Ammon Gilbert's Top 5 Genre Discs of 2012!

Overall, 2012 was a good one for movies, and a fairly decent year for the horror genre. And now that everyone and their grandmother has an HD TV and Blu-ray players, and the emmersion of even more straight-to-video titles being released each week, it's a damn fine year for the avid home video connoisseur as well. From big Hollywood epics to low budget single-location thrillers, dramatic television (with zombies!) to classic sci-fi action, and even the ultimate in horror genre cross-overs, behold my top 5 genre discs of 2012!

1. Prometheus [Blu-ray]

Not only is PROMETHEUS my favorite genre Blu-ray of the year, it also happens to be my favorite movie of the year as well. Hands down, this flick blew me away in its complex storytelling, its top-notch special effects, and its stylized look that could have only come from Ridley Scott. Even though I don’t really understand everything that went down, and I’m pretty confused as to the true meaning behind the flick as a whole, I still f*cking love this movie. The Blu-ray is equally impressive, as the HD and the DTS surround sound are so epically done that it literally thrusts you right into the middle of all the space jockey action (and the image quality is so good, there are times the 2D Blu-ray feels like it's in goddamn 3D!). And as if all the special features weren’t enough, including over 30 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes and some cool commentaries featuring Scott and other members of the cast and crew, they provide a version on DVD and on Digital Copy, an extra little feature that always goes a long way with me. And did I mention Michael Fassbender? F*cking awesome.<

2. The Cabin in the Woods [Blu-ray]

Usually, when a film is shelved for a few years before it’s finally granted a release, it’s not very telling of what’s in store (i.e., the likelihood of said film sucking ass is high). But that’s not the case with THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, a horror flick for the fans that’s part homage, part spoof, and totally devoted to the genre. It’s fun, it’s scary, it’s full of thought-provoking shit, and it’s 100% original. It also looks great on Blu-ray. Packaged with a Digital Copy, the Blu-ray of THE CABIN IN THE WOODS also has some really cool special features, all in part thanks to the incredible presence and all-around entertainment factor of Joss Whedon. Seriously, when that dude talks, he makes anything sound interesting. And lucky for us, anything CABIN IN THE WOODS related is f*cking interesting. The disc even comes equipped with this Bonus View Mode, which brings a whole new level to the movie, and is a feature that most Blu-ray discs don’t provide. Win!

3. Total Recall (Mind-Bending Edition) [Blu-ray]

TOTAL RECALL is one of my favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger flicks of all time. I f*cking love this movie. Paul Verhoeven is at the top of his directing game, the effects are top notch, the writing is better than expected, and Arnold actually gives a believably human performance. The rerelease on Blu-ray finally gave the film justice, with each frame looking incredibly crisp and clear, not to mention the epic DTS-mixed soundtrack. Least to say, it’s goddamn impressive for a film celebrating its 22nd birthday this year to look and sound as good as it does in this transfer. Plus, the Blu-ray is packed full of special features, including old school featurettes and documentaries on the making of TOTAL RECALL, as well as a new interview with Verhoeven as he looks back at the making of TOTAL RECALL and gives his thoughts on the remake. For any fan of TOTAL RECALL, the Blu-ray delivers the goods in spades and is worth the double-dip.

4. The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [DVD]

Looking at the series as a whole, the second season of THE WALKING DEAD is probably the series’ weakest—and yet, compared to most television shows running right now, it’s still one of the best television has to offer. What makes the release of the complete second season on DVD so impressive is the amount of detail and effort that went into the epic amount of special features provided on the fourth disc. From a ton of featurettes, interviews, behind-the-scenes, and webisodes to a crazy amount of deleted and extended scenes, all the extras on this set made me forget about how annoyed I was about the first 8 episodes of the series, and reminded me why I loved the show in the first place. Plus, on DVD, the ability to jump to the last 5 episodes is available at any time.

5. The Divide [Blu-ray]

The year started off with a bang with THE DIVIDE, a movie that still haunts my waking moments and one that I’ll likely never sit through again. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a goddamn brilliant film. Director Xavier Gens managed to make a low budget single-location post-apocalyptic tale (one that basically hit straight to video) look like a big budget event movie, and it looks even better on Blu-ray. While the special features were pretty weak (but you get a copy on DVD!), this flick makes the list for the best of the year based purely on the quality of the film itself—the performance by Rosanna Arquette still gives me nightmares. Any flick that has that type of long-lasting effect deserves mad props, thus THE DIVIDE stacks as one of the best that 2012 had to offer.
Tags: Hollywood

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