Tag: Watchmen Blu-ray

Blu Tuesday: Up, Monsters Inc., and Watchmen

It’s been awhile since my last proper Blu-ray column (a little longer than I’d like to admit, in fact), but it’s been really busy around here at the Bullz-Eye office, and when it comes to priorities, well, Blu Tuesday ranks pretty low on the list. Still, with the holiday season just around the corner, the studios are beginning to make an early push with plenty of great new Blu-ray titles that simply can’t be ignored any longer.

“Up” (Walt Disney)

Many people will tell you that “Up” is one of the best films of the year, but I’m not one of those people. In fact, though I did like Pixar’s latest film about a cantankerous old widower named Harry Caray – er, I mean, Carl – who goes on an adventure through the jungles of South America, it just barely cracks my Top 5 favorite films from the Disney-owned animation studio. Still, there’s plenty to love about the four-disc Blu-ray release, including three copies of the movie, the “Partly Cloudy” short that ran in front of the film, and an all-new short that details what Dug the dog was up to before meeting Carl and Russell. There are also some cool production featurettes on things like character design and the different endings devised for Muntz, as well as an alternate version of the opening montage, but the best of the bunch is a documentary about the Pixar crew’s trip to Venezuela and how it inspired the look and feel of the film.

“Monsters, Inc.” (Walt Disney)

“Monsters, Inc.” was probably the best film that Pixar had put out at the time, and though it might not seem quite as good when compared to more recent films like “Ratatouille” and “WALL*E,” it’s just as charming as you remember it. Even though its story is pretty straightforward (based on the original treatment included on the Blu-ray, it’s amazing they were even able to stretch it into a full-length feature), the movie shows hints of the raw emotion that director Pete Docter would later inject into his sophomore effort, “Up.” Because the original DVD release was already jam-packed with bonus material, however, the new Blu-ray edition is more about owning the film in high definition than the extras that come with it. As you can probably imagine, “Monsters, Inc.” looks incredible in 1080p, and even with the changes in technology, you could still hold it up to any Pixar film released in the last three years. The few new special features that have been included also serve as a nice complement – particularly a filmmakers’ roundtable that looks back at the making of the film and a sneak peek at the “Monsters, Inc.” attraction at Tokyo Disneyland.

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Blu Tuesday: Watchmen, Coraline and 300

Due to the lack of options that Blu-ray enthusiasts were presented with over the last few weeks, it’s been a while since I’ve written a proper column. Though I had originally planned to combine two weeks’ worth of HD titles into one write-up, I ultimately decided against it because, well, even that selection wasn’t very inspiring. It’s a different story today, however, with three must-buy titles and several more worth checking out.

“Watchmen” (Warner Bros.)

The Blu-ray release of “Watchmen” has been the subject of attention since before the movie even arrived in theaters, but that’s what happens when you adapt something as popular as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ groundbreaking graphic novel. The good news is that after all the legal issues with 20th Century Fox and the film’s less-than-stellar box office performance, Warner Bros. has still come through with one of the coolest Blu-rays of the year. Not only does it feature a director’s cut with over 20 minutes of additional footage, but the three-disc set also introduces the much-publicized Maximum Movie Mode, which is kind of like Universal’s U-Control feature on steroids. Quite simply, this is the future of Blu-ray, with Zack Snyder hosting an in-depth look at key sequences (often pausing the movie to discuss certain details), while other extras — like a timeline comparing historical events from Our World to Their World, picture-in-picture interviews with the cast and crew, and storyboards and comic book comparisons — supplement the experience. Also included are a series of video diaries that you can hop over to while watching the film, as well as a second disc packed with featurettes on the graphic novel, the psychology of vigilantes, and the science of “Watchmen.” If there’s one release that should help convince consumers why Blu-ray is better than DVD, this is it.

“Coraline” (Universal)

“The Nightmare Before Christmas” might have the bigger fanbase, but Henry Selick’s latest stop-motion adventure, “Coraline,” is by far the better of the two films. Then again, when you consider that the source material was written by Neil Gaiman, it isn’t at all surprising that the movie would turn out as good as it did. Though it’s debatable whether or not “Coraline” will scare the younger crowds, the film is unequivocally a must-see for any fan of Selick’s past work. The Blu-ray release makes the experience even better, too, with the option to watch the film in 2-D or 3-D (glasses included), as well as a host of awesome extras ranging from a director commentary to an in-depth making-of featurette that might as well have been called Stop-Motion 101. The two-disc set also includes Universal’s standard U-Control feature with a picture-in-picture video track filled with behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and the ability to watch the full-length animatic alongside the movie. Were it not for the fact that Warner Bros. was releasing “Watchmen” on the same day, this easily would have been the best release of the week, and possibly the month.

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