Category Archives: DVD/Blu-Ray Reviews

Farscape: The Complete Series Blu-Ray Edition

Farscape: The Complete Series Blu-Ray Edition releases today – November 15, 2011.

Astronaut John Crichton traveled through a wormhole and found himself lost in a distant galaxy. Crichton arrives in the middle of a prison break from the Peacekeepers, a malevolent, human-like race. Traveling with a variety of alien escapees (designed by the Jim Henson’s Creature Shop) on a living ship named Moya, Crichton tries to find a way home.

This cult classic lasted four seasons, with a total of 88 episodes, is now available on blu-ray for the first time. And this highly imaginative science fiction series has never looked better. This new edition includes all of the special features of the previous DVD release along with a brand new documentary.

Action-packed, with fantastic characters, plenty of quirky humor, romance, and drama – this beloved series certainly lives up to its reputation. Fans will not want to miss this long-awaited release.

The Blu-Ray Edition Includes:
• 20 Blu-ray discs featuring 88 complete and unedited episodes from the four-season run (1999-2003), remastered from the highest quality source material available
• Collectible packaging featuring all-new series artwork
• 29 Episode Commentaries, including “Premiere” with Rockne S. O’Bannon, Brian Henson and Ben Browder; “Jeremiah Crichton” with Claudia Black, Producer/Writer David Kemper, Browder and O’Bannon; “Bone to Be Wild” with Anthony Simcoe;“Relativity” with Lani Tupu (Crais/Voice of Pilot) and Director Peter Andrikidis; and, “Bad Timing” which features Browder, Black and Kemper discussing the series’ final episode.
• A BRAND-NEW documentary – Memories of Moya: An Epic Journey Explored featuring revealing new interviews with the cast and creators.
• Multiple featurettes and documentaries including “In the Beginning: A Look Back with Brian Henson”; “Making of a Space Opera” and “Inside Farscape: Save Farscape,” on which fans, cast and crew discuss the fate of their beloved series.
• Multiple video profiles featuring archival clips and cast/crew discussing their characters and roles on Farscape.
• Over 90 minutes of deleted scenes.
• Slideshows and archival photo galleries, including character concepts and promo photos.
• Production design galleries featuring screenshots, rough drafts and concept slide shows.
• Behind-the-Scenes interviews with Ben Browder, Claudia Black, Anthony Simcoe, Virginia Hey, Gigi Edgley, Paul Goddard (Stark), Wayne Pygram (Scorpius) and more.
• Original TV promos and trailers

DVD Review: The Captains

The Captains – A Film By William Shatner

The Captains is a documentary written and directed by William Shatner that follows the actor on in-depth interviews with the other five actors that have played captains on Star Trek. His mission was to discover what commonalities they all had and what brought them to the roles of their iconic characters.

Shatner (Captain Kirk of the original Star Trek) interviews Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Picard of Star Trek: The Next Generation) at his home in London, Avery Brooks (Captain Sisko of Star Trek: Deep Space 9) in New Jersey, Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway of Star Trek: Voyager) in New York, and Scott Bakula (Captain Archer of Star Trek: Enterprise) and Chris Pine (Captain Kirk of the Star Trek 2009 film) in Los Angeles.

Each interview was unique to the actor’s personalities and provides a thoughtful and poignant look at each actor. Shatner does a great job of tailoring each interview and creating a unique experience. His interview with Stewart is by far the most interesting, as the two actors share experiences and an obvious camaraderie. The interview with Brooks is unfortunately awkward and strange. Poor Shatner asks questions, and gets Brooks responding with nothing but piano music. It’s both painful and humorous to watch. The interview with Mulgrew is both light-hearted and moving. Shatner’s interview with Bakula is by far the most relaxed and down-to-earth, as Bakula has that easy-going personality that made him a joy to watch. And the interview with Pine was the shortest. Though Pine, of course, has only starred in one feature film so far, as opposed to all of the others in multiple seasons of television. I still would have liked to see more interaction between the two. After all, Pine is the one “current” captain continuing the franchise at the moment.

Since Shatner was the first, and arguably the most important captain in Star Trek since he set the bar for all others following, I only wish he would have had someone specifically interviewing himself as well. Instead, he had to insert his point of view in his various interviews with all of the other actors, which made it feel like more of a conversation than interviews at times.

As a Star Trek fan, I found the documentary very interesting and well-developed. Shater has a unique perspective and can relate to each of them. Dramatic, seemingly heartfelt, with plenty of humor – The Captains is an excellent behind-the-scenes look at some of Star Trek’s most beloved actors.

Bonus Feature:
“The Making of The Captains”

Blu-Ray Review: Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America: The First Avenger – Limited 3D Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack

During World War II, Steve Rogers is eager to enlist to serve his country and defend it against invaders. But Steve is a scrawny 95 pound young man with asthma and a weak heart. But a doctor sees Steve’s eagerness and determination and decides to give him a chance in a special experimental division of the army. There, Steve proves himself worthy and brave enough to be the first test subject for a super-soldier serum. Meanwhile, a Nazi scientific faction called Hydra has found a remarkable substance that just may change the course of the war.

