In our weekly column, we give you the lowdown on the weekly top three essential DVDs and Blu-ray releases.
These three releases give us wildly different perspectives on life, from the futuristic remake "Total Recall," to the high-pitched tones of college a capella with "Pitch Perfect," and the heartfelt romance and search for adulthood in "Liberal Arts." Whether you're looking for great music, heart-stopping action or a walk down memory lane, this week's movies are sure to please everyone on your list this year, making them the perfect presents.
1. "Total Recall"
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bokeem Woodbine, Bill Nighy
Director: Len Wiseman
Studio: Sony Pictures
Running Time: 130 min.
A factory worker, Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), suspects that his simple life may not be all it seems after a visit to Rekall, a company that supplies people with false memories of unattainable lives, vacations and other luxuries. When he's suddenly forced to run for his life, everything he's known is called into question as he attempts to discern reality from Rekall.
This Blu-ray release comes with both the theatrical and director's extended cut of the film, audio commentary with director Len Wiseman, as well as a host of behind-the-scenes and making-of featurettes, and plenty of pre-visualization sequences that take you inside the film's ingenious technology.
This fantastic Blu-ray release also comes with a DVD and an UltraViolet digital copy.
2. "Pitch Perfect"
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Adam DeVine, Skylar Astin, Elizabeth Banks, John Michael Higgins
Directors: Jason Moore
Studio: Universal Studios
Running Time: 112 min.
When wanna-be DJ Beca (Anna Kendrick) agrees to attend Barden College against her wishes, she never dreamed that she'd join an all-girls a capella group. The Bellas, headed up by the uptight Aubrey (Anna Camp), need to get their act together and modernize their performances if they have any hope of defeating the all-boy's group. Will Beca get on board? And what about that cute guy on the rival team, Jesse? It's a little sassy and a little heartfelt, and entirely jam-packed with incredible musical performances.
This Blu-ray features deleted, extended and alternate scenes, an improvisational montage, a music video, interviews, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and audio commentaries from the director and producers, including Elizabeth Banks.
This Blu-ray release also comes with a DVD and an UltraViolet digital copy.
3. "Liberal Arts"
Starring: Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, Elizabeth Reaser, John Magaro, Zac Efron
Director: Josh Radnor
Studio: IFC Films
Running Time: 97 min.
In this warm and intellectually honest romantic dramedy, Jesse (Josh Radnor) is a college admissions officer who is approaching his mid-thirties with trepidation. When he returns to his small liberal arts college to attend the retirement dinner of his favorite professor and good friend (Richard Jenkins), he meets a vibrant 19-year-old named Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen). As Jesse considers a romantic relationship with Zibby, he struggles with growing up and the choice between maturity and his heart's desires, amidst a host of other problems.
The special features for this release include deleted scenes and an original IFC featurette. However, it would have been nice to see some kind of director/writer commentary from Radnor, as this is such an obviously personal story.
Enjoy this film on Blu-ray.
Want more awesome DVD picks? Check in with Queue it Up over at NextMovie!