It is the week of Christmas, and we’re gathering up gift recommendations (for ourselves, of course) in This Week in Blu-ray. If any of you need to get something for your favorite Blu-ray columnist on the web, there are two great titles below in the ‘Buy’ category that I would love to receive. If not, well that’s okay. At least buy them for yourself so that you can have something to sneak off and watch when your family finally becomes unbearable. And you know it’s going to happen, so take my advice. I wouldn’t steer you astray — not this close to Christmas, anyway.
Read on below and be enlightened. And remember to support FSR by buying via our Amazon links below. We need to keep the lights (and Dr. Cole Abaius’ creepy “laboratory”) up and running here at the HQ…
One of the best movies of the year, followed by one of the best Blu-ray releases. This one comes packed with a great sci-fi film and some amazing added value. If you need more of a reason, I’ve got about 1,500 words written in my in-depth review from earlier in the week. This is something I only do once in a blue moon. Last one was Star Trek, and this release is just as good.
Blu-ray exclusives include an interactive map of Joburg, Director’s Commentary, Filmmaker’s Diary, MovieIQ, CineChat and BD-Live.
500 Days of Summer
Another reason for celebration this week — aside from all of those holidays — is that one of the most fun, sweet romantic comedies of the year. It is quirky yes, but it is also full of smarts and hearts. But enough fawning, the Blu-ray release is packed with great extras. There are tons of Blu-ray exclusives — a making of feature, audition tapes, behind the scenes of the dance sequence, additional conversations with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, and more than a few other special little extras. It’s a great movie and a great release.
Blu-ray exclusives include three new featurettes, 6 interviews, director commentary and a music video.
Mike Judge has been all over the place, from the most absurd comedies to some of those we hold so dear, but Extract might be his most subtle film. It’s about a con-woman (Mila Kunis) who steps into the world of an under-sexed extract factory (Jason Bateman) just as all hell is breaking loose. It’s a very funny movie, and one I’d recommend seeing, but not one of those for-everyone type of films. Judge’s comedy is offbeat, and his movie gets a alright Blu-ray release, fresh with extended and deleted scenes that you can’t get on DVD. You should see it, because it’s good.
Blu-ray exclusives include extended and deleted scenes.
Family Guy Presents: Something, Something, Something Dark Side
The Griffin family continues its assault on the Star Wars franchise. And while this edition is hit or miss with the comedy, its a serious guilty pleasure for fans of both the show and Star Wars fans, who clearly don’t have enough alternative content around their favorite franchise. The Blu-ray is the disappointing part here, as the only exclusive feature is Digital Copy — and we can’t exactly count that, can we? I say rent, don’t buy — because the movie is just okay.
Blu-ray exclusive features include Digital Copy.
It Might Get Loud
Had this documentary been the all-out rock gods meeting in a secluded cabin to jam out opus that we were hoping for, it would be a definite buy. However, it lags a little early on and only gets good in its second half. And on top of that, the Blu-ray release is scantily clad with extras. The only thing here that you won’t find on the DVD is BD-Live, which is one notch above only including Digital Copy. It does nothing to add value to an experience that is worth seeing, but nothing to write home about.
Blu-ray exclusives include BD-Live.
American Pie: The Book of Love
Eugene Levy is back for yet another American Pie story. And while it is easy to dismiss any of these movies — the never-ending stream of sequels from the Pie franchise — this one does get a few laughs and deliver what the kids are looking for, a few bits of coeds topless. But beyond that, and even through a solid special feature selection, this release offers nothing more than the same. Derivative, sloppily made sex comedy. And I can’t go around recommending that, can I?
Blu-ray exclusive features include American Pie trivia, BD-Live, MyScenes and MyChat.
All About Steve
Sandra Bullock may have hit it big with a comedy, The Proposal and her potential Oscar grab in The Blind Side, but even with all that success she still managed to miss — and miss big, with this movie. It’s sad to see The Hangover star Bradley Cooper laying down in this surface level romcom, but that’s only if you sit down to watch it. My best advice is to avoid this film, at all cost, so as not to spoil the much better vision we have of these two stars’ 2009 selection. That said, the Blu-ray does have exclusive features that will help you with your vocabulary, and show you casting sessions. Yeesh.
Blu-ray exclusive features include ‘Take a Jab at Vocab’ and Casting Sessions.
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
Michael Douglas keeps on truckin’ with the story of District Attorney who squares off against an ambitious rookie journalist (Jesse Metcalf) who has ties to a young lady in his office (Amber Tamblyn). It’s one of those thrillers that we’ve seen from Douglas before, and its another role that reminds us of that movie in which he starred alongside Brittany Murphy. Too soon, just too soon.
There are no Blu-ray exclusive features on this title.