National Catholic Register

Arts & Entertainment

Blu-ray/DVD Picks & Passes 10.21.12

BY Steven D. Greydanus

Film Critic

October 21-November 3, 2012 Issue | Posted 10/15/12 at 5:48 PM

 

  

A Cat in Paris (2010) PICK

God Is the Bigger Elvis (2012) PICK

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) PICK

The Princess Bride (1987) PICK

hat a crop! Two delightful, very different 2012 Oscar nominees — a foreign animated adventure and a documentary about a nun who chose the convent over Tinseltown — are among the latest home-video releases, along with anniversary Blu-ray editions of two beloved 1980s family fantasies and a quirky tale of young love.

Can it really be 30 years since we first heard E.T. promise Elliott "I’ll be right here" in Steven Spielberg’s bittersweet sci-fi classic E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, or 25 years since Westley first told Buttercup, "As you wish" in Rob Reiner’s satiric swashbuckler-romance The Princess Bride? Apparently so, since the anniversary Blu-rays for both films are now available.

The 30th anniversary edition marks E.T.’s Blu-ray debut, a gorgeous hi-def transfer that goes back to the original film, eschewing the digital tinkering of the 20th anniversary special edition (which swapped out the federal agents’ guns for walkie-talkies, replaced some puppet effects with CGI, etc.).

There are two new bonus features: "The E.T. Journals," a collection of footage from the set of the film, including cast and crew interviews, and a short interview with Steven Spielberg, both well worth watching. There’s also a raft of earlier extras, including making-of featurettes, interviews and deleted scenes from the 20th anniversary edition.

The Princess Bride is not new to Blu-ray, and the transfer is the same as the last edition, but there are a couple of new bonus features, notably a 15-minute "25th Anniversary Chat" with stars Cary Elwes and Robin Wright, as well as Reiner. Recycled extras include audio commentaries, a making-of featurette, a pair of extras on the story’s fairy-tale roots and more.

God Is the Bigger Elvis is an uplifting Oscar-nominated documentary short about Mother Dolores Hart, a Hollywood-actress-turned-Benedictine-nun, whose brief career in the 1950s and 1960s included roles opposite Elvis Presley. Gratifyingly, the film makes clear that embracing religious life was not a way of rejecting the world in general or Hollywood in particular, but of an all-encompassing "Yes" to God. 

Finally, don’t miss A Cat in Paris, a charming Oscar-nominated animated caper film from France, a hand-drawn tale about a young girl whose widowed mother is a police officer and whose pet cat moonlights as the sidekick of a charming catburglar. The Blu-ray/DVD combo edition includes the original French language track with subtitles, as well as the English dub released in U.S. theaters.

 

Content Advisory: A Cat in Paris: Animated menace and action, including kidnapping. Older kids and up. God Is the Bigger Elvis: Nothing offensive. Kids and up. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: Some mildly menacing scenes, including chase scenes; some crude language, including one infamous obscenity; inadvertent intoxication; problematic family situations, including back-story divorce. Older kids and up. The Princess Bride: Swashbuckling violence; a stylized torture scene; fleeting reference to suicide; a single instance of profanity. Older kids and up.