It’s a new week with a new batch of Blu-ray releases to look at. We even have a free copy of one of them to give away. There’s just one catch: We’re not going to tell you which one. Confused? Read on…
The Mystery Contest!
Here’s the deal: We have a spare, slightly used copy of one of this week’s new Blu-ray releases listed below, and we want to put it in your hands. Which title is it? I’m not telling. You’ll just have to guess.
It could be a new day-and-date release. It could be a catalog title or a TV box set. Maybe it’s the movie shown in the banner image above, or maybe not. It could be anything. I’m not giving you any hints.
So how do you win it?
- You must vote in the poll for the title you think it might be. This is not optional. I will check IP addresses to confirm that you voted. Because the poll only gives you one opportunity to vote, think about what you want to guess before you submit. Of course, you can vote for multiple titles at once, and I encourage you to do so. Vote for as many discs as you’re actually interested to own. Vote for all of them if you want to. (Though it seems pretty fruitless to me to vote for crappy titles you don’t actually care about winning.)
- Next, post in the Comments section below explaining why you’d like to win the disc. It’s really that simple. Maybe you saw the movie in theaters and loved it. (Do not take this as confirmation that the prize is actually a theatrical film. It might be, or it might be something else.) Maybe it’s a longtime favorite you’ve been waiting to upgrade to Blu-ray. Maybe you haven’t seen it at all but thought it looked interesting. (Please elaborate on why.) Maybe you really like one of the actors in it. Maybe you’re a completist collector for the director. Maybe you just think the cover art looks cool. Whatever the case may be, just tell me why I should give you a free Blu-ray.
This doesn’t seem so hard, does it? I’m not even going to put a limit on how many times you can guess. There are 28 new titles available this week, so go right ahead and enter 28 separate times if you’d like to. The key here is that you have to actually want the disc. Because if you don’t want it, why bother competing for it?
The deadline for entry is end-of-day Tuesday, January 27th. Once all the votes are in, I will sort through the correct guesses and choose a winner based on which comment gives the most compelling reason for wanting to win. If nobody guesses correctly, that must mean that none of you actually want it, and we’ll just keep it ourselves.
The usual disclaimers apply. This contest is only open to entrants from the domestic United States. We will not ship internationally (whether you’re a U.S. citizen or not). Employees of High-Def Digest or Internet Brands and their families are not eligible.
People who have won any of our previous contests within the past one month (yes, I’ve shortened the time frame) are also not eligible to win, but may get Honorable Mentions.
‘Fury‘ – Brad Pitt, having made one of the bigger hits of his career with ‘Inglourious Basterds’, returns to duty in WWII, this time as a tank commander in a war drama by David Ayer, a writer/director better known for cop movies like ‘Training Day’ and ‘End of Watch’. From what I hear, the tank combat scenes are pretty compelling, but the drama scenes between them much less so. Still, the Blu-ray should make dandy home theater eye and ear candy.
‘The Book of Life‘ – Guillermo del Toro produced this Dia de los Muertos-themed animated musical about a puppet love triangle and the afterlife and some other weird stuff. I can’t decide whether the visual design looks dazzling or wearyingly gaudy. The movie underperformed at the box office with a lot of criticism about its formulaic storytelling and reliance on racial stereotypes for cheap gags.
‘The Judge‘ – Robert Downey, Jr. stars as an arrogant big city attorney with major daddy issues who returns home to his small Indiana town to defend his father (Robert Duvall), a once respected judge, from a murder charge. The problem: Daddy thinks his son is an asshole and would rather go to prison. Uh oh! The heartstring-pulling Oscar bait drama only managed to secure one of its desired Oscar nominations (for Duvall), but all of the performances are supposed to be pretty good.
‘Before I Go to Sleep‘ – With headlining names like Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth, a movie must be pretty bad to vanish into obscurity so quickly. Do you even remember this coming out in theaters? The gist of it is that the stars remake ’50 First Dates’ as a thriller, with Kidman’s amnesia victim having a total memory reset and waking up every morning thinking that she’s still 20-years-old, and learning something more sinister about her husband every time she does. Honestly, it’s not a terrible pitch for a thriller. Sadly, the movie got savage reviews and flopped.
‘Why Don’t You Play in Hell?‘ – The latest project from Japanese cult director Sion Sono (‘Cold Fish’, ‘Suicide Club’) is a revenge thriller about amateur filmmakers trying to make a low-budget Yakuza action movie, only to get caught up with the real thing. I’m told that the film has a hell of an exciting sword battle climax, but takes a really, really long time to get to it.
The Criterion Collection’s sole title this week is the Argentine family drama ‘La Ciénaga‘, about which I know nothing at all.
Surprisingly, Shout! Factory has a higher-profile selection of famous art films. Namely: Kenneth Branagh’s brawny adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Henry V‘ and a double-feature of Claude Berri’s French period dramas ‘Jean de Florette‘ and its sequel ‘Manon of the Spring‘.
Olive Films is all over the map this week, from the Frank Capra comedy ‘A Hole in the Head‘ to the Korean War epic ‘Pork Chop Hill‘.
Fox has a new 20th Anniversary Edition of Bryan Singer’s exemplary thriller ‘The Usual Suspects‘. Will this copy finally have a decent video transfer, or is it just a repackaging of the dated master first released on Blu-ray back in 2006? I’d need clarification on that before I’d consider buying this.
Can’t get enough uptight British condescension or conveniently overheard conversations? ‘Downton Abbey‘ is still going strong after five seasons.
Personally, the only must-have disc for me this week is Branagh’s ‘Henry V’, but I also have some interest in the ‘Jean de Florette’ two-fer and would rent ‘Fury’.
I’ve told you our contest rules above. Winning is simple. Just tell me what disc you want and why I should give it to you. If you guess the right title, it could be yours. Good luck!