Published on April 22nd, 2013 | by Greg
New On Blu-Ray: Lincoln, Woochi the Demon Slayer
We’ve been in the theater non-stop over the past few days, enjoying the Tribeca Film Festival and covering it’s wide slate of films. But before the hubbub and red carpet arrivals, we had the chance to check out two new Blu-ray movies, each of which deserves attention, though they offer very different experiences.
Let’s start with Lincoln. If you haven’t already seen it, you should, and this is the best way to do so now that it is no longer in theaters. For those who haven’t seen it yet, it’s an Oscar winning movie with Daniel Day Lewis in a profoundly moving performance as the assassinated U.S. president. It might sound a bit dry to those who haven’t yet viewed another great piece directed by Steven Spielberg, but by focusing the plot on a small and hugely important period in time, you capture a sense of history without ever getting boring. There’s lots of great and surprising material here, thanks to unexpected directions like Lincoln’s son, played aptly by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and his mother (Sally Field).
For those who have already seen it in theaters, there is plenty to catch from scenes that you may not have fully understood (like some strategizing sessions and some of the humor injected via Tommy Lee Jones. Depending on the version you purchase, there are plenty of extras as well, excellent bonuses like the 9-minute featurette titled “The Journey to Lincoln” and “Living With Lincoln” which features all of the major actors in behind-the-scenes interviews. There are lots of things to say- about the excellent sound design and costumes, the near-perfect print and transfer, and the restraint showed in key moments and scenes that actually add to the overall intensity of the film. It’s epic, even if it spans only four months, and utterly convincing. Worth the time and money; pick this one up in a two disc Blu-ray combo pack for around $23.
On a very different note, fans of Asian action will love Woochi the Demon Slayer. It’s an excellent Korean film, also known as Jeon Woo Chi. It broke box office records in Korea, and combines a bit of fantasy with adventure and plenty of martial arts. Solid special effects mean that the occasionally so-so acting and confusing plot point can be overlooked, since the movie clearly has it’s heart in the right place: providing an entertaining show, with often creative cinematography and magical elements that stand toe to toe with any Hollywood blockbuster. Sure, it might sound a bit silly- the main character is imprisoned in an ancient scroll by a group of wizards but awoken thanks to some trouble brewing, and sent on a mission to retrieve a magical instrument from an evil force. It’s actually quite funny as well.
There are a few special features- some deleted scenes, along with featurettes like The Newest Korean Style Hero Movie, a somewhat lame “Making Of”, and a couple on production and special effects that are worth catching if you have some time and like the flick. Go in expecting a popcorn movie with little to analyze, and just sit back and enjoy- because it’s pretty hard not to, once the movie gets rolling. Available now, for around $23, online and in stores.