Subscribe To This Week In Home Entertainment: Robocop, Lone Survivor And More Updates
I've already subscribed
RoboCop Blu-rayRoboCop has a lot going for it. The PG-13 remake of a 1987 hard R classic is a visually appealing narrative with plenty of glossy action sequences. It ranks up there with Gravity and Avatar as far as its VFX goes. Add in a few nice acting performances and a fine enough script and RoboCop becomes a decently entertaining movie. The only angle that it is really missing is fun.
RoboCop is only amusing in moments. Our hero, Detroit PD officer Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnamon), is fighting corruption from the very start in director José Padilha’s vision. He’s a relentless officer but also a family man, that is, until an accident forces modern science to play its own hand: turning Alex into the first modern-day robot cop. While Alex has to adjust to the reality of his new body and lifestyle, he also looks to take down the bad guys and fight for his freedom against the company who effectively owns him, Omnicorp.
As I noted prior, it’s a fine enough plot for an action film, but this version of RoboCop takes itself so seriously, the action sequences become dark and burdensome rather than cheeky and amusing. The one exception to this is a sequence during which Murphy fights military tactics expert Rick Mattox (Jackie Earle Haley) and his robot drones. That sequence is perhaps the best the movie offers visually, as well as a ton of fun.
With additional performances from Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Abbie Cornish and Michael K. Williams, it’s pretty easy to see why MGM invested money in a reboot. Perhaps with an R-rating or a bit less of a wooden script, director José Padilha’s movie would feel a little more satisfying. As it stands, it’s another visually appealing flick that is lacking in the emotional details.
Best Special Feature: The disc doesn’t have a ton of bonus features, and the best extras are probably the deleted scenes. Those extras highlight the way the film uses social media as well as new technologies to highlight the futuristic Detroit, Michigan. Apparently, in the future, fancy see-though tablets and touch screen video monitors will be all the rage.
Other Bonus Features:
Omnicorp Product Announcement
"RoboCop: Engineered for the 21st Century"
Lone Survivor Blu-rayFrom its opening moments, Lone Survivor gets what it means to work hard and become a Navy SEAL. It gets the environment that the boys live and work in, it gets the dialogue of men living for too long with no women in their lives, it gets the characters and the camaraderie. When things start going south for the four-man team, Lone Survivor hits the right notes, too.
As its title implies, Lone Survivor is about a mission-gone-wrong in Afghanistan where things start to go haywire and only one man makes it out. The point of the story is not to find out who makes it through; Director Peter Berg makes the interesting point of letting us know Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) is the man holding the lucky ticket at the very start of the film. This bold choice is actually effective. Since Lone Survivor is based on a joint military action called Operation Red Wings, many people were already familiar with the outcome before the movie hit theaters. What makes Lone Survivor so special is Berg’s treatment of his characters, allowing us to get invested in their lives before they are ripped apart.
Those characters are played by a bunch of fine young actors. Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster all went through brief phases where they were considered to be leading men. However, they are great in supporting roles in Lone Survivor, playing Lieutenant Murphy, Danny Dietz and "Axe" Axelson, respectively. Before the fighting really sets in, Lone Survivor is really a "bro" movie about surviving under tough circumstances, and each are a good fit for the gig.
Lone Survivor isn’t a life changing movie. It won’t change a viewer’s perspective on war or politics. However, it might give audiences a greater appreciation of what the military is often tasked with doing far away from the general safety of the United States. Tough decisions have to be made and operations are sometimes botched. Lone Survivor may not be a 100% accurate portrayal of the events during Operation Red Wings, but it does get the high stakes and the emotionality right. It’s a tear inducing movie that is worth investing in.
Best Special Feature: Lone Survivor ends with a tribute to the fallen soldiers in the film, but the extras on the disc look deeper into the relationship Berg’s movie has with the real-life people the story is about. If you are already invested in Lone Survivor, "The Fallen Heroes of Operation Red Wings" is one to watch. In the segment, you hear from the parents of the fallen and the actors who spent a lot of time trying to portray the characters exactly right.
Other Bonus Features:
"Will of the Warrior"
"Bringing the Story to Light"
"Recreating the Firefight"
"Learning the Basics"
"The Pashtun Code of Life"
True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season Blu-rayTrue Blood is set to begin its seventh and final season in July, and to catch fans up, HBO Home Entertainment has put together True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season Blu-ray. Season 6 offered plenty of highs but also more than a few lows for the residents of Bon Temps and the surrounding areas, but HBO’s set comes in crisp and pretty packaging with enough extras to help smooth over the season’s faults.
Season 6 picks up right where Season 5 leaves off, following Bill’s (Stephen Moyer) transcendance into a creature of Lilith. Elsewhere in Louisiana, there’s an initiative to shut all vampire businesses down and round the fangiest of the fangers into compounds where tests can be run on them. Of course, Sookie (Anna Paquin) finds herself in the middle of the chaos, dealing with a vampire/ fairy hybrid named Warlow while all of the other anti-vampire drama plays on.
It’s been apparent for a while that True Blood peaked some time ago. We’ve gotten to know the characters mighty well, but the hectic nature of the drama means that some of the characters have changed for the sake of new plots rather than actual character development. Still, there are plenty of reasons to own Season 6. The world that Alan Ball created is still intriguing and there’s enough of a pull for viewers to want to know how certain relationships will pan out. Will Eric and Pam ever fully reconcile? Who will Sookie end up with? Is there a reason for the anti-vampire sentiment in Season 6? As usual, True Blood leaves more questions than answers in its wake, but that’s half the reason to tune in for this summer’s Season 7.
Best Special Feature: DVD and Blu-ray copies of True Blood: The Complete Sixth Season come with slightly different bonus features. Fans can’t ever go wrong with the audio commentary or HBO’s "Inside the Episode" videos; however, many viewers have probably already caught those. That said, the interactive Blu-ray extra "True Blood Lines" is a whole lot of fun and looks at the relationships of the characters across the years.
Other Bonus Features:
Inside the Episodes (10 Clips)
Audio Commentaries (5 Commentaries)
Previews & Recaps
"Vamp Camp Files"
Other June 3 ReleasesWhile this summer’s movie lineup is in full swing, the summer TV season is just getting underway. With premieres from shows like Falling Skies and Graceland happening just around the corner, networks have put together a ton of Blu-ray, DVD and Digital releases for shows that recently ended their complete runs or will be hitting the schedule soon. If you are a TV fan, there’s a little bit of something for everyone, and you can check out some of this week’s releases, below. Unless otherwise noted, sets are available on both Blu-ray and DVD.
Son of God
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series
The Glades: The Complete Fourth Season DVD
Graceland: The Complete First Season DVD
Falling Skies: The Complete Third Season
The Killing: The Complete Third Season DVD
Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Fourth Season DVD
Mirage Men DVD
The Motel Life
Workaholics: Season 4