New to DVD and Blu-ray: ‘Prometheus,’ a Spielberg Classic and ‘Rock of Ages’
New on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming this week, 'Prometheus' comes home, as well as some snappy, smart TV, and a classic on Blu-ray. ...
From anyone other than director Ridley Scott, 'Prometheus' would have been a home run; from the man who made 'Alien,' though, 'Prometheus' just felt like someone re-making 'Alien.' With a group of corporate-sponsored spacemen discovering alien life on another planet -- and then discovering that the alien lifeforms they've found might be both the precursor to humanity and not alone. With an all-star cast (including Charlize Thereon, Idris Elba and Michael Fassbender as a rogue robot), the home version of the film is loaded with extras, deleted scenes that include an alternate opening and finale for the film, supporting information and more -- some of which would have gone a long way to improve the film in theaters, quite bluntly. There's also a four-disc edition, if you have a 3D TV, and while 'Prometheus' isn't great Scott, it's still good enough to warrant a viewing for any sci-fi fan.
One of the best comedy series out there, 'The League' follows five friends (Nick Kroll, Mark Duplass, Paul Scheer, Jonathan LaJoie and Stephen Rannazzisi) and their fantasy football league...but, at the same time, you don't have to care or know about football to laugh, and laugh hard, at its semi-improvised brand of hilarity. This DVD/Blu-ray set includes expanded versions of 10 of the 13 episodes, liberated from the timing and tyranny of TV, as well as gag reels and deleted scenes. With its mix of sports fanaticism and the not-so-friendly interactions between five not-quite friends, 'The League' is a comedy touchdown.
The classic heart-warming sci-fi kid's adventure everyone loves is on Blu-ray for the first time, in a newly spruced-up transfer that's groaning with special features and other elements worthy of note -- like a brand-new set of recollections and materials form the day-to-day making of the film, as well as director Steven Spielberg looking back on the making of the film and its reception. There's also retrospective interviews, a look at the film's legacy and much more. But the most important thing here is a classic, boy-and-his-pal tale that manages to evoke the epic strangeness of science-fiction with the familiar emotions of youth. A lot of movies are called "classic"; this film and fable deserve the label.
Casting John Cusack as Edgar Allan Poe, 'The Raven' turns the life of the American author, drunkard and bad boy into a procedural thriller, as a killer stalks Baltimore drawing inspiration from Poe's own work. Poe is teamed with a police man (Luke Evans), but when the case starts circling Poe and the people he loves, it may be too late. The disc has many deleted scenes, plus extensive commentary; the best thing about the film, though, is Cusack's work as the boozy, woozy, out-for-a-dime Poe, a performance far more interesting than the movie around it, in many ways.
Based on a cloud-pleasing musical, 'Rock of Ages' is the perfect film for anyone who's ever truly wished they could eavesdrop while well-paid moviestars do karaoke versions of long-lost rock hits. Starring Tom Cruise as a rock star on the edge of washing up -- and Julianne Hough as a would-be star on the edge of discovery -- Adam Shankman ('Hairspray') puts a killer cast (including Alec Baldwin, Catharine Zeta-Jones, Bryan Cranston and more) into a fairly thin bit of bother. The songs -- Pat Benetar, Foreigner, Def Leppard -- are killer and the special features about the film's '80s look, feel and sound are extensive, but the overall movie is way more fun and disposable than it is anything else.