Blu-ray Buyer’s Guide: May 15

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After a triumphant run at the box office, the King of Wakanda finally makes his solo Blu-ray appearance. In addition, a nostalgic cult classic gets the hi-def treatment.

Here are my picks for May 15, 2018.

117437_frontBlack Panther (2018)
Marvel Studios
Written by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole
Based on characters appearing in Marvel Comics
Directed by Ryan Coogler

Black Panther is definitely one of Marvel’s better films. It’s enjoyable and engaging. Director Ryan Coogler is quickly becoming one of my favorite modern filmmakers. Like Creed, Black Panther is a film with a lot of substance and heart. I found myself immediately sucked into the story, which is a very high compliment.

The cast is superb, with each character a well-rounded person. Chadwick Boseman as the titular character was just as kingly and stoic as he was in Captain America: Civil War. Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger is one of Marvel’s most interesting villains.

The story was the most compelling part of the film. Writers Coogler and Joe Robert Cole brilliantly crafted a narrative that comments on the black experience in the modern world – specifically in America – but not in the way most SJWs and radical black activists think. In the personage of its protagonist and antagonist, the film gives a stark contrast in worldview: one of forgiveness and grace, the other filled with vengeance, resentment, and hatred. It’s one of the most honest looks at the race situation, and I applaud the filmmakers for bringing it to light this way.

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Best Buy: SteelBook

Disney Store: Exclusive lithograph set

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Target: 43-page gallery book

My Pick: I’m going with the regular edition this week. The exclusive versions don’t really have any added material that’s worthy of purchase. I was considering the Disney Store lithographs since the film itself was gorgeous. But when my wife and I went to our local store, we found that the quality of the lithos left a lot to be desired. They looked like literal screen grabs, and low-quality screen grabs at that.

This is the first Marvel Blu-ray in a while to not include a DVD copy in the package. It’s a little disappointing, but perhaps it’s a sign of the times. Physical media is slowly going the way of the dodo, much to my chagrin. And I always thought the inclusion of a DVD copy was a sort-of “training wheels” method for retailers to warm consumers to Blu-ray. But I still liked its inclusion.

Other Notable Releases

30506_frontThe Wizard (1989)
Universal Pictures
Written by David Chisholm
Directed by Todd Holland

When I saw this film on the docket for Blu-ray release, I definitely got the nostalgia bug. Growing up, I was very much into video games, specifically Nintendo games, and this film exemplified my enthusiasm. It even gave me my very first glimpse of Super Mario Bros. 3, which made me want to play the game even more.

The story revolves around a pair of brothers, the younger of which is a gifted video game player. They run away from home and travel to California to participate in a video game competition at Universal Studios Hollywood. It was a fun but heavy movie from what I remember, dealing with concepts like death and grief. Granted that I haven’t seen The Wizard in probably 20 years so the nostalgic glasses may be covering up what might be a bad movie.

What kept it interesting for me as a kid was the video game stuff, as well as the climactic chase through Universal Studios. For a young theme park geek as well as video game nut, it was heaven. It will be nice to see it again at the very least.

Happy Watching!

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