Movies starring Johnny Depp, Greg Kinnear, and Arnold Schwarzenegger top this week’s new Blu-Ray releases.
Transcendence – Johnny Depp plays a scientist studying artificial intelligence. When he’s murdered, his wife (Rebecca Hall) uploads his consciousness into a computer. His mind lives on, continuing to learn new things. But that comes with a cost when it begins developing some radical theories.
Although largely panned by critics and ignored by audiences, Transcendence is a wildly ambitious film. The plot tries to take on too much, and at times it’s muddled, but anyone with an appreciation for science-fiction that aims high will want to check it out. Wally Pfister (Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer) makes his directorial debut.
The bonus features are disappointing considering the big themes explored in the movie. There are less than twenty minutes of promotional featurettes, none of which provide much insight into the making of Transcendence. Two theatrical trailers are included as well.
Heaven Is For Real – This Christian drama was one of the year’s surprise hits. Based on the best-selling memoir by Todd Burpo, the movie stars Greg Kinnear as a man whose young son Colton claims to have visited Heaven during a medical emergency. Together, they spread the word of what he experienced.
Blu-Ray goodies are a handful of deleted scenes, a look at how director Randall Wallace and his effects team visualized Heaven, a 13-minute making-of feature, and a short interview with Burpo family.
Sabotage – Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in this thriller about the members of a DEA task force being hunted down after they rob a drug cartel’s safe house. The movie is the latest in a string of box office flops Schwarzenegger has experienced since returning to acting after years in politics. Director David Ayer has a track record with gritty, violent action pictures, though, having also made End of Watch, Street Kings, and Harsh Times.
Supplementary materials on the disc are several alternate endings, seventeen minutes of deleted scenes, and an 8-minute making-of.
The Single Moms Club – Tyler Perry wrote and directed this story of five single mothers who start a support group. Nia Long, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Amy Smart star.
The extras are thin here: just two behind-the-scenes segments.
Blue Ruin – This taut, highly-acclaimed revenge thriller is the story of a man named Dwight (Macon Blair) who seeks to kill the guy who murdered his parents twenty years before. The twist is that Dwight is no Charles Bronson. He’s not cut out to be a killer, and his efforts put him in close contact with people who have no qualms about engaging in violence. Blue Ruin is tense and exciting, with an interesting theme about the futility of vengeance.
Extras are an audio commentary from Blair and director Jeremy Saulnier, a 19-minute making-of feature, five minutes of deleted scenes, and a camera test done to establish the visual atmosphere.
Do any of these titles look good to you? Are you planning to purchase or rent any of them? Sound off in the comments section below.