The Shelf is our weekly look at the new titles coming to Blu-ray and home video titles worthy of your collection. This week we’ve got Ridley Scott’s engineer infused Alien prequel, Steven Spielberg’s heartwaming alien opus, and a couple of classic Hitchcock titles as they were always meant to be seen.
Ridley Scott’s return to the Alien universe has its detractors, but when viewed on its own merits and without the baggage of the Alien franchise, it is a beautiful film that shows of what movies are now technologically capable without losing their sense of reality. Scott crafted a world that connects to his previous work while still maintaining a freshness to keep us engaged, and tell a very different story than what came before.
The Blu-ray set contains deleted and alternate scenes (including an entirely different beginning and end), the brilliant web films The Weyland Files which includes Weyland’s TED Talk from 2023, second-screen app integration (you can download the app here), and two commentary tracks, one featuring the writers and one featuring Ridley Scott. Ridley’s thoughts behind the film and its design clarify many questions you may have walked out of the theater with, but he also calls Michael Fassbender’s David a replicant on the track, so please feel free to speculate on what that could mean below. We’re giving a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack of the film as well as a set of Kotobukiya glow-in-the-dark Alien tumblers over at Nerdist News, so hop over to our contest page and sign up for a chance to win.
Steven Spielberg’s coming of age science fiction classic comes to Blu-ray today and we highly recommend picking it up and letting a wave of nostalgia wash over you. Spielberg’s film still has all the joyful moments of glee, the genuine scares, and the majestic score we all remember so fondly all in the best presentation possible. If you haven’t seen E.T., the plot is pretty basic, boy meets alien, boy and alien become friends, boy decides to rescue alien. Within that framework Steven Spielberg ignited a generation’s imagination.
The Blu-ray set includes all of the great bonus features from the DVD release (all the bonus features except walkie-talkies instead of guns) and a nice look back on the movie by the filmmakers and cast. New to the set are the E.T. Journals, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of E.T. that allows the viewer to experience what it was like to be on set. If you want a movie to make you completely forget your real age and look brilliant doing it, you can’t go wrong with this Blu-ray of ET.
With an alien invasion, masterful puppetry, and lead character living the classic stereotype of being an outsider, if we had to pick one movie as a gateway drug for your average nerd to get into movie musicals, Little Shop of Horrors is definitely the title we’d choose. Insanely memorable performances from Rick Moranis and Ellen Greene as Seymour and Audrey, brilliant cameos and supporting roles from Steve Martin, Bill Murray, and the late John Candy, and an amazing soundtrack from Alan Menken all come together to make one of the best movie musicals of the last 30 years.
The Blu-ray set is a must-own release for more than just a brilliant looking transfer of the film. The Blu-ray release contains the now-infamous alternate ending cut back into the film to form a director’s cut approved by Frank Oz. The set includes a well done behind-the-scenes booklet in the packaging, a letter from Frank Oz explaining why the original ending was cut in the first place, and a wealth of bonus features from a Frank Oz commentary track to a behind-the-scenes documentary. If you are a fan of 80’s comedy, musicals or 50’s sci-fi, you need to own the Little Shop of Horrors Director’s Cut Blu-ray release.
Also Out this Week:
Dial M for Murder – There may be a grand debate about the merits of 3D in Hollywood, but if it was good enough for Hitchcock, it’s good enough for us. Hitchcock’s classic Dial M for Murder finally makes it to Blu-ray today and includes the original 3D version of the film, so you can see all the murder and intrigue as it was originally intended.
Strangers on a Train – Hitchcock’s classic about what happens when two men think they’ve discovered the perfect crime comes to Blu-ray today. The master of tension and paranoia was in amazing form when he created this movie.
The Raven – John Cusack stars as Edgar Allen Poe as he faces off against a serial killer murdering people using his plot devices. Think of it as Saw: Litereary Edition.