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The Shelf: Wizards, Whales, Fasts & Furiouses

Shelf 4-09

Another relatively slow week for Blu-rays and DVDs, unless you count all the Fast stuff coming out! Get it?! Anyway, all the Fast and Furious movies make their way to Blu-ray as do the fifth season of Merlin, Blue Planet: Seas of Life, and some other cool odds and ends.

The Fast and the Furious Films

In honor of the upcoming sixth film in the bafflingly-persistent series of Fast and Furious films, all five of the prior entries have gotten a Blu-ray release (or re-release, in some cases) with digital copies and UltraViolet. Dating back to 2001 with The Fast and the Furious, which was a film about an undercover cop (Paul Walker) who has been assigned to infiltrate the world of illegal street racing, which was a front for a hijacking ring led by Vin Diesel, the series has morphed from just a bunch of movies about cars to some pretty decent action-heist movies. And now The Rock is involved, so that’s pretty excellent.

They don’t come in a boxed set, but they’re all priced very reasonably, so if making a collection out of them is your thing, it shouldn’t set you back too much. The available films, aside from the aforementioned first one, are 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Fast and Furious, and Fast Five. The new one is called Fast and Furious 6, but given the previous films’ tendency to reduce the size of the title by a word or two, I would have thought it’d just be called Six. I’m not a marketing guy, though.

Merlin: The Complete Fifth Season

The final season of the BBC’s hit sword-and-sorcery program about the exploits of the young wizard who is sworn to protect King Arthur and his court at Camelot hits Blu-ray and DVD. As with most heroic adventures, things get a lot worse before they get better for the good guys. Morgana lurks in the shadows, plotting her revenge on Arthur King and his English Ki-nig-its. Wizardry abounds! The 3-disc Blu-ray set includes a making-of, audio commentaries from the cast and crew, deleted scenes, outtakes, and storyboards.

The Blue Planet: Seas of Life

BBC nature documentaries and Blu-ray are the reason each other exists. Every release looks better than the last. This set collects the entire series of The Blue Planet from 2001, narrated by David Attenborough. It’s gorgeous and tranquil and harrowing and unsettling, but that’s life for you. The Blu-ray contains all eight episodes of the series plus five bonus programs: “Amazon Abyss,” “Dive to Shark Volcano,” “Between the Tides,” “Antarctica,” and “Deep Trouble.” That’s 13 spectacular hours of nature in HD. There’s also interviews with some of the key staff and 80 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage. Really worth a look, people.


The Sorcerer and the White Snake – Jet Li movie where he’s a magical monk.

Woochi: The Demon Slayer – A Korean action-fantasy about an ancient wizard who has to battle goblins in the present day.

Father’s Day – A super gory, grungy, gross and other non-G words movie about people wanting revenge on other people. It’s a Troma movie, so you know what you’re getting.