Blu Tuesday: Star Trek, Fight Club and Rome

The Blu-rays keep on rolling this week with more great titles making their debut. It’s actually gotten to the point where I wish I had more time to write, because there’s too much stuff coming out, especially compared to the last few months. That’s the domino effect of the holidays in full swing, but just because you don’t want to break your bank on all these Blu-rays doesn’t mean you can’t add them to your Christmas wish list.

“Star Trek” (Paramount)

If you were to ask any “Star Trek” fan a few years ago if they thought there would be another movie so soon, they’d probably laugh in your face. That’s because the film franchise was practically DOA until Paramount managed to lure J.J. Abrams into directing an origin story reboot. By introducing a time-traveling villain that allowed him to explore alternate storylines without tainting “Trek” canon, Abrams was able to create a film that appealed to longtime fans and newcomers alike. To say it was a success would be a major understatement, and that carries over to the film’s Blu-ray release as well, which is jam-packed with so many special features you’d swear they were Tribbles. The three-disc set includes everything from an audio commentary and deleted scenes to a whopping ten production featurettes on just about every aspect of the moviemaking process. It’s a great bang for your buck, although Trekkies will no doubt be tempted by Amazon’s limited edition gift set, which includes a replica U.S.S. Enterprise.

“Fight Club” (20th Century Fox)

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been ten years since David Fincher’s “Fight Club” was released, but Fox has made sure that you won’t forget about it any time soon with one of the best Blu-rays of the year. That may sound like a pretty bold statement, but between the new 1080p video transfer and the hours upon hours of special features, it’s one that would be pretty hard to argue against. Not only has Fox included all of the bonus material from the previous DVD releases (including four audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and several production featurettes), but they’ve also added some new extras as well. “A Hit in the Ear” is a cool featurette that allows you to remix four different scenes with the help of sound designer Ren Klyce, while “Flogging Fight Club” offers a behind-the-scenes look at Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and David Fincher’s acceptance speech for the film’s induction into the Guy Movie Hall of Fame. The piece de resistance, however, is “Insomniac Mode: I Am Jack’s Search Index,” an interactive database that allows you to search any part of the disc from a large glossary. This is truly a game-changing addition – especially for movies with as much bonus material as this one.

“Rome: The Complete Series” (HBO)

HBO’s series about the rise of the Roman Empire may not sound very appealing to some, but it’s one of those shows that slowly grows on you the more you watch it. The series only ran for two seasons, but in that time, they managed to cram in a ton of history – from Julius Caesar’s invasion of Gaul to the beginning of Emperor Augustine’s reign – all experienced through the eyes of a pair of Roman soldiers played by Kevin McKidd and Ray Stevenson. For as great as those characters are, however, the show is truly an ensemble effort, and there’s not a weak performance in the group. It really helps make everything feel more realistic, because while most of the show is based on historical fact, there’s definitely some dramatized fiction in there as well. For those that may have been hesitant about tuning in while it was on TV, you can now experience the entire 22-episode run in a complete series box set that includes hours of bonus material like audio commentaries, production featurettes, and an interactive database highlighting the connections between the various characters.

Also Out This Week:

“Bruno” (Universal)
“The Professional” (Sony)
“Galaxy Quest” (Paramount)
“My Sister’s Keeper” (Warner Bros.)
“Gone with the Wind” (Warner Bros.)
“Kevin Smith Box Set” (Walt Disney)

  

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