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Gerard’s Top 10 Badass Blu-rays of 2013!

Top 10 Badass Blu-rays of 2013It’s that time again where we come up with our Top-10 Blu-rays of the year. 2013 has come and almost gone and left a path of high definition destruction in its wake. Coincidentally, my Top-10 list features the work of some epic directors, who had a stellar year on the Blu-ray format as most of their back catalog, along with current works, were released in high definition in 2013. My criteria for picking the selections on this list is more in tune with how fully loaded are the Blu-rays chosen, along with demo-worthy characteristics, etc. Film worthiness is also taken into consideration but that it not the main factor. If I want film-worthiness then I will save it for my regular Top-10 list of films, which will post in a couple of weeks. This list is based off of the merits of the Blu-ray for the most part. Without further ado I give you my Top 10 Badass Blu-rays of 2013! 

I’m going to start this Top-10 list off from #10 to #1. Also, I am only adding titles that I actually own and have seen on the Blu-ray format, so if you don’t see something here that glaringly deserves to be then that means I probably haven’t seen it. The rules are pretty much the same from last year.

Cosmopolis - www.whysoblu.com10. Cosmopolis – David Cronenberg came back with a late 2012 limited release film called Cosmopolis based off of the novel by Don DeLillo and starred Twilight heartthrob Robert Pattinson in the titular role of the eccentric billionaire (at age 28) who just wants to get a haircut across town but will have to navigate through various obstacles in order to get to the barbershop. If it sounds like I’m oversimplifying things you’re right. I am. Cosmopolis goes much deeper than that but that’s for another review at another time. How does the Blu-ray stack up? It’s pretty epic in a compact way. Included is a feature length commentary by director David Cronenberg where he talks about adapting the novel and selecting Robert Pattinson, who was not his first choice for the lead. There’s also a feature length documentary on what went on during the making of the film. It is excellent and it was refreshing to see how Pattinson has been reinvigorated in terms of acting and being in the Hollywood spotlight. He credits David Cronenberg with making him happy to be making films again.

Cloud Atlas - www.whysoblu.com

9. Cloud Atlas – Another film that was released in 2012 that had its Blu-ray be released in 2013 was Cloud Atlas written and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Twyker. Cloud Atlas is an insane epic tale that spans thousands of years and shows how the some people’s lives and causes have been intertwined through the ages. The Blu-ray itself contains some neat featurettes along with what went into creating these magical worlds through the various timeframes depicted. What really seals the deal is the DEMO worthiness of the film’s video and audio specifications. They’re both reference quality and really showcase what the Blu-ray format is all about. The film is pretty awesome, too!

Halloween 35th Anniversary - www.whysoblu.com 8. John Carpenter’s Halloween 35th Anniversary Edition – Woo-hoo, John Carpenter has made it on to my list! And why not? Halloween comes to us with a NEW Dean Cundey (Cinematographer) approved transfer and for the first time ever on any format we have a BRAND NEW audio commentary featuring John Carpenter and Jaime Lee Curtis TOGETHER specially recorded for this 35th anniversary edition. The last time Jaime Lee Curtis was on an audio commentary for Halloween was back when Criterion released a deluxe version on laserdisc. Her commentary was recorded separately from John Carpenter and Debra Hill. This 35th anniversary edition also features a brand new documentary where we take a trip with Jaime Lee Curtis as she heads over to one of the most popular Halloween conventions in the country where she will discuss her role in the franchise. It’s a landmark event, because she has never been to a Halloween convention. She also did it to raise money for one of her charities, so everyone wins.

Naked Lunch - www.whysoblu.com7. Naked Lunch (Criterion Collection) – Woah, look who’s back in the Top 10? I told you this list would bring hefty catalogs back to the fold. Not only is Naked Lunch a great and strange film by David Cronenberg, it has also received the full Criterion Collection treatment. Brand new video and audio specifications, special features up the whazoo, and a few new features have also been included on this deluxe Blu-ray set. Naked Lunch stars Peter Weller as a bug exterminator and junkie. To say that Naked Lunch is anything but surreal would be an understatement. It was a treat when this title was announced for release, because when it comes to special features, we all know Criterion comes through on that front and Naked Lunch is deservingly one of those films that require a full package.

