The age of physical media may be going the way of the dodo bird, but there are still legitimate cases to be made for having an extensive Blu-ray collection. Streaming your films may be wonderful if your internet never gets laggy, but from my perspective having a disc handy, especially with first rate features, is absolutely necessary.
Murder on the Orient Express, ambitiously directed by Kenneth Branagh (who’s also convincing as Hercule Poirot), is an absolute visual stunner. Branagh brings his underrated cinematic scope (for examples, check out his flicks Hamlet and Thor) into Agatha Christie’s immersive world, as Poirot investigates the passengers on a train where someone was recently murdered.
Boasting an all-star cast that includes Daisy Ridley, Penelope Cruz, and Michelle Pfeiffer (delivering the film’s most standout performance!), Murder on the Orient Express is a must-have if you love watching a beautifully mounted production that’s anchored by first rate stortyelling.
Click on the media bar to hear Daisy Ridley talk about what makes Murder on the Orient Express a unique film:
Murder on the Orient Express also boasts an array of special features, but the crown jewel of the extras are its deleted scenes. The 16 minutes worth of extra footage brings a more comedic element to the proceedings, as Poirot’s obsessive grooming is played for laughs. Also included is a surreal montage sequence which Branagh cites as an homage to the Salvador Dali scene in Spellbound. Last but not least, there is an extended section at the Arasta Bazaar which introduces all the major players of the film (the final scene is much more brisk). The extras also include several featurettes (including a spotlight on Agatha Christie and the music behind the film) as well as commentary from Branagh and screenwriter Michael Green.
To celebrate the 70th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz Warner Home Video has released two special DVD sets.
Along with the actual movie of Dorothy Gale‘s knocked-out journey to the land of Oz, the visual masterpiece in the two-Disc DVD package has special feature that included: Commentary by historian John Fricke, a restoration featurette illustrated video storybook, a supporting cast profile, plus a sing-along feature.
The Ulitmate Collector’s Edition of The Wizard of Oz is four discs with a whole lot of extra goodies. A digital copy, plus The Life and Times of original Wizard of Oz author L.Frank Baum, early screen adaptations of the books, original Baum silent The Patchwork Girl of Oz, the complete The Magic Cloak of Oz, documentary profile of Director Victor Fleming (the only director of four on the originally on the production to actually get credit, which included Mervyn LeRoy, Richard Thorpe and King Vidor), the TV-movie special The Dreamer of Oz starring John Ritter, Annette O’Toole and Rue McClanahan along with the 2007 Holywood Walk of Fame salute to the Munchkins.
Monsters vs. Aliens was a monster hit for DreamWorks animation and Paramount Pictures. A metorite brains a young woman and turns her into a huge monster. She’s then whisked away to a government compound where she meets a whole group of monster who have also been rounded up over the years. Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie and Will Arnett provide some of the voices.
Special Features: Modern monster movie-making, three never-before-seen deleted scenes, DreamWorks animation video jukebox, filmmaker’s commentary, the tech of Monsters Vs. Aliens, top secret sneak peek files: The next 3D adventure from Dreamworks animation, Shrek Broadway musical debut, Po’s Kung Fu Panda virtual world.
Away We Go stars John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph as a couple expecting their first child. They begin a road trip through the U.S. in order to find the perfect place to raise their child. Along the way, they have a series of adventures searching for “Home.”
Special Features: My Scene Bookmarking, feature commentary with DirectorSam Mendes and writer’s Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, The Making of Away We Go doc, green filmmaking (making a film, while keeping our environment in mind).
TV on DVD
Life on Mars DVD contains four discs of sci-fi thriller series where a present day car accident sends a detective back to the 1970s. This is the Americanized version of the hit British TV show. The U.S. version stars Jason O’Mara, Michael Imperioli, Harvey Keitel and Gretchen Mol.
Special Features: To Mars and Back – Journey back to the 70’s to see where the show’s concept originated and discover hints to figure out where it’s headed – plus the mind-trip reality of living in the 70’s on a 2008 set, Sunrise to Sunset with Jason O’Mara – join in on O’Mara‘s exciting and exhausting Life on Mars journey, Flashback: Lee Majors goes to mars – Lee Majors and Jason O’Mara step back into the past as they tour the set, Spaced Out – bloopers from the set, deleted scenes and audio commentary.
How I Met Your Mother Season Four DVD is three discs of the hit series starring Jason Segel, Josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan.
Special Features: Commentaries, a gag reel, Barney Stinson: That Guy’s Awesome music video, Eriksen’s Fight Club.
The Unit season three is six dics worth of stories about a group of special, super-secret military operatives, starring Dennis Haysbert, Regina Taylor, Robert Patrick, Scott Foley and Max Martini.
Special Features: Into Hell A Brotherhood Divided, Shadow Riders: A Western Come Undone, Snake Doctor: A leader among us.
CSI NY: The Complete Fifth Season is year five of the spinoff from the hugely successful CSI dramas. The cast includes Gary Sinise, Melina Kanakaredes, Hill Harper and Eddie Cahill.
Special Features: Pre-Production: Planning the Perfect Murder, Production: Shoot to Kill, Post-Production: Crime-Scene Cleanup, Celebrating 100: Evidence of a hit.
Kings: The Complete Series is three discs of the NBC drama based on the biblical story of King David, starring Ian McShane. The show was canceled because of low ratings, but still managed to make a lot of noise largely because of McShane.
Special Features: Deleted scenes, Goliath commentary with series creator Michael Green, Director Francis Lawrence and series star Ian McShane.