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Archive for the 'Blu-ray Reviews' Category

Moana (Blu-ray Review)

Moana is finally here on Blu-ray!  “How far will you go” to get yourself a copy?  Target? Best Buy? Fry’s? Amazon? Deep Discount? Or was the walk too long and you just settled to buy the digital one and call it a day?  Hopefully not, especially if you’re a reader on a site that’s called Why So Blu.  But, its a weird world that doesn’t seem to make sense anymore, so I kind of understand that.  Yes, this might be the weirdest intro paragraph to a Moana review there is.  The box office and global sensation IS indeed coming to home video and its got plenty of bonus features to boot.  This movie was gonna make “ze monies” no matter what, but its kinda funny that you can add that “The Rock” bump to it if you so want to please.  You can order yourself a copy of the newest Dwayne Johnson epic by clicking the Amazon link below (I also appreciate that when you do!).  Continue reading ‘Moana (Blu-ray Review)’

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Ghost In The Shell – Mondo X SteelBook Series (Blu-ray Review)

With the upcoming release of Paramount’s live-action Ghost in the Shell film, starring Scarlett Johansson, it’s not too much of a surprise to see another release of the original anime on Blu-ray. You can find my previous review of the 25th Anniversary Edition from 2014 here, but just know this latest release is all about the packaging. This new edition of the film is another release coming out of the Mondo X SteelBook Series. There are no new features to speak of (nor were there any to begin with), but collectors or steelbook enthusiasts will likely be happy with the new packaging.

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Red Dawn – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Red-DawnRed Dawn is one of those quintessential 1980s “super 80s” films that has lived on with nostalgia goggles long since it dropped in on us back in 1984.  It features an all-star cast of the era, including Patrick Swayze (Road House), C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders), Lea Thompson (Back To The Future), Ben Johnson (Terror Train), Harry Dean Stanton (Alien), Ron O’Neal (Super Fly), William Smith (Conan The Barbarian), Charlie Sheen (Platoon), Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing) and Powers Boothe (Tombstone) and comes from legendary writer-director John Milius (Apocalypse Now, Conan The Barbarian).  Shout Factory is putting out the 4th iteration of the film on Blu-ray, adding it to its coveted Collector’s Edition series in the Shout Select line of films.  It’ll add a new featurette and be available March 21st. Continue reading ‘Red Dawn – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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Rules Don’t Apply (Blu-ray Review)

rules dont apply coverRules Don’t Apply came and went this past awards season, but there is now a Blu-ray here for this latest Howard Hughes biopic. Produced, written and directed by Warren Beatty, nearly twenty years after his last directorial effort, Bulworth, the film serves as a semi-fictional biopic, a screwball comedy and a drama all rolled into one. Coming from an idea Beatty started developing 40 years ago, the film is a clear passion project and despite all the various issues involving tone and narrative construction, I dug it. Beatty and his four editors have assembled a messy film out of what is likely a ton of footage, but it was never uninteresting, features some terrific performances and even buries some interesting themes amidst all the Hughes-focused chaos.

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RoboCop 3 – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Robocop 3Like Dr. Sam Beckett used to do through time, Scream Factory (Shout! Factory, in general) is on a mission to put right what once wrong.  Giving to us the versions of films we like that celebrate the fan and collector, while the studio original just put out a minimal effort.  And now its time to give some love to the RoboCop sequels.  I’m pretty sure nobody prefers either over the original, but the second film has its fans (I’m sorta one) at least.  Despite their quality, these misses always make for a great retrospective documentary, making the film worth owning or taking another look at.  On March 14th, RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3 will get some beefy Collector’s Edition releases from Scream Factory.  In this review, we’ll look at RoboCop 3. Continue reading ‘RoboCop 3 – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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RoboCop 2 – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Robocop 2Like Dr. Sam Beckett used to do through time, Scream Factory (Shout! Factory, in general) is on a mission to put right what once wrong.  Giving to us the versions of films we like that celebrate the fan and collector, while the studio original just put out a minimal effort.  And now its time to give some love to the RoboCop sequels.  I’m pretty sure nobody prefers either over the original, but the second film has its fans (I’m sorta one) at least.  Despite their quality, these misses always make for a great retrospective documentary, making the film worth owning or taking another look at.  On March 14th, RoboCop 2 and RoboCop 3 will get some beefy Collector’s Edition releases from Scream Factory.  In this review, we’ll look at RoboCop 2. Continue reading ‘RoboCop 2 – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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Colors – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

