If you haven’t guessed by now, I love movies. I love the stories, the characters, learning what makes great movies great. And my primary goal with this blog has always been to explore the themes and tropes we all know and how they relate to the ultimate truth of God and His story.
There are some movies I like to revisit over and over for various reasons. So I have purchased quite a few films over the years (I thank God every day that I have a wife that understands this side of my personality…or at least tolerates it). For some guys it’s cars or sports. For me, it’s movies.
And I love discs. Like, physical movie discs. Especially Blu-ray. Don’t get me wrong – streaming is cool and I’m a faithful subscriber to both Hulu and Netflix. In fact, streaming is quite useful for watching movies for which I wouldn’t have paid full price to see in a theater (and avoid some stinkers in the process). But for those movies I choose to own, I still prefer a physical Blu-ray disc – something I know will always be there whenever I want to pop it in and watch it.
Still on the fence about 4K Blu-ray, though. Not sure if it’s worth the upgrade.
The sad truth is that there is a steady decline in Blu-ray sales thanks to streaming, and it looks more and more like digital is where the industry is going (save for 4K). However, call me a curmudgeon, but I’m going to hold on to my discs as long as I can. It’s movie-watching freedom. Besides, I get the digital copy with disc most of the time anyway, so why wouldn’t I want a Blu-ray, too?
What’s awesome about buying discs these days is that retailers have created tangible incentives to get people to come and buy the Blu-ray instead of pure digital. And for the most part, each retailer has its own exclusive items. These items can be anything from extra bonus footage to a t-shirt.
It might be difficult to pick out which retailer package is the best purchase. That’s why I have created the Blu-ray Buyer’s Guide – letting you know about which versions of select new release Blu-rays are worth buying, and giving you info on options. I will also highlight any new editions of movies I think are worth getting – exclusive bonuses or not.
Here are my pics for June 7, 2016.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Written by Chuck Hogan
Based on the book by Mitchell Zuckoff
Directed by Michael Bay
This is Michael Bay’s best movie ever, period. Now to some, that may not sound like a big hurdle to jump, but 13 Hours is leaps and bounds above anything the usually frivolous Bay has ever done. It’s exciting, tense, and true to life with memorable characters. Both a great war film and a tale of survival.
Target: Includes the actual book upon which the film was based by Mitchell Zuckoff.
Best Buy: SteelBook cover.
Walmart: Includes a camouflage t-shirt.
My Pick: Given that there are no exclusive bonus features (my go-to incentive), I’m going to go with the Target package. SteelBook isn’t that important to me, and I will probably never wear the shirt. It will be interesting to read the book and compare it to the film. Almost wish more films adapted from books would do this.
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Written by Jared Bush and Phil Johnston
Based on a story by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush,
Josie Trinidad, Jim Reardon, Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee
Directed by Byron Howard and Rich Moore
I really liked this movie. It’s definitely one of Disney’s best animated films in recent years (though I still thought Big Hero 6 was better). The gags and physical humor are great. And there was also a lot of social commentary going on in the subtext. For a more in-depth review of the film, click here for my review.
Like most Disney releases, Zootopia comes in both 2D and 3D versions. I personally don’t care for 3D. It isn’t necessary and provides very little to the filmgoing experience for me.
Target: Exclusive packaging and bonus content (digital) – 15 minutes to be exact. You’ll need a Disney Movies Anywhere account to redeem it (which I highly recommend).
Disney Store: Includes set of four lithographs with pre-order (by June 6), as well as a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $40 or more. No difference in the actual edition of the movie from any other retailer.
My Pick: Target wins again this time. No other big retailers had any bonuses with their editions, and while the Disney Store lithos may be cool, I still prefer bonus features over anything else. I don’t usually like digital-only bonus content (as I said, I prefer discs for everything), but I’ll take what I can get.
That does it for this very first Blu-ray Buyer’s Guide! Feel free to let me know what your picks are, or if you have any new releases you specifically want me to cover.
Until next time!