The Devil's Backbone - www.whysoblu.com

6. The Devil’s Backbone (Criterion Collection) – Criterion continued to kick into high gear with their fully loaded special release of Guillermo del Toro’s Spanish language epic: The Devil’s Backbone. The film takes place during the Spanish Civil War and is the tale of a little boy’s ghost that haunts an orphanage. To say that the ghost is the real monster of the film would be doing it a great injustice. Criterion came through once again with a plethora of special features that included audio commentaries with del Toro, multiple documentaries in English and Spanish on the making of the film, and so forth. One item that regretfully was included in this package was a further excursion onto del Toro’s “Bleak house” that was featured in the Criterion edition of Cronos. Then again, the special features on this Blu-ray were completed way before the supplements to Cronos were. It’s no big deal, because we get plenty of meat and potatoes on this release and it’s pretty great film on its own.

Prince of Darkness - www.whysoblu.comThe Fog - www.whysoblu.com 5. John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness & The Fog – John Carpenter has made his way back to the Top 10 list with two more entries and those are Prince of Darkness and The Fog. Scream Factory has become the Criterion Collection of genre films and they very generously loaded up BOTH Blu-ray editions of these awesome horror films. Prince of Darkness made its high definition debut packed with a John Carpenter commentary and old and new special features exclusive to this set. John Carpenter’s The Fog made its stateside Blu-ray debut with another fully loaded package as well. These two are important cult and horror classics that deserve every bit of love  that they got from Scream Factory. If this Top 10 list were any bigger I would have thrown in more of JC’s catalog in there as 2013 definitely was a stellar year for the Master of Horror’s catalog of titles.

Nosferatu - www.whysoblu.com4. Nosferatu (Eureka! Masters of Cinema) – One of the first and most important of all horror films is Nosferatu and the wait was intense but in 2013 Eureka! Masters of Cinema released a fully restored Blu-ray edition of the silent film classic in the UK. I obviously went ahead and imported the title and was not disappointed. I am aware that Kino also released their edition of Nosferatu but the Masters of Cinema version has different special features and more exclusives than that version. The restoration was great and the various scores that accompany the film also enhance the experience. The restored inter titles are also a nice touch and are properly subtitled for your maximum viewing pleasure. Silent films got plenty of love this year!

The Exorcist 40th Anniversary - www.whysoblu.com3. The Exorcist 40th Anniversary – One of the scariest, if not, THE scariest film of all time got the ultimate special treatment in WB’s 40th anniversary special set. Both versions of the film are included in this set that feature the theatrical cut and the “version you’ve never seen.” I prefer the latter version. It also contains all of the special features from previous sets and a couple of new featurettes that follow author William Peter Blatty as he revisits the home that he wrote The Exorcist novel in more than 40 years ago. He’s also on hand as he reads passages from the book, too. Another neat item that is included is a hardcover mini-book of director William Friedkin’s biography: The Friedkin ConnectionThis book has the entire chapter on what he and everyone else went through during the making of the film and what a phenomenon the film was at the time. It’s an amazing read and an amazing set.

Pacific Rim - www.whysobu.com2. Pacific Rim – Hey Guillermo, welcome back! Pacific Rim was the giant robot and monster movie we all got and the Blu-ray only enhanced everything that we saw in theaters. Accompanying the film was GDT’s full-length commentary, with additional content that included a virtual journey into his “director’s notebook” that featured tons of artwork concerning the film that was used and not used in the final version. Tons of featurettes and making’s of programs were also included, too. As for the specs on the film itself, well, it’s another DEMO title from Warner Bros. The video and audio are FLAWLESS in every way imaginable. It hit all the right notes and even though GDT had gone on record to say that some studios are backing off special features, because physical media is “dying,” GDT did not go down without a fight and packed it up with as much extra stuff as he could. The world should be grateful for that. I know I am.

