BLU-RAY INVASION – Week of 1/12/16
The Martian – Ridley Scott
During a manned mission to Mars, American astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) is presumed dead and left behind by his crew. But Watney is still alive, and he must now find a way to contact Earth – and survive on a barren planet with meager supplies – in hope that an international team of scientists can devise a near-impossible rescue plan to bring him home!
One of the better films of 2015 and includes a fantastic performance from Matt Damon. This is brilliantly shot and much different from anything that Ridley Scott has ever done before. This delivers in a way that Interstellar failed to, and highlights the best of humanity in a better way, too. This disk is packed with fascinating extras that include a number of fake documentaries that take you into the universe created in the film. Pick of the week!
Mr. Robot: The Complete First Season
Cyber-security engineer by day and vigilante hacker by night, Elliot (Rami Malek, The Pacific) finds himself at a crossroads when the mysterious leader (Christian Slater, Very Bad Things) of an underground hacker group recruits him to destroy the firm he is paid to protect. Compelled by his personal beliefs, Elliot struggles to resist the chance to take down the multinational CEOs he believes are running (and ruining) the world.
One of the best new shows of 2015, highly intelligent, and parts of it even seem plausible, given today’s climate. This even has an amazing performance from Christian Slater, and when an amazing performance like this is stretched out over 10 fantastic episodes, it makes for a quality binge watch. It would have been nice if there were more special features on the disk, but the show is more than good enough for fans of quality television. Buy this.
Sinister 2 – Ciarán Foy
In the aftermath of the shocking events in Sinister, a protective mother (Shannyn Sossamon of Wayward Pines) and her nine-year-old twin sons (real-life brothers Robert and Dartanian Sloan) find themselves marked for death in a rural house as the evil spirit of Bughuul continues to spread with frightening intensity.
This isn’t as great as the original, but the original was always going to be a hard act to follow. The story built around Bughuul is better fare than most horror sequels. While overall fairly generic, this isn’t going to be the worst time you’ll have with a horror film. As tepid as that praise is, this is still worth a viewing if you’re a fan of the original. Queue it.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead is based on Tom Stoppard’s award-winning play. It’s the inventive tale of Hamlet as told from the viewpoint of two of the work’s supporting, but certainly more outrageous characters. In this cleverly inspired version, however, the Shakespearean equivalents of Laurel and Hardy get a chance to take the lead roles in a dazzling setting where illusion and reality overlap!
Featuring truly outstanding performances from Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, and Richard Dreyfuss, this is highly worth checking out. The material is incredibly funny and it’s an interesting spinoff to the story of Hamlet you may already be familiar with. The disk has some interviews with Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, and Richard Dreyfuss as well as an interview with Tom Stoppard. Beyond that, not many more features. Overall, worth a view. Queue it.
Other releases this week not reviewed:
Hotel Transylvania 2
The Look of Silence
Contracted: Phase 2
The American Friend (Criterion)
Bitter Rise (Criterion)