Non-comprehensive picks of the week’s Blu-ray crop…
Fringe: The Complete Series/Fifth Season – For those of you who’ve seen the final episodes already, give it a couple days and your friends who’ve been going “LalalalalalaSPOILERS!” will finally shut up (and can read today’s list, below). As for you, check it out again with unaired scenes, commentary, a gag reel and final reflections from J.J. Abrams, or his parallel-universe double. Hey, waitaminute, maybe that’s how he’s able to juggle so many high-profile assignments at once…
Jack Reacher – As he starts to finally show minor signs of visible aging, Tom Cruise is clearly looking to try to evolve into an old-school tough guy in the Eastwood/Marvin mold. Yes, I know that sounds like a major stretch, but in this we see the beginnings of the transition. A down and dirty ’70s style antihero actioner that can’t quite decide whether it’s satirizing brutality or endorsing it, Jack Reacher made a few major changes from the books, and it’s all candidly discussed by Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie on a commentary track. My original review is here.
Upstream Color – Shane Carruth followed his inscrutable time-travel arthouse puzzler Primer with an oddly romantic tale of relationships and parasitic worms. It’s really hard to describe, though I gave it my best shot last month. I feel like every synopsis you read of it might be different.
Mama – Just in time for Mother’s Day, here’s a frightening film that’ll make you feel way better about your own Ma, as this one’s a horrible, bent-backwards demon/ghost mom who’ll raise your kids safely in the woods only to try to drag them into the afterlife once they’re old enough to talk. The commentary track probably demystifies everything – knowing a male contortionist was in the Mama outfit takes the edge off – but if you want to put your nerves on edge, this is the movie to do it.
Superman: Unbound – I thought this came out, like, months ago, but apparently not. Perfectly timed to feed on the hype for the upcoming live-action movie, the DC animated feature has Brainiac, Supergirl and the kinds of big battles we’re hoping Zack Snyder’s version will approach.
Gamer 3D – There are supposedly rules about how long a shot has to be held for the brain to be able to process it in 3D, and I suspect this home post-conversion of Neveldine/Taylor’s hyperactive human video game shoot-em-up violates every one. Overdue for reevaluation, Gamer is a movie that works best if you don’t expect a straightforward, realistic tale, but rather embrace the insanity of the realm inhabited by the Crank creators – the out-of-nowhere dance number near the end works a lot better that way (not kidding).
World War II from Space – Via CG, bird’s-eye views of the major battles are re-created, presumably to give the strategy game generation a POV on history they’ll best be able to connect with. Seems cool, er, I mean educational.
In addition, WB are re-releasing a whole bunch of movies in steelbook format, among them The Matrix, Watchmen, Batman and more. Steel this book, anyone?
Them be my picks – what say you?