It’s a big week on Blu-ray Buyer’s Guide. One of my favorite films of the year is finally coming home! There are also a couple of 30th anniversary releases that I’m particularly excited about (and make me feel slightly old).
Here are my picks for September 13, 2016.
Captain America: Civil War
Written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Based on characters appearing in Marvel Comics
Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo
The Marvel Cinematic Universe becomes more complicated and more interesting with each filmic entry. Captain America: Civil War blows everything away story-wise, much in the same way as the second Cap film, The Winter Soldier. Now we just have to wait and see what happens next, but I’m definitely on board. And, hey, Spider-Man is in the MCU now!
Anthony and Joe Russo, the directors of Winter Soldier, return with an exciting follow-up full of action, wonderful performances and interesting ideas. It’s a superhero movie that is big on ethics, the pros/cons of government oversight, and revenge. I’m firmly on Cap’s side, by the way.
For a more in-depth look at this great film, check out my review.
Best Buy: Steelbook edition (Blu-ray 3D only).
Target: Exclusive digital bonus content and a one-month free trial of Marvel Unlimited.
Disney Store: Exclusive lithograph collection and $10 off a purchase of $40 or more (pre-order only by September 12).
My Pick: Additional content always wins with me, so Target is the way to go. Plus, I’ve been meaning to give Marvel Unlimited a try, so there’s another bonus. I do like Steelbooks, but the content is too good to pass up.
What bums me out about the more recent Marvel releases is that the digital copy is only included with the Blu-ray 3D edition and there’s no DVD copy. I can kind of understand the dropping of the DVD (the format is waning anyway), but the digital copy thing is a blatant cash-grab.
The Transformers: The Movie
De Laurentiis / Hasbro / Sunbow / Marvel
Written by Ron Friedman
Based on the Transformers toy line by Hasbro
Directed by Nelson Shin
Has it really been 30 years since the Transformers first graced the silver screen? Before Michael Bay amped up the action in his take on the franchise (which has it’s moments of awesomeness), the people at Hasbro took their hit animated television show to the big screen. It’s an exciting adventure, with far-reaching ramifications to the series.
Bless the folks at Shout! Factory for being willing to bring out niche titles like this, as well as lesser known titles, that would not have otherwise received a stellar Blu-ray treatment. This edition of The Transformers: The Movie came from a pristine 4K transfer, so this is the best you’re going to get!
Deluxe Edition: Limited edition Steelbook.
My Pick: Since there’s no difference in the content of the discs, Steelbook is the way to go for this one.
Other Notable Releases
Aliens (30th Anniversary Edition)
20th Century Fox
Written by James Cameron
Based on a story by Cameron, David Giler and Walter Hill, and characters created by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett
Directed by James Cameron
Aliens is, far and away, the best film in the Alien franchise. It’s exciting, suspenseful and filled with writer/director James Cameron’s trademark cinematic spectacle. While the first Alien was more of a horror film, Aliens is an action movie – and the franchise is better for it. The final battle between Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver in her signature role) and the Alien Queen is one of the most impressive pieces of cinema ever shot. Making it more impressive is the fact that it was all done practically!
20th Century Fox is celebrating the 30th anniversary of Aliens with a new deluxe edition, which includes a making-of booklet and art cards.I’m still mulling over whether I want to purchase this one. As far as I can tell, it appears that the disc is pretty much the same transfer as previous releases, which is fine if you don’t already own Aliens on Blu-ray. The art and booklet are neat, but not really necessary.
What stinks the most is that there appears to be only one new bonus feature. I actually still have my deluxe DVD edition (released with the first edition of the Alien Quadrilogy a few years back) because it was chock-full of bonus material and Fox hasn’t even bothered to port most of that stuff over to Blu-ray. Still, the lower price point and the inclusion of a digital copy might put me over the top. I’ll have to look at it when it’s actually released.
That’s it for this edition of Blu-ray Buyer’s Guide. Have a blessed day!