As the autumn draws in, there’s every reason to shut out the colder weather, grab a blanket and check out what’s new in the world of Blu-Ray. With a whole bunch of spectacular visual films coming out this year, here are a few that will make you want to ensure you have a gold plated HDMI cable to enjoy the best video quality.
One of the biggest and boldest releases so far, Marvel Avengers Assemble is an unashamed popcorn movie, tempered with a snappy script by cult TV champion Joss Whedon. A cast including Robert Downey Jr and Scarlet Johansson complete the line-up of comic heroes, who join forces against evil Norse God Loki. Tom Hiddleston is a joyously contemptuous baddie and the 3D action sequences are loaded with enjoyable spectacle.
The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games is fortunately one of those book-to-film adaptations that seem to balance faithfulness with a respect for the new medium. The dystopian society of Panem exercises control over its subjects by choosing a boy and girl from each of the twelve districts to take part in a quite literal survival challenge. Jennifer Lawrence is convincing as main character Katniss, in a life suddenly out of her control, as is the unflinching choreography of the battle scenes.
Lockout sees Guy Pearce as a wronged man, an ex-government agent convicted of espionage and murder. To gain his freedom, he must rescue the President’s daughter from a rioting outer space prison. Though the concept is not an original one and recalls classics like John Carpenter’s ‘Escape from New York’, the explosive visuals and unrelenting pace deliver some entertaining, over-the-top action.
The Cabin in the Woods
Joss Whedon gets another writing credit for this genre-inverting horror, which sees a group of teenagers holidaying in the most isolated of destinations. A tongue-in-cheek approach to the genre makes for an unexpectedly original film, as gradually the friends -and the audience -realise that all is not what it seems. A few good thrills, some knowing asides and one mind-bending twist later make The Cabin an entertaining ghost train ride into both the familiar and the unknown.
So it’s 15 years on and everyone knows the premise: first-class girl falls for third-class boy on board the doomed cruise liner, and there ensues a good three hours of romantic tension, icebergs and a good deal of water. But this is Titanic for the 21st century and it’s been updated to boost the budget-breaking effects of the original with 3D technology. The resolution is near-flawless and the ship’s demise even more dramatic, making this one of the most successful transfers to Blu-ray yet.
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