ColorsLate, celebrated actor Dennis Hopper found himself in some memorable, icon roles in legendary films over his careers.  He found himself working with his fair share of the greats, whether they be directors, writers or fellow cast mates.  Even in such low budget, b-horror fare as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, he’s fantastic and unforgettable.  Hopper also directed 7 films during his lifetime (1 as an Alan Smithee).  Of course he launched his directing career with the game-changing Easy Rider.  In 1988, he helmed his fourth film which took a relentless, gritty look at the world of the police and gangs in Los Angeles.  It paired together a young, up and coming star in Sean Penn with season, veteran Robert DuVall.  Shout! Factory is adding it, in the film’s Unrated/International form, to its Shout Select Collector’s Edition line on March 7th. Continue reading ‘Colors – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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Moonlight (Blu-ray Review)

moonlight coverFor all the struggles we watch the main character face in Moonlight, the film presents a story that is incredibly compelling to watch. Thanks to several confident performances and a cinematic presentation that ably works to invite the viewer in, here is a film that uses a triptych storytelling device to great depict how one develops an identity. Various circumstances, locations and identifiers provide a setup. However, despite witnessing a truly personal story being told, it manages to feel incredibly rounded. It makes the setup practically beside the point, as Moonlight finds a way to say a lot with a little. Up for multiple Oscars, the film can now be taken home and watched by many more who can see just how great this film is.

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Contract To Kill (Blu-ray Review)

Contract-To-KillEveryone’s favorite past his prime, lazy, slow-footed, washed up, overweight action hero is back!  And make no mistake, I say this with great admiration and appreciation.  Steven Seagal is back to his old antics in Contract To Kill.  While no, his films could be considered bottom of the barrel (And they are), sometimes these things can hit the money in terms of schlock, unintentional hilarity or just straight up easy to watch action junk.  Contract To Kill is currently playing OnDemand.  On February 28th, you’ll be able to own the adventure on Blu-ray (With a digital copy of it to boot) which includes a Making Of Featurette.  Get your Amazon pre-order (Link at the bottom) in to keep your Steven Seagal collection up to date and complete. Continue reading ‘Contract To Kill (Blu-ray Review)’

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Psychomania 2-Disc Special Edition (Blu-ray Review)

psycho squareSeven Suicides – and they roared back as The Living Dead!  The United States gave motorcycle-mad cinemagoers Easy Rider, The Wild One and The Wild Angels.  The United Kingdom gave them Psychomania, the tale of zombie bikers run amok is southern England.  The Living Dead are a delinquent biker gang, fond of causing havoc on British roadways and making out in graveyards. Gang leader Tom (Nicky Henson) also has a Satanist for a mother, and when he discovers the secret of immortality, the name of his motley crew takes on a more literal meaning… Directed by Hammer veteran Don Sharp (The Kiss of the Vampire, The Devil-Ship Pirates) and co-starring Beryl Reid (Dr. Phibes Rises Again) and George Sanders (Village of the Damned), Psychomania is a wonderfully offbeat gem, outlandish and eccentric in equal measure.  This new 2-Disc Special Edition Blu-ray and DVD combo now available from the good folks at Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group features 2K restoration from preservation negatives, High Definition (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations and Original 1.0 mono audio (uncompressed on the Blu-ray).  Extras include a brand-new Interview with star Nicky Henson, Return of the Living Dead, an archive featurette containing interviews actors Henson, Mary Larkin, Denis Gilmore, Roy Holder and Rocky Taylor, Sound of Psychomania, an archive interview with composer John Cameron, Riding Free, an archive interview with ‘Riding Free’ singer Harvey Andrews, Hell for Leather, a brand-new featurette on the company who supplied the film’s costumes, Remastering Psychomania, a look at the film’s restoration from the original 35mm black and white separation masters, plus a Theatrical Trailer. Continue reading ‘Psychomania 2-Disc Special Edition (Blu-ray Review)’

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Allied (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

AlliedI’m a big fan of the spy/espionage subgenre of dramas, thrillers and action films.  Whether it be James Bond, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Jason Bourne or Bridge of Spies, I’m down for some those deceitful antics.  While 2015 was the year of the spy film (Or return, there were a lot), 2016 was of course rather light.  It had me looking forward to this Marion Cotillard (love her) and Brad Pitt team up, Allied.  I didn’t make it to the theater, and medicore reviews led me to feel I had no rush to get there.  However, I’m still excited to check it out on the new 4K UHD Blu-ray that will be available February 28th. Continue reading ‘Allied (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Manchester By The Sea (Blu-ray Review)

manchester by the seaThe heavy awards contender Manchester by the Sea is the equivalent of an arthouse blockbuster. It’s an impressively made drama from acclaimed writer/director/playwright Kenneth Lonergan about a man’s grief, while back in his hometown. It features reserved, but impressive performances from the likes of arthouse favorites Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams, with an expanded running time to make sure we follow all the moving parts to these characters and this story. Manchester by the Sea allows for more resonance when it comes to taking in the emotional payoffs of a feature like this. With six Oscar nominations, it helps that the film has enough heart and humor to go along with the drama and make it ultimately quite rewarding.

