We Got This Covered’s Blu-Ray Picks For Nov. 18 – Nov. 24

It should come as no surprise that last week’s featured Blu-Ray release Brave has made a significant showing in the sales charts, while The Watch and Savages are having a tough time competing in the home release arena. If you’re still on the fence about adding the latter two to your Blu-Ray collection, be sure to head on over to our Blu-Ray Reviews section where our own Jeremy Lebens has covered both releases.

This week, The Expendables 2 makes an explosive entrance into your home, director Quentin Tarantino‘s eight most notable films come together to form a sweet collection, and Game of Thrones‘ first season is released in an epic Collector’s Edition.

Ready for this week’s Blu-Ray releases? Then read on.

The Expendables 2

Release Date: November 20th, 2012

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Clause Van Damme, and Chuck Norris.

Director: Simon West

Get ready for some geriatric martial arts! Your favorite eighties action stars reunite once again in this explosion-filled ensemble action film.

Plot: Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat.

My Thoughts: If you’re a red-blooded creature who loves guns and action then you won’t be disappointed. My dad even likes this film, and I think the closest he’s ever come to an explosion is lighting the barbecue when the starter’s been broken.

Check out our Blu-Ray review of The Expendables 2 coming later this week and let us know what you think.

Grave of the Fireflies

Release Date: November 20th, 2012

Starring: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, and Akemi Yamaguchi.

Director: Isao Takahata

A 1988 critically acclaimed Japanese animated classic that should be watched by every film aficionado.

Plot: On the final days of World War II, 14-year-old Seita and his four-year-old sister Setsuko are orphaned after their mother is killed during an air-raid by American forces in Kobe, Japan. After having a falling-out with their aunt, they move into an abandoned bomb shelter. With no surviving relatives and their emergency funds and rations depleted, Seita and Setsuko must struggle to survive their hardships as well as those of their country, which is on the losing end of the war.

My Thoughts: Brilliantly done and incredibly touching. I’ve seen quite a bit of anime in my time, and once in awhile you stumble onto something that takes the medium to a whole new level. If you’re going to watch one anime film in your lifetime, then this should be it. Little known fact: popular film critic Roger Ebert considers it to be one of the greatest, and most powerful, war films ever made.

Hard Core Logo: All Access Edition 

Release Date: November 20th, 2012

Starring: Hugh Dillon, Callum Keith Rennie, John Pyper-Ferguson, and Julian Richings.

Director: Bruce McDonald

A 1996 Canadian mockumentary that illustrates the self-destruction of punk rock; very similar to what 1984’s This Is Spinal Tap did to heavy-metal. This edition also includes the lesser-known 2010 sequel, Hard Core Logo 2.

Plot: Bruce Mcdonald follows punk bank Hard Core Logo on a harrowing last-gasp reunion tour throughout Western Canada. As magnetic lead-singer Joe Dick holds the whole magilla together through sheer force of will, all the tensions and pitfalls of life on the road come bubbling to the surface.

My Thoughts: I haven’t seen this in years, but I remember it fondly from my punk rock phase in high school. If you look back on your own punk rock days with nostalgia, then this is for you. If instead you cower in shame whenever you see those photos of yourself with blue-blond hair, then you might want to give it a miss. The first Hard Core Logo is known in the industry for being one of the best Canadian films ever produced, but its sequel, Hard Core Logo 2, never met the bar set by the original film. Make this Blu-Ray part of your collection and judge for yourself.

The Portrait of a Lady

Release Date: November 20th, 2012

Starring: Nicole Kidman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Barbara Hershey, Christian Bale, and Viggo Mortensen.

Director: Jane Campion

This 1996 romantic drama was pretty popular at the time of its release, but quickly faded away to nothingness. However, it’s a pretty well done period piece and features many actors who eventually became big names in the industry.

Plot: The film tells the story of Isabel Archer (Kidman), an innocent young woman of independent means who is manipulated by her “friend” Madame Merle (Hershey) and the devious Gilbert Osmond (Malkovich).

My Thoughts: Looking back on the film now, it really isn’t anything great, but back in 1996 it was a pretty original piece of work. If you’re into that period of history and enjoy stories that feature betrayal, love, and social politics, then you should really give it a chance. Here’s a useless fact: the film caused quite a bit of controversy at the time of its release due to a dream sequence in which Kidman’s character, Isabel Archer, has an erotic fantasy involving all of her male suitors. Giggity.

Tarantino XX: 8-Film Collection Blu-Ray

Release Date: November 20th, 2012

Starring: Various

Director: Quentin Tarantino

Writer-director Quentin Tarantino brings eight of his most notable films together to make a deliciously violent box set.

Plot: How can I possibly go over each plot contained in this box set that includes Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill: Volume 1, Kill Bill: Volume 2, Death Proof, and Inglourious Basterds? I can’t. But I can tell you that each film has a plot that is original, satirical, edgy, and much cooler than anything you’ve put together with your digital video recorder so far.

My Thoughts: If you haven’t seen any of these movies, then you really should take the plunge and pick this set up. It’s an easy and, relatively, cheap way to make all of these films part of your collection in one swift purchase. If you’ve already bought a few of them, then you might want to pass. There really isn’t much new content to be had here, and since last week Tarantino himself stated that his tenth film may be his last, we may have a complete Tarantino film collection on Blu-Ray in a few years anyway.

Game of Thrones: The Complete First Season Collector’s Edition

Release Date: November 20th, 2012

Starring: Sean Bean, Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Mark Addy, Jason Momoa, and Kit Harington.

Director: Various

The first season of HBO’s critically acclaimed fantasy television series is yours to own in an epic collector’s edition.

Plot: Seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros

My Thoughts: The plot summary above really doesn’t do this series justice. It has action, betrayal, political maneuvering, and (in true HBO style) plenty of nudity. With its third season on the way at the end of March, it has already solidified itself as one of the best television series to air in the past decade. If you haven’t see it, or if you have and loved it as much as I did, add this to your Blu-Ray collection ASAP.

That’s all for this week folks but be sure to check back next week to see what you can spend your paycheck on.

Are you a fan of any of this week’s releases? Let us know in the comments below.

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