The Buzz on Blu: 'Prometheus,' 'E.T.' and 'It's Always Sunny' Season 7
After a few weeks of blockbusters and animated classics, sci-fi films old and new are at the top of this week’s home video choices.
Meanwhile, Warner Home Video released a pair of Alfred Hitchcock thrillers – including a uniquely dimensionalized movie for folks looking to add old-school titles to their 3D collection – as well as the latest season of a hilariously irresponsible TV show.
Take a look at Celebuzz’s Blu-ray picks for this week below.
How does Hitchcock’s 3D movie compare to current ones?
Bond 50 (Fox Home Entertainment)
The One-Liner: All 22 of the films in the James Bond series (not counting the goofy ‘60s Casino Royale or Sean Connery’s Thunderball remake Never say Never Again) arrive in high definition in a deluxe set with more than 100 hours of bonus materials.
Picture Perfect? Most of the films already debuted on Blu-ray individually, but the arrival of titles like On Her Majesty’s Secret Service offers newly bright and beautiful transfers of fan favorites.
What Else Is There? Again, more than 100 hours of extras gives Bond fans plenty to pore over, but the stuff that’s not carried over from earlier releases – including a “roundtable” featurette with all of the actors discussing their role as the superspy – is a little underwhelming at three minutes, especially since it’s culled from archival footage and nothing new.
How Badly Do I Want It? If you’re a Bond fan at all, you want to kill for it – and even if you have earlier home video versions, this is the definitive set, so definitely pick it up.
The One-Liner: Hitchcock’s only 3D film comes to high-definition with a glorious transfer, offering many fans their first-ever opportunity to see the film in more than two dimensions.
Picture Perfect? The transfer looks absolutely glorious, as so many of Warner’s old-school films often do. And the 3D is pretty remarkable given the fact that it’s an almost 60 year-old movie shot with some of the earliest 3D technology available. But there’s also a lot of ghosting around the actors – thanks to that primitive technology – making this more of a historical benchmark than an aesthetic one.
What Else Is There? The film’s theatrical trailer and the documentary “Hitchcock and Dial M” don’t add a whole lot to the set, especially since they’re simply carryovers from the DVD iteration of the film.
How Badly Do I Want It? Although the film is a bona fide classic in 2D, the 3D version feels like more of a one-time experience, so Dial M may be a movie better set for rental than purchase.
E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
The One-Liner: Steven Spielberg’s runaway sci-fi blockbuster phones home again on Blu-ray.
Picture Perfect? The new transfer is incredibly beautiful, offering clarity and detail unparalleled by previous releases.
What Else Is There? Most of the extras appeared on the previous DVD version, but there are a couple of new bonus features – including an hour of mostly unvarnished behind-the-scenes footage and a great new interview with Spielberg – help give this 30th Anniversary set additional historical and artistic perspectives.
How Badly Do I Want It? It’s a must own, without question.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia Season 7 (Fox Home Entertainment)
The One-Liner: After six seasons, Mac shakes things up by fattening himself up – for no very good reason – while the rest of the cast continues to engage in hilariously irresponsible hijinks.
Picture Perfect? Thankfully there’s nothing lost from broadcast to Blu-ray with this transfer, which carefully preserves the show’s HD source material.
What Else Is There? Commentary tracks are always fun on It’s Always Sunny episodes, but “Artemis Tours Philadelphia” is this season’s standout extra, thanks to typically funny observations from Artemis Pebdani.
How Badly Do I Want It? If you’ve previously collected any seasons of the show, this is a must-own. But it’s definitely worth checking out, even if you’re watching episodes piecemeal or online.
The One-Liner: Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof confound Alien fans with a visually stunning, mythologically-lacking prequel that retains much of its charm on the small screen – as well as many of its problems.
Picture Perfect? In 3D, there are few films more beautiful, thanks to Scott’s gorgeous, clear-eyed compositions; truly reference-quality images that look stunning and immaculate. In 2D, the film is almost as gorgeous, but Scott composed in 3D so it’s the preferable format.
What Else Is There? Two commentary tracks attempt to explain and explore the film’s complicated and unfortunately not fully-formed mythology, while more than 30 minutes of deleted scenes offer additional material that might not answer questions, but it will keep you entertained with the promise of what might have been.
How Badly Do I Want It? Oddly, I think this is a must-own, if only for the beauty of the transfer (yeah, even in 2D), but don’t expect the home video version to answer your objections, maybe just gloss them over with some gorgeous imagery.
Strangers On A Train (Warner Home Video)
The One-Liner: Hitchcock’s 1951 film come to Blu-ray in a new edition that perhaps most significantly features a quote from iconic critic Pauline Kael arguing it’s the filmmaker’s best American work – which is a provocative claim, if nothing else.
Picture Perfect? Another terrific transfer from the folks at Warners, who bring the film to life – in two versions – in crisp, clear black and white.
What Else Is There? As mentioned, the disc offers two versions of the film – a “preview version” and the final cut – but the nuanced differences between the two notwithstanding, five featurettes more than get inside and underneath Hitchcock’s fertile creativity.
How Badly Do I Want It? As with Dial M, a movie that’s a must-own for Hitchcock devotees, but as a rental or purchase these are the definitive versions of these films on home video.
Watch Celebuzz's coverage of Bond's 50th Anniversary, including our video review of the new Blu-ray set below.