Blu-ray Today: In Case You Wondered Where Hayden Christensen and Nicolas Cage Have Been


Outcast – You know you want to fucking watch this. Don’t even front like you don’t.

Nicolas Cage. Hayden Christensen.

Templar Knights. Fake Accents.

In China.

I am imagining that their characters are coarse, rough and get everywhere. That “wigging out” is a phrase that has a double-meaning in this case. Or that the proceedings are highly enjoyable…from a certain point of view (the inebriated kind).

Cage needs the money. Christensen needs any kind of work whatsoever. It’s like The Expendables of desperation getting medieval on our asses, with gratuitous Chinese references in a grab at international box-office dollars that’s such a longshot, it’s like either man finding a good script to be attached to again.

I guess what I mean is that I wanna see this. Even if you somehow convince me that you don’t.

Gravity: Diamond Luxe Edition – Along with two featurettes and a 42-minute documentary about the history of space films, the biggest new extra on this release is “Silent Space” mode, which allows you to watch the movie with no music, so that the outer space sequences are truly silent, like a vacuum. It’s basically a really fancy-named gimmick that simulates you hitting the mute button repeatedly.

No 3D option with that, though.

Interstellar – At last you’ll be able to turn on subtitles when the dialogue becomes inaudible, though you really don’t need to: every point the film makes is reiterated sufficiently for the average moviegoer to get it, and if you don’t guess what the third-act twist is pretty quickly, with or without subtitles, you’re just not looking. Like so many sci-fi fans before him, Christopher Nolan has made his homage to 2001, complete with monoliths, a Saturn wormhole, and evolution beyond the infinite; ironically for the guy who made Memento, he has apparently forgotten that a little ambiguity can go a long way. Although the movie gives great spectacle, it also serves as notice that Nolan is not the uber-genius some of us may have prematurely made him out to be (sorry!).

Extras include numerous featurettes about the making of the film, plus a 50-minute documentary about the science behind the story.

The Imitation Game – A handsomely mounted historical biopic starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, one of the pioneers in the field of artificial intelligence and a life-saving codebreaker during World War II. As with most biopics, there has been some criticism of its accuracy and the usual caveats apply: events have been condensed and reordered for dramatic purposes, and dialogue has almost certainly been made snappier to get the laughs in (for a movie about a man who apparently committed suicide following his chemical castration for being gay, it’s a surprisingly funny film up until the parts when the reality turned tragic). I don’t subscribe to the awards-season push that insisted honoring the movie would be the same thing as honoring the man, but I suggest enjoying the movie now, and looking up the man afterwards to see what it did and didn’t get quite right.

Without a Clue – We go from one Sherlock to another, with this comedy about how Holmes was purely an invention of the real Dr. Watson (Ben Kingsley), who hires a dopey, alcoholic actor (Michael Caine) to play the part of the great detective when the two are confounded by the real Professor Moriarty. Sounds like good fun.

Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold – I really can’t imagine why you’d pay $20 for this when it will undoubtedly one day end up on some generic Walmart single-disc compilation of 10 “Action Movies!” for $5.99, but perhaps you are one of the few for whom this is a sentimental favorite. I confess, as a kid I enjoyed its predecessor, King Solomon’s Mines, starring Richard Chamberlain as Fake Indiana Jones and a young Sharon Stone as Annoying Female Lead, but I think it’s because I was still a sucker for its cliffhanger-based serial structure. I never saw the sequel, and after hearing that it stars James Earl Jones as a furry loincloth-clad savage named “Umslopogaas,” I’m not sure I want to.

That’s all I got for this week. Anything else you’re picking up?

[Also: I’m still sick and using it as a pathetic excuse not to necessarily post at the usual times. Bear with me.]