The Blu-ray Crypt – May 7

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Jack Reacher blu art

Jack Reacher

I really enjoyed Jack Reacher.  Writer/director Christopher McQuarrie (The Way of the Gun) provides a fun and engaging story which is accented by Tom Cruise’s excellent performance as Reacher.  In fact, I would actually like to see Cruise reprise the role in a sequel as I thought the character was fun enough to warrant another Jack Reacher adventure.  Sadly, it looks like the studio, despite the film grossing $216 million worldwide, doesn’t seem to want to move forward on a sequel.  So it looks like all we’ll have is this one movie (which you can read my full review of here) to get us by and it appears that at least the Blu-ray is a satisfying purchase.  The video quality is pristine (potentially being among the best Blu-ray transfers of the year) and represents the filmic visuals incredibly.  This Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy release has a decent amount of supplements including a commentary with McQuarrie and Cruise as well as nearly an hour of featurettes.

Fringe S5 blu art

Fringe: The Complete Fifth Season

I stopped watching Fringe around the beginning of the third season, if I’m remembering right.  I didn’t stop watching it because I wasn’t into the show, in fact, I was really into Fringe and thought it to be a pretty great, hard sci-fi TV show that was interesting and thoroughly enjoyable.  I think I lost an episode or two of the third season on my DVR and just decided that I wanted to watch the rest of the season once it hit Blu-ray so that I could take in the story more quickly.  That train of thought applied to the fourth and the final fifth season as well after I realized I probably was going to have to rewatch season one and two so I could have all the story details fresh in my head.  So needless to say, with this final season being released, I will now have all seasons of Fringe in my possession for me to start watching the show from beginning to end in rapid succession.  I’m actually quite excited as it’s been a few years since I’ve watched the show and I’m eager to see how the last few seasons play out.  While I can’t comment on this latest release, I will say that Fringe (from what I’ve seen) is a really great show that started out a little slow but picked up and become one of my favorite weekly shows.  It may not be for everyone due to its hard sci-fi sensibilities (I am actually surprised something like this lasted on network television) but genre fans would be remiss to not check it out.

Mama blu art

Mama

I really dug Mama.  It’s genre material elevated by great atmosphere, direction and some terrific performances.  It’s a creepy ghost story that will undoubtedly have a chill running down your spine a few times.  It’s one of my favorite horror movies of the year so far and I’m really eager to watch it again on Blu-ray.  The video transfer is a good and faithful representation of the theatrical release and the disc contains a decent amount of extras, including the original Mama short film introduced by Guillermo del Toro.  If you haven’t seen the movie and are a horror fan, I think you’ll absolutely want to check it out.  For all others, this is highly recommended.  So go rent or buy it, whatever strikes your fancy.  It’s a really solid flick.

Upstream Color blu art

Upstream Color

I’ve not seen this yet but I’ve heard quite a few good things about Upstream Color.  I haven’t seen director Shane Carruth’s previous film, Primer, yet so I don’t quite know what to expect from this movie but I’ve heard his films can be disorienting and beautiful.  The movie is about a man and a woman that are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives. Josh Katz over at Blu-ray.com describes the film as “a love story, of sorts, between two lost souls suffering from the residual effects of trauma that’s equal parts identity theft and Cronenbergian body horror.”  Sounds interesting to me.

Safe Haven blu art

Safe Haven

It’d be too easy to start poking fun at a new Nicholas Sparks movie but I’m also not its intended audience.  This one intrigues me (only slightly) but only because I’ve heard the ending of the movie is one of the more utterly bonkers moments in a movie this year.  For those that are interested in this Blu-ray release, the special features include deleted/extended scenes, an alternate ending, as well as three Blu-ray exclusive featurettes.

Superman Unbound blu art

Superman: Unbound

This latest DCU animated original movie is based on the 2008 comic book arc, Superman: Brainiac by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank.  The voice cast features Matt Bomer (White Collar) as Superman, John Noble (Fringe) as Brainiac, Stana Katic and Molly Quinn (both of Castle) as Lois Lane and Supergirl respectively.  It usually takes me a long time to get around to these DCU animated movies but I do (usually) end up watching them at some point.  This Blu-ray release is jam-packed with over four hours of bonus features including four episodes from Superman: The Animated Series.

Oranges blu art

The Oranges

I’ve never heard of this movie but with a cast that includes Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Alia Shawkat, Adam Brody, Allison Janney and Leighton Meester, it’s hard not to be interested in the film.  Here’s the synopsis:  Two suburban families are about to find out when the Ostroffs’ rebellious daughter Nina (Meester) returns home and starts an adulterous affair with long-time family friend David Walling (Laurie.) The outrageous scandal reaches hilarious new heights during the holidays and makes these New Jersey neighbors tear apart more than just wrapping paper. Love is a wrecking ball headed straight for The Oranges…and it may just change all of their lives forever.  I’m not sure why it’s called The Oranges and the synopsis doesn’t really make it any clearer, but maybe I’ll try and find out.. eventually.

More titles released today:

Fringe: The Complete Series – Buy on Amazon

The Great Escape – Buy on Amazon

One Hour Photo Buy on Amazon

Chinatown (Steelbook) Buy on Amazon

Band of Outsiders (Criterion) Buy on Amazon

Brubaker Buy on Amazon

In the Name of the Father Buy on Amazon

The Verdict Buy on Amazon

An Officer and a Gentleman Buy on Amazon

Jesus Christ Superstar Buy on Amazon

Runaway Bride Buy on Amazon

Babe: Pig in the City Buy on Amazon

Viva Zapata! Buy on Amazon

The Telephone Book Buy on Amazon

Starlet Buy on Amazon

Sparkle Buy on Amazon

WWII From Space Buy on Amazon

Pillow Talk Buy on Amazon

The Dick Van Dyke Show: The Complete Second Season Buy on Amazon

The Mark 2: Redemption Buy on Amazon

Barrymore Buy on Amazon

by Ben McBride

Follow Ben on Twitter @monsterpopcorn

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