With extraordinary special effects and CGI, Chris Evans begins the film as a small, weak man. His transformation to Captain America is worth the wait alone. Evans completely embodies both Steve Rogers – the brave but bullied weakling to the strong super-soldier. Tommy Lee Jones plays Captain America’s commanding officer to scene-stealing perfection. And supporting roles by Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter), Sebastian Stan (‘Bucky’ Barnes), Dominic Cooper (Howard Stark), and Stanley Tucci (Dr. Erskine) added humor and heart to the film. Hugo Weaving was chilling and brilliance as Johann Schmidt, the evil mastermind behind Hydra.

The story takes place almost completely in 1942, with beautiful settings and Stark-infused technology and fun gadgets. With plenty of action, adventure, suspense, and laughs – fans of all ages will enjoy this fantastic re-imaging of an iconic super hero. It would have been easy to make this a simple action/adventure film, but the writers did an amazing job of infusing drama, patriotism, and light-hearted humor to balance the story. This comic book fan had high hopes and was not disappointed. Intrigue, excitement, and romance – the film is riveting from beginning to end.

I was eagerly awaiting the blu-ray release, as I love the film in the theater and saw it twice. I’ve become so spoiled with HD tv and blu-ray, that I don’t think I’d be content watching any action film, and certainly not Captain America, without it. Blu-ray and/or 3D is the only way to go.

Limited 3D Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack includes:
– 3D Blu-ray copy, Blu-ray copy, DVD copy, and digital download copy
– Marvel One-Shot: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Thor’s Hammer
– The Avengers sneak peek
– 4 deleted scenes
– 6 behind-the-scenes featurettes:
– Outfitting a Hero
– Howling Commandos
– Heightened Technology
– The Transformation
– Behind the Skull
– Captain America Origins
– The Assembly Begins
– Commentaries
– Trailers

This review has been edited from my theatrical release review.

Blu-Ray Review: Green Lantern

Green Lantern Extended Cut – Blu-ray Combo Pack

When the Green Lantern Corps comes under attack by a new threat, Hal Jordan becomes the first human ever chosen to become one of the galaxy’s defenders. Hal is a test pilot, cocky and reckless. And the Corps doesn’t believe that Hal or humanity is worthy to join their ranks. But humanity may have what the Corps has been missing in their fight against Parallax – willpower.

Hal Jordan (played by Ryan Reynolds) is brazen, courageous, and witty. When the Green Lantern ring chooses him, with no instructions, humor ensues. As with other super hero origin stories, Hal takes a while to learn and train his newly found power. Seeing early clips and images, I was worried that the Green Lantern aliens would be too corny and ridiculous-looking for comic-to-film adaptation. And while there still was a bit of hokey-ness at times, I was really impressed on how the aliens were handled and at the amazing CGI.

It does help to go in to movies with lower expectations. I actually thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the story and the characters. The main villain Hector, Parallax’s puppet, (played by Peter Sarsgaard) is a tortured, almost sympathetic character. And Mark Strong as Sinestro is simply fantastic. As science fiction and comic book fan, I was swept away in the action and amazing special effects, as the hero travels to and from space. Loaded with adventure, mystery, romance, bizarre aliens, and plenty of laughs, Green Lantern is a fun, fast-paced thrill ride.

“Green Lantern” Blu-ray Combo Pack includes:

• Extended Cut
• Theatrical Film
• Maximum Movie Mode with Picture in Picture Pods
• The Universe According to Green Lantern
• Ryan Reynolds Becomes Green Lantern
• Justice League #1 Digital Comic
• Additional Scenes
• Preview of Green Lantern: The Animated Series
• BD-Live

Buy It 10/14 on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack with UltraViolet Digital Copy or Download to Own

Blu-Ray Review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

While the Autobots are out saving the world along side the US military on a daily basis, Sam Witwicky is unemployed. But on their latest assignment to Chernobyl, Optimus Prime discovers that the US government has been keeping a big secret. Back when man first stepped foot on the moon, they uncovered the wreckage of an alien ship that came from the Autobots home planet. And as Sam soon learns, the Decepticons are on the move.

Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) is still the same loveable geek, but now has a new girlfriend (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley). Apparently dumped by his former, Sam somehow got an even hotter girlfriend who lets his unemployed self live and mooch off of her. This seems more improbable than intelligent machines from another planet coming to Earth. Unsurprisingly, Michael bay introduces the eventual damsel-in-distress by an eye-rolling, long, spray-tanned butt shot. Several other characters return for this latest adventure: John Turturro, Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson. John Turturro is again fantastic, and brings the laughs along with Alan Tudyk, who plays his assistant. I only wish the two of them had more scenes, as they made the film bearable in between the suspense and action sequences. And to show that Michael Bay isn’t a complete chauvinist, the boss in charge of the Autobots and military base is played by Frances McDormand, a tough-as-nails, female leader. And brief appearances by John Malkovich and Ken Jeong are silly and surprisingly fun. Throw in Leonard Nimoy as Sentinel Prime with an all-too familiar Spock line, and this Star Trek fan was happy.

