Tuesday 6 November 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Blu-rays

Now, do I buy the steelbook editions of films I already own, or the underwhelming sequel that no-one was asking for anyway? Hmmm....

I'll be frank. I thought that Men in Black II was one of the worst sequels of all time, in that it made absolutely no sense and was detrimental to the legacy of the original. So, when word started to filter through about script problems and shoot delays, I decided to give this third installment an even wider berth. I'm sure I'll see it at some point, more out of curiosity over Josh Brolin and Jermaine Clement's roles more than anything else, but isn't it sad that Will Smith isn't the main reason to see a film anymore?

Now this one has given me a serious dilemma. Do I spend ten pounds on a film that I already own on video, twice on DVD and once on blu-ray in the edition that was released a mere two years ago? This edition carries exactly the same extras and transfer as the previous blu-ray, but with one crucial difference. IT'S IN A TIN.

Now you understand my dilemma.

Believe it or not, I did actually see Katy Perry's tour documentary in cinemas, and in 3D no less. Perry comes across as a very likeable girl, albeit one who seemed a lot happier before she got ate up by the machine and became the highly polished superstar she is now. Basically an on the road diary for her mammoth stadium tour but with added heartbreak from the dissolution of her marriage to Russell Brand, this may be for fans only but certainly gives them what they want. The little voxpops from fans saying how much they're inspired by Perry's music were a bit much though.

Foster has made me think long and hard about how cynical I should be about a film that is designed to tug on the heartstrings at Christmas time. The story of a couple trying to fill a gap in their lives with the arrival of foster child Eli, this is the sort of film to watch with Grandma on Christmas morning.

Another couple of releases in these shiny new steelbook editions; again, I own both of these films and think I probably don't need to sell you on their merits, so let's talk about something else instead. When did they decide to move the blu-ray label to the bottom of the box? If I put these on a shelf with my other blu-rays they're just going to look weird and the whole collection is going to look out of balance. Yes, these are the sort of things I think about.

Starring Jon Cho, Kal Penn and Neil Patrick Harris (or to give him his real name, NPH), this 3D sequel tried its best last Christmas to deliver to as much of its audience as possible with claymation sequences involving a whole heap of drugs and more sexual innuendo than NPH can shake his unnervingly phallic stick at. Personally, I think the Harold and Kumar films work best on DVD and blu-ray to be watched at home at your leisure, but unless you've forked out for a 3D blu-ray player and TV, this sequel is going to be missing some of its magic.

Matthew McConaughey is having a pretty good year, career wise. His performance in Magic Mike garnered some early Oscar buzz and in Killer Joe, William Friedkin's latest, he's supposed to be absolutely terrifying. A dark thriller in the vein of Killing Them Softly and Blood Simple, it's good to see that his career has turned around, as the last thing any Dazed and Confused fan wants to see is the almighty Wooderson standing at jaunty angles on the covers of increasingly dodgy looking rom-coms.

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