Andre Manseau's Top 5 Discs of 2012!
I watch a lot of movies every year, so narrowing down my top 5 favorite discs was certainly not an easy task. With that being said, here are the movies that tickled my technical fancy this year and for one reason or another, will tickle the fancy of anyone who wants to show off their fancy new home theater systems to a friend! Read on to find out my two cents!
Although I wasn't absolutely mental over the film, I thought that Abe's foray into f*cking up fangbangers was a ton of fun, and I was immediately looking forward to picking up the 3D blu-ray
when it creeped up on shelves. I know people dumped on this movie a bit, but of course it's going to be silly and ridiculous..it's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter! And to be fair, the movie just says "to hell with it" with typical rules of the genre and has a bast the whole time. Who knew Honest Abe would be a fun action hero? This one is pure fun, a guilty pleasure that is completely unnecessary, totally absurd and just never ceased to make me smile from ear to ear. The 3D presentation isn't perfect because the flick was a post-converted one, but when the 3D kicks in high gear during the action scenes, it becomes a fun watch. If you ever see this one at the right price, pick it up for a fun evening. I'm certain it'll be a Halloween staple for me!
Though it was released early in 2012, Drive
still slides under the radar to make it onto my top 5 list. It's tough to describe Drive to those who haven't seen it. It's sort of a weird love story that winds up getting really nasty. Drive is suspenseful, packed with revenge, passion and insanity and once again celebrates the anti-hero with a masterful performance from Ryan Gosling. It most certainly is not just another loud and foolish Fast and Furious flick (not that there's anything wrong with that if you're into that)- instead Drive manages to somehow combine intelligence with breakneck speed and action. Plus, it has a hefty swinging set of brass balls on it- this isn't a movie for everyone. It's a movie that's violent, unrelenting, stylish and cool all at the same time. It puts other lame action movies on notice and forces them to step it up. And although there isn't much in the way of extras, the Drive Blu-Ray disc features demo-quality Video and Audio that preserve the film's beautiful style.
Oh I get it. This is unquestionably going to divide people, but whether you loved it or hated it, if you're a sci-fi/horror fan, you probably saw Prometheus
. Obviously, if you hated it, you'll likely disagree with my choice to plop it onto my "best of" list, but I digress. I'll be the first to admit- I really don't know what I truly thought about Prometheus. Honestly, it never really lives up to the first two Alien films in terms of the level of emotion it tries to instill, but it will unquestionably keep you hooked until the end. Yeah, it's not perfect, but this is most certainly an entertaining film, even if some view it as blaspheming towards our sacred Alien films. It's a beast of a movie that ponies up some pretty "out there" concepts and ideas but I'm a firm believer that the cast here is awesome, and Ridley Scott has once again proven that no one can build a whole world like he can. On top of all that, you've got one hell of a Blu-Ray presentation for one of the most visually stunning films in recent memory. The video and audio presentation on this disc is damn near flawless, and don't even get me started on the 3D presentation. The package has some worthy commentary tracks too, and includes the viral videos used in the marketing of the film. If nothing else, people will be wowed by the way the film looks and it'll prompt some damn good discussion.
I was a little disappointed that I didn't get to review the DVD/Blu-Ray of Cabin in the Woods when it was released in September, because I loved the movie so damn much. My last pick was a technophile's dream, and while this disc is no slouch, I'm picking it solely because I love the movie that much, and it's arguably my favorite film of the year. Effectively scary and hilarious at the same time, Cabin in the Woods
packs a ton of surprises and fresh twists in a genre that's polluted with retreads, rip-offs and cliches. This horror/comedy holds a mirror up to our beloved genre and shows us what we loved about it in the first place. Cabin in the woods is clever, daring, full of in-jokes, maniacal, funny, and essentially just an instant classic. It's written by the fans and for the fans as a beautiful love letter that won't soon be forgotten. I can't recommend it enough. I don't usually gush over flicks in this way, but I just can help it. This movie is fantastic. And although I loved the flick, the Blu-Ray is no slouch either, with commentary from Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, a Making Of, some viral stuff, some effects stuff, Q&A and more. The audio quality here is fantastic as well.
I know that the film isn't necessarily brand new, but this flick is one of the few Blu-Ray first time releases
that I was really looking forward to this year. That's right, we're talking Jaws. I really don't know what I can say about the movie that hasn't already been said. Even after all these years, nobody can top the great white terror that Jaws instills. The movie is just so darn effective. This is the mastery of Spielberg; the man is just at his best here- and coupled with an amazing cast and one of the most memorable soundtracks of all time, you've got one of the most influential blockbusters of all time. In terms of the presentation, it just doesn't get better than this. Jaws have never looked or sounded better, and you can take that to the bank. There are extras for hours and hours, including a 2 hour making of, deleted scenes, and even the inclusion of The Shark Is Still Working, an awesome documentary about the impact of Jaws from a few years back. This classic film is simply the definitive way to ensure that you won't be safe in the water any time in the near future.