Monday Blu(e)s And DVD

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In the lead up to the festive season the studios push some of their biggest pictures to disc.

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Pacific Rim. Guillermo Del Toro broke through to the mainstream with this major scale blockbuster which struggled with audiences that wrote it off as a cheap Transformers knock-off. Plot gives way to a staggering sense of world building, illustrated wonderfully in an extended opening prologue which charts the back story of the events that lead to the film’s actual scenario. While not without a couple of minor problems, Pacific Rim might just be the most enjoyable blockbuster of 2013.

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The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey – Extended Cut. It’s apt that The Hobbit comes to home video on the same day as Pacific Rim, giving the history the two project’s share. This extended cut of The Hobbit is 13 minutes longer than the version released in cinemas last Winter, and while some bemoaned the generous 169-minute length of that earlier cut, we’re in the camp that kind of finds joy was in being immersed in the world Peter Jackson has created and clearly holds a great passion for. Extras are extensive, with the appendices continuing on from where the definitive Lord Of The Rings set left off with parts 7 and 8 of the ongoing project that presumably concludes with the final Hobbit extended edition DVD in 2015.

Check out our full review here.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. It turns out you can make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. Taking the celebration of the film maudit to its extreme, Arrow Video celebrate Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre sequel with this lavish, three-disc box-set. Early Hooper shorts take up one of the extras discs, while an extensive book fills out the package.

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The Great Gatsby. Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of the Fitzgerald novel came in for a bit of a rough ride critically when it opened at this year’s Cannes film festival. There’s much to like though; DiCaprio is great, the film is a technical marvel, and ultimately it’s a satisfying piece of spectacle.

Check out our full review here.

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Monsters Universe. The running theme of this week might just be (largely) narratively uninteresting films set in very likeable worlds. No more clear is this than in Pixars Monsters Inc. prequel, which charts the college days of Sully and Mike, the two lead protagonists from the earlier film. Plot wise it’s all very familiar, but it’s in the place and the detail that one finds most to compliment. Monstropolis is a wonderfully realised space, subverting familiar “human” spots and tendencies, and, like the earlier Cars, gives the film a real grounding that distracts from other failings.

Check out our full review here.

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