We Got This Covered’s Blu-Ray Picks For Dec. 16 – Dec. 29

After a short absence (for medical reasons and not court-ordered community service), we’re back just in time for your last minute holiday shopping needs. Unsurprisingly, The Dark Knight Rises and The Dark Knight Trilogy are still at the top of the Blu-Ray sales charts. If, for some mind-blowing reason that I can’t even begin to fathom, you’re undecided about adding the former to your Blu-Ray collection, you can check out our The Dark Knight Rises Blu-Ray review.

This week, the Total Recall remake gets a home release, Resident Evil: Retribution brings hordes of zombies home for the holidays, and relive the glory days of the 90s with the first live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film.

Ready for this week’s top releases? Then cowabunga!

Total Recall

Release Date: December 18th, 2012

Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, and Bill Nighy.

Director: Len Wiseman

A remake of the 1990 dystopian science fiction action film that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, which in turn was loosely based on the 1966 short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick.

Plot: A factory worker, Douglas Quaid (Farrell), begins to suspect that he is a spy after a visit to Rekall – a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led – goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.

My Thoughts: I was a fan of the original film, but the remake didn’t meet my expectations. It’s a decent science fiction actioner though, so be sure to give this a watch if you like the genre. For the fans of the original film: the three-breasted woman makes an appearance so you can all sigh in relief. For those of you who have never seen either film: please see one of them so that you won’t think that I’m some kind of sexual degenerate.

Check out our review of Total Recall over in our movie reviews section and read our exclusive interviews with Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, and director Len Wiseman on the film.

Trouble With The Curve

Release Date: December 18th, 2012

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard, and Robert Patrick.

Director: Robert Lorenz

This sports-drama film is Clint Eastwood’s first acting project since 2008’s Gran Torino and received mixed reviews from viewers and critics alike.

Plot: An ailing baseball scout in his twilight years (Eastwood) takes his daughter (Adams) along for one last recruiting trip.  

My Thoughts: I haven’t seen this film, but it’s on my ever-growing list. I’m not a baseball fan, although I loved Moneyball, but if you are, or have one on your holiday shopping list, then give this a once-over. For your Useless Information pile: the film is Clint Eastwood’s first acting role in a film that he did not direct since 1993’s In the Line of Fire.

Read our review of Trouble With The Curve over in our movie reviews section.

Resident Evil: Retribution

Release Date: December 21st, 2012

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Li Bingbing, and Kevin Durand.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

The incredibly sexy Milla Jovovich returns as Alice, the world’s foremost zombie slayer, for the fifth entry in the Resident Evil film franchise.

Plot: When she’s captured by the evil Umbrella Corporation, Alice (Jovovich) wakes up in the heart of one of their operation facilities and must find a way to escape. As she navigates deeper through the complex, her past is revealed, taking her on an international mission that spans Tokyo, New York, and Moscow. However, when she finally uncovers the truth behind the outbreak, Alice must re-think everything that led her to this moment.

My Thoughts: I’m a fan of the series, so I may be biased, but I liked it. There are many people out there who can’t believe that the original film has spawned four sequels, but that’s what happens when you have a product and consumers demand more (Paranormal Activity anyone?). Be advised: this film is chock-full of zombie awesomeness, poor acting, and borders on a B-movie classification. If that’s what you’re looking for then this is a must. If you haven’t seen any of the Resident Evil films but have always had an interest, then read on for our rundown of The Resident Evil Collection.

Check out our Resident Evil: Retribution review.

Premium Rush

Release Date: December 21st, 2012

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon, and Dania Ramirez.

Director: David Koepp

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who’s quickly making a name for himself in the action genre, stars in this film that received positive reviews from critics but failed to draw an audience at the box office.

Plot: In Manhattan, a bike messenger (Gordon-Levitt) picks up an envelope that attracts the interest of a dirty cop (Shannon), who pursues the cyclist throughout the city.

