Blu-ray disc news, reviews, opinions and deals. Everything that's fit to print about the world's favourite HD format!

Top 10 New Blu-ray Discs for Halloween 2009

Top 10 New Blu-ray Discs for Halloween 2009

We’re only a week away from my favourite holiday of the year and I’m gearing up for my annual cinematic Fright-Fest – a week of non-stop horror films! This year, the studios have been kind enough to deliver a lot of great titles that fit right in with that Halloween vibe and will make for perfect viewing, leading up to October 31st. Here’s a rundown of what I’ve got on deck and what I’ve recently checked out, all newly released to Blu-ray!

10. HARDWARE

Hardware Blu-ray DiscSeverin is quickly becoming the Criterion Collection of B-Movies, giving a lot of them more TLC than they might deserve. And no film in their library is more debatable than Richard Stanley‘s Hardware. Love it or hate it, Stanley delivers a film with enough impact that its cult status has become undeniable. However you might end up feeling about this post-apocalyptic, cyborg stalker thriller, there’s no denying that Severin has delivered one hell of a Blu-ray disc!

9. WOLF

Wolf Blu-ray DiscJack Nicholson as a werewolf? Hell yeah! It’s a can’t miss concept. But you know what? They kind-of end up missing. All right, Wolf is actually pretty great until the final act. It’s a Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Closer) film, so you know there’s something to like there. A lot of drama. Some great character stuff between Nicholson, Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader, Christopher Plummer and a host of some of the finest actors you’re likely to see in a horror-comedy-drama.

8. MONSTERS VS. ALIENS

Monsters vs. Aliens Blu-ray DiscMonsters! Aliens! Versus! This animated film from Dreamworks/Paramount has got it all! All right, this isn’t really a very Halloween-y kind of movie but it’s a lot of fun, looks fantastic on Blu-ray and is probably the only one suitable for the whole family. What happens when the Earth suffers an invasion by aliens who can repel every attack we throw at them? We call upon Earth’s last defense – MONSTERS!

7. THE CRAFT

The Craft Blu-ray DiscHow have I managed to live to this old age without seeing 90s young-witch film, The Craft?! Well, all of that changed this week when I finally got a chance to sit down with Sony‘s new Blu-ray disc release of the film. And you know what? It might be a bit dated but it’s not a bad film! And the disc itself is a winner, sporting a nice, new, detailed transfer and a full port of all the DVDs special features.

6. NIGHT OF THE CREEPS

Night of the Creeps Blu-ray discThe Night of the Creeps Blu-ray disc just showed up at my door this morning and I seriously can’t wait to dive into it! This is a film that’s been almost impossible to see on home video for ages but has now been revived in a glorious, feature packed Blu-ray disc. Creeps packs every Sci-fi and Horror convention it can think of into its brief 90 minute runtime and would lead director Fred Dekker to follow with his cult-hit film, Monster Squad (coming to Blu-ray in November.)

5. MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Blu-ray DiscOkay, I get how most people hate this film. But come on, it’s seriously the best, most book-accurate version of Frankenstein put to film in recent times. Kenneth Branagh directs and stars with Robert DeNiro filling Boris Karloff‘s iconic boots as the monster. The Blu-ray disc looks as fine and as detailed as it most likely ever will on home video. I really wish there was a commentary track or making-of doc to round out the package, though.

4. DEAD SNOW

Dead Snow Blu-ray DiscThe mighty Stone gave the Dead Snow Blu-ray disc a look for us this week and, despite his dislike for zombies of the speedy variety, found this tale of Nazi-Zombies in the Norwegian wilderness to be a pretty good time. Me? I haven’t had a chance to put it on yet but I’m really excited to dig into it. Sadly, for fans outside of Canada and the UK, this film has yet to see release on Blu-ray. Import a copy from Amazon.ca for only $26.99.

