Blu in Your Face: March 5th, 2013

Non-comprehensively highlighting the week’s top picks in Blu-ray…


Wreck-It Ralph – It took Donkey Kong years to go from barrel-throwing villain to playable, lovable toughie in his own country and various Mario games. The similarly brutish Wreck-It Ralph only has one movie to undergo that character arc, but he does it in style, in Disney’s valentine to the original arcade generation that’s every bit as packed with nerdy in-jokes as the Toy Story films were. Pixar, watch your back: the friendly competition just took a spinning leap on your head, and Monsters University probably won’t be retaking the castle just yet. Extras include storyboard-and-audio “deleted scenes,” commercials for the games within the movie, the Oscar-winning short “Paperman,” and a feature whereby when you pause the game, Chris Hardwick pops up and offers gaming trivia. Not because he’s in the movie, mind you, but because he got bored doing twenty other things at once.

Ultramarines: Warhammer – Terence Stamp, John Hurt and Sean Pertwee lend their voices to this CG-animated adaptation of the Warhammer 40000 universe. Even the positive reviews I’ve seen for it say it’s a fans-only affair, so make of that what you will.

Westworld – Before Arnold was a relentless killer cyborg, or Jurassic Park lost control of its dinos, Michael Crichton had already utilized both concepts for this movie, in which a theme park full of robots gets out of control, sending an unstoppable robo-gunslinger (Yul Brynner) on a killing spree. The Blu-ray includes a pilot for a spin-off TV series in which bad people are the problem, rather than malfunctioning technology. The CG raptors of today may frighten, but Brynner was a special effect all by himself.

Red Dawn (2012) – The original wasn’t particularly good save for its prescient casting, and this remake is certainly dumber in concept (North Korea invades!), though the action scenes are a bit better. You might want to wait for the Rifftrax version, since the Blu-ray contains no extras, but if your brain needs some R&R, Chris Hemsworth’s heroic battle against the world’s most starving Communist regime (Subway product placement is seriously a significant plot point) may hit the mindless spot. It’s PG-13, though, so waiting for cable won’t hurt. And starting a year from now, I’ll bet TNT plays it forever.

A Nightmare on Elm Street Collection – All seven original Freddy Krueger flicks (no Freddy vs. Jason, which is a shame, or Jackie Earle Haley remake, which isn’t) along with two episodes of the Freddy’s Nightmares horror anthology TV series (we need a set of those, stat) and several featurettes. For my money, Freddy has always been the best of the slasher villains, as his ability to twist his own body and world into whatever forms he wishes makes him devilishly creative about killing. Also for my money, New Nightmare does the post-modern, self-reflexive horror bit better and earlier than Wes Craven’s second stab, Scream. Someone should buy me this, is what I’m really saying.

Revelation Road – Brian Bosworth is back in action movies! Religious ones, anyway. In this Christian post-apocalypse thriller, Bosworth takes on bikers in a Texas town after the Rapture. Co-starring Sting – the wrestler, not the singer, as if you needed that clarification.

The Marine 3: Homefront – more on this later today.