The Buzz on Blu: ‘Brave,’ ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Vamps’ (VIDEO)
In addition to Brave, Andrew Garfield’s The Amazing Spider-Man arrives on home video this week, as well as a set of Pixar short films and the bloodsucker comedy Vamps.
The Amazing Spider-Man (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
The One-Liner: Garfield and Emma Stone, under the guidance of (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb, reimagine the web-slinger in this franchise reboot.
Picture Perfect? In 2- or 3D, the movie looks terrific, providing glossy, crystal-clear images that show up beautifully on the small screen.
What Else Is There? A commentary track and Second Screen Experience, both of which are paired with the film itself, offer viewers additional insights into the making of the movie, while a seven-part documentary dives into the conceptualization of what is becoming the second Spider-Man film series.
How Badly Do I Want It? A good-looking if woefully familiar story that reveals far too little to differentiate it from its predecessors, The Amazing Spider-Man is at least worth a rental if you’re a fan of the series, but the behind-the-scenes material is where the set really stands out.
The One-Liner: Pixar’s first female-driven feature revolves around a headstrong teenager named Merida (Kelly Macdonald) who clashes with her mother (Emma Thompson) after she’s sentenced to a fate worse than death: marriage.
Picture Perfect? As with all of Pixar’s Blu-rays, the image quality is second to none, offering remarkable clarity and detail in both 2- and 3D, bringing to life the mythic Scottish landscape where Merida makes her home.
What Else Is There? A new short film, The Legend of Mordu, explores the background of the superhuman bear that threatens Merida’s homeland, while a series of featurettes and documentaries fully examines not just the origins of the story, but the conceptualization of its world via an in-depth trip for the filmmakers to authentic Scotland landscapes to find and draw inspiration.
How Badly Do I Want It? A solid if not quite transcendent effort from the always talented folks at Pixar, it’s nevertheless a beautiful, unique tale that deserves to be seen – at least via rental, if not as a worthy addition to your library of Pixar titles.
Entourage: The Complete Series (HBO Home Video)
The One-Liner: Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and the rest of his crew return to home video in an expansive new Blu-ray set collecting the entire series plus plenty of extras.
Picture Perfect? Appropriately, the show maintains a solid and consistent level of Hollywood gloss, offering vivid and clear picture quality that more than maintains its original broadcast quality.
What Else Is There? Audio commentaries explore the making of each episode and some of the inspirations for their plotlines, while “Mark Wahlberg Sessions” explores the origins of the series as a whole and the process of mapping the characters’ individual (and collective) trajectories.
How Badly Do I Want It? A charming if not terribly substantive television series that’s actually best watched in one viewing, this is probably a better rental than purchase, but as a single-serving week’s worth of entertainment, one could do worse.
The One-Liner: In this second collection of shorts, Pixar assembles the films that were attached to the front of many of your favorite feature-length efforts, but excised from those features Blu-ray iterations.
Picture Perfect? As with Brave, the picture quality is top-notch, preserving the detail and clarity of the animation with vivid specificity.
What Else Is There? Each of the shorts comes with a commentary track, offering fans a chance to look behind the curtain and see how each of them was conceived, but the real standout extra is a collection of student films from various Pixar luminaries that looks back at their earliest efforts.
How Badly Do I Want It? Much like they’re presented on the features, the shorts are interesting, but essentially an apertif for bigger things, so this is worth watching more sociologically or historically than as its own entity.
Vamps (Anchor Bay Home Entertainment)
The One-Liner: Alicia Silverstone teams up with Krysten Ritter in a fun, ferocious vampire tale about two hip bloodsuckers trying to deal with contemporary culture at a time when they’re quite literally timeless.
Picture Perfect? The transfer does a solid job but don’t expect this to be a reference disc for home theaters.
What Else Is There? Alas, nothing, although Silverstone reprising a version of her Clueless character Cher (much less for that film’s director, Amy Heckerling) seems like it warrants some kind of featurette or commentary on that particular choice.
How Badly Do I Want It? Worth renting at absolute best, but not really rewarding, even for Clueless fans.
Watch an exclusive clip from Vamps below.
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