3. DRAG ME TO HELL

Drag Me To Hell Blu-ray DiscOh boy! I got a press pass to see this in the theatres and I had such a great time I almost offered to pay for the ticket on the way out! Drag Me To Hell is such a ridiculously fun, gross film and such a perfect return to horror-genre form for director Sam Raimi. I haven’t seen the Blu-ray yet but if it can approximate the theatrical experience in any way, I’m sure it will bowl me over a second time. I wonder what the “Unrated” footage will be…

2. AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON

An American Werewolf in London Blu-ray What can I possibly say about An American Werewolf in London? Outside of the 1942 Wolfman film starring Lon Chaney Jr., this is probably the most famous, most fantastic werewolf film ever made! John Landis successfully combined horror with comedy and some groundbreaking visual and make-up effects by Rick Baker to create a whole new kind of experience. The Blu-ray looks great and contains an amazing fan-made documentary that needs to be seen to be believed.

1. TRICK ‘R TREAT

Trick 'r Treat Blu-rayI’m shocked. I had no expectation of this film whatsoever. And it blew me away! Mark my words, it’s only a matter of time before Trick ‘r Treat becomes the Christmas Story of Halloween – the cult film that scare-fans watch annually to celebrate the season. This film has got it all – great script, great frights and a top notch cast. And the Blu-ray does it justice with a fantastic transfer, great sound and a wonderful commentary track by writer and first-time director, Michael Dougherty (X-Men 2, Superman Returns).

Also available, but kind-of more of a ninja flik than horror film – Blood: The Last Vampire

Read More
Monsters vs. Aliens Blu-ray Details and Package Art

Monsters vs. Aliens Blu-ray Details and Package Art

So much stuff to get to today! I’m gonna keep my blethering short and sweet in an effort to get as much news out to you as possible.

And top of the list today, is some animation news. Paramount and Dreamworks have previously announced the release date of Monsters vs. Aliens but now they’ve given us the full details for the Blu-ray disc. The really interesting thing about this release is the lack of 3-D on the feature.

Much has been made of the theatrical 3-D experience lately, with almost every new animated feature turning up in the format on the big screen. In the cinema, we get to experience the film through polarized lenses, colours staying true and image fidelity relatively uncompromised. The best we can do at home at the moment is the old school, blue/green lens anaglyph 3-D format, which changes colours and generally looks a bit shifty on screen at the best of times. While Monsters vs. Aliens was released in 3-D in the theatres, Paramount/Dreamworks have decided to hold off downgrading the film’s image for the Blu-ray release. Instead, issuing only the 2-D version, and keeping the 3-D version on the drawing board, ready to rerelease when the Blu-ray consortium has ratified and standardized a method to bring the experience home.

For those a little peeved that they’re missing out on an opportunity to wear their anaglyph glasses, the studios offer up a little taste of 3-D in the new short film, B.O.B.’s Big Break.

(September 29, 2009)
Video: 1080p AVC
Audio: 5.1 Dolby TrueHD

Special Features:

• B.O.B.’S BIG BREAK in Monster 3D & 2D
• Paddle Ball Game in Monster 3D
• Modern Monster Movie Making
• Three Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes

    ◦ Monger’s Plan
    ◦ War Room Turns on Monsters
    ◦ If You Don’t Know

• DWA Music Video Juke Box
• Filmmaker Commentary
• The Tech of MONSTERS VS. ALIENS
• Top Secret Sneak Peek Files

    ◦ How To Train Your Dragon (HD)
    ◦ Shrek The Musical (HD)
    ◦ Kung Fu Panda World (HD)
    ◦ The Penguins of Madagascar (HD)
    ◦ Shrek The Halls (HD)
    ◦ Secrets of the Furious Five
    ◦ MONSTERS VS. ALIENS Activision Game trailer

• Karaoke Music Party with:

    ◦ “More Than A Woman” with B.O.B.
    ◦ “Born To Be Wild” with Dr. Cockroach & Missing Link
    ◦ “I Will Survive” with Ginormica

• Exclusive Blu-ray Extras

    ◦ Animators’ Corner – Picture-In-Picture
    ◦ Trivia Track

Read More