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Trolls (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

TrollsAhhh, the treasure trolls.  They’ve been around forever.  Everyone grew up with one, knows what they are, sold a lot of items based on different colors of hair.  Popular damn things.  Are they still?  Not sure.  However, wow, it has taken a REALLY long time for them to get a movie off the ground, right?  You would have thought this movie would have been attempted or come out in the 1990s, on the second wave of their big fad (Originally made in 1959, they became popular in the 1970s first).  It could have been regular 2D hand drawn or a CG movie.  But, nope.  Here we are in 2017 (Well, the film was released last year so 2016) and its finally here.  If it would have came out then, though, they wouldn’t have likely instantly hit gold with a big pop song for the movie.  Yes, they’ve got Justin Timberlake who (when it comes to music) is just instant success.  The film is available for purchase on 4K UHD Blu-ray and regular Blu-ray on February 7th.  Continue reading ‘Trolls (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)’

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Evelyn (Blu-ray Review)

EvelynInspired by a custody case brought before the Irish courts in 1955, that of  Desmond Doyle and his fight in the Irish courts to be reunited with his children.  The film was directed by Bruce Deresford (Driving Miss Daisy) and starred Pierce Brosnan (GoldenEye, Die Another Day, TV’s Remington Steele), Julianna Marguiles (Ghost Ship, TV’s The Good Wife, TV’s ER), Alan Bates (Women in Love, An Unmarried Woman, Nijinsky), Stephen Rea (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire, V for Vendetta), Aidan Quinn (Legends of the Fall, The Mission, TV’s Elementary).  Rounding out the cast of talented actors is Sophie Vavasseur (Becoming Jane) as Evelyn, the little girl who won the hearts of a nation. Evelyn is directed by Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy) from a screenplay written by Paul Pender (The Bogie Man). The film saw a limited release in the US.  Its debuting on Blu-ray from Olive Films on February 21. Continue reading ‘Evelyn (Blu-ray Review)’

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Doctor Strange (Blu-ray Review)

Doctor-StrangeDoctor Strange is a Marvel comics character I was fully aware of, knew what he looked like, kinda understood his powers and the like, but knew not much of and backreading or the details of him.  Couldn’t tell you his villains or allies or big arcs he went through.  I believe I did see that 1970s TV movie they made for him back in the day which didn’t really stick with my brain much.  So, this is one of those that is exciting because I have no fandom attachments going in and can just enjoy what they give me and really question nothing at all.  What really appealed to me was their choice of director as well as the insane visuals on display when the trailers began to drop on us.  It was a movie that screamed “I MUST SEE THIS IN 3-D!!!”.  And when I went to the theater I did.  But, here today I’m going to talk about the 2D Blu-ray release of the film.  A film you can pre-order and have for yourself on release day, February 28th! Continue reading ‘Doctor Strange (Blu-ray Review)’

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Bad Santa 2 – Unrated (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Bad Santa 2 4K UHD Blu-ray ReviewBad Santa has been a Christmas tradition in my family since 2004.  You see we don’t have any kids of my own and nor do I want any.  We have three dogs and they are enough work, bills and responsibility.  The best kind of kids in my opinion are other peoples’ kids, but I digress.  My reason for telling you all of this is because of my next statement.  I don’t want anyone thinking I’m some kind of horrible person or parent for that matter.  Every year and every Christmas morning Bad Santa is on repeat in my household.  It’s my own Christmas tradition and last year was no exception.  The only odd thing about last year, well last Thanksgiving, was the fact that they came out with a sequel brilliantly called Bad Santa 2.  Much to my surprise I did not get around to checking it out, mostly because of all the negative reviews.  How’s that to sell you on reading the rest of this 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review?  Ha!
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King Solomon’s Mines (Blu-ray Review)

King-Solomon's-MinesPeople may not remember this, but Indiana Jones was once pretty popular.  Haha, okay so maybe he still is.  But, Raiders of the Lost Ark was a phenomenon.  And back in the day when there was a phenomenon, as a rival studio or an upstart, you did your best to keep up and rip off the hot properties.  Its sort of a lost art that has been lost in an age of remakes, reboots, soft reboots, reimagings and overall trying to keep a brand’s name on the marquee rather than asking audiences to try something “different”.  For Cannon Films, their hand went into the Jones’ well with bringing literary adventure hero Allan Quatermain back to the big screen with King Solomon’s Mines.  The film was on the heels of the second Indiana Jones film, The Temple of Doom in 1985.  It proved to be a solid hit, riding on the same wave that something like Romancing The Stone also was.  Cannon shot a sequel back to back and was ready to cash in on it in 1987 with Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold (Also available from Olive Films).  King Solomon’s Mines will be making its US Blu-ray debut from Olive Films this week on Tuesday, February 21st. Continue reading ‘King Solomon’s Mines (Blu-ray Review)’

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Mildred Pierce – The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray Review)

mildred pierceMichael Curtiz, the acclaimed journeyman director of films such as Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood and Yankee Doodle Dandy, finally finds one of his films as a part of The Criterion Collection with Mildred Pierce. An ambitious mix of film noir and melodrama, this acclaimed 1945 film marked a career comeback for Joan Crawford, who would go on to win a Best Actress Academy Award. Based on the hardboiled James M. Cain novel, the film is now heralded as a classic for its handling of Crawford’s character, the strong casting choices, blend of domestic drama with murder mystery and many other elements. Now everyone can dive into this Criterion Blu-ray release and revisit this story of maternal sacrifice.

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