Blu-ray Today: Fury Road, Army of Frankensteins and Star Wars Rebels


Mad Max: Fury Road – I watched this movie for the second time on Blu-ray, hoping that its brilliance would hit me and I could feel the love so many people seem to have for the universally acclaimed post-apocalypse action flick. I regret to say I’m still not quite there.

I don’t dislike the movie – it’s a fine bunch of action sequences – but it’s still my least-favorite Mad Max. A lot of this, I think, boils down to Tom Hardy, who is a wonderfully versatile actor, but also a chameleon who vanishes into parts. Mel Gibson was the opposite – he was cast as Max in part because he’d been in a bar fight not long before.

In the end, though, it may be just a matter of taste – the things I want to see from this story are not the things director George Miller wants to show. What are Gas Town and Bullet Farm like? How did Furiosa secretly broker a deal under Immortan Joe’s nose? Who is the black rasta man that haunts Max’s flashbacks? Why can’t we see more than just a car chase?

This initial Blu-ray does not contain the promised black-and-white cut of the movie, despite what we were told, indicating that a more loaded version may be coming later; instead, it has six behind-the-scenes featurettes – some of which make the stunts look better than they do in the final film – and three deleted scenes, all of which are brief and add minor character bits that would have enhanced the final cut.

For most of you, this will be a must-buy. For me, it is still a bit of an enigma.

Star Wars Rebels: Complete Season 1 – It’s about time. The first Star Wars cartoon since The Clone Wars to be considered official canon, Rebels literally bridges the two existing trilogies with a character named Bridger, while setting the groundwork for what is to come. It is quite surprisingly good, and this set includes the mini-webisodes plus a look ahead to the next season.

You’ll believe a Freddie Prinze Jr. can voice-act.

The Vampire Diaries: Season 6 – I’ve never watched this, and I probably won’t. But I imagine some of you might be interested. Seems like I write about this show or one like it every few weeks.

The Originals: Season 2 – This sounds like an Underworld TV series, with werewolves and vampires and hybrids figuring out their emotional baggage in and around New Orleans. Sounds fun enough, but being honest I will probably never see this either.

Scorpion: Season One – A group of geniuses is recruited to help the Department of Homeland Security crack cases and save lives. Very loosely based on a true story, which may be fitting given the very loose chance I’ll ever catch up on it.

Lost After Dark – One of many recent ’80s slasher spoof/homages, this time starring Robert Patrick and arriving on a fairly bare-bones disc.

Redeemer – Now THIS is how you pay tribute to the ’80s – find a non-American martial arts expert who looks good on camera, regardless of acting ability, and pretend like he’s an above-the-title star who already deserves your respect. Chilean martial artist Marko Zaror gets his shot here.

Army of Frankensteins – Undead monsters and time-travelers with Mega-Man arm cannons change the course of the Civil War in this sci-fi film of historical revisionism that will presumably proclaim that Frankenstein’s existential rage is about heritage, not hate.

Backcountry – A stupid young couple go on a hiking trip and encounter a hungry, angry bear. Stephen Colbert’s nightmares are made of this.

Those are my top picks. Anything else on your list?