Godzilla Blu-rayGodzilla has a long and storied history on the big screen, and has been responsible for some memorable movie moments along with some dull ones. Gareth Edwards’ 2014 Godzilla blockbuster is not without problems, but it mostly lands itself firmly in the former camp.
After a compelling opening sequence, we get the story. Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is a member of the US Navy and has a fancy title that basically means he’s good with explosives. Early on, he heads to Japan to get his dad, Joe (Bryan Cranston), out of trouble with the law after a trespassing charge. Instead, the two become embroiled in a mystery surrounding a giant winged creature known as the MUTO and a second creature known as Godzilla, who also happen to be natural enemies.
It’s basic, monster-oriented premise is highly entertaining, but Godzilla is not without problems. Ford’s an unlikeable hero, and the fact that he continues to be at the right place at the right times is eyeroll inducing. Additionally, screenwriter Max Borenstein did not do a great job of writing a compelling female character. To heighten the suspense, Ford has a wife who is danger, but poor Elizabeth Olsen is just wasted in the role. If you ignore the script problems, Godzilla is still a fun watch, and one that gives fans textured monsters and dark but detailed scenes on Blu-ray.
Director Gareth Edwards is great at shooting monsters. His latest movie, Godzilla, proves this over and over again, teasing one of the greatest monsters in film history before letting our eyes feast on cinematically creative battles in the third part of the film. Whatever other problems Godzilla may have, it leaves this lasting impression first and foremost, making it one of the most entertaining films of the last twelve months.
You can order Godzilla over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: The Godzilla Blu-ray disc is a little difficult to navigate, but there are a lot of bonus features that expand the film’s universe. The "MONARCH: Declassified" section is pretty cool, with three historical extras looking at early research on M.U.T.Os, or Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms. The three extras in that section are "Operation: Lucky Dragon," "MONARCH: The M.U.T.O File" and "The Godzilla Revelation," all of which are short, but entertaining.
"Godzilla: Force of Nature"
"A Whole New Level of Destruction"
"Into the Void: The H.A.L.O Jump"
"Ancient Enemy: The M.U.T.Os"
Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First SeasonSleepy Hollow is a genre bender, part dynamic cop drama, part supernatural drama, part historical fiction, and part fish out of water tale. Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season is a lot of things, but it certainly doesn’t like to be put in a box. Unless it’s a Blu-ray box, of course.
Season 1 reimagines Washington Irving’s Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) as a Revolutionary War soldier working with George Washington to take down a Headless Horseman. Crane soon finds himself in present-day Salem working with Lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) and Captain Frank Irving (Orlando Jones) to stop the Apocalypse from happening. It’s a convoluted premise, but it was written well, resulting in a tight, 13-episode first season that is unlike anything else television has to offer right now.
Despite being a network series, Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season only produced 13 episodes during its first season. Rewatching the episodes for a second time, I actually appreciate that there are no real filler eps in the series. In one of the extras, executive producer Alex Kurtzman says the staff knew where they wanted the season to end, and were able to build to that over the course of the first season. It’s easy to see why Fox was comfortable with renewing Sleepy Hollow for a second season early on in the game.
You can order Sleepy Hollow: The Complete First Season over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s set is jam-packed with extras. The bulk of these are located on disc 3 and offer a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the first season. There are two 20-minute extras that really walk fans through the entirety of the first season, giving fans plenty of fun facts along the way. These are the "Welcome To Sleepy Hollow" and "Mysteries & Mythology" extras, and they are worth a watch.
Audio Commentary on Pilot
"The Corbin Files"
"Welcome to the 21st Century, Mr. Crane"
"The Horseman’s Head"
Audio Commentary on Season Finale
Think Like a Man Too Blu-rayThink Like A Man Too had all of the makings of a successful sequel. Gabrielle Union, Romany Malco, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good, Kevin Hart, Terrence Jenkins, Regina Hall, Michael Ealy, Gary Owen and Jerry Ferrara agreed to return. The story is set in the over-the-top world of Las Vegas. The characters have great rapport and are even occasionally funny, but Think Like A Man Too is mostly a shoddily conceived and executed endeavor that doesn’t make the most of its great ensemble cast.
A small part of the problem is Kevin Hart’s narration, which continues over from the first movie. I don’t normally mind the ‘Kevin Hart Show’, but Cedric has to be one of the most frustrating characters ever put together on film. He’s loudmouthed, ignorant and the butt of way too many jokes, yet he’s the guy who gets to explain all of the conflicts between his buddies and their partners and spouses. It’s no wonder his wife left him twice.
A little less Hart would have been a godsend, but Think Like A Man Too’s biggest problem is its script, which was written by David A. Newman and Keith Merryman and features the pre-requisite drinking and stripper scenes present in every bachelor party movie since the beginning of bachelor party movies. There’s also the necessary montage of making a frumpy Wendi McLendon-Covey try on costumes until she owns the perfect sexy outfit. It’s so full of clichés it doesn’t even give itself the chance to revel in its weirdness, as happens when the ladies remake a video of the Bell Biv DeVoe hit "Poison."
Overall, Think Like A Man Too isn’t the most cohesive comedy, but it does serve its purpose, updating us on the lives of characters and giving fans of the franchise a few moments to root for. If you already have the original on the shelf, you can nab a copy of Think Like A Man Too over at Amazon.
Best Special Feature: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s set is not overly expensive, but it still comes with plenty of actually entertaining extras. There are lots of funny faces in the gag reel, and it gives us a good look at how plenty of the actors and actresses behave offscreen. The deleted scenes are fairly funny, too, and prove director Tim Story had a lot to work with from the ensemble cast. What I like most about both is that it seems like the cast had a great time making the film, even if the end result wasn’t as appealing as the camaraderie.
"Think Like a Man Too According to Kevin Hart"
"The Ultimate Sequel"
"Lights, Camera, Vegas"
"Comedy Las Vegas Style"
Spartacus: The Complete SeriesWhile Syfy has been busy re-airing episodes of Spartacus on cable since June, the series has been a bit lacking in terms of colorful language, which is why we are pleased to let you know that Spartacus: The Complete Series is hitting Blu-ray this week. The Blu-ray set's packaging looks great and should be extremely collectible, coming with new exclusive content and a pretty sick coffee table figurine.
The cost of the set is a little steep, but if you want to check it out, head over to Amazon. You can check out some more of this week’s releases, below. Unless otherwise noted, sets are available on both Blu-ray and DVD.
Hannibal: The Complete Second Season
From Dusk Till Dawn: Season 1
South Park: The Complete Seventeenth Season
Grimm: Season 3
The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Seventh Season
Arrow: The Complete Second Season
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition
Bones: The Complete Season Nine DVD
Hawaii Five-0: The Fourth Season DVD
CSI: The Fourteenth Season DVD
Petals on the Wind DVD
About A Boy: Season One DVD