The Blu-ray Crypt – Nov. 12

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Man of Steel blu art

Man of Steel

While ultimately flawed, Man of Steel manages to be mostly enjoyable and a good jumping off point for new cinematic adventures of Superman (read my full review here). Director Zack Snyder really knows how to deliver some really fun action, even if it starts to feel repetitive after awhile. I’m excited to watch this in high-definition as I’ve no doubt the movie will look stunning on Blu-ray. For those of you trying to decide between the 3D and 2D releases of the movie, keep in mind that Man of Steel is a post-conversion film and wasn’t shot with 3D in mind so the action doesn’t benefit from the 3D most of the time. I’ll be sticking with the 2D version myself.

Man of Steel has a few store exclusive options to keep an eye out for. Walmart has the movie in an exclusive Steelbook case and Target has the movie in special Digibook packaging. Both exclusive packaging comes in 3D and 2D flavors.

Frances Ha blu art

Frances Ha (Criterion)

Frances lives in New York, but she doesn’t really have an apartment. Frances is an apprentice for a dance company, but she’s not really a dancer. Frances has a best friend named Sophie, but they aren’t really speaking anymore. Frances throws herself headlong into her dreams, even as their possible reality dwindles. Frances wants so much more than she has, but lives her life with unaccountable joy and lightness. Frances Ha is a modern comic fable in which director Noah Baumbach explores New York, friendship, class, ambition, failure, and redemption.

I missed this one in the theaters and regret not seeing it, especially since I’ve heard nothing but great things about it. It stars the lovely Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the movie with Baumbach. Seeing as how Barnes & Noble is currently having their Criterion sale, I’ll be picking this one up today and making up for my theatrical oversight.

Body Bags blu art

Body Bags

John Carpenter (Halloween, The Thing) and Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre) come together in this anthology horror film to create three terrifying tales. The first story features a woman working the late shift at “The Gas Station” while a killer is on the loose. The second tale is about a man who can’t stand the thought of losing his “Hair” and he’ll do anything to keep it. The final horrific story follows a baseball player that submits to an “Eye” transplant after he loses an eye in a car accident. The movie features appearances from Mark Hamill (Star Wars), Stacey Keach (Road Games), Alex Datcher (Passenger 57), David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London), David Warner (The Omen) as well as cameos from John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper and Roger Corman.

This Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory easily beats out all the releases this week as being the title I want to add to my movie collection the most. As an enormous fan of John Carpenter, I’m more than excited to discover something I have yet to see from his body of work and I absolutely love the artwork that Scream Factory commissioned for this release. The disc features a commentary track with cast and crew and Unzipping Body Bags, a featurette containing interviews with John Carpenter and Sandy King offering insight into the film’s origin and production.

Dexter Final Season blu art

Dexter: The Complete Final Season

I haven’t seen this season yet, nor the season before, but I’m really looking forward to seeing the conclusion to the show. Judging by the not-so-positive reactions of the show’s finale, I feel like I have to temper my expectations some. Regardless of how it turns out, I’m still happy to have two more seasons of Dexter to watch in my near future.

Blackfish blu art

Blackfish

Shocking, never before seen footage and riveting interviews with trainers and experts manifest the orca’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity over the last four decades, and the growing disillusionment of workers who were misled and endangered by the highly profitable sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.

This documentary was very interesting and, at times, sad. It really opens your eyes to the negative aspects of Sea World and presents enough information regarding their various practices that may have you never wanting to step foot in one of their parks again. It was also very informative in regards to what the general public knows about killer whales and how our public knowledge is often very wrong. Blackfish is definitely worth a watch.

Prince Avalanche blu art

Prince Avalanche

An odd couple of sorts, introspective and stern Alvin and his girlfriend’s brother, Lance, dopey and insecure, leave the city behind to spend the summer of 1988 repainting traffic lines on a desolate country highway that’s been ravaged by wildfire. The men bicker and joke with each other, eventually developing an unlikely friendship.

I’d pretty much sit through anything with Paul Rudd (because he’s awesome) so thankfully Prince Avalanche looks like an interesting and humorous story about two odd characters. The movie is written and directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Your Highness), who apparently returns to more of his indie film roots with this movie. I’ll be adding this one to my Netflix queue.

I Declare War

I Declare War

A group of 13-year-old friends play an innocent game of Capture the Flag in the neighborhood woods, arming themselves with nothing more than sticks, their imagination and a simple set of rules. One afternoon the game takes on a more serious tone and the quest for victory pushes the boundaries of friendship, giving the would-be warriors a glimpse of the darker side of human nature as their imaginations take them beyond the rules of the game and into an adventure where fantasy blurs with reality.

This Drafthouse Films release looks like a fun look at childhood imagination, mixing it with a coming-of-age story about the tragedies of growing up.

More titles released today:

Turbo 3D

Not Fade Away

IP Man: The Final Fight

Ambushed

Mother

Paradise

Barbara

The Paradise: Season One

City Lights (Criterion)

Akira

Thirteen Days

JFK: 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition

All the President’s Men

The Way We Were

Jane Eyre

Lion of the Desert

Oliver!

Shoot the Sun Down

The Message

by Ben McBride

Follow Ben on @monsterpopcorn

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