FILMS YOU SHOULD OWN: DECEMBER
December is upon us, and that means the last batch of summer blockbusters has made its way onto DVD & Blu-ray just in time for the festive period. Below bvc are my top three DVD releases for December.
Director Denis Villeneuve’s first English-Language film stars Hugh Jackman as the desperate father of a kidnapped girl, and Jake Gyllenhaal as the cop assigned to the case.
This dark drama/thriller is a tough watch and won’t appeal to all audiences, but for those willing to sit through those particular gruesome scenes, a masterpiece awaits. Prisoners is full of narrative twist and turns, and the case brings up a lot of unwanted demons for Detective Loki, as well as unearthing a few hidden secretes from the communities past cases. Paul Dano plays the disturbed lead suspect, Alex Jones, and does a brilliant job of making the audience feel as uncomfortable as humanly possible. The case requires Loki to contact every known sex offender to grill them for information, this smart shift in the story opens a can of worms, and separates this film from a crime drama on T.V, because it isn’t one dimensional. The multiple suspects and back stories keeps the audience engaged throughout, which is necessary considering the length of the film.
At 153 minutes, Prisoners runs the risk of having too many flat moments between the dramatic action, but the risk pays off because this film is full of intense moments, certainly enough to keep the audience entertained, and the reason that it is my top DVD release for December.
DVD & Blu-ray release date: December 17 (US)
Not Determined (UK)
Second place this month is the hugely popular animation Despicable Me 2. In this sequel we find Gru (Steve Carell) being recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help bring down a looming threat. Juggling this whilst parenting his adoptive terror-ways provides some of the laughs, but the comedy primarily comes from those beloved little yellow minions.
Yes, as predicted, the minions are the star of the show, so much so they are getting their own spin off film, titled Minions, coming in the hectic film year of 2015. They are funnier, and cuter, than in their previous outing, as is the film as a whole. The minions steal every scene they’re in, getting funnier and funnier in every scene they’re in, at times I didn’t even care about Gru and the plot of the film, I just turned into a big kid and wanted the minions to pop up again, you can decide for yourself whether that is a good thing or not. Coming out of the cinema to the sound of kids’ laughter and the phrase ‘that was the best film ever’ can only be a good thing, right?
Despicable Me 2 lives up to the hype and offers plenty of laughs. The story doesn’t need to be complicated and well written, this is a kids animation after all, however there is enough going on with the narrative, and plenty of minion action, to keep audiences of all ages entertained, and the reasoning for it making second place for this month.
DVD & Blu-ray release date: December 10 (US)
The second Hugh Jackman film on the list, and the third and final for the month, it’s The Wolverine.
Marvel’s Fox owned property takes place after the events of The Last Stand, and with there being a couple of X-Men films released between the release of The Last Stand and The Wolverine, it’s easy to forgive audiences for feeling a little confused. The great thing about this film though is that you don’t have to have seen all of its predecessor’s beforehand. This includes The Last Stand, as well as the two prequels Origins and First Class released between, because this film tells a single story in a single film, a surprise considering the complexity of the X-Men franchise.
The Wolverine takes us to the visually stunning Japan, where Wolverine must come to terms with his immortality, but not without taking on ninja after ninja. Well, everyone has a hobby. Wolverine’s reasoning for being in Japan tie in with his actions during the end of the second world war, as the man he saved all those years ago finally gets to repay his debt. The clawed hero finds himself mixed up in a neo-Samurai cult, and must use everything in his power to save those who helped him. But how much power does he now possess?
The Wolverine packs a punch, and then some, and it’s refreshing to see some good old fashioned claw to sword combat, rather than an excess of special effects. A unique treat for comic book fans, and still a thoroughly enjoyable blockbuster for those who are strangers to the superhero universe.
DVD & Blu-ray release date: December 3 (US)