Fright Night (2011) Criticize This! Pick of the Week - I was never much of a fan of the original Fright Night. As a die-hard horror buff, I’ve tried many times to see what everyone else sees in it, yet I always find it boring and pretentious, and the humour to be very dry. Thankfully all of that has been remedied in the new version, and it’s quite possibly one of the best vampire movies ever made. This is all thanks mainly to the great cast, which includes Anton Yelchin, Toni Collette, David Tennant, and of course Colin Farrell as the vampire next door. Originally released in 3-D, the Blu-ray release is gorgeous and the dark contrast really pops. The 7.1 DTS-HD audio mix is also stunning and enhances the mood of the film perfectly. Special features include deleted and extended scenes, bloopers, a music video, and more. A regular DVD of the film is also included. Film **** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Blu-ray) – My expectations for Rise of the Planet of the Apes were very low. The last time an Ape movie was released it was Tim Burton’s take, and we all know how that went. Well, kudos to the team behind Rise of… as they’ve made an excellent film that has a very intriguing story, some awesome special effects, and is overall a brilliant relaunch of one of the best sci-fi franchises of all time. James Franco, Freida Pinto, Brian Cox, Tom Felton, and John Lithgow star with Andy Serkais the man behind main ape Caesar. Needless to say, the Blu-ray release is a stunner and shows off the visual and sound effects amazingly. Special features include audio commentary with director Rupert Wyatt, deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, and more. Film **** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).
Kung Fu Panda 2 (Blu-ray) – I never saw the big deal with the first Kung Fu Panda and found Kung Fu Panda 2 to be more of the same. Sure, it’s got a few funny moments, and yes, the animation is slick, but it really didn’t hold my attention or suck me in like other animated films this year, such as Puss in Boots, Rio, or The Adventures of Tintin. Even my 4-year-old seemed to get bored of it quickly too. Now, if you are a fan of the film then the Blu-ray release comes highly recommended mainly because it shows off the animation and sound better than the regular DVD does and was pretty impressive to watch even if I wasn’t into the movie itself. Special features include the short film Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters, deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, and more. A regular DVD and digital copy of the film are included as well. Film *** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).
13 (Blu-ray) – 13 is an intense thriller about a game of Russian Roulette where gamblers bet on players only identified by numbers. The story mainly evolves around a young man (Sam Riley) who needs money to pay for his father’s medical bills. He manages to get into the game, not knowing what’s in store for him, after an employer of his who was recruited to participate dies. It’s an interesting watch and the tension created by director Géla Babluani (this is a remake of his 2005 film, 13 Tzameti) is very well executed. If you’re looking for something out of the mainstream, this is a solid choice. Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Michael Shannon, and Ray Winstone also star. Special features on the Blu-ray include a making-of featurette, cast and crew interviews, and more. A regular DVD is also included. Film *** Blu-ray ** (out of 5 stars).
If one of our reviews got you interested in the movie, support Criticize This! by purchasing it from Amazon.ca:
Top image: A scene from Fright Night. Courtesy Walt Disney Home Entertainment.