If your Blu Ray collection is in need of expansion, check out the films that are arrived in May 2010.
A bleak, pseudo-disaster movie with excellent central performances from Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron. Based on the novel by Cormack McCarthy, the chap who also wrote No Country for Old Men, it is not the most optimistic of films, but it does have powerful messages, beautiful landscapes and a tiny glint of hope at the end of the tunnel.
This sci-fi action movie stars Tom Cruise and arrives on Blu Ray for the first time this month. Tom Cruise plays the lead as a Precrime cop who arrests potential murderers before they commit their crimes, with three psychics backing him up. The swooshy touchscreen computers used by Cruise and his co-workers have since inspired the way that modern gadgets work and so its influence has endured long after its 2002 release.
This jaunty, funny take on the classic detective franchise stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson respectively. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the action snaps along at a decent pace and the dialogue and plot work in a way that should please fans of the novels without excluding newcomers to the series.
This is a violent, often nonsensical film about modern day ninjas fighting it out over an ancient feud. If you can deal with the silly plot and the budget acting talent then the action is solid and the buckets of blood should satisfy even the thirstiest of gore fans.
This epic wartime adventure based on the Ian McEwan novel was a hit around the world and it made a star of James McAvoy. The romantic plot and expansive visuals both work well together in HD on Blu Ray and there are the usual smattering of extras for enthusiasts to enjoy.
Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll
Andy Serkis takes to his role as legendary poet rocker Ian Dury with suitable aplomb and this biopic charts the highs and lows of his life as a musical powerhouse. There is plenty of support from various British stars including Mackenzie Crook and Ray Winstone and for fans of The Blockheads it is a must buy.
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
This comedy sequel does not quite match up to the original, but it still has plenty of gentle laughs and satirical looks at typically British quirks. Renee Zellwegger proves that she can do one of the best English accents of the current Yank crop and both Collin Firth and Hugh Grant return for some gentlemanly fisticuffs over poor old Bridget.
Another biopic about an iconic rock star, this time John Lennon. Nowhere Boy looks at his early life and although music is a founding part of the film, it is really the human relationships that are of greater interest to director Sam Taylor-Wood. Solid performances and some nice divergences from the clichéd world of the biopic make Nowhere Boy worth a look for those even vaguely interested in where the Fab Four originated.
The Railway Children
Most people will have watched this on a rainy Sunday afternoon, but now it is available in high definition on Blu Ray in order to celebrate the fortieth year since it hit the big screen. The warming children’s story is still good fun for all ages and it is nice to see how well the original print has been restored.
The Book of Eli
Following the trend of post-apocalyptic releases such as The Road, but putting a religious spin on things, The Book of Eli stars Denzel Washington as the enigmatic nomad who roams a barren world on a mission from God. The mixed messages are certainly able to stimulate debate and Gary Oldman has fun in his role as the villain of the piece, although Mila Kunis is less convincing as the young heathen who Eli takes on as a reluctant disciple.
Alice in Wonderland
Disney’s remix of the classic novel has master of the dark cinematic arts Tim Burton at the helm and Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter to mix things up. It may have appeared in 3D at the cinemas, but this effect was added retrospectively after shooting, so you will not be missing much if you pick it up in plain old 2D on Blu Ray. The sets are imaginative, the characters are larger than life thanks to some well used CGI and the story has not been drastically altered.
Shot in Australia, this vampire film stars Ethan Hawke in a world where humans have been hunted to the point of extinction and now the vamps are looking for a way to save their own skins as their food source expires. Melodramatic and action-packed, this film should ride on the wave of popularity that the likes of Twilight and Tru Blood have created.