The Exorcist Extended Director’s Cut Blu-ray – The 1973 horror icon seemingly gets a rerelease every other year or so, but no previous edition can touch this comprehensive-seeming, voluminous tribute, which adds 12 minutes of footage to the original film and includes exhaustive documentaries on the various versions of the movie.
To top it all off, there’s a 38-page booklet that throws everything at you but the split pea soup. The set could have used a digital copy, though.
The Darjeeling Limited Blu-ray – Wes Anderson’s 2007 quirk-fest, which starred Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman as distant brothers who take a train voyage through India together, doesn’t receive as much love as the writer/director’s other movies. This Criterion Collection treatment gives the cult favorite its just tribute, though. Anderson jumps in with commentary on not only the movie, but Hotel Chevalier, the short co-starring Natalie Portman that comes with the film. There are also a load of off-beat little extras, including an audition tape for a minor character and a featurette on some silly awards the movie won, and there’s also a fold-out book heavy on art for the movie.
Leaves of Grass – Edward Norton stumbles through a dual role as a snobby professor who reconnects with his long-lost twin, a rough-hewn thug type who’s faked his own death and gotten involved in the drug trade. Eddie Murphy has driven the multiple-character thing into the ground, and even though Norton is as solid an actor as you’ll find, the gimmick wears thin and doesn’t help a weak script. The disc is thin on extras.
Splice – The underutilized Sarah Polley teams with Adrien Brody for a trippy, relentlessly disturbing film about a pair of romantically linked scientists who bend their ethics to raise genetically altered creatures with human qualities. The movie is basically a modern take on the Frankenstein mythology, but with more of a sexual angle. The Blu-ray is stacked with a digital copy, deleted scenes and a look at the making of the movie.
Wolverine and the X-Men: The Complete Series – I’m behind on my comic book reading, but this excellent animated series, with mature storytelling, a dazzling art style and tremendous voice acting from a dedicated cast, makes me feel as though I’m as connected to the X-Men universe as ever. The Blu-ray set bulges with episode commentaries and filmmaker interviews.
The Hangover: Extreme Edition – There’s really no reason for another Blu-ray version of the funniest movie of 2009, especially since the original release was so comprehensive, and the new one lacks a digital copy. However, if you’re an absolute sucker for the now-legendary tale of a Vegas bachelor party gone hilariously bad – and to be honest, it’s tough not to be – the siren call of the bonus book that comes packages with the movie is tough to turn down.
Phil Villarreal’s humorous money-saving book, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, is available on Amazon.