Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Top 3 Blu-ray movies for every high-def fan must own

Summary: We've covered our favorite Blu-ray discs and our favorite special features, so I think it’s time to take a look at some of the latest Blu-rays on the market.  
Top 1. Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season

HBO | 2014 | Season 4 | 560 min | Rated TV-MA | Feb 17, 2015 (1 Week) 
TV show rating: ***** 9.3 

Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season
"They can never be tamed. Not even by their mother." 

Game of Thrones loves nothing more than to remind its fans they're watching Game of Thrones. Blood. Betrayal. Death. Murder most foul. No matter how many times the series shocks me, no matter how deeply a twist resonates, no matter how often I'm left stunned, heartbroken or profoundly unsettled, showrunners David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and author/co-executive producer George R.R. Martin manage to lull me into a false sense of security. Every. Single. Time. After the infamous Red Wedding, I swore I'd never again forget I was watching Game of Thrones. That I'd never forget how cruel and unpredictable the Seven Kingdoms can be. Wouldn't you know it, though, two episodes into Season Four, there I was again: wide-eyed, my jaw unhinged, my mind scrambling to convene order. Alright, a clear, weary thought stammered. Next time will be different. Next time I'll be ready. Besides, I have an entire season to brace for the worst.  

Top 2. Downton Abbey: Season 5 Blu-ray

Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey | Original UK Edition 
PBS | 2014 | Season 5 | 533 min | Not rated | Jan 27, 2015
TV show rating: **** 8.5

Downton Abbey-Season 5 Blu-ray

"Downton Abbey: Season 4" was met with enormous hostility by fans and critics. Spending three seasons tracking the emotionally chilled antics of the Crawley Family, emphasizing decorum, hushed rumor, and the occasional dramatic flare-up, the show suddenly downshifted into more manipulative scripting from creator Julian Fellowes, with a subplot featuring sexual assault identified as particularly irksome to those already deep into the English fantasy. "Season 5" sets out to rebuild what was lost, largely eschewing dire events and horrifying violence to restore a bit of the old energy that's been lost to practice and time. In fact, "Season 5" is determined to poke sunshine through the clouds, even opening the first episode with a joke. 

Top 3. Fury Blu-ray 
Blu-ray + UltraVioletSony Pictures | 2014 | 135 min | Rated R | Jan 27, 2015
Movie rating: **** 7.8


The War film has undergone quite the evolution over the years. While the classic anti-war film has been a hallmark throughout the cinema experience -- films like 1930's All Quiet on the Western Front are regarded as classics and speak decidedly against the ugliness of war -- there's been a clearly defined arc in the general flow of cinema history that has seen the War movie evolve in spirit and tone. The post-war era brought with it a collection of movies that showed a spirited patriotism that didn't exactly cheer on war but that gave it something of a more glorious, gung-ho, rah-rah, sort of mass appeal, not to mention a "clean" and "watered down" depiction of war, understandable in the wake of the bloodiest war the world had ever seen. Following the Vietnam conflict, filmmakers like Oliver Stone and Stanley Kubrick positioned their cameras to depict war as a negative to both the individual and to the greater human condition, an unsurprising turn of events considering the cultural shift of the 1960s and the broad popular opposition to the conflict by its end in the 1970s. 

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