By Ryan Michael Painter
(KUTV) We saw quite a few classics arrive on Blu-ray in 2012. Some were old film's making their high definition debuts, while others were gems from last 2011 and 2012. Here are twenty films that stood out for me. You can also find my companion list of the best twenty box sets of 2012 here: http://www.kutv.com/entertainment/features/movie-reviews/stories/best-bluray-dvd-box-sets-2012-46.shtml50/50
Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as in this comedy about a 27 year old who is given a 50/50 chance of surviving his cancer diagnosis. Yes, I did say comedy. Director Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) works wonders with Will Reisers fantastic script. Beasts of the Southern Wild
Benh Zeitlins drama/fantasy is a beautiful journey into a world of a sheet metal bayou town and the impending threat of melting icecaps. Bill Cunningham New York
This portrait of photojournalist Bill Cunningham is one of my all-time favorite documentaries and it finally made its way to Blu-ray in December.
Brazil: The Criterion Collection
Terry Gilliams directors cut of his bleak masterpiece Brazil finally arrived on Blu-ray courtesy of The Criterion Collection and it looks excellent. Criterion even included the majority of the bonus features that appeared on the 3-disc box set from 1999, including the infamous Love Conquers All version of the film.
Cabin in the Woods
Joss Whedon (Marvels The Avengers) and Drew Goddard (Lost) teamed up to write this hysterical horror film that effectively plays tribute to the genre while making fun of its many clichs. The Dark Knight Rises
After watching the film for the second time I ended up falling in love with Christopher Nolans close to The Dark Knight trilogy. Drive
Nicolas Winding Rfns film owes a lot to the neon and gloss of Michael Manns films, but that doesnt keep it from being one of the most beautiful and menacing films released on Blu-ray this year. Of course Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan and Albert Brooks have something to do with that as well. Ed Wood
Tim Burtons over-looked masterpiece about filmmaker Ed Wood creeped its way on to Blu-ray in 2012 and the results were marvelous. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Seeing Steven Spielbergs little film about a boy and a stranded alien was a life changing experience in 1982 and the opportunity to revisit it 30 years later was amazing. The film looks better than I ever could have hoped and the story is as moving today as it was when I was 6 years old.
The Gold Rush
Charlie Chaplins classic film can be viewed in Chaplins preferred 1942 cut (which included narration) or the original 1925 version. Either cut of the film is an excellent example of Chaplins ability to entertain while still addressing social issues. Youd be hard pressed to find a better cinematic analysis of the impact of greed. The Grey
Despite starring Liam Neeson, The Grey quietly crept into theaters in January without much fanfare and wasnt even screened for local critics. When I sat down with the Blu-ray in the spring I was shocked pleasantly surprised by how gripping the experience was. The sun may have been shinning outside my window, but in front of my television it was thirty below. Hugo 3D
One of the most magical love notes to the early days of cinema came wrapped up in the form of Martin Scorseses Hugo. It was my favorite family film of 2011, James Cameron hailed it as a masterpiece and praised its use of 3D and yet no one went to see it. At least the film and its crew was rewarded with 5 Academy Awards. In the Mood for Love
Wong Kar-wai makes the most beautiful films in the world and In the Mood for Love is probably his most gorgeous film to date. The story is heartbreaking in the tradition of Edith Whartons novel The Age of Innocence. Jaws
Steven Spielbergs Jaws is a perfect monster movie and its Blu-ray was equally flawless. Unfortunately the film was a nightmare to make, but its the results that count in