In our new weekly column, we give you the lowdown on the weekly top three essential DVDs and Blu-ray releases.
This week's releases are all straight from the minds of some of today's best directors, and entirely fantastical in nature. Whether it's the sci-fi world of the future in "Blade Runner," the sexed-up strip clubs of Florida in "Magic Mike" or the vampire-riddled revised history of one of our greatest presidents, "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," there's definitely a wacky bent to this week's releases.
1. "Blade Runner" 30th Anniversary Collector's Edition
Starring: Harrison Ford, Daryl Hannah, Edward James Olmos, Rutger Hauer and Sean Young
Director: Ridley Scott
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 117 min.
This Oscar-nominated science fiction film rewrote the book on visual design, and settled deep into the collective consciousness.
Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a blade runner, a hunter of incredibly lifelike robots ("replicants") on the run. They're banned from Earth, but a few highly advanced versions -- played by Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah -- have finagled their way here, perhaps in order to extend their lives. Deckard's search leads him to Rachael (Sean Young), an assistant at the Tyrell Corporation, the company responsible for these AWOL replicants. Is Rachael human or replicant? Does it matter? What is humanity? This film based on Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" is still a subject of heated debate 30 years after its release.
This 4-disc set comes on Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet digital copy, and offers up five different versions of the film: the original workprint version, the 1982 domestic and international theatrical cuts, the 1992 director's cut and yet another Ridley Scott "final cut" with commentary and all the trimmings. The last one has revisions that were not present in the versions before.
There's a good deal of special content, including more than ten hours of the special features from the Ultimate Collector's edition, a photo gallery with thousands of new images, a feature-length documentary and plenty of behind the scenes featurettes.
2. "Magic Mike"
Starring: Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Cody Horn, Joe Manganiello, Matt Bomer, Kevin Nash and Olivia Munn
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 110 min.
This is the movie that gave us the gift of Matthew McConaughey drawling, "I see a lotta law breakers up in this house."
When Adam (Alex Pettyfer) finds himself in desperate need of guidance and a job, his new friend Mike (Channing Tatum) steps in with an unorthodox solution -- stripping. Between the wild-eyed owner (Matthew McConaughey) and the crazed females that enjoy the show, Adam finds himself in a strange new world that he really begins to enjoy. At the same time, Mike is starting to get tired of being Magic; he wants to start his own business, and he's juggling his affection for Adam's sister (Cody Horn) with his feelings for another woman (Olivia Munn).
Special features on this release include a very short BTS video "Backstage on 'Magic Mike,'" three extended dance sequences, and the best of all — a 20 minute cut that features all of the film's dance sequences back to back.
3. "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Rufus Sewell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anthony Mackie and Dominic Cooper
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 105 min.
We know that Abraham Lincoln changed the course of the United States, but we didn't know he did it with a silver-bladed axe, killing scores of vampires as he went!
Our great president Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) finds himself at odds with vampires after a death in his family, and vows to destroy them all with the help of a mysterious stranger (Dominic Cooper). After Lincoln falls in love with Mary Todd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and gains a presidency, things change a little though he must still contend with a host of vicious vampires led by the biggest vampire of them all (Rufus Sewell).
Included in this fun release is a graphic novel, commentary by writer Seth Grahame-Smith and a host of making-of feaurettes. Also included is a music video by Linkin Park.
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