The Blu-ray Crypt – Jan. 29

The Awakening blu art

The Awakening

This gothic ghost story won me over for its attention to character.  It may be a flawed movie but it does an admirable job at using horror as a means of character reflection and thematic exploration (you can read my review here).  Plus, it stars the lovely Rebecca Hall and the talented Dominic West, both of which give some wonderfully understated performances.  Fans of the horror genre who want a good, period ghost story should check this one out.

Downton Abbey S3 blu art

Downton Abbey: Season Three

I’m currently about two episodes away from finishing Season Two of Downton Abbey and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  Make no mistake about it, Downton Abbey is most definitely a soap opera but it is extremely addicting and full of characters that you will love and hate.  I’ve purposely stayed away from learning anything about this newest season so that I can breeze through it unspoiled once I get my copy.  I just hope that Mr. Bates finally gets a break!  If you haven’t seen Downton Abbey yet, I highly recommend giving it a shot.  Season One is currently available on Netflix, so there really isn’t any reason you shouldn’t be watching it.. right now.

Seven Psychopaths blu art

Seven Psychopaths

I’m sad to say that I missed this during its theatrical run.  I really wanted to see it but I just couldn’t fit it in.  I love the cast here, especially Christopher Walken, and I’m a fan of Martin McDonagh’s previous film, In Bruges (definitely seek that out if you’ve not seen it yet).  Seven Psychopaths just looks like a hell of a lot of fun with some quirky characters and I can’t wait to finally see it.

Paranormal Activity 4 blu art

Paranormal Activity 4

I’m a fan of the Paranormal Activity franchise.  I know the series has its detractors, and probably rightly so, but they work for me and I much prefer an annual Paranormal Activity movie as opposed to the previous Halloween season tradition of the Saw franchise.  The Paranormal series is like the equivalent of a theatrical haunted house experience and that seems more in the tradition of Halloween than Saw ever did.  All that being said, Paranormal Activity 4 is easily the weakest entry in the franchise and didn’t quite deliver on building the series’ overarching storyline.  I really hope they further expand the mythology with the fifth film and make-up for this fourth film’s shortcomings.

Hotel Transylvania blu art

Hotel Transylvania

I haven’t seen this yet and I already have mixed feelings on it.  One one hand, it is Genndy Tartakovsky doing animated horror monsters and that I find to be very appealing.  On the other hand, the reviews on the movie make me feel like this might be an easy one to pass on, plus I don’t know how much I can stand hearing Adam Sandler do his goofy voice any more (it’s kind of tired).  But, seeing as how I can’t knock a movie until I try it, I’m going to go into it with the hopes that it is at least entertaining.  I’m sure it will look good in high-def, so that’s a plus.

Die Hard 25th Anniversary collection blu art

Die Hard: 25th Anniversary Collection

With A Good Day to Die Hard hitting theaters in a couple weeks, it’s only natural the studio wants to capitalize on a new release of the Die Hard franchise and it just so happens to coincide with its 25th anniversary.  This box set collects all four films, which have previously been collected before, but adds a fifth disc titled Decoding Die Hard that has seven featurettes giving a retrospective on the franchise.  As I only own the first Die Hard on blu, this set might be enticing should the price be right.  I’m only really a fan of the first film and Die Hard With A Vengeance, so it doesn’t seem like an absolute essential set for me, though the fifth disc could be nice to have.  I wouldn’t mind having Die Hard 2 but Live Free or Die Hard felt like it missed the mark and is easily the lesser Die Hard film.  Regardless, all of this makes me want to revisit the franchise and watch John McClane do his thing.

Batman The Dark Knight Returns Part 2 blu art

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns – Part 2

The animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s beloved comic story comes to a conclusion here with Part 2.  I recently watched Part 1 and can’t say it qualifies as one of my favorite DC comics animated movies.  It has some really great Batman visuals but I didn’t find it to be all that engrossing and Peter Weller as Batman doesn’t work for me as well.  Though to be fair, not many can come close to the greatness of Kevin Conroy as Batman.  I would watch Part 2 to finish it in hopes that the ending helps solidify the story more.

More titles released today:

The Duellists

The Cold Light of Day

All Superheroes Must Die

White Zombie

That Obscure Object of Desire

Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Collection


Tales of the Night

Shorts International: The Oscar Winning Short Films Collection

by Ben McBride


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