Blu in Your Face: March 19th, 2013


Non-comprehensively highlighting the week’s top picks in Blu-ray…


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – They haven’t figured out a way to do 48 FPS on your TV yet, but that isn’t a prerequisite for enjoying the first part of Peter Jackson’s new Middle-earth trilogy, which introduces more backstory based on Tolkien’s own retconning, and refreshingly adds a sense of humor to the proceedings, with Bilbo the complaining, reluctant hero being a lot more palatable to my tastes than earnest, anime-eyed Frodo. With Sylvester McCoy as a hippie wizard who gets crapped on by birds, Benedict Cumberbatch as a shadow and a CGI Kratos as this level’s mini-boss. Bonuses include trailers and all of the production diaries, but if the movie isn’t already long enough for you, there’ll be an extended edition down the road and you might want to wait.

Zero Dark Thirty – The director of Point Break and Near Dark has a new action movie out. I hope it’s not as torturous a sit as Strange Days.

(No, I’m not stupid. Joke, people. I interviewed the stuntwoman and you should read that.)

Timerider – Remember that brief period in the ’80s when there was an attempt to push Fred “Remo Williams” Ward as the next big action hero? Yeah, me neither. But that’s what Blu-ray is for; so we can see Ward play a champion off-road cyclist who travels back in time to the old West. Produced by Monkee Michael Nesmith, who also wrote the music. The disc includes a 20-minute making-of documentary, and a commentary track by director William Dear (Harry and the Hendersons).

Gorgo – No, not a 300 prequel about Lena Headey’s origin, but a successful 1961 UK attempt to cash in on the success of Godzilla, with a twist – the initial monster, like Beowulf’s foe Grendel, is only the offspring of a larger, meaner mama. The VCI DVD was considered better than previous editions but still lacking, so the hope is that this will be a marked improvement in audio quality. New extras include a French-language comic book (huh?) and a gallery of Gorgo toys and collectibles.

Zeta One (The Love Factor) – Something like the British version of Heavy Metal for 1969, only not animated, and by most accounts, completely stupid and the sort of thing Rifftrax exists for. I think this just-barely NSFW clip probably sums it up:

Kozmik and anyone else may feel free to sum up the remaining releases in comments below.