The Blu-ray Crypt – Aug. 27

Help support Monster Popcorn! If you click on the Blu-ray cover images or links provided to Amazon and make a purchase, Monster Popcorn gets a (very small) referral fee! A lot of hard work goes into the site and I’d certainly appreciate your support by clicking through the links provided if you plan on ordering one of the weekly Blu-ray new releases. Every little bit helps! Now onto this week’s new releases!

The Walking Dead zombie head packaging blu-ray

The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season

I enjoyed this third season more so than the second and am looking forward to October to see what more is in store for all the characters. For those of you wanting to rewatch or catch up on the third season on Blu-ray, you have a few options. Target has the set in exclusive Steelbook packaging, Walmart has an exclusive that features the Blu-ray packaged with the third season’s soundtrack, and Best Buy has an exclusive 8-disc Blu-ray + DVD combo pack. There is of course the standard Blu-ray set that you will find everywhere as well as the limited edition McFarlane Toys Governor’s Aquarium Case/Digipak, which you can see pictured above. I haven’t seen the McFarlane case in person yet but I did see some video of it and it looks pretty damn sweet. So those of you who are willing to pay a premium (as of right now, it costs $95), you may want to grab the aquarium case to display on your shelf.

Pain and Gain blu art

Pain & Gain

Michael Bay’s latest movie follows two bodybuilders in Florida whose lives change dramatically when they get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme. I didn’t hate Pain & Gain but I’m not sure it holds much replay value for me. This might be one of the more character driven pieces that Bay has ever directed, which isn’t saying all that much since he tends to make vacuous entertainment. The performances are all good but all the characters are fairly despicable, even if they are kind of amusing. Pain & Gain won’t be for everybody, but it does rise above the typical Michael Bay artificiality, so there may be some value to those that don’t care for his usual look-at-hot-women-and-cool-action approach to movie making (though you’ll probably realize he’s still doing that but trying a little harder to add some substance to the film). The Blu-ray +DVD + Digital Copy set is a movie only release, no bonus features are provided.

The Great Gatsby 3D blu art

The Great Gatsby 3D

I don’t think I’m a big Baz Luhrmann fan. He makes films with pretty visuals but the visuals themselves always tend to take me out of the movie, even when just watching the trailers. Granted, I need to see more of his films before I can officially declare my opinion of Luhrmann as a director since I’ve only seen Australia. The Great Gatsby follows in the tradition of beautiful visuals but it didn’t receive the greatest praise when it was released in theaters. I do like a lot of the cast and think it’d be worth the watch just for their performances. I’m going to try and watch this soon though and formulate my own thoughts on the movie.

Q The Winged Serpent blu art

Q: The Winged Serpent

It’s another monstrous day in New York City where window washers have their heads bitten off, topless sunbathers are plucked from rooftops, bloody body parts rain onto the streets and small-time crook Jimmy Quinn discovers a humongous nest in the spire of The Chrysler Building. Meanwhile, an NYPD detective investigates a series of ritual sacrifice murders that may have unleashed a giant flying Aztec Serpent God into the skies of Manhattan. Its name is Quetzalcoatl, but just call it Q… that’s all you’ll have time to say before it tears you apart! Michael Moriarity, David Carridine, Richard Roundtree and Candy Clark co-star in this new high-def release from Scream Factory. The Blu-ray features a brand new audio commentary with writer/producer/director Larry Cohen.

Dark Angel blu art

Dark Angel

Scream Factory is releasing another Blu-ray this week, only it’s a sci-fi thriller starring Dolph Lundgren and it sounds pretty fun. Detective Jack Caine (Lundgren) thought he’d dealt with every kind of crime on earth. But now, someone is using human bodies to manufacture narcotics. Someone – or something – not of this world. To the alien that has arrived on earth, humans represent ideal drug factories because of our endorphins. To detective Caine, the Alien represents mankind’s worst threat. If the alien’s mission succeeds, our planet will be destroyed. Together with his straight-arrow FBI partner and his girlfriend, the city coroner, Caine is going to send this alien home in pieces! The Blu-ray features a 24-minute featurette, A Look Back at Dark Angel, that is made up of interviews from director Craig R. Baxley and actors Dolph Lundgren and Brian Benben.

Kon-Tiki blu art

Kon-Tiki

Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific ocean in a balsa wood raft in 1947, together with five men, to prove that South Americans already back in pre-Columbian times could have crossed the sea and settle on Polynesian islands. After gathering financing for the trip with loans and donations, they set off on an epic 101 day-long journey across 8,000 kilometers, all while the world was watching. Kon-Tiki tells about the origin of Heyerdahl’s idea and the events surrounding the group’s voyage.

I’ve heard some really great things about Kon-Tiki and I want to check it out at some point. The movie was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in the 85th Academy Awards earlier this year. If you are thinking of purchasing this movie online, be aware that there is a documentary from the 1950s with the same name. Just make sure you are purchasing the movie made in 2012 (or you can just click on the cover art above to be taken to the right version on Amazon).

More titles released today:

Sons of Anarchy: Season Five

To Be or Not to Be (Criterion)

A Company Man

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Prime Suspect: The Complete Series

At Any Price

Stranded

Pawn Shop Chronicles

The Painting

Super Buddies

The Idolmaker

And Then There Were None

Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye

Only the Valiant

Flat Top

The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone

by Ben McBride

Follow Ben on Twitter @monsterpopcorn

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