'Bourne Legacy,' 'Ted' and 'Les Miserables' (Not the One You Think) Hit HD
Last week, The Dark Knight Rises arrived on Blu-ray, basically sending cinephiles and Bat-fans into hiding as they pored over all of the content and extras connected with the final installment in Christopher Nolan’s film series.
This week, a superhero from a different era of filmmaking comes home on HD, while a decidedly more contemporary ass-kicker and a team of period ninja-fighters square off for your hard-earned cash.
Check out Celebuzz’ Blu-ray picks of the week, which also include a talking teddy bear, if capes and crusaders don’t float your boat.
The Bourne Legacy (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
The One-Liner: Jeremy Renner does his best to inherit the mantle of Jason Bourne with this fourth installment in the franchise, which follows the same timeline as its predecessors but with a different star.
Picture Perfect? As usual, USHE does a wonderful job preserving the theatrical presentation on the small screen, providing a clean, clear and vivid image as Renner and his opponents throttle one another mercielessly.
What Else Is There? An audio commentary, deleted scenes and a collection of featurettes examine the process of resuscitating the film series for another installment.
How Badly Do I Want It? Unfortunately not a great movie, this may be worth buying if you’re a Bourne completist, but otherwise we recommend renting it – at most.
The One-Liner: Back when Tim Burton was creating boilerplate for comic book adaptations, Warren Beatty added a splash to the burgeoning subgenre with his colorful big-screen interpretation of the classic comic strip character.
Picture Perfect? A terrific transfer perfectly preserves cinematographer Vittorio Storaro’s vibrant images, keeping Beatty’s primary-color vision of the character in his world in sharp and vivid focus.
What Else Is There? Sadly, nothing at all, which means that none of its amazing technical or artistic accomplishments are explored or explained in greater depth.
How Badly Do I Want It? As a reminder of the days when big-screen comic book characters actually emulated the source material from which they sprang, this is a must-see, but whether or not it’s worth owning is up to your affection for the film itself.
Les Miserables (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
The One-Liner: Just in time for Tom Hooper’s big-screen adaptation of the classic musical, SPHE re-releases this 1998 version, which casts Liam Neeson, Geoffrey Rush, Claire Danes and Uma Thurman, and sticks with Victor Hugo’s source material – which means no singing.
Picture Perfect? The transfer offers a solid, consistent picture quality, although nothing that seems destined to become a end-of-year superlative.
What Else Is There? A single featurette offers a few insights into the making of the movie, but is a superficial look at the adaptation at best.
How Badly Do I Want It? As interesting a counterpoint as the film might be to Hooper’s, this is worth a rental at best; there’s a reason this is not a particularly well-known adaptation of the material.
The One-Liner: The good folks at Drafthouse unearthed this 1987 movie from Tae Kwon Do instructor/ possible cult leader Y.K. Kim, which follows a group of scruffy martial arts students who become the last line of defense between South Florida and a band of evil drug-dealing ninjas.
Picture Perfect? Notwithstanding the age of the film and its obscurity, the Blu-ray does a pretty remarkable job of offering a solid HD image, but the texture of film and the general crudeness of its construction is an important part of its charms, so the presentation fully satisfies.
What Else Is There? A commentary track by Y.K. Kim, a making-of featurette, a live concert from the 2012 Fantastic Fest featuring the reunited movie band Dragon Sound and several other featurettes devote a fairly shocking amount of effort to exploring the origins, and the (hopeful) legacy of this oddball obscurity.
How Badly Do I Want It? While the film is certainly scruffy and charming enough to be enjoyable on its own terms, Miami Connection practically defines the quandary of good vs. so-bad-it’s-good, which means it is definitely worth watching, and watching often.
Ted (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
The One-Liner: Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane delivers his first feature-length effort with this raunchy comedy about a man named John (Mark Wahlberg) whose relationship with a magical teddy bear – his childhood best friend – comes into conflict when the woman he loves (Mila Kunis) requests that he grow up a little bit.
Picture Perfect? A terrific transfer preserves the theatrical experience, without any frills or exceptions.
What Else Is There? 15 minutes of deleted scenes, a 25-minute making-of featurette, and some scene-specific pieces – including how they shot Ted’s showstopping brawl with John in the hotel – do a really good job of getting inside the making of the movie.
How Badly Do I Want It? This movie is a brisk bit of fun – featherweight as an episode of Family Guy – which means that if you’re a longtime fan of MacFarlane, this might be worth buying, but if nothing else it’s a good evening of entertainment.
Watch the trailer for Miami Connection, and then let us know which of these titles you want to pick up in the comments below!