Prepare your bank accounts, it’s time to see what’s Now Available to Own for the week of May 27, 2014. Each week we run down new releases in movies, television series, and video games that you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home. On shelves this week, you can find titles such as Watch Dogs, Mario Kart 8, Journey to the West, and more. Check out the complete list of new releases and see if you should buy, rent, or pass ’em after the jump.
Movies on Blu-Ray
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Criterion Collection Edition) (Wes Anderson) With a plan to exact revenge on a mythical shark that killed his partner, oceanographer Steve Zissou rallies a crew that includes his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who may or may not be his son. Starring Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston, and Cate Blanchett
For the Criterion purists out there, they have released yet another Wes Anderson film to drool over. I watched this film a long time ago and was never a big fan, but I have been very interested in seeing it again lately. BUY IT IF YOU LIKE WES ANDERSON AND CRITERION MOVIES. Special features includes:
- Audio Commentary by Anderson and Cowriter Noah Baumbach
- This Is an Adventure, a documentary chronicling the film’s production
- Mondo Monda, an Italian talk show featuring an interview with Anderson and Baumbach
- Interview with Composer Mark Mothersbaugh
- Singer-actor Seu Jorge performing David Bowie songs in Portuguese
- Intern video journal by actor Matthew Gray Gubler
- Interviews with the cast and crew
- Deleted scenes
- Stills gallery
- A conversation between Anderson and his brother Eric Chase Anderson
Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (Stephen Chow, Derek Kwok) A story centered on Tang Sanzang, a Buddhist trying to protect a village from three demons, his emerging feelings for Miss Duan, the demon hunter who helps him repeatedly, and Sanzang’s transformative encounter with the Monkey King. Starring: Zhang Wen, Qi Shu, Bo Huang, and Show Luo
I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I requested to review this film, but I left feeling very satisfied. The completely cartoonish action mixed with Buddhist teachings and ridiculous dialogue made for the perfect combination of B-foreign cinema. I found this movie to be very profound in its themes and highly enjoyable on all accounts.
The crazy cast of characters and the action are what most people will go in expecting to be great, and they are, but there is a certain level of storytelling that is simply magical. Chow definitely ups his game. Journey to the West is a very fun and enlightening movie that should be sought out. BLIND BUY FOR IF YOU WATCH THE TRAILER AND LIKE IT, BUT DEFINITELY RENT THIS MOVIE FOR SURE! Special features includes:
- Stunts & special effects
- Cast & characters
- Director Stephen Chow
- The laughs
- Production design
Endless Love (Shana Feste) The story of a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart. Starring Gabriella Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, Bruce Greenwood, and Robert Patrick
I always tell myself that you have endure the bad to appreciate the good. And that’s what I went in thinking when I saw the remake of Endless Love. I actually went in head first wanting a terrible movie because I was bored on Valentine’s Day weekend. I was not let down. This movie is complete trash and in the worst kind of way. It’s not even enjoyable trash. SKIP THIS MOVIE! Special features included are:
- Extended Ending (Blu-ray exclusive)
- Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes (Blu-ray exclusive)
- The Making of Endless Love
Cheap Thrills (E.L. Katz) A scheming couple put a struggling family man and his old friend through a series of increasingly twisted dares over the course of an evening at a local bar. Starring Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, Sara Paxton, and David Koechner
I’ve heard good things coming out of this year’s festival circuit. I haven’t been able to catch it, but am still intrigued by its cast and premise. It sort of reminds me of a darker version of The Brass Teapot. RENT IT! Special features included are:
- Audio Commentary with Director E.L. Katz and Star Pat Healy
- The Making of Cheap Thrills: This 45-minute documentary chronicles the tight 14-day shooting schedule with a fly-on-the-wall perspective of the pressures and rewards of making a first feature on such a short schedule.
