Straight Outta Compton – F. Gary Gray
Straight Outta Compton tells the true story of how five young cultural rebels – armed only with their lyrics, swagger, bravado and raw talent – stood up to the authorities that meant to keep them down and formed the world’s most dangerous group, N.W.A. And as they spoke the truth that no one had before and exposed life in the hood, their voice ignited a social revolution that is still reverberating today.
One of the biggest surprises of the year last year. Not that it was expected to be bad, but filling in the roles of the iconic rappers was always going to be a challenge and the filmmakers behind Straight Outta Compton managed to find some fantastic actors to star in this. Chief among them is Ice Cube’s very own son, O’Shea Jackson Jr. This disk offers up a directors cut of the film that’s twenty minutes longer than what was seen in theaters. It expands upon a few scenes, obviously, but what hit theaters is the bulk of what needs to be seen. There are some great extras here that include interviews with the real members of the group as well as old footage of them performing. Pick of the week!
Inspired by the incredible events surrounding an attempt to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Everest documents the awe-inspiring journey of two different expeditions challenged beyond their limits by one of the fiercest snowstorms ever encountered by mankind. Their mettle tested by the harshest elements found on the planet, the climbers will face nearly impossible obstacles as a lifelong obsession becomes a breathtaking struggle for survival.
Everest is able to take the tired genre mashup of ‘survival’ and ‘disaster’ movies and inject some great moments of human emotion to have created a movie that moves along with its cast through an epic journey. The cast all turn in good performances and the extras provided on the disk include interviews with the cast that document the efforts taken to make this film appear as authentic as possible. Queue It
12 Monkeys: Season One
Utilizing a dangerous and untested method of time travel, a man from the post-apocalyptic future, James Cole, (Aaron Stanford, Nikita, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand) travels to the present day on a mission to locate and eradicate the source of a deadly plague that will decimate the human race. But as he and virologist, Dr. Cassandra Railly (Amanda Schull, Suits, Center Stage), track the mysterious cult behind the outbreak, the “Army of the 12 Monkeys”, the effects of time travel threaten to destroy humanity’s last hope.
TV spinoffs of movies aren’t always the strongest shows, it depends on a lot of variables to be worthy of its cinematic predecessor. 12 Monkeys follows the tried and true formula of less is more. 13 episodes is the golden number, it seems, for shows to deliver compelling content and stay relevant for an entire season. This is absolutely worth seeing. QUEUE IT
Jem and the Holograms
Small-town girl Jerrica (Aubrey Peeples, TV’s Nashville) lives an unexceptional life… until she takes on a secret identity inspired by her music. She becomes Jem: the bold, stunning and absolutely fearless global superstar! But when it seems that she may lose touch with the things that really matter, Jerrica and her band of sisters begin a one-in-a-million journey, discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden.
You know, not everything from the ’80s needs to be resurrected for today’s generation. Kids today didn’t know about Jem, and maybe they should go back and check it out, but they should definitely skip this generic movie that delivers nothing special about a property that, at least in the ’80s, gave you something you didn’t see everywhere else. Skip it.
Bonus DVD Re-Issues
Kung Fu Panda 1 & 2 – Ultimate Edition of Awesomeness Editions
Kung Fu Panda
Jack Black is the voice of Po, a noodle-slurping dreamer who must embrace his true self – fuzzy flaws and all – in order to become the Dragon Warrior.
Kung Fu Panda 2
On his first big challenge since becoming the Dragon Warrior, Po must lead his friends and fellow kung fu masters The Furious Five on a mission of epic proportions to defeat his most threatening rival yet.
To double dip these two films, you have to be a huge fan of the franchise. There are some new animated shorts that are fun to watch but don’t add anything to the story of the movies. Each disk does include a preview of Kung Fu Panda 3. Skip it (unless you don’t have them, them queue these)
The Devil Wears Prada: The 10th Anniversary Edition
Based on the hilarious best-selling novel, this sinfully funny movie stars Oscar winner Meryl Streep as fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly. Anne Hathaway co-stars as Andy, the young woman who lands a job “to die for” as Miranda’s assistant – a job that might, in fact, be the death of Andy!
A great movie with some fantastic performances and a 10th Anniversary re-release is warranted if for no reason other than to remind you that you might not have picked up this movie before and now’s your chance. You know it’s a special movie when this is high on some lists for Meryl Streep’s best performances. Buy it.