As the year draws to a close, we wanted to take the opportunity to look back at some of the best titles from a great year of Blu-ray releases. With so many to choose from, it was certainly a difficult task selecting some of our favourites – let us know any others which made an impression on you in the comments.
Man of Steel
Superman, the original comic book superhero, made a long-awaited return in one of the biggest and most anticipated blockbusters this year, Man of Steel. Directed by Zach Snyder (300, Watchmen), produced by Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy) and starring Henry Cavill as Clark Kent and his costumed alter-ego, this movie brings electric action and added depth to the legendary character. Needless to say, the movie looks incredible on high-definition Blu-ray, in either 2D or 3D.
Iron Man 3
It’s been a good year for comic fans, as 2013 also saw Marvel’s eccentric billionaire superhero, Iron Man, make a welcome return to the big screen in his funniest, most-action packed adventure yet. The high intensity thriller wowed critics and features an all-star cast including Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce. The Blu-ray includes all the extra content we’ve come to expect from Marvel, and is also available in 3D.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition 3D
Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson invited us back into the fantastic world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth this year with the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. A precursor to the epic Lord of the Rings Trilogy, we get a glimpse of Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) first adventure with Gandalf (Ian McKellen). The Blu-ray, available in 2D and 3D, looks stunning and also comes with a mind boggling nine hours of special features.
Jurassic Park 3D
Twenty years on from its original release, Steven Spielberg’s modern masterpiece, Jurassic Park came out in 3D on Blu-ray this autumn. Breathing new life into the reanimated dinosaurs, according to critics, the 3D version is “an improvement on perfection”. With production on a new sequel, Jurassic World, ramping up, this is the perfect way to reacquaint yourself with a modern classic.
Top Gun 3D
This year, Top Gun, the 1980s icon which launched Tom Cruise’s career, also received a 3D makeover. The conversion brings a whole new dimension to the fast-paced flying manoeuvres, close cut combat scenes and gives an extra “boom” to the F-12’s roaring jet engines. But don’t just take our word for it, according to critics this Blu-ray is “the best Top Gun has ever looked on home video”.
Star Trek Into Darkness
The sequel to director J.J. Abrahams 2009 Star Trek reboot is undoubtedly one of the sci-fi highlights of the year. The hotly anticipated sequel continues the adventures of Captain James Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Bones (Karl Urban) and Uhura (Zoe Saldana), as they encounter ruthless mastermind John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch). The sparkling visuals – again, available in 2D or 3D, and iconic sound effects make this movie a must watch on Blu-ray.
Disney Pixar’s charming and beautifully constructed CGI movie Monsters University is arguably a contender for the top family film of 2013. A prequel to smash hit Monsters Inc., the movie follows lovable Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) as they became friends at Monsters University. The Blu-ray comes jam-packed with an incredible sixteen bonus features to keep kids and grown-ups alike entertained.
Guillermo del Toro, the director behind Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth, captured audience’s imaginations across the world with Pacific Rim, his labour of love which fuses the Japanese ‘Kaiju’ legend with giant robots. The visual effects are extraordinary, so it’s no surprise to hear critics say Pacific Rim “positively shines and shimmers with crystal clear visual resolution” on Blu-ray, whether in 2D or 3D.
The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhrmann’s “ballsy and impressive” adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic American novel, The Great Gatsby, bought the roaring twenties back into fashion again this year. With a glittering cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire, and musical collaborations with Jay-Z and Beyoncé, the movie makes for a truly impressive audio and visual spectacle on Blu-ray.
The World’s End
After much anticipation, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright finally wrapped up their so-called Cornetto Trilogy this summer with the release of The World’s End. And what better way to round off the legendary series than with an alien apocalypse at the end of a pub crawl? This laugh-out-loud funny movie comes with director Edgar Wright’s trademark haul of exclusive Blu-ray content, from deleted scenes to an extensive making of feature.
What have we missed? What were your favourite or most underrated Blu-rays of 2013? Let us know in the comments…