Blu-ray Buyer’s Guide: August 22

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This week is a Marvel-palooza! First up is the multi-release, which is one of this summer’s hit films. The recommendations are season releases of two of Marvel’s hit Netflix television shows. To quote one smart-alecky raccoon, “Oh yeah!”

Here are my picks for August 22, 2017.

117431_frontGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Marvel Studios
Written by James Gunn
Based on characters appearing in Marvel Comics
Directed by James Gunn

Guardians of the Galaxy was a pleasant surprise when it was released in 2014. I had no idea what to expect, as I wasn’t all that familiar with the characters from the comics (I always thought the cosmic Marvel stuff was convoluted and weird). But it ended up being one of my favorite movies of the year.

The sequel brings us even more of the first film’s trademark humor and heart, and ties up a few of the loose ends that were left unresolved from the first film in an organic way. All of the principal actors are well-ensconced in their roles, and are having even more fun with them. Vol. 2 is not the best Marvel film, but it’s definitely entertaining. A worthy follow-up to the first film.

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Best Buy: SteelBook

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Target: Exclusive digital bonus content

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Walmart: Exclusive cover and pack of collector cards

My Pick: Target is the winner this week. More bonus content is definitely preferable to any other tangible goodie.

Other Notable Releases:

183865_frontDaredevil (Season 2)
Marvel Television / ABC Studios
Created by Drew Goddard
Based on characters appearing in Marvel Comics

The Marvel TV shows on Netflix have brought a very different side to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rather than the mostly lighthearted tales of the films, these shows go deeper and darker – into an underbelly of street-level superhero crime fighting. It’s bloody and brutal, and makes for some great drama.

The Daredevil series is the best of the bunch. It is the definitive version of the character on the screen, and any memories of the mediocre 2003 film are dashed because of it. In season two, The Man Without Fear faces two adversaries that shake his crime-fighting worldview. One is a crazed vigilante with a vengeful bloodlust. The other, an ex-lover with a penchant for embracing her darkest urges. The story gets a little bloated at times, but it is still so good – especially the introduction of The Punisher.

144589_frontJessica Jones (Season 1)
Marvel Television / ABC Studios
Created by Melissa Rosenberg
Based on characters appearing in Marvel Comics

Following up Daredevil on Netflix was a tall order for Jessica Jones. The latter’s central character is not as well-known as the former. But that didn’t matter. Jessica Jones is the second-best Marvel Netflix show, and brings an intriguing neo-noir detective story to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was a very good move to distinguish it from Daredevil.

Jessica herself, played excellently by Krysten Ritter, is a hard-drinking, super-powered private detective with a lot of psychological baggage. The show’s main story centers around her efforts to stop a powerful sociopath from her past before he hurts a lot of people. Season one has a lot of great thematic throughputs – the chief among them being the difficulty of forgiving others and oneself.

Happy Watching!

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