- Cheap Thrills at Fantastic Fest 2013
- 16-Page Booklet
Television on Blu-Ray
The Universe: The Complete Seventh Season This educational show explores many scientific questions and topics about the universe (Big Bang, the Sun, the planets, black holes, other galaxies, astrobiology etc.) through latest CGI, data and interviews with scientists. Starring Erik Thompson, Alex Filippenko, and Laura Danly
If you love the Life series and want a beautiful look at worlds beyond our own, The Universe is a very gorgeous look at what the title implies. There is so much we have yet to learn outside our floating rock that The Universe puts such a great perspective on things. Fans of Cosmos can definitely enjoy this trip around space. BUY IT IF YOU LOVE LEARNING ABOUT SPACEEEEEE! There are no special features.
DreamWork’s Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 2 (Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois) The further adventures of Hiccup and his friends on the Island of Berk. Starring Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, T.J. Miller, and Zack Pearlman
For anyone who loved How to Train Your Dragon, there’s a special thing happening on the small screen. DreamWorks’ Dragons picks up after the events of HTTYD and expands the world even further than the upcoming sequel – you do not need to watch this show to understand the HTTYD2. However, if you’re a fan of the chemistry of the characters and the relationship of Hiccup and his pal Toothless, you’ll love the continued stories Sanders and DeBlois have to tell. If HTTYD2 proves to be a success, and I predict it will be (my review), they plan to Agents of SHIELD the franchise and combine the film and the show to make a cohesive narrative leading up to the third movie. BUY THIS SERIES! Special features included are:
- Dragon Tracker Part 4
- Evolution of Skill
- “Here Comes the Fire” Dragon Mash-Up
Watch Dogs (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Windows; May 27th) Play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker, whose criminal past led to a violent family tragedy. Now on the hunt for those who hurt your family, you’ll be able to monitor and hack all who surround you by manipulating everything connected to the city’s network. Access omnipresent security cameras, download personal information to locate a target, control traffic lights and public transportation to stop the enemy… and more.
I have yet to play this game, but from what I’ve seen at various conventions and through its marketing, Watch Dogs is one to look out for in the end of the year on Best Of lists. The brilliant attention to detail, the killer graphics, and the multitude of gameplay options is unreal. BUY IT! Other noteworthy things to point out:
- Seamless Multiplayer Experience (this means no menus, no loading screens, just instant open-world multiplayer action.)
- Go beyond the console with a ground-breaking, real-time, companion game. The Watch Dogs companion game delivers revolutionary dual-screen gameplay that enables you to play from anywhere, at any time.
- Street Justice — Create your own way to attack.
- High-Octane Driving — Get behind the wheel of more than 65 vehicles
- Everything is Under Control — Experience the advanced processing and graphics capabilities of Disrupt, the all-new game engine dedicated to Watch Dogs.
- Dynamic Navigation — Watch Dogs gives you the ability to not only use the city’s CTOS to your advantage, but the streets as well.
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U; May 30th) For the first time on the Nintendo Wii U console, you get to experience the racing action that has been a fan favorite for years, with a few added features to keep things interesting.
Now I’m a big fan of Mario Kart 64. Who isn’t? And I haven’t played any of the iterations since. (I have no friends, leave me alone.) But this new installment of Mario Kart looks like an ADHD diagnosed kid’s wet dream. There is just so much stuff going on that it’s a total sensory overload. It looks very detailed and fun for those who have been following the series, but I’m not so sure. RENT IT! Other noteworthy nuggets to point out:
- Gear up for never-before-imagined racing-circuit designs, made possible by the new antigravity feature
- Hang gliders, underwater racing, motorbikes and mid-air tricks are all back
- Call up 11 of your friends and engage in some adrenaline-pumping 12-player online competitive play
- Share your racing success with the world and post highlight videos to the Miiverse with Mario Kart TV
- Revel in the crisp high-definition graphics and 60-frames-per-second frame rate
Blu-Ray Deals and Steals
- Fantastic Mr. Fox (Criterion Collection) – $20.99
- Halloween: The Complete Collection – $118.96
- Army of Darkness – $7.50
- Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark – $11.99
All prices come from Amazon.com and sometime Best Buy. Best Buy, Frys, and Target all price match online prices now if you do not want to order online.
What will you be taking home this week, tell us in the comments section below?
Check out previous installments of Now Available To Own to see what you’ve been missing.
Find me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus