Maybe it was the pressure of having to live up to the now legendarily unsurpassable status of Alien, or maybe it was the vagueness in its marketing (is it a prequel? Isn't it? What are these Weyland Corp. videos, anyway?), or maybe it was the hype involved with Ridley Scott returning to his sci-fi roots after 20 years, but critics and fans ended up giving Prometheus a fairly lukewarm reception rather than raves--many of the positive reviews were given with reservations.
Now go put this movie in your player, stat. Even better if you have Blu-ray, and even better if you have 3D capability. The transfer is impeccable, and the visuals are spectacular in 3D, as is the sound. This, people, is what we should be demanding for the price of a 3D ticket...not the schlocky tacked-on conversions Hollywood throws at us.
The story centers on a team (including a creepy Michael Fassbender as the android who shouldn't be trusted) sent on a mission to a distant planet to find out if, as a couple of wacky scientists believe, the origin of humanity began there. What ensues is a mish-mash of people making really dumb mistakes, scenes of truly awful body horror, heavy-handed existentialist hoo-haw, ubiquitous black goo and Charlize Theron in a skintight getup, all against a breathtaking panorama that serves as a worthy return for the director who brought us Blade Runner so many years ago. The questions this film leaves are many, and sci-fi fans were hard at work debating the android's motivations and why are humans hated and what IS that black goo? when the film made it to theaters last summer (I'd just like to know why they wrapped Guy Pearce in terrible old man makeup instead of just using, I dunno, a real old actor?). Regardless of some flaws and the questions left open, Prometheus is an entertaining, terrifically acted and directed piece of science fiction that looks and sounds amazing no matter what format you're watching. Extras: Commentary by Scott and screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost) that should explain a few of these mysteries, deleted scenes/alternate opening and ending, the Weyland files and archive (DVD-BD combo); the 4-disc pack includes the 3D version and adds a making-of featurette, screen tests, and a few other bonus features.
Rock of Ages Oh yeah, that Glee-ish musical starring Tom Cruise and Julianne Hough
The Raven John Cusack plays Poe, and ... you know.
A Cat in Paris Noirish, Academy Award-nominated animated film about, well, a cat's adventures in Paris.
New on Blu:
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Who didn't cry a little at that little alien pointing to the stars, and his young friend Elliott (Henry Thomas) trying to get him there on his bike that seemed to fly as high as the moon? Steven Spielberg's 1982 classic debuts in high def in a special 30th anniversary Blu-ray combo pack that includes a remastered version of the movie as well as 7.1 surround sound, a brand-new interview with Spielberg, and "The E.T. Journals," with never-seen footage from the set. The pack also includes two deleted scenes, a look at the making-of, a cast and director reunion discussing the movie's lasting impact, featurettes on John Williams and the score, and more. Who cares if we get a new version of this every 10 years--a classic is, in the end, still a classic.