Welcome to 2013 everyone! Hopefully this is the year that I finally get that hoverboard I’ve wanted since 1989. This week’s featured Blu-Ray, Looper, is dominating the sales charts along with (surprise!) The Dark Knight Rises and The Dark Knight Trilogy. The latest James Bond film, Skyfall, doesn’t get a home release for at least another month, but it’s already making a not-so-secret-agent showing on the Pre-Order charts.
This week, watch Joseph Gordon-Levitt act like a young Bruce Willis in Looper, Cosmopolis will confuse and dismay Twilight fans everywhere, and the FX network’s hit show Justified gets its third season released in glorious gun-smoking Blu-Ray.
Ready for this week’s top releases? Then read on.
Release Date: December 31st, 2012
Starring: Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, and Jeff Daniels.
Director: Rian Johnson
A critically-acclaimed science fiction action film that was selected as the opening film of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. It also took the number eight spot on the New York Post‘s top ten list for the best films of 2012.
Plot: In the year 2042, a mob hitman (Gordon-Levitt) assassinates targets that arrive from the future of 2072. For him it’s just a job…until he receives a new target: himself from the future (Willis).
My Thoughts: I’m huge fan of this film; I followed its progress since it entered pre-production and saw it in theaters during its opening week. Gordon-Levitt continues to surprise me with his versatility and Willis portrays his character with a quiet intimidation that you don’t see from him very often. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of science fiction, I highly recommend that you give this a watch.
Release Date: January 1st, 2013
Starring: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, Jay Baruchel, and Kevin Durand.
Director: David Cronenberg
A psychologically complex drama, based on the novel of the same name by Don DeLillo, that received mixed reviews from critics.
Plot: Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager’s day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.
My Thoughts: Although I’m a sometimes-fan of Cronenberg’s work, I have yet to see this film. It premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, but only received a limited theatrical release in the US. Some reviewers praised Pattinson’s performance and the consensus seems to be that, while it has some good elements, it’s difficult to keep interested. Pick it up if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary.
Release Date: December 31st, 2012
Starring: Timothy Olyphant, Jeremy Davies, Margo Martindale, Raymond J. Barry, Walton Goggins, and Nick Searcy.
The third season of the FX network’s hit show is now yours to own on glorious Blu-Ray. The series continues to receive critical acclaim for its acting, directing, and writing.
Plot: After U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens finds himself in hot water over the shooting of a Miami crime boss, he is reassigned to the last place on Earth he’d rather be; Harlan County, Kentucky, where he was born and raised. There he must deal with his ex-wife, criminal father, an old friend turned white supremacist, and the latter’s former sister-in-law who quickly rekindles her attraction to Givens. Kentucky won’t be the same now that the cowboy marshal is home.
My Thoughts: I’ve only seen the first season of the show so far and I enjoyed it immensely. While Timothy Olyphant isn’t a big name in the acting world, he’s come a long way in the past several years, and he seems to have found a well-suited role as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens. For your Useless Information Pile: the working title for the series was Lawman.
Those are all of the top Blu-Ray releases for this week ( unless you count those of the more ‘adult’ variety but we’re not that kind of site), however in the interest of keeping you entertained, below I’ve listed some of the sweetest online Blu-Ray deals this week. Please note that 1) prices are subject to change and 2) no, I do not work for Amazon.
Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Bonnie Wright, and Alan Rickman.
Own the complete Harry Potter movie collection faster than you can say ‘expelliarmus‘. This British-American film series, based on the popular Harry Potter novels by British author J.K. Rowling, is the highest-grossing film series of all-time with an estimated $7.7 billion in worldwide receipts.
Plot: Includes Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. *Gasp*
My Thoughts: I loved the books and I thoroughly enjoyed the films. They’re exciting, filled with adventure, and just simply entertaining. If you’re a fan, or even someone with only a passing familiarity with the series, I highly recommend that you make this a part of your Blu-Ray collection.
Downton Abbey: Seasons 1 & 2
Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, and Joanne Froggatt.
A British-American period drama television series that has received critical acclaim and won a number of awards, including a Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film and a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries.
Plot: Downton Abbey tells the story of a complicated community. The house has been home to the Crawley family for many generations, but it is also where their servants live, plan, and dream, and they are as fiercely jealous of their rank as anyone. Some of them are loyal to the family and committed to Downton as a way of life, others are moving through, on the look-out for betterment, love, or adventure.
My Thoughts: Downton Abbey’s not my type of show, but I love it. It’s a show that draws the viewer into the narrative and the acting is superb. There’s an obvious consideration given to detail; the sets and costumes alone are worth giving this show a watch. If you like smart and good quality television, then you owe it to yourself to pick this set up.
Person of Interest: The Complete First Season
Starring: Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Kevin Chapman, and Taraji P. Henson.
An American television crime drama currently broadcasting on CBS. The show is based on a screenplay developed by Lost co-creator J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan, brother to famed film director Christopher Nolan, co-writer of The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
Plot: An ex-CIA hitman (Caviezel) and a scientist (Emerson) team up to prevent crimes before they happen.
My Thoughts: One of my favorite shows on television right now. I actually stopped watching it for awhile during its first season until my girlfriend politely said I was crazy (she may be right) and now I look forward to seeing it every week. It’s great storytelling and really keeps your attention. I recommend it for everyone… except maybe those who don’t like entertainment.
The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series
Starring: Rod Serling, Art Carney, Burgess Meredith, Cliff Robertson, and Dennis Weaver.
A popular American television anthology series that aired from 1959 to 1964, The Twilight Zone traversed many genres including drama, thriller, fantasy, science fiction, and suspense. It’s also responsible for introducing many of its viewers to serious science fiction concepts that have since become real scientific theory (parallel dimensions, etc.).
Plot: It’s impossible for me to summarize all 156 episodes for you, but many of them deal with the paranormal, the futuristic, or the unusual. They are all original, thought-provoking pieces of work, and the series truly is groundbreaking.
My Thoughts: I’m a huge fan of the show and it’s a great Blu-Ray set to add to any science fiction nut’s collection. Although the price tag is pretty hefty, I hear the quality is fantastic. It’s on my list to own and if you have an ounce of geek-pride in you, it’ll be on yours too.
That’s all for now, but we’ll be back next week with more Blu-Ray picks. For those of you who are lucky enough to still be on holiday vacation: where do you work and are you hiring? For those of you who, like me, are already back to work: get to work.
I’m just kidding. Here at WGTC, we fully support your decision to surf our site during business hours.
Are you a fan of any of this week’s releases? Let us know in the comments below.