Friends, lovers, countrymen… lend me your wallets. (Or something like that). It is time once again for This Week in Blu-ray, our look at what is hip and happenin’ in the world of those weird, formerly expensive high def. DVD players. And as we get closer to ChristmaHanaKwanzika, it looks as if Hollywood is breaking out the big guns. Universal has a gangster movie with more star-power than gun-power, Warner Bros. is hitting us with the latest magical edition of their biggest franchise of the decade and Disney is encouraging us to get Lost. All-in-all, it’s a big week. So lets get started, post-haste.
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…
Lost: The Complete Fifth Season
There are two great editions of this release hitting shelves this week — notice that I’m skipping the part about why you should be interested in Lost, as I believe it to be obvious at this point — a standard Blu-ray edition with a metric crap-ton (technical term) of special features, and a Dharma Initiation Kit Version that comes with some cool Dharma Swag (including a VHS tape). I reviewed the standard Blu-ray (sans swag), and was blown away. I say again: blown away. Lost is a beautifully vibrant show, one that pops in 1080p, and the special features are awesome. Exclusive to the Blu-ray are the Lost University feature — a highly interactive BD-Live feature that allows you to take classes, interact with others and learn some of the show’s deepest, darkest secrets — and Lost 100, a series of cast reflections on the show’s first 100 episodes. On top of that, it shares 5 epic featurettes with the DVD release. For any Lost fan, this is a must-have on Blu-ray. It has all the right elements — picture quality, special feature added value and well, it’s the best damn show on TV. Spend the money.
Blu-ray exclusives include Lost University (BD-Live) and Lost 100 featurette.
World’s Greatest Dad
One of the best movies of the year. Did you read that? Read it again. Robin Williams delivers one of the best, overlooked performances of the year in Bobcat Goldthwait’s pitch-black comedy about a man who deals with the loss of his son in the most absurd way possible, by turning it into a way for him to fulfill his dream of being a famous author. If you haven’t seen it (it’s likely that you haven’t) then this is your chance. On Blu-ray, the film is complimented by and audio commentary track, deleted scenes, (hilarious) outtakes, an HDNet behind the scenes featurette and a music video. All of this is secondary though, as the movie is more than worth seeing. Seriously.
There are no Blu-ray exclusive features listed for this title.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Potter, Harry Potter. At this point, it seems worthless to even talk at length about the films in this franchise. If you’re going to pick up this visually arresting teen wizard fantasy on Blu-ray, you probably already know it. This being one of the most visually captivating films in the 6-part series makes the case for Blu, as does the special feature buffet. WB Maximum Movie Mode (a stylized version of visual commentary), BD-Live (snore), the Live Community Screening feature (watch it with Daniel Radcliffe!) and Facebook Connect integration make for an interactive experience. The shared features — additional scenes, featurettes, a spotlight on J.K. Rowling, etc. — make for an immersive trip to the world of the Half-Blood Prince. For anyone who’s enjoyed the Potter series, this is a must-own.
Blu-ray exclusive features include WB Maximum Movie Mode, BD-Live, My Commentary, Live Community Screening and Facebook Connect.
Here’s a release that’s right on the edge, only really making it into the rent category based on the busyness of this week. That, and the movie itself is rather mediocre, especially considering the talent involved. Director Michael Mann delivers the violent story of John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and his FBI agent nemesis Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale) in crisp, often disturbingly realistic digital clarity. And it looks gorgeous on Blu-ray. U-Control delivers picture-in-picture commentary and an interactive timeline, which is fun. And Pocket Blu continues to impress with iPhone users. For all intents and purposes, this should almost be a no-brainer for Blu-ray enthusiasts. But the movie itself falls a bit flat. Therefore, I’d steer you toward a rent, instead.
Blu-ray exclusives include U-Control, Pocket Blu, BD-Live and D-Box motion code.
Julie & Julia
For a movie about a blog, this feast of femininity was much better than it initially got credit for being. Meryl Streep is immaculate (as always) as Julia Child and Amy Adams is more fun then I would anticipate the real Julie Powell would be. And the movie’s about food, which speaks right to my heart (or somewhere near it). The Blu-ray features additional featurettes, Cooking Lessons and MovieIQ, all of which make this release a nice present for that lovely cook in your life. (Or it will teach you to cook so you can get your asses in that kitchen, gentlemen). A nice gift for the lady in your life, but either way worth a rent.
Blu-ray exclusive features include Featurettes, Cooking Lessons, movieIQ and BD-Live.
We’ve reached rare territory… nothing to avoid this week. At least, nothing that I was able to review. See below for a list of fringe titles that are ‘watch at your own risk’…
Also out on Blu-ray this week: