Blu Tuesday is a weekly column where we review the newest Blu-ray and 4K releases, along with a brief rundown of the included bonus material, to determine whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping.
Pick of the Week: “Prey”
It’s hard to believe that director Dan Trachtenberg only has a few credits to his name because he’s shown with his work both in film (“10 Cloverfield Lane”) and TV (the “Black Mirror” episode “Playtest”) that he’s a talented filmmaker with a real knack for making the most out of very little. That skill comes in handy on his latest movie, “Prey,” a stripped-down and muscular action thriller that ranks among the best films of last year. Although technically a prequel to the “Predator” film series, “Prey” operates largely as a standalone story and succeeds thanks to its unique setting and a perfect balance of character and action. Star Amber Midthunder is excellent as the Ripley-esque protagonist, while the constant stream of Predator-centric carnage will satisfy longtime fans of the franchise. Though “Prey” is perhaps a little too simplistic at times, it’s a lean, mean, back-to-basics action flick that delivers the goods and then some.
The fact that Disney is giving this movie a physical release at all is kind of unprecedented, so just having the film itself is a big deal. However, the 4K release also boasts a solid collection of bonus material, including an audio commentary by Trachtenberg, Midthunder, director of photography Jeff Cutter and editor Angela M. Catanzaro; a making-of featurette; an FYC panel with the cast and crew; and some deleted scenes. FINAL VERDICT: BUY
Also Out This Week:
“The Mist” — Writer/director Frank Darabont is responsible for some of the best Stephen King adaptations of all time, and though “The Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile” get all the praise, 2007’s “The Mist” is a sneakily good horror film that combines elements of old-school creature features with the kind of intense human drama that Darabont would later bring to “The Walking Dead.” “The Mist” is just as much about the monsters inside the supermarket as the monsters outside, and that human conflict (driven largely by the fear and paranoia of the unknown) works incredibly well thanks to a talented cast led by Thomas Jane, Andre Braugher, Marcia Gay Harden and Toby Jones. Although “The Mist” is best remembered for its brutal gut-punch ending, that finale wouldn’t hit quite as hard were it not for the riveting two hours that precede it, regardless of whether you’re watching the original color version or the alternate black-and-white version that’s also available on this new 4K release. Extras include an audio commentary by Darabont and producer Denise Huth, as well as a collection of behind-the-scenes featurettes, some deleted scenes and a conversation with Darabont and King. FINAL VERDICT: BUY
Disclosure: Bullz-Eye was provided a copy of the above titles for review purposes.