In our new weekly column, we give you the lowdown on the weekly top three essential DVDs and Blu-ray releases.
The furthest reaches of the galaxy find their way into your home this week with the special re-release of the wonderful alien adventure "E.T. Extra-Terrestrial," as well as Ridley Scott's space thriller "Prometheus." On a slightly different kind of magical journey, we travel with the Beatles on a "Magical Mystery Tour."
1. "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"
Starring: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore and Peter Coyote
Director: Steven Spielberg
Studio: Universal Studios
Running Time: 115 min.
An extra-terrestrial is accidentally left behind when his spaceship takes off in a hurry, but luckily he's rescued by a little boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas). Elliott is a clever kid who figures out what aliens and humans have in common: a love of Reese's Pieces. As Elliott tries to help E.T. get in touch with his friends back home, he soon realizes that the government is looking for his new friend for their own reasons. (Hint: they aren't going to be sharing their candy with E.T., and he definitely will not be allowed to drink beer.)
This 30th anniversary edition is available as a 1-disc DVD or a 2-disc Blu-ray set; the latter includes the DVD and a digital download. The movie has been digitally remastered from the 35mm release, and is not the cheesy "updated" version that Spielberg unleashed on moviegoers in 2002. It does include an all-new Steven Spielberg interview, as well an impressive making-of feature, "The E.T. Journals," shot by Academy Award-winning cinematographer John Toll. Aside from the typical BTS featurettes, this also includes a cool "E.T" reunion with the cast and Spielberg.
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce and Idris Elba
Director: Ridley Scott
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 124 min.
In this unofficial prequel to "Alien," two committed scientists (Noomi Rapace and Logan Marshall-Green) travel to a remote planet with an entire crew, determined to uncover the mysteries of mankind's existence on Earth. Aboard the vessel Prometheus, they are assisted by an android David (Michael Fassbender) and a ragtag team of explorers and guns-for-hire. One of their less helpful shipmates is a corporate representative, Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron), who has an agenda of her own. (Read our review here.)
"Prometheus" is available as a 4-disc set that includes a 3-D version, the Blu-ray, a regular DVD and a downloadable copy; a 2-disc Blu-ray package that also comes the regular DVD and a downloadable copy; or a stand-alone DVD.
The 4-disc set has an additional seven hours of bonus material, but the 2-disc package offers plenty of deleted scenes and other goodies. Besides a commentary by director Ridley Scott, it includes an alternate beginning and ending, commentary by writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof and the chance to peruse the Weyland Corp. Archives as a second screen experience. It will provide plenty of fodder for fans who want to argue for hours about this alternate universe.
3. "Magical Mystery Tour (1967)"
Starring: Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Victor Spinetti and Jessie Robins
Directors: Bernard Knowles, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr
Running Time: 53 min.
The Magical Mystery Tour is coming to take you away, now on Blu-ray!
A busload of zany characters, including all of the Beatles, take off on a flight of fancy across the English countryside in their magical bus. Much less concerned with narrative, this film is a series of psychedelic and strange situations set to the music of the Beatles.
Special features for this release include an eight page booklet, a director's commentary by Paul McCartney, a making-of featurette "The Making of Magical Mystery Tour," a short interview with Ringo Starr and more.
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