My Thoughts: Although I’m a big fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon, I still haven’t seen this film. Mostly because I’ve ridden a bike twice in the past fifteen years and both times ended in disaster. If you’re looking for a chase film with an original concept then this may be worth a watch.

Read our review of Premium Rush and check out our interview with Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the film.

Killer Joe

Release Date: December 21st, 2012

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon, and Thomas Haden Church.

Director: William Friedkin

A southern gothic dark comedy that received favorable reviews from critics, but was only released in 75 theaters nationwide and has so far failed to cover its estimated $10 million budget.

Plot: When a debit puts a young man’s life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.

My Thoughts: Also another film that I have yet to see, but I’m often surprised by McConaughey’s ability to channel different characters so I’ll be giving this a watch over the holidays. Be warned that the film is not for the faint of heart and has an NC-17 rating in the United States due to ‘graphic disturbing content involving violence and sexuality, and a scene of brutality’. Director William Friedkin refuses to censor the film, but word is that several versions (including an edited R-rated version) will also be released.

Check out our review of Killer Joe over in our Movie Reviews section.

The Words

Release Date: December 24th, 2012

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, and Ben Barnes.

Directors: Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal

Bradley Cooper headlines this literary thriller that was generally panned by critics, but was praised by some viewers for its complex narrative.

Plot: Aspiring writer Rory Jansen (Cooper) finds another man’s haunting memories in a collection of lost stories and claims them as his own, propelling him to literary stardom.

My Thoughts: The only reason I watched this film was because it was filmed in my home city of Montreal, Quebec (apparently because it could pass as both Paris and New York) and though I found some aspects of the plot intriguing, I felt no love for the characters. If the plot summary interests you then you may want to give it a watch.

Check out our review of The Words over in our Movie Reviews section.

Mass Effect: Paragon Lost

Release Date: December 28th, 2012

Starring: Freddie Prinze Jr., Eric Vale, Vic Mignogna, and Laura Bailey.

Director: Atsushi Takeuchi

This animated feature film produced by BioWare and FUNimation is a must-watch for any fan of the Mass Effect game series.

Plot: Follow the early career of Alliance Marine, James Vega, who leads an elite Special Forces squad into battle against a mysterious alien threat known as The Collectors. Stationed on a colony in a remote star system, Vega and his soldiers must protect the civilians from a ruthless invasion determined to capture the population for unknown purposes. Learn more about the Mass Effect universe with an unprecedented glimpse into the haunted past of one of Mass Effect‘s newest heroes.

My Thoughts: I’ve only played the first Mass Effect game in the series, but even so I enjoyed this film. It follows a minor character from the third installment of the gaming franchise  and so it’s not necessary to have played the games to follow what’s going on. The animation is mediocre but the story is pretty compelling. If you have a Mass Effect player in your household, then definitely pick this up.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Release Date: December 18th, 2012

Starring: Elias Koteas, Corey Feldman, Josh Pais, Kevin Clash, and Joe D’Onofrio.

Director: Steve Barron

Once available only as part of a collector’s set, this film (including its three sequels) is now hitting store shelves as a solo title. It deserves special consideration for being the iconic childhood film for almost everyone born in the 1980s.

Plot: A quartet of humanoid turtles trained by their mentor in ninjitsu must learn to pull together in order to face the menace of Shredder and the Foot Clan.

My Thoughts: I’m in love with this film. It will always have a special place in my heart for being the first movie that I couldn’t wait to see. Unsurprisingly, reviewers had mixed reactions to it but it made one hell of a showing at the box office. I strongly urge you to buy this Blu-Ray, not only because it’s readily available online for around $10, but also because you will go through an emotional roller coaster of nostalgia while watching it. Be sure to keep an eye out for actor Sam Rockwell who plays ‘Head Thug’ in the film.

The Resident Evil Collection

Release Date: December 21st, 2012

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Sienna Guillory, Oded Fehr, Ali Larter, and Mike Epps.

