The Blu-ray Crypt – Oct. 15

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Pacific Rim blu art

Pacific Rim

When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot and an untested trainee—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.

I’m a big fan of Guillermo del Toro and I placed some pretty big expectations on Pacific Rim when I saw it in the theater. Sadly, it did not live up to those expectations. That being said, I still enjoyed Pacific Rim and am really looking forward to seeing the movie again in high definition. The movie is a post-conversion 3D film, which usually means I’d shy away from buying the Blu-ray 3D combo pack, but del Toro has stated from his own mouth that he was given complete control over the conversion and that his preferred viewing of the movie is the 3D version, so I’m on board with buying the 3D Blu-ray. The Pacific Rim release features an audio commentary with Guillermo del Toro, which if you’ve never heard him speak on a commentary, you really should listen to him talk, he’s an incredibly entertaining and smart guy. The Blu-ray also features a wealth of bonus features that includes thirteen Focus Point featurettes that total about an hours worth of material. There is also an interactive presentation of The Director’s Notebook which contains clickable pages that feature interviews, notes and images on the production of the movie. The disc is rounded out with deleted scenes, a gag reel and a look at the ILM created special effects.

There are a few store exclusives to look out for, though nothing that seems all that interesting. Best Buy has an exclusive bonus feature called The Anteverse. Target and Walmart seem to just have exclusive cover art with Walmart possibly having some additional bonus content that is available to watch through VUDU. There are of course the standard 2D and 3D Blu-ray combo sets along with a 4-disc Limited Edition Jaeger case that contains the Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD and Ultraviolet Digital Copy.

The Heat blu art

The Heat

Uptight and straight-laced, FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn (Bullock) is a methodical investigator with a reputation for excellence–and hyper-arrogance. Shannon Mullins (McCarthy), one of Boston P.D.’s “finest,” is foul-mouthed and has a very short fuse, and uses her gut instinct and street smarts to catch the most elusive criminals. Neither has ever had a partner, or a friend for that matter. When these two wildly incompatible law officers join forces to bring down a ruthless drug lord, they become the last thing anyone expected: buddies.

After seeing Melissa McCarthy in the very unfunny Identity Thief, I haven’t been hard-pressed to see her latest flick, even if it does co-star Sandra Bullock, someone I typically enjoy a lot. I’m far from writing this flick off, especially since it comes from Bridesmaids director Paul Feig, but I’m not in any rush to see it but I know my girlfriend really wants to watch it so I’ll be adding it to the Netflix queue once October ends (I’ve got a lot of horror movies to watch!). The Blu-ray features both a theatrical and an unrated cut of the movie, with the unrated cut extending the film by three minutes. There also seems to be quite a few comedy-centric special features on the disc, including a commentary track from the original lineup of Mystery Science Theater 3000. I’m not completely sure why that is included here but it is most welcome and I really hope that such a unique special feature occurs again on future movies. I mean, how cool would it be to buy a movie and it comes with a MST3K commentary track? It’d be a big incentive to buy it, that’s for sure!

In the Mouth of Madness blu art

In the Mouth of Madness

Best-selling author and Stephen King contemporary Sutter Cane’s newest novel is literally driving his readers insane. When the author inexplicably vanishes, an insurance investigator named John Trent (Sam Neill) is hired by Arcane Publishing director Jackson Harglow (Charlton Heston) to track the author down. But Trent, along with Cane’s editor Linda Styles (Julie Carmen), soon finds himself crossing the barrier between fact and fiction, and entering a terrifying world of evil and madness from which there is no escape.

A lot of people consider this to be John Carpenter’s last “good” movie. I haven’t seen this since it was released and my memory is a little foggy in regards to the movie. Being that I’m a big Carpenter fan though, I sure as hell am I going to be watching this on Blu-ray soon.

