Blu Ray Catch-up

In the past week, I got a chance to catch up on some movie watching. Over the past several weeks, I’ve been creating a backlog of blu ray titles between things I’ve purchased on crazy sale or things that I rent from Netflix or things a buddy from work let me borrow.

Last Sunday, I finally got to watch John Carpenter’s The Thing. Now, it’s a fairly over-the-top action-thriller that pits Kurt Russell in the tundra against some alien life form. The effects were cheesy, but par-for-the-course in the early 80’s. I thought it was a great film, and the quality of the blu ray is definitely worth it.

During the week, I watched Bloodsport and Timecop, both Jean Claude Van Damme films that came in a set. Bloodsport is a movie I know word-for-word by heart; I grew up watching that movie. The picture quality of Bloodsport is hit or miss. The opening scenes are fairly poor, but by the end of the first 20 minutes, the picture quality improves. This is common for films that have been scanned multiple times; the beginning of the film begins to wear. Timecop looks beautiful, and for early-to-mid 90’s had some pretty awesome effects.  I would highly recommend this set.

Friday night, I watched MacGruber with Cassie. This movie was surprisingly funny. I actually haven’t been much of a fan of Will Forte or the current SNL cast, but they nailed this movie pretty well. I wouldn’t buy it, but I’d highly recommend it as a solid “Rent.”

Saturday, I had somewhat of a marathon. I started with You Don’t Mess with the Zohan. This was a great movie, loaded with special features. When I first watched this movie, I really didn’t appreciate what they were going for, but on repeated views, it gets funnier. It took me a good 3 hours to get through the special features.

Next up was James Cameron’s Avatar. I thought this movie was mediocre. If you want a disc that shows off how nice blu ray makes your TV look, by all means pick this up (or seasons 4-6 of LOST or Watchmen). But this movie was too long and boring for me to fully enjoy it. Sorry.

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead was next. I got this for under $10 to complete the trilogy (I already own Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn and Army of Darkness). Little did I know, by purchasing this, I got a 1.85 aspect ratio enhanced presentation of the film and an additional DVD with 3 hours of special features (in addition to the original 1.33 presentation). I’ve seen this movie a number of times, and I don’t think the 1.85 edits did much to ruin any of the original shots. Anyone who has seen this movie knows it is very stylistic, with a lot of camera shots lined and framed perfectly. Normally, a 1.85 edit of a 1.33 presentation ruins the original shots (see any Kubrick blu ray), but here it did not. This film was intended to be scary, and that should be obvious to anyone who has seen the rest of the series (which was made with a bit of satire in mind). For under $10, this gets a “highly recommend” if you’re looking for a good horror movie to add to your collection.

I doubt I’ll get to as many movies this week, but I’m going to try because my Back to the Future Blu Ray Trilogy is coming next week!


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