'Fun Size,' 'The Master' And 'Anna Karenina' Hit HD
Hallelujah! The Oscars are over, and that means that we can get back to the business of finding new ways to connect the dots between Twilight, Hunger Games, the Kardashians and Justin Bieber. All kidding aside, however, the opportunity to pay attention to movies on a more generalized basis – as in, what you want to watch now, and just plain enjoy – is a welcome change to the drama surrounding the 2012 awards season.
The other great thing about the end of awards conversations is being able to talk about more than five or ten movies, and more specifically, movies we’re personally interested in. This week’s Buzz on Blu features not one but two of Celebuzz’ Top Ten films of 2012, and also features a couple of others that fall squarely into the fun-stuff, female-centric wheelhouse that we just plain get excited to see.
Anna Karenina (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)
The One-Liner: Keira Knightley reunites with her Atonement and Pride and Prejudice director Joe Wright for this sumptuous adaptation of the classic novel by Leo Tolstoy, also starring Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
Picture Perfect? On Blu-ray, this film absolutely shines, offering a phenomenal range of colors that are presented with spectacular clarity and sharpness.
What Else Is There? Several featurettes explore the adaptation of the source material and the production of the film, albeit only superficially, while a commentary track offers a fairly prosaic overview of Wright’s creative and technical choices.
How Badly Do I Want It? A film maligned (fairly or not) for its bold vision of the source material, owning it is up to how much you may already like it, but if you haven’t seen Wright’s latest, it’s at least worth renting to check out.
Fun Size (Paramount Home Entertainment)
The One-Liner: Nickelodeon star Victoria Justice stars in this hilariously nightmarish story of a teenager whose plans to attend the biggest party of the year are stymied when she gets stuck babysitting her little brother.
Picture Perfect? Colorful and fun, the movie looks terrific in high definition, preserving the film’s vivid day-glo aesthetic.
What Else Is There? A gag reel and a small collection of fun featurettes explore the production about as deeply as, quite frankly, its target audience is interested in, which isn’t deep at all.
How Badly Do I Want It? A sort of Hangover/ Project X for the teen girl set, this may be mostly rewatchable for that specific audience, but it’s otherwise something at best worth a rental.
Picture Perfect? Although the transfer on Vivendi’s Blu-ray faithfully preserves the pictures captured by Carax’ digital cameras, the overall quality is slightly less than immaculate, offering solid but unexceptional presentation of the film.
What Else Is There? Two featurettes go beyond the typical EPK stuff that viewers usually experience, albeit to effect of underscoring how unusual and complex Carax’ film actually is.
How Badly Do I Want It? This is a movie that fully appreciates upon multiple viewings, and if nothing else offers so many individually-fascinating vignettes, that it deserves to be bought and supported – so AT LEAST rent it.
The Master (Anchor Bay Entertainment)
The One-Liner: The choice for Celebuzz’ favorite film of the year, Paul Thomas Anderson’s massively ambitious, insightful and sensitive portrait of the complex relationship between a delinquent seaman (Joaquin Phoenix) and a philosophical cult leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
Picture Perfect? Shot in 65mm, the film looks phenomenal, although it’s possible that current technology lacks even the resolution to fully represent the substance and depth of the images which Anderson captures.
What Else Is There? 20 minutes of deleted scenes actually showcase much of the action that is alluded to in the final cut, offering viewers a new perspective on Freddie and Dodd’s relationship, while a 1946 documentary by filmmaker John Huston reveals where Anderson got some of the key ideas for his film.
How Badly Do I Want It? Like every other PTA movie, this is a work of art that only grows in complexity with each viewing, making it a must-have for any filmgoer interested in both entertainment and art.
The One-Liner: Adelaide Clemens stars in this video game-adaptation sequel, about an 18-year-old who finds herself battling evil forces that “threaten to trap her in a nightmarish landscape forever.”
Picture Perfect? Thanks in no small part to the film’s murky look, the Blu-ray fails to inspire much excitement, and in 2 or 3D, the film just doesn’t look particularly great; that said, it’s mostly faithful to the original elements.
What Else Is There? Only one featurette is included in the set, and it offers few if any meaningful background details about the making of the movie.
How Badly Do I Want It? We suppose if you’re a video game fan, this is a film worth renting, but otherwise this is probably best skipped, especially since the fantastic Top Gun 3D Blu-ray came out just a couple of weeks ago, and is already worth revisiting.
Which of these films are you most excited to won? Let us know in the comments section below!