by Matt Marshall
With the 86th Academy Awards nominations set to be announced Thursday morning, many critical favorites find their way to Blu-ray this week. Lee Daniels’ The Butler joins Carrie, You’re Next, Riddick, Fruitvale Station, Enough Said, The Spectacular Now and Short Term 12 on home media.
Loosely based on a true story, The Butler follows the 34-year tenure of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a White House butler who witnesses various historical events in American history. Grossing over $116 million domestically, The Butler arrives to Blu-ray from Anchor Bay in a Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet combo pack. In addition to Whitaker, the film also stars John Cusack, Oprah Winfrey and Robin Williams
Fox/MGM is releasing last year’s remake of Carrie to Blu-ray this week. Starring Chloe Grace Moretz as a social awkward teen with telekinesis, the 2013 version shifts the Stephen King story to a modern setting. Many elements from the 1976 version remain. This time around, Carrie’s tormentors use social media and viral videos as means of high school bullying. Carrie arrives as a Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet combo pack featuring two versions of the film.
Slasher film, You’re Next also debuts his week on Blu-ray from Lionsgate Films. You’re Next debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, but was not released in theaters until last summer. The Adam Wingard film is an modern-day homage to the 80s slasher where a reunited family is threatened by masked ax murders. You’re Next is packaged as a Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet combo pack.
Also out this week is Vin Diesel’s Riddick from Universal Studios. Riddick is the third chapter of the Pitch Black (2000) and The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) franchise. In this installment, Riddick is left for dead on a isolated planet until he finds himself at odds with a group of bounty hunters. WWE’s Dave Bautista and Katee Sackhoff (co-host of Schmoes Know podcast) star as two bounty hunters. Two versions of the film are available on the Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet combo pack. Riddick: The Complete Collection is also available for purchase.
In addition to The Butler, Anchor Bay is releasing a second “based on a true story” 2013 release. In Fruitvale Station, Michael B. Jordan portrays Oscar, a 22-year-old fatally shot by police on New Year’s Day 2009. Fruitvale Station depicts the last 24 hours of Oscar’s life, leading up to the incident at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station. The film is available as a Blu-ray, DVD, UltraViolet combo pack.
On a lighter note, 20th Century Fox debuts the romantic comedy, Enough Said starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini. Thanks to her friends, Eva (Dreyfus) connects with Albert (Gandolfini), not knowing he is her friend’s ex. Enough Said debuted at TIFF last year and garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Dreyfus. Enough Said comes to Blu-ray on a single disc.
James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now is Lionsgate’s second release of the week. Based on the book of the same name, this 2013 Sundance Film Festival debut stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley in a modern coming-of-age tale. High school senior, Sutter (Teller) lives “in the now,” but that’s challenged when he forms an unlikely relationship with “nice girl” Aimee (Woodley). The Spectacular Now is available as a Blu-ray, UltraViolet combo pack.
Last on the list this week is Short Term 12 from Cinedigm. Like the previous three releases, 2013 SXSW Film Festival debut was well-received by critics with a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes. In Short Term 12, Brie Larson plays a 20-something foster care employee who works with at-risk teens. Short Term 12 is packaged as a Blu-ray, DVD combo pack.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Matt Marshall is a YouTube movie reviewer who hosts MNMreviews. He has a B.A. in Communications/Journalism from St. John Fisher College and resides in Rochester, NY.