DVD/Blu-Ray Picks of the Week for September 1, 2009
Gladiator (2000) [Blu-Ray]
Directed By: Ridley Scott
The Paramount Sapphire series releases two Best Picture-winning, epic battle films on Blu-Ray this week. Both are fantastic films and definitely worth owning, but in my opinion the better of the two is Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. This film is the kind of technical achievement that deserves to be seen in as high-quality format as possible. The Blu-Ray release includes both the extended version and the theatrical release. Special features include audio commentary, several featurettes on the making of the film, the HBO First Look special, Hans Zimmer Scoring Gladiator on the making of the soundtrack, abandoned sequences and deleted scenes, and much more.
Braveheart (1995) [Blu-Ray]
Directed By: Mel Gibson
The other Paramount Sapphire Series release that is worth getting out the wallet for is Mel Gibson’s Scottish film Braveheart. The film has taken a lot of flack in the past few years because of its historical inaccuracy. But if you don’t care about accuracy in movies (let’s face it no feature films are historically accurate) this is beautiful film. Like Gladiator, this also won 5 Academy Awards and it deserves to be seen on Blu-Ray. The Blu-Ray release has over two hours of special features including interactive timelines for the production, history, and fiction of the film, interviews with the cast and crew, and a featurette on the medieval killing fields of Scotland.
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
As you probably know if you regularly read this blog or follow me on Twitter, I love baseball. As we approach playoff season in the major leagues, one of my most anticipated baseball films of the past several years gets its DVD/Blu-Ray release. The film is about an immigrant who moves to America with dreams of being a star in the major leagues. His talent is enough to get him there, but will he be able to resist the temptations of life enough to focus on his dream? The DVD and Blu-Ray includes a making of featurette, a look at the impact of baseball in the Dominican Republic, an interview with the main character Algenis Perez Soto, and deleted scenes.
State of Play (2009)
Directed By: Kevin MacDonald
This political/journalistic thriller indirectly confronts the downfall of the newspaper and true investigative journalism. In a world where blogs and gossip sites have taken over, State of Play attempts to justify old-fashioned (if I may use that term) journalism. The film also has one of the most star-studded casts of the year including Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, and more. The Blu-Ray has more special features than the standard DVD including a making-of featurette, U-control features which allow you to use picture-in-picture to track the similarities between the show and the BBC miniseries, deleted scenes, and more.
Directed By: Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield
I feel like if there’s any type of film that deserves to be seen in the Blu-Ray format, it’s nature documentaries. Earth is one of the ultimate nature documentaries filmed in the highest quality and breathtaking to behold. This film is available on both DVD and Blu-Ray this week. I would not recommend buying it and instead you should buy the Planet Earth television series, which also is available on stunning Blu-Ray. Special features include “Earth Diaries – the Making of Earth” and more.
None this week. It’s a great week for new releases!