Director: Various

Own all five movies of the Resident Evil film series: Resident Evil, Resident Evil: Apocalypse, Resident Evil: Extinction, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and Resident Evil: Retribution.

Plot: I don’t have as much space as I need, so I’ll break the films down for you as succinctly as possible: zombies, guns, action, sexy women, poor dialogue, fun to watch.

My Thoughts: This collection is a must for any lover of the zombie genre. While none of the films will ever be classed as masterpieces, they deliver hours of entertainment and boatloads of explosions. The Resident Evil film series is probably my biggest cinematic guilty pleasure and I encourage  everyone to watch at least the first film. This collection would also make a great gift for the aspiring zombie-slayer in your life (hint hint).

Mankind: The Story Of All Of Us

Release Date: December 18th, 2012

Starring: Various

Director: Various

A twelve-episode American documentary television series from the makers of America: The Story of Us.

Plot: Mankind embraces a groundbreaking way of telling this epic human story. Drawing on a growing global interest in a revelatory field of history, now adopted by universities across the globe. ‘Big history’ focuses on the forces of nature to show how mankind’s path is guided by events that stretch back, not hundreds, but thousands, even millions of years. How the power of science, from geology and astronomy, to physics and biology, combined to shape our shared human journey. Revealing astounding global connections, and an astonishing interconnected story. This is history without limits. Free from boundaries and politics. Our story, like it’s never been told before

My Thoughts: I’ve only seen several episodes so far since the final two episodes in the series airs this week, but it’s a fine piece of work. It features plenty of computer-animated landscapes and simulated battles to make it difficult for the viewer to lose interest (or fall asleep). While it’s been criticized for being too dramatic with sound effects that border on the obnoxious, overall it’s been well-received and I look forward to finishing the series.

Futurama: Volume 7

Release Date: December 18th, 2012

Starring: Billy West, Katey Sagal, Phil LaMarr, and John DiMaggio.

Director: Various

An american animated science fiction sitcom from the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, this box set contains the first thirteen episodes of the show’s seventh season.

Plot: Join Fry, Bender, Leela and the rest of the gang for 13 hilarious new episodes that tackle some of the most controversial subjects in the galaxy…including evolution, mind exchange, feline intelligence and robosexual marriage.

My Thoughts: While I’ve never watched the series religiously, I have seen quite a few episodes over the past several years, and I enjoy it tremendously. It’s snappy, outrageous, and as a self-proclaimed geek I think it does a great job of tickling the funny bone of the geek in all of us. Definitely give this a watch if you’re the type who loves comedic animated fare, or pick it up for the funny geek in your life.

Steins;Gate: Part 2

Release Date: December 18th, 2012

Starring: J. Michael Tatum, Trina Nishimura, Brina Palencia, and Cherami Leigh.

Director: Various

The second (and final) part of the critically acclaimed anime series based on the popular Japanese visual novel of the same name . It’s been hailed as one of the best science-fiction thrillers in recent anime history and features a well-researched time travel concept.

Plot: A self-proclaimed mad scientist named Rintarō Okabe, along with his friends, manage to invent a microwave that can send text messages into the past, allowing him to travel between alternate worlds.

My Thoughts: One of the best anime series I have ever seen. It’s beautifully intricate, explores the concept of time travel to its fullest, and features a group of characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. Not only would I recommend it for any anime fan, but any science-fiction fan with an open mind. The entire series, including the previously released part one, totals twenty-four episodes.

That’s all for now, but we’ll be back after the holidays to help ring in 2013 with more Blu-Ray picks. We wish you all a heartfelt ‘Happy Holidays’ from all of us here at WGTC and remember: there’s nothing wrong with stuffing yourself with holiday treats now since you can always make it your New Year’s resolution to lose the weight later.

Are you a fan of any of this week’s releases? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author