Another year is over, but it’s been a great one for Blu-ray. From the launch of the brand new Ultra HD Blu-ray format, to the home releases of films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there’s been lots to enjoy. We’ve put together a list of 10 Blu-rays we particularly enjoyed this year – read on for our first five.
Deadpool (also available on Ultra HD Blu-ray)
Star Ryan Reynolds persevered for years in getting a movie version of his favourite comic book anti-hero made. But his efforts, and support from an enthusiastic online fan base, paid off spectacularly when Deadpool went on to have a record breaking theatrical run. The movie breathed new life into the superhero genre, bringing ‘the merc with the mouth’ to the big screen with the original comic’s irreverent, twisted sense of humour intact. Special features include deleted scenes, commentaries, a gag reel and a feature on the film’s long road to getting made.
The Secret Life of Pets (also available on Ultra HD Blu-ray)
From the minds behind Despicable Me and those peskyMinions, comes The Secret Life of Pets, 2016’s biggest new animated comedy and one which finally answers the question of what pets get up to while their owners are out of the house. But when a pampered terrier and his unruly new “roommate” from the pound get lost in the urban jungle of New York City, they must put aside their differences to survive the epic journey back home. Starring voice talents such as Kevin Hart and Louis CK, the Blu-ray also includes documentaries on the cast and crew, and exclusive mini movies featuring the Minions. Expect to see much more from the pets in the years to come.
The Jungle Book
Disney has recently reimagined several of its classic animated characters in live action –Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Pete’s Dragon and so on. When The Jungle Book was also announced to get a similar treatment, some wondered how a tale told largely by animals would be possible. But director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Elf) blew all doubts away with this truly spectacular take on the classic story. State of the art computer graphics bring Bagheera, Baloo and the terrifying Shere Khan to life like never before, with outstanding voice talent from Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray and Idris Elba completing the package. The Jungle Book is one for all the family to enjoy, and looks outstanding in high definition on Blu-ray.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Officially the highest grossing film of all time at the US box office, The Force Awakens revived the dormant Star Wars franchise with JJ Abrams in the director’s chair. Old faces including Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia return alongside a new generation of actors including Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver and John Boyega, in a thrilling film which embraces the past while pointing to an exciting future. Available in 2D or as a 3D collector’s edition, the Blu-rays include deleted scenes and behind the scenes access to this historic film.
The Revenant (also available on Ultra HD Blu-ray)
Winner of the 2016 Academy Awards for Best Actor, Director and Cinematography, The Revenant packs a serious punch on Blu-ray. Inspired by true events, it’s an epic story of survival and transformation on the American frontier. While on an expedition into the uncharted wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally mauled by a bear, then abandoned by members of his own team. Driven by sheer will and his love for his Native American wife and son, he undertakes a 200-mile odyssey through the vast and untamed West on the trail of the man who betrayed him: John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). If you have the right equipment, check out The Revenant on Ultra HD Blu-ray – it’s the next best thing to the cinema.
What do you think? We’ll post part two of our list tomorrow, so stay tuned.