New on DVD/Blu-ray: 'Gangster Squad' and 'The Impossible;' Plus 'Jurassic Park' Shows Off Its 3D at Home

New on DVD/Blu-ray: 'Gangster Squad' and 'The Impossible;' Plus 'Jurassic Park' Shows Off Its 3D at Home

Apr 22, 2013

Gangster Squad - Warner Bros. - Blu-ray and DVD

Director: Ruben Fleischer
Cast: Sean PennRyan GoslingJosh BrolinEmma Stone,Anthony MackieFull cast + crew

The story of gangster Mickey Cohen's stranglehold on Los Angeles in the late 1940s and the team of detectives who went above the law to take him down is a great, sprawling one. If only the movie version of it were as good (or true) as the real thing. Gangster Squad isn't a bad movie, it's just not a particularly engaging one. Director Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) delivers a very stylish, very slick period piece with a mighty fine cast, but the film itself is unfortunately a tad on the hollow side.

Gangster Squad is the kind of R-rated ensemble action movie that teenagers (who technically aren't old enough to be watching it) will love, but that anyone who has seen their fair share of cops-versus-criminals movies will see right through. It looks and sounds dynamite, and the cast shines across the board, it's just that there's no real connection to any of it. 

Special Features: 12 minutes of deleted scenes, however the shooting-in-a-theater scene that was removed and reshot after the tragedy in Aurora is not included; commentary with Fleischer; a PiP trivia track that can be watched along with the movie or separately (46 minutes of extras, total); a profile of Mickey Cohen (47 minutes); "Then and Now Locations" (eight minutes); "Tough Guys with Style" (five minutes)

 

Jurassic Park 3D - Universal - Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack

Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Sam NeillLaura DernJeff GoldblumRichard AttenboroughBob PeckFull cast + crew

The 3D conversion on Jurassic Park is convincing to the point where you'd think the movie was originally made for 3D. Having said that, though, you may not want to buy the Jurassic Park 3D Blu-ray. The 3D itself looks phenomenal, but this new home transfer has resulted in some very strange new color-timing throughout the movie. All of the characters are noticeably oranger, like they all went tanning right before filming. Presumably this new color-timing - which affects the entire movie and isn't always consistent from scene to scene - is a compromise required to make the 3D pop all the more, but depending on your love of Jurassic Park, it may not be a compromise worth making.

As someone who grew up with the film and knows every single frame of it by heart, it was very distracting to see everyone with this new Snooki-vision. The 3D isn't distracting one bit. The skin tones, however, are. A new generation who are only now being introduced to Jurassic Park may never notice, but the purists and old school among us definitely will, and you're definitely going to want to opt for the 2D purely to go back to the original color.

Special Features: The World of Jurassic Park 3D (nine minutes), a pretty cool look at how Spielberg and his technicians went about converting the film to 3D. The 2D disc also includes the extras (over two hours worth) from the previous 2D Blu-ray.

 

Other Notable Releases


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The Impossible features one of the most heart-stopping, breathtaking visual effects sequences ever put to film. It looks like director Juan Antonio Bayona plunked the actors into water, hopped in a helicopter and said, "Cue tsunami!" How it wasn't even included on the Oscar short list for Best Visual Effects is baffling. The rest of the movie is fantastic as well, thankfully. Naomi Watts' performance is stunning and the story is an emotional gauntlet. Things do get a tad manipulative toward the end (too many crossed paths), but it's still one of the best films of 2012.

Another of 2012's emotionally draining dramas is Promised Land, directed by Gus Van Sant, which takes America's current financial crisis and approaches it from a small-town perspective. If you need something a bit more carefree, though, you can opt for Cheech & Chong's Animated Movie. Fans of the smoke-happy duo may love it, but those who aren't yearning for their further adventures will probably just roll their eyes at the wacky shenanigans. But at least it's not as mind-numbing as A Haunted House, a cloying horror spoof that makes the Scary Movie franchise look inspired.

If you want a horror movie with some original ideas, check out the cool Norwegian film Thale. It's about a pair of friends who clean up dead bodies for a living who discover that a woman living in a hidden room of their assignment's cabin in the woods. They quickly learn, though, that she's no ordinary woman. The CGI can be a bit dodgy in spots, but the film itself is cool, short and original.

Everything Else


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