Another month, another selection of fantastic new movies, as well as the added bonus of loads of old classics becoming available in high definition on Blu Ray!
Observe and Report
This is a black comedy at its most subtle, released in stark contrast to Paul Blart: Mall Cop, the family friendly slap stick block buster which also follows the life of a Mall Security Guard in suburban America. Observe and Report, starring Seth Rogan of Knocked Up fame, is a very different film all together. Rogan plays a Mall cop who is delusional, depressive, schizophrenic and terminally naive. It’s got some laughs and comes close to being a great film, but some may find its subject matter and characters a little too disquieting for their tastes.
Bubba Ho-Tep is a modern cult classic starring horror legend Bruce Campbell. Campbell plays an ageing Elvis Presley, rotting in an old persons home and complaining of a lost youth. Everyone else thinks he’s an Elvis impersonator, but he knows he’s the real deal, having traded places with an impersonator years ago to escape fame and fortune for the simple life. Suddenly he realises that an evil Egyptian Mummy is haunting the home and killing its patrons in order to prolong his own manifestation. With the help of a black JFK, Elvis takes on the Mummy for one last time. It may sound ridiculous, but it manages to be hilarious as well as heart-warming.
Monsters Vs Aliens
Released in 3D earlier this year, Monsters Vs Aliens was a box office hit aimed at kids but which appealed to adults, too. It features a stunning design and a B-Movie aesthetic which allows for references that mum and dad will enjoy. One of the few films that can truly be described as fun for all the family and a must for high definition enthusiasts. It’s even available with 3D glasses included.
In 1997 this was the must-see summer blockbuster that had audiences gasping and Godzilla purists crying out in anger. What it is in reality is a big, dumb action movie that full of plenty of explosions and big lizards. Even under the scrutiny of HD it looks good and should be fondly remembered by many.
Taking advantage of the current renaissance of football hooligan flicks, Awaydays places things in a period setting that’s perfectly executed. Though its slight idolisation of the loutish lifestyle isn’t going to be welcomed in some households, it is British film-making tackling a uniquely British subject.
24 Season 7
With the controversy over Guantanamo and the US coercive interrogation techniques, 24 has come under a bit of media flack. That doesn’t detract from the fact that the release of the 7th series on Blu Ray is an event in itself and the relentless pace and appealing masculinity of its hero Jack Bauer will be sure to make new converts of many.
Heroes Season 3
Super powers have always been a mainstay of popular culture and the third series of Heroes sees yet more moralising applied to their rules. Though this is frequently described as a cult TV show, it hasn’t picked up quite the following in the UK that its producers may have liked. Still, it’s good TV, with Heroes far more family friendly than other US exports like The Wire or the Sopranos, even if it never scales to their critically acclaimed heights.
The 39 Steps
Hitchcock’s masterpiece gets a massive revamp for its Blu Ray release and although this film is over half a century old it still stands up as an engrossing classic. It will be exciting to see the hugely improved detail that this remastered HD edition will have elicited from the source footage.
Gavin and Stacey Boxsets
Despite the mire of mediocrity in which Horne and Corden have got themselves into following the phenomenon that was Gavin and Stacey, the original two series’ and the Christmas special are preserved in their comedic glory on Blu Ray. Though the sit-com is a staple of British comedy, Gavin and Stacey managed to put a modern spin on a tried and tested formula, evoking laughs and tears.
Stephen Fry: Last Chance to See
Following in the footsteps of his friend and famous author Douglas Adams, national treasure Stephen Fry embarks on a difficult and dangerous journey to see some of the most endangered animals on the planet. The BBC has a history of producing some truly astounding nature documentaries on Blu Ray and this is sure to emulate the beauty of The Blue Planet.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
In a summer filled with preposterous blockbusters, the fourth X-Men film nearly managed to take the crown as the most downright silly. That is not to say that it isn’t an enjoyable experience and should unquestionably get the Blu Ray treatment.