Blu Monday: Harry Potter,The Incredibles, and White Material

The Incredibles: First up on this weeks Blu Monday we have Pixar’s The Incredibles. This is the first Blu ray release for this Disney classic and it looks terrific in High Definition. Disney is on a great streak with their classic re-releases and The Incredibles is right up there with one of the best. It’s almost as if all Pixar films were made to be seen on Blu Ray. I have never seen the film look as good as it does on Blu Ray, this release even puts it’s theatrical release to shame giving it that “first time” feel.

Not only is this film beautiful on Blu Ray it’s packed with special features. The film is literally jam-packed with special features that fill up two Blu Ray discs. We have everything on this release that you could want: Pixar short films, film maker diaries, games and more. You could lose a day just digging through everything on the two discs. My favorites being the shorts, “Jack Jack attack” and “Bounding” are fantastic examples of the majesty that is Pixar. The latest release of Pixar’s The Incredibles is a must own for any Disney fan. I can’t imagine this film will have a more encompassing release than it does here on Blu Ray. I give The Incredibles on Blu Ray a buy it.


Casino Jack: The first time I watched Casino Jack I wasn’t sure what to make of it. I mean sure Kevin Spacey was great in it but that’s about all I thought it had to offer. It’s funny how an opinion can change when you give a film a second chance. Though I was highly disinterested when I first received the film I thought to myself I would give it a second chance, have an open mind and give the film a clean slate. Some of the problems I had with the film were still there, this was mostly attributed to the horrible use of green screen when it seemed unnecessary. Knowing that these problems were there I was given a chance to just focus on the film rather than being distracted by spotty special effects.I found myself getting lost in the story of Jack Abramoff and really enjoyed the film.

Not only is it worth watching for it’s performances, it’s an interesting story to tell. The film takes a challenging look at the lives of lobbyist and people chasing riches and a life of access. The sound is great on Blu Ray the only complaint I have about the film’s visuals is the use of green screen and how it becomes even more obvious in High Definition.

Another disappointing factor about this release is it’s lack of special features. There is really nothing there and given the subject matter it’s more than disappointing. The lackadaisical special features include a Photo gallery, Gag Reel, and deleted scenes. I expect a little more when it comes to a Blu Ray release. This is the soul reason I have to give Casino Jack a Rent it. The story is worth watching but the Blu Ray doesn’t give it much replay value.


White Material: This release from Criterion couldn’t have come at a better time with a subject line of revolution it’s message rings more poignant than ever. White Material is the story of Maria, an entitled white woman that refuses to leave her coffee plantation even in the midst of civil war. Maria is stubborn and naive to the increasing danger she and her family face in these dark times. Film maker Claire Denis takes an interesting look at revolution and the lines of race.

The film is as poignant as it is intriguing and just shines on Blu Ray. Like all Criterion film you are getting nothing but the best. The picture and sound are held to this high standard. Where the Blu Ray really stands out is in it’s special features. Most studios tend to shy away from lengthy special features on foreign films. Lacking a certain respect for their target audience. With Interviews with the cast and crew, a documentary and deleted scenes none will be disappointed. White Material is an interesting film covering a relevant subject matter and is definitely worth it’s run time. I give White Material a Rent It.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1: I can’t express enough how disappointed I was to find that the scene from the final film was removed from the screener version of the Blu Ray. While I didn’t get to see the exciting opening sequence, the Blu Ray still has enough in the way of special features to make up for it. If you don’t already own a Blu Ray player this could be the film to push you into taking the leap. Studios like Warner Brothers and Disney keep pushing the format into new directions and expanding on what we can do with the technology.

With Harry Potter’s Maximum Movie mode you are taken right into the making of the film. This new take on special features has been a welcomed addition to most Warner releases, but with Potter it really shines. Acting like a guided tour through the making of the film it is a definite fan must see. The film is bloated with special features spanning two Blu Ray Discs giving the Blu Ray hours of rewatchablilty. Along with a plethora of special features the film has never looked as good as it does here, the sound and visuals are fantastic and definitely worth noting. With extras as good as the film itself there is no other option but to say buy the film on Blu Ray.



by Ryan Davis

About Ryan Davis

Ryan is the Founder of Lost in Reviews, a member of The Kansas City Film Critic's Circle, and a key component in the movement to digitally restore the 1986 classic film The Gate. Ryan is also the co-host of Blu Monday a DVD and Blu Ray review show which Lost in Reviews co-founder Angela Davis also appears. While he may be a film and music snob, that doesn't mean you can't be friends. Well it could if you don't like the same bands or films he does, overall it might be best to avoid the subject all together.

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