Happy New Year, and welcome to the first new Blu-ray column of 2014. This year's first edition is essentially dominated by the latest from television--most notably, two Canadian-made series that are well worth mentioning.
Peter M. Lenkov's Rest In Peace Department oozes with really fantastic ideas, and that's probably why Universal Pictures wanted to make it into a blockbuster franchise. The problem with the adaptation is that is misfires at almost every plot turn, and never seems to decide if it's going to be dark, funny, or just plain weird. That's also why it's very unlikely we'll see a sequel to R.I.P.D.
R.I.P.D. exists at the point where Men in Black meets The Frighteners, but leaning heavily towards the MIB side of things. Somewhere in that mix, there is probably a winning combination, but R.I.P.D. only gets it about half right, with a storyline that is more than likely to bomb until it rises again in a few months on Blu-ray.
Arriving this week on Blu-ray and on DVD: James McAvoy is the young and dashing Charles Xavier trying to save the world from evil mutants in X-Men First Class; Saoirse Ronan stars as a 16-year-old reclusive killer in Hanna; and a look at Brian DePalma's notorious Scarface on Blu-ray.
Opening in a theatre near you this weekend: James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender star in the comic book reboot, X-Men: First Class; Owen Wilson stars in Woody Allen's latest romantic comedy, Midnight in Paris; plus a look at the dramedy, Submarine.