The Hobbit Extended Edition - www.whysoblu.com1.The Hobbit: Extended Edition – I have a feeling that Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy of Extended Editions will top my Blu-ray lists for the next 2 years if THIS release is any indication of what’s to come. Again, Warner Bros. really hit it out of the park with their movie selections this year in terms of Blu-ray video and audio presentations. The Hobbit is no different and looks and sounds amazing. The fact that it also restores 10 more minutes of footage is icing on the cake as the more Middle Earth, the better, in my opinion. What leaves all other Blu-ray sets in the dust is the Appendices that are included. We actually get to see Guillermo del Toro at work during pre-production just before it was delayed indefinitely and he left the project. There are hours upon hours of features and documentaries covering every inch of The Hobbit filming. I believe you could stay up 2-3 days watching the special features and you still wouldn’t be finished. It’s packed to the brim and I await the next TWO installments in the Extended Edition Hobbit universe on Blu-ray!

And there you have it folks. My Top-10 Badass Blu-rays of 2013! It was a lot of fun compiling the best of the Blu-ray best for this list. If you’re interested in purchasing any of the Blu-rays featured then all you have to do is click on their respective thumbnail. Please keep in mind that the UK Masters of Cinema Nosferatu Blu-ray is Region B. You will need a Region Free Blu-ray player in order for proper playback. Thanks again for reading and we’ll see you soon for more “end of” lists!

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Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

17 Responses to “Gerard’s Top 10 Badass Blu-rays of 2013!”


  1. Brian White

    Gotta say I’m quite surprised to see Pacific Rim dethroned here. Can’t we switch #1 and 2 around 😉

    I still need to get Devil’s Backbone.

    Cloud Atlas was #11 on my list that I unfortunately had to trim down to my favorite 10. But that is a great Blu-ray!

    The Exorcist is a good one although I believe the transfer and extras are same as the one from a few years back.

    And thee’s no denying Halloween 35! I don’t have it so that’s the only reason it’s not on my list 🙁

    I’m not a fan of Robert Pattinson so that’s why I skipped #10 here.

  2. Brandon Peters

    Great list, can’t wait to see what you and I have crossing over!

  3. Brian White

    Just the thought of that statement Brandon has me cringing 🙂

  4. Brandon Peters

    Cringe away

  5. Gerard Iribe

    We’re going to be crossing streams, Brandon?

  6. Brandon Peters

    That would be telling, haha.

  7. Sean Ferguson

    I’m surprised that there’s only two criterions on this list!

  8. Gerard Iribe

    Sean, that Zatoichi CC set would have gone on my list if I actually owned it. I had to pick from some of my favorite CC titles (that I actually watched) to put on this list. Lots of stuff came out that I haven’t even gotten to yet!

  9. Sean Ferguson

    I’m in the same boat. By the way, I tried getting that Zatoichi set to review but I didn’t get it.

  10. Brian White

    I’m so confused. You and Brandon are crossing streams. Now you and Sean are in the same boat! What is going on around here?

  11. Aaron Neuwirth

    Lots of good picks on here, but I always tend to love G’s Blu-ray lists. And yes, we cross streams as well.

  12. Gerard Iribe

    It’s one whacky game show, Brian!

  13. Mike

    Guys, don’t cross the streams… remember –

    Dr. Egon Spengler: Don’t cross the streams.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?
    Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, “bad”?
    Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
    Dr. Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
    Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That’s bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.

  14. Aaron Neuwirth

    Back off Mike. I’m a scientist.

  15. Gerard Iribe

    hahahahahaha

  16. Brian White

    These comments are not closed until Gregg passes judgement. Where is he?!

  17. Ivalene

    Could you write about Physcis so I can pass Science class?