Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment requests we note that it provided a free copy of Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay and Claws: The Complete First Season. The opinions I share are my own.
Can anyone conjure up a cuter image of (literal) puppy love than when Lady and the Tramp share a strand of spaghetti in their eponymous film? Fans will be glad to know that the classic movie is now out on Blu-ray as the sixth title in the Walt Disney Signature Collection (alongside Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Bambi, and The Lion King). This new release presents the film in its original theatrical version, a sing-along version, and an “Inside Walt’s Story Meetings” version, where the viewer hears reenactments of Walt’s story sessions with animators as the film runs. Along with previously released bonus features (a featurette with memories from Walt’s daughter and a look at the never-recorded song “I’m Free as the Breeze” meant for Tramp), new bonus features in the Signature Collection release include deleted scenes, a special about the dogs Walt Disney had over his lifetime, a tour of Walt’s historically re-created office on the lot, and a lesson on how to make the perfect meatball from teen chef Amber Kelley and Oh My Disney show host Alexys Gabrielle. All disc versions of Lady and the Tramp: Signature Collection are now available on Amazon– the Multi-Screen Edition set (Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy) is currently priced at $23.99, the Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook at $41.75, and the Storybook Edition (which also includes a 32-page storybook) at $41.80.
Another animated film headed your way (on the other end of the innocence spectrum) is Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay, the most recent installment in the DC Universe Movies series. (Note: the film is is rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, sexual content, brief graphic nudity, and some drug material.) The story follows Amanda Waller’s top secret “Task Force X” (Bronze Tiger, Killer Frost, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Copperhead, and Harley Quinn) as they seek an all-powerful mystical object, little knowing that they are not the only villains searching for it. In a winner-takes-all contest that may cost some their lives, the stakes have never been higher. Featuring Christian Slater in his DC Universe Movies debut as Deadshot, the all-star cast is directed by Sam Liu (producer on previous DC Universe Movies Gotham by Gaslight and Teen Titans: The Judas Contract). The Blu-ray boasts multiple bonus features, including a sneak peek at The Death of Superman (the next DC Universe Movie), featurettes about Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, and the power of good plot devices, and audio commentary from the creative filmmaking team of screenwriter/co-producer Alan Burnett and executive producer James Tucker (the DVD, it should be noted, only features the sneak peek at The Death of Superman in the way of bonus content). Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay is now available on Amazon, with the DVD going for $12.96, the Blu-ray Combo pack for $16.99, and the 4K Blu-ray Set for $24.96.
Continuing in tales from the dark side is Claws, the new TNT series that follows the transition of a group of friends from being manicurists to money launderers, becoming entangled with the mob, kidnapping, murder, and more along the way. Originally developed as a project for HBO, Claws has made a home for itself among TNT viewers and critics alike, earning both a NAACP Image Award and a Satellite Award for its first season. Claws: The Complete First Season is available digitally on both iTunes and Amazon for $19.99 or on DVD on Amazon for $19.96. It’s a shame that the DVD doesn’t include any bonus features– one can imagine all the anecdotes the cast and production crew have to share (especially considering the show is largely filmed in New Orleans, a city always sure to produce some good stories). Since bonus features are a no-go and the prices are basically identical, it’s really a toss-up as to whether digital or hard copy format is best for you.
On the lighter side of things we find the pop culture icon Grease, a film which has held its own in fans’ hearts since its original release in 1978. Celebrating its fortieth anniversary this year, the film is being released in a new edition with fully restored sound and picture (using previously unavailable technology) and multiple bonus features. On the Blu-ray Combo Pack and 4K Ultra HD sets, new extras are “Grease: A Chicago Story” (a featurette about the musical’s theatrical beginnings), alternate animated main titles, and an alternate ending, all in addition to over an hour of previously released bonus content. The Blu-ray Combo Pack also comes housed in collectible packaging which includes sixteen pages of images arranged like a high school yearbook. A Grease Collection set will also be available (packaged in a steelbook “locker”) which includes the anniversary Blu-ray of Grease along with Grease 2 and Grease: Live! (appearing on Blu-ray for the first time). All disc formats of Grease: 40th Anniversary Edition are being released on April 24th and you can pre-order them now on Amazon: currently the 4K set is $27.05, the Grease Collection Steelbook Set is $27.96, the Blu-ray Combo Pack is $14.99, and the DVD is $6.43. If you already own a previous release, you might not be swayed by the addition of the handful of new extras, but do remember that this version has the newly restored visuals and audio, so depending on your tastes, it might be worth spending a few bucks to add it to the library.
If music is your thing, you may want to turn an eye to the upcoming release of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert. This collection includes four Hall of Fame black tie ceremonies from 2014-2017 which feature fifty-three live performances from inductees such as Chicago, Peter Gabriel, Green Day, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ringo Starr, Yes, Journey, and many more. Never before released to retail in any format, this collection includes truly unique moments such as Paul McCartney welcoming Ringo Starr into the Rock Hall, five of the original members of Chicago performing on stage for the first time in twenty-five years, Cat Stevens performing a version “Father & Son” that stunned the audience into silence, and countless others. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: In Concert, 2014-2017 will be released from Time Life on April 24 and is available for pre-order now on Amazon. Current Amazon pricing is doing one of those weird things where the DVD ($27.99) is actually a little higher than the Blu-ray ($27.39), so if this is a set that sparks your interest and you like having things on Blu-ray, now is the time to order.