about her character. We cannot bear to look at that – but the show’s good.

Those are my top picks for today. What would you add?