Hanna (Blu-ray) Criticize This! Pick of the Week – Hanna is an intense and wild thriller about a young girl (Saoirse Ronan) who was raised in the woods and trained by her father (Eric Bana) to be an assassin. Tired of living off the grid in the middle of nowhere, Hanna wants to experience the real world for herself. Her father grants her wish and now Hanna must face the CIA agent who wants her dead (coldly played by Cate Blanchett). Directed by Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice), and with an amazing soundtrack by the Chemical Brothers, Hanna is easily one of my top ten films of the year. The Blu-ray release is clean and crisp and the 5.1 DTS-HD sound mix really allows the score from the Chemical Brothers to shine through. Special features include an alternate ending, deleted scenes, audio commentary with director Joe Wright, and more. A regular DVD and digital copy of the film are also included. Film **** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).
X-Men: First Class (Blu-ray) – Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class is an origin story set during the Cuban Missile Crisis that shows how Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) went from being best friends to the bitter enemies known as Professor X and Magneto. For X-Men fans this a winner that is just as good, if not better, than the first X-Men movie. As a bonus, Kevin Bacon gives one of his craziest performances ever as the villain Sebastian Shaw. Jennifer Lawrence, Rose Byrne, and January Jones, who doesn’t stray far from her Betty Draper role, also star. The Blu-ray release is definitely the way to go for X-Men: First Class as it shows off the visual and sound effects perfectly. Special features include extended and deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, an isolated score , 10 X-Men digital comics, and more. A digital copy of the film is also included. Film *** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars). NOTE: X-Men: First Class comes out on September 9.
Scarface (Blu-ray) – Scarface is one of my favourite films ever made. From Oliver Stone’s script, to Brian De Palma’s directing style, to Al Pacino’s portrayal of gangster Tony Montano, I love everything about it. So when I heard it was coming to Blu-ray I got excited. Real excited! And have been waiting for it to arrive at my door ever since. Last week it did, and boy was it worth the wait. The detail and care Universal Home Entertainment took with getting this film transferred to high-def is outstanding. The 1080p image is just stunning and the 7.1 DTS-HD sound mix will have police at your door when the guns are a blazin’. Special features are loaded, and include a DVD copy of the original 1932 Scarface, deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, a limited edition steelbook case, poster cards, a picture-in-picture track, and more. A digital copy of the film is included as well. Film **** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).
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Top image: A scene from Hanna. Courtesy Alliance Films.