Maniac blu art

Maniac

Frank is the withdrawn owner of a mannequin store, but his life changes when young artist Anna appears asking for his help with her new exhibition. As their friendship develops and Frank’s obsession escalates, it becomes clear that she has unleashed a long-repressed compulsion to stalk and kill.

I still haven’t seen the original Maniac, which I hope to correct in the next week or two, but I’m really intrigued by this remake which was written by Alexandre Aja (High Tension, The Hills Have Eyes) and directed by Franck Khalfoun (P2). I’m interested to see how well the movie plays utilizing the killer’s POV for pretty much the entire film. I’ve heard Elijah Wood does a really great job with his performance too. This is an easy pick-up, especially with its low introductory price of $10.96.

The Haunting blu art

The Haunting

No one lives in the 90-year-old Hill House. Or so it seems. But come in. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, there’s no denying the terror of The Haunting. Wise, whose started his directorial career with The Curse of the Cat People (1944), made his return to psychological horror for this first screen adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Four people (Harris, Bloom, Johnson and Tamblyn) come to the house to study its supernatural phenomena. Or has the house drawn at least one of them to it?

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen this classic horror film from director Robert Wise. Even though it was made in 1963, I remember it being pretty intense considering the era the movie came out in and comparing it to today’s standards. I think this one will hold up for many years to come. I haven’t seen any special features announced for the disc so this may be a bare bones release.

The Colony blu art

The Colony

The Colony opens as an endless winter engulfs Earth. Humans struggle to survive in remote underground outposts. When Colony seven receives a distress call from a nearby settlement, Sam (Zegers) and Briggs (Fishburne) race through the snow on a dangerous rescue mission. What they find at the desolate base could mean mankind’s salvation, or its total annihilation. Terrifying discoveries will unfold that will change the rules of survival forever.

Despite the presence of Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton, The Colony was poorly received in its native Canada and didn’t make much of an impact in the U.S. Still, I’m curious enough to want to check this one out eventually.

Embrace of the Vampire blu art

Embrace of the Vampire

Charlotte, a timid and sheltered teen, has just left an all-girls Catholic school for a new life at a co-ed university. But an ancient evil has followed her there, tormenting her with disturbing nightmares and tempting her with forbidden desires. It is a hunger that can only be satiated by sensual pleasures of the flesh…and a thirst for blood. It’s a battle for her soul… and one she seems to be losing. The chaos and torment threatens to unleash her own inner beast, and anyone close to her may find themselves embracing their own horrific fate.

This is a remake of the 1995 film of the same name that starred Alyssa Milano. I remember walking through Blockbuster and always picking up the original film and thinking to my teenager self, I bet there’s boobs in this one. For some reason, I don’t think I ever tried to find out, or I did and the movie wasn’t very memorable. Either way, this remake doesn’t seem to do much to make itself stand apart from the original and falls into cliche more often than not. Fans of the original may be interested in checking this out to see the updated version but it’s probably not worth more than a rental.

Weird Science blu art

Weird Science

Teen life is full of mysteries, but then there’s Weird Science, the 1985 sci-fi comedy about two socially challenged computer whizzes (Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith) who set out to create the “perfect woman”… and pull it off. Like a computer-generated fairy godmother, the duo’s heavenly creation (supermodel Kelly LeBrock) guides the pair through the pleasures and pitfalls of teenage life.

This is an ’80s teen comedy that has eluded me but I know a bunch of people that are fans of the film. The Blu-ray contains a few special features including the Weird Science TV pilot episode, the It’s Alive!: Resurrecting Weird Science featurette and the theatrical trailer.

More titles released today:

Defiance: Season One

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Season Five

Vikings: Season One

Eyes Without a Face (Criterion)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Witchboard 2: The Devil’s Doorway

Embrace of the Vampire (1995)

Anger Management: Vol. 2

Drug War

Jumper 3D

Shrek the Musical

Slap Shot

High Plains Drifter

The Stranger

by Ben McBride

Follow Ben on @monsterpopcorn

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