On DVD & Blu-Ray, 5/17/11: ‘Thor: Tales of Asgard,’ ‘The Hustler,’ More



You’ve seen him in live-action as the arrogant/noble God of Thunder, now you can see him in animated form, long before he wielded the hammer Mjolnir. Thor, along with Loki and the Warriors Three (one of whom, Sif, is voiced by veteran voice artist Tara Strong), quests to find the Lost Sword of Surtur. Included on both the DVD and Blu-ray are two commentaries, a making-of featurette, and an episode of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.


THE HUSTLER: 50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray)


In his best performance, the iconic Paul Newman played Fast Eddie Felson, a hustling pool shark consumed by his own greed and ambition. Though stylish and beautifully shot, the film is not a picnic to sit through; Fast Eddie is a wounded human being, and Newman fleshes out the character’s every nuance. Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott, and Piper Laurie are all also at the tops of their games. 


These days, it’s hard to remember what it was like when Eddie Murphy actually mattered. Come to think of, it’s been hard to remember that for some time now. Luckily, here comes the Blu-ray edition of Beverly Hills Cop, Murphy’s funniest, edgiest comedy. Surprisingly gritty and backed by a classic/corny Harold Faltermeyer synth score, it’s a lively 80’s blockbuster. 

DIABOLIQUE: The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray)


Almost everyone describes Henri Georges-Clouzot as the French Hitchcock, and I’m loath to use the same cliché…but, damn it, it’s true. After making the masterpiece The Wages of Fear in 1953, Clouzot turned right around and made another masterpiece, 1954’s Diabolique. It’s the creepy, twisty story of two women murdering their abusive lover, often mislabeled as horror when it is instead a gripping tale of suspense. Extras include an interview with Clouzot collaborator Serge Bromberg, an interview with horror film expert Kim Newman, selected scene commentary by French film scholar Kelley Conway, and the requisite Criterion booklet of essays. 

For a more complete listing of new releases, make sure to scope out Video ETA.

One thought on “On DVD & Blu-Ray, 5/17/11: ‘Thor: Tales of Asgard,’ ‘The Hustler,’ More

  1. This is probably one of the worst Thor stories I have seen. I’ve been a huge fan of the mythology and the comics since I was a kid, in fact Thor is my second favorite superhero of all time; just in front of Daredevil and right behind Luke Cage. I started reading the comics in 94 and I’ve been hooked since. If you want to see young Thor done well pick up the Thor Tales of Asgard comics and Loki Blood Brothers. This poorly animated, uninspiringly designed and poorly voiced movie should only be seen on cartoon network 3 years from now on a boring Sunday afternoon. The story is really predictable and each character falls in the cleche archetype spectrum. Thor the overcompensating prince, Sif the overly bad-ass female fighter who just wants to be respected and to kiss the prince, and the warrior’s three are bungling yes-men who don’t have minds of their own. I can’t stand what they did to the Valkyrie warrior women who instead of being bad-ass marine corp that Odin throws at punks who get too big for their breeches, they are greek amazon wannabe’s who hate men for some reason or another, and that reason is neither stated or even eluded to. Odin isn’t confident or intimidating in this story either and every time we see him on screen I want to punch him in the chest and tell him to do some pushups. The only thing I liked about this was Loki, who was creative, smart and sympathetic. Overall this does nothing more than dilute the mythos and weaken the demand for Thor products. PEEYUU!

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