Non-comprehensively highlighting the week’s top picks in Blu-ray…
Game of Thrones Season 2 – One of the great things about Game of Thrones is that, as a non-premium-cable subscriber, I can read and hear about it without worrying about spoiling myself for when these discs finally come out, as the mythology is so dense and the characters so numerous that I know I won’t remember or even make sense of anything overheard until the time comes to see it for myself. Except maybe for Sean Bean dying at the end of season 1, but really, without knowing anything else about the plot, who didn’t see that coming? This set comes fully loaded with multiple featurettes and commentaries and GODDAMMIT when will I find the time to actually watch it? (Hashtag: First World Problems)
Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome – After George Lucas got all that fanboy hate, who would be so deluded as to make a greenscreen-heavy prequel to a beloved sci-fi property? Well, that’d be Machinima, but it turns out that viewers both wanted and liked the tale of William Adama as a young ensign. Originally made available online in ten-minute segments, it’s presented here as an uncut movie, with 30 minutes of deleted scenes on the extras. So far it would appear to be the last BSG for the foreseeable future, but that might be for the best – back in the ’70s, fans who wanted more got Galactica 1980. (Actually, that clip is kinda like finely aged cheese in retrospect, but trust me, nobody thought so at the time.)
The Terminator and The Running Man – It’s fitting that an actor who looks like some sort of genetic experiment has always fared best in the sci-fi realm, and today sees two Schwarzeneggers from the future get home-entertainment upgrades: one a bona fide classic, the other a bit less so. The Terminator disc uses the transfer from the recent European Blu-ray, which some say is clearer and others complain adds a teal tint (seriously, folks, James Cameron’s movies are blue; is this really an issue?). Sadly, it lacks some of the extras of previous editions, but hang tight and there’ll probably be newer versions every two years; hell, knowing Cameron, a 3-D post-conversion is probably in the works.
The Running Man takes a Stephen King novel and renders it almost unrecognizable: both dealt with deadly reality TV, but the book had contestant Ben Richards actually out in the real world, while the movie sees him in an arena basically enacting WWE shows with the addition of lethal gimmicks. The original story is probably unfilmable nowadays, as it culminates in the hero basically pulling a 9-11, but the movie is fun for what it is, and this latest home version features a new commentary track from director Paul Michael Glaser (Kazaam, The Cutting Edge), whom you may know better as TV’s Detective Starsky.
The Monster Squad – I’ll be honest and admit that I hated this movie when I saw it in my youth. This seems to be a minority opinion, but they were promoting it like a new Ghostbusters, and I was disappointed to find out it was a bunch of kids making jokes about virginity and Wolfman “nards.” Haven’t seen it since, but it may be time for a revisit, to see if a savvier film education since then will help me appreciate the classic monster-movie references.
Sinister – Proof that movie bloggers may not be able to shut up, but occasionally they can put up, as hard-partying Ain’t It Cool News scribe C. Robert “Massawyrm” Cargill cowrote this effective horror movie about…an alcoholic writer! At the root of all the horror is the fear of losing yourself in a career that practically demands isolation, but there are also lots of freaky ghost kids and a demon named Bughuul who lives inside home movies.
Sushi Girl – Candyman, Atreyu, Luke Skywalker and Frank the Bunny eat sushi off a naked girl’s body. There’s also some plot, probably.