Thankfully, the story and action scenes more than make up for the second lackluster installment in the Transformers saga. My favorite scenes were of cleverly cut shots of the original lunar landing, with computerizes cameos of John F. Kennedy, and blending the top secret mission to the dark side of the moon. The story was pretty great and easy to follow, along with the action scenes being smoother. You can actually tell who’s who. It’s everything a summer blockbuster should be – action-packed, fun, with plenty of surprises. Its faults were easy enough to look over in favor of new characters, a strong story, and fantastic special effects.

Blu-Ray Review: Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch Blu-ray Edition

After accidentally killing her younger sister, a young woman is sent to a mental institution. There, she forms a fantasy world within her imprisonment, using continuous stories within stories to “free” herself from her captivity.

While visually stunning, the story itself is choppy and hollow. In fact, for the first half hour of the the film, it felt more like I was watching music videos. The soundtrack is pretty great, but it overshadowed the sparse dialog. The characters themselves were fairly one-dimensional, save the evil villain.

There were two saving points for me: the music and the second fantasy world were Baby Doll originally plans her escape. Each time she goes into a trance-like state to escape her reality-like fantasy, Baby Doll is taken to a vastly different world. I wish the whole film took place here. From Germanic zombies with a steampunk feel to aliens with advanced technology, this alternate world was always fast-paced and action-packed. And there is no question the scenes were artfully rendered and stunning for the most part. But the overall lackluster story, flat characters, and confusing fantasy worlds-within-fantasies weren’t enough for me to say I enjoyed this one.

Sucker Punch Features:
Blu-ray Combo Pack includes:
“Sucker Punch” Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following features:
· Theatrical Feature Film and Extended Cut
· Maximum Movie Mode: Exploring the Fantasy World: An immersive movie exploration with host Zack Snyder – featuring Picture-in-Picture, Director Walk-Ons, and much more (Runtime: Feature Length)
· Animated Shorts: “Sucker Punch” Prequel Stories (Runtime: 11 mins)
o Feudal Warriors
o The Trenches
o Dragon
o Distant Planet
· “Sucker Punch” Behind the Soundtrack (Runtime: 3 mins)

DVD includes:
· Animated Shorts: “Sucker Punch” Prequel Stories (Runtime: 11 mins)
o Feudal Warriors
o The Trenches
o Dragon
o Distant Planet
· “Sucker Punch” Behind the Soundtrack (Runtime: 3 mins)

New from Warner Bros:
Create your own Sucker Punch custom videos by combining clips, audio, effects and transitions. Then save your creations to the Gallery and share with friends!

Close your eyes. Open your mind. Engage in a spectacular fantasy adventure when “Sucker Punch” arrives onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download June 28th

Blu-Ray News: Robin of Sherwood: Set 1 Blu-Ray Edition

Robin of Sherwood: Set 1 Blu-ray Edition

Robin of Sherwood is a 1980’s British series starring Michael Praed as Robin of Loxley, Ray Winstone as Will Scarlet, and Nickolas Grace as the Sheriff of Nottingham. The series is very dated, from Praed’s shag haircut to the synthesizer background music. But the Irish band Clannad’s frequent contributions are fantastic. The 2-part pilot episode introduces the audience to Robin and his merry men, with a fairly traditional telling of the legend. This series combines the popular tale of Robin Hood with magic, myth, and plenty of swashbuckling action.

On June 7, 2011, all 13 episodes from seasons 1 and 2 of the series will be released on Blu-ray for the first time. There are over 8 hours of special features including: commentaries, featurettes, behind-the-scenes documentary, outtakes, photo galleries, a 40-page booklet, and scripts from the show.

Blu-Ray Review: Hereafter

Hereafter Blu-ray Edition

When Marie (Cécile de France) a French journalist is caught in a tsunami, she has a near death experience that begins to affect her life dramatically. George (Matt Damon) is a psychic with an ability to speak to the dead loved ones of those he touches. And young Marcus (Frankie and George McLaren) from London loses a dear family member in a tragic accident, and begins to search for answers to what happens after someone dies. Each of them will begin a journey that will converge in their search for what may happen in the hereafter.

The first scene of a violent and catastrophic tsunami is certainly the most moving and tragic in the film. Unfortunately, the rest of the film is dismal and extremely slow-moving. Bouncing around the three main storylines, it’s obvious from the start what will bring the three characters together. But the journey is painfully slow. To make matters worse, over a third of the film is in French (with English subtitles).

While the acting was spot on, it wasn’t enough to make the film worthwhile. The three storylines obviously connect, but without much resolution at the end. It was a long build-up to a fizzled, lackluster ending. Clint Eastwood directs this strange, monotonous film with seemingly little direction. Fans of drama, with a paranormal twist, who don’t mind reading their movies and watching stagnant scenes (like Matt Damon eating meals by himself) may be interested in this one. But it was definitely not one that I can recommend.