Blu-ray Disc Reviews
Review of movies and TV shows on Blu-ray Disc.
Story idea: Why don’t restaurants serve apples anymore?
This line made me laugh, but it’s not from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy – The Rich Mahogany Edition, it’s from Mr. Burgundy’s diary that accompanies this 2-disc Blu-ray …
Considered a classic film in all circles, Roman Polanski’s Chinatown is indeed well written, well acted, and well directed. What’s more, now on Blu-ray, it looks pretty darn good for a 1974 picture. Having said that, I must admit this was my first time seeing it (here comes the shame), and its leisurely pace left me a little less than enthralled. If you’re a fan of the film, it’s a must-own. If you’ve never seen it and your senses have been dulled by years of fast action, big explosions, and rapid fire dialogue, your appreciation for Chinatown may be slightly watered down.
Pity poor Captain America. While other superheroes from his era have had their stories told multiple times on the silver screen, Cap has been waiting for his proper Hollywood debut since 1941. Think about that. Betty White was 19—dang. Well, this summer it finally happened. Captain America: The First Avenger earned 175 million dollars in the US, making it the 8th highest grossing of the year, right behind his fellow Avenger, Thor. I didn’t catch the film in theaters, so I was anxious to see how the Blu-ray would tell the tale of one of Marvel’s oldest and most iconic heroes, and if it would look better than current-day Betty White.
This week offers up many new Blu-ray titles, but few worth owning… However, if you’re a fan of Japanese cinema (no, no the shock type, but a more poetical picture) Criterion has a little something for you… and they’re also releasing an underrated Nicolas Roeg headtrip for your viewing pleasure. For those with more mainstream tastes there’s a slew of recent theatrical films on Blu-ray, and Warner’s catches fans up with Harry Potter with more HD Ultimate Editions of the successful franchise.
This Tuesday offers a huge amount of Blu-ray releases… but it’s a mixed bag to be sure. What should you consider for your HD library and viewing pleasure? Here’s what we recommend for this Tuesday, June 7th:
With the long weekend, and an even longer list of Blu-ray releases over the past few says, including this Tuesday’s traditional street date, here’s a short rundown as we get over our Memorial Day Hangover here at HD Report (and no, we didn’t see the cash grab sequel this weekend)… We didn’t get a chance to write out each of these (pure weekend laziness compounded by booze n’ BBQs), so this is simply a rundown of recommendations. Note that, no matter how much we love the following films, it’s the BD quality we’re always letting you know about. If it’s not recommended or has a light recommendation, it doesn’t mean we hated the movie itself. That said…
This Sunday on Blu-ray, Paramount releases The Firm (1993) starring Tom Cruise… but is it worth buying or are we being asked to purchase something that, sooner or later, probably soon, will end up a lot cheaper after being dumped into a bargain bin? Let’s find out…
This week on Blu-ray Warner Bros is offering up some goodies worthy of the format. Criterion also puts two older titles on Blu-ray, and that’s always worth a mention for the loving care they give their releases; however, if you own the already awesome DVDs, you need to consider the extra spend for what amounts to minor improvements at best.
Warner’s releases some fan favorites on Blu-ray, including Gettysburg: Director’s Cut (1993) and Gods an d Generals: Extended Director’s Cut (2003) just in time for the sesquicentennial of the beginning of the American Civil War. Both films feature rich performances (a literal who’s who of A-list and B-list actors… with plenty of redshirted C-listers in there for good measure) and plenty of detail… the kind of stuff fans of the Jeff and Michael Shaara historical novels absolutely love to get lost in. Both releases are minor upgrades from prior BDs. The new editions are Digibook offerings with plenty of extras, but be forewarned that both films are extraordinarily long (some would say bloated), with Gettysburg nearly holding the record for one of the longest features ever theatrically released… and Warners is offering the films (respectively) on one BD with the extras mainly confined to an SD disc. Some reviewers have noted compression issues due to the length of the films on one disc, but for the most part the reviews say these are two discs worth owning… especially if you’re a Civil War buff.
This week bring us Criterion releases on Blu-ray as well as a solid classic from Fox. The rest of the bunch… well, it depends on what your interests are and if what you consider a value in Blu-ray titles that may or may not have a terrific transfer behind them (most don’t… so, caveat emptor).
Here’s where we look at six Blu-ray Discs and vote on whether or not we think they should be purchased or rented. As a rule, we always suggest watching a Blu-ray Disc vs. streaming HD from Netflix or other service. Movies that have been compressed to stream or download are hard to fully appreciate when black levels are crunched and bit-rates sampled down to reduce file size. Here are the votes this week.
This week there’s not a heck of a lot to recommend as must-own Blu-ray discs, though for dramedy you may wanna check out Ben Stiller in Greenberg as well as the newest Atom Egoyan film for rental. Let’s take a quick gander at what we’ve got for Blu-ray releases:
Hope everyone had a Happy 4th of July… Glad we live in country where we have plenty of life, liberty and the pursuit of cool technology, but due to the holiday this week’s kind of a dumping ground for Blu-ray releases… nothing much to shout out about, but I did manage to dig up two worthy discs to highlight. The rest of the bunch are a mixed bag of dual-pic releases for Blu-ray, similar to how the studios dumped a lot of releases on DVD only a few years back. Warner Bros. has released some great BD’s lately, but these double-feature releases seem destined for the cut-out bin at your local big-box discount store. Let’s take a gander at two decent picks for the week:
On a production budget of around $100 million, but a domestic return of just over $35 million, no one would call the newest Paul Greengrass/Matt Damon collaboration, Green Zone (Universal, 2010) a hit… one might even call it a bomb (financially speaking), but this box office analysis does a disservice to a very good film that, unfortunately, serves two masters by attempting to be both an intriguing political thriller and a tough-as-nails war movie.
This week looks like a dump of lesser titles, tv/cable series offerings and some B-grade genre grinds, but there is one must-own title, for indie-fans (or fans of what was once called Independent Cinema) and one truly spectacular little gem of a horror film. There’s also a real stinker from the 80’s that somehow still has legs as trash cinema cult fave.
In The Book of Eli (Warner Brothers, 2010) Denzel is The Postman! Er—I mean, Eli!
This week’s a little light on Blu-ray releases of any note save for Scorsese’s recent foray into gothic psychological terror and an old comedy fave from the 80’s.
Gunga la-gunga! From the 80’s vault comes Caddyshack (Orion/Warner Bros., 1980) in a spiffy Blu-ray 30th Anniversary Edition that makes me feel rather old when they start posting numbers like that on home media releases (I saw the film in a movie theater at age 10 during the time when my Dad had weekend child-rearing duties… he’d take us to see just about anything including that particular brand of 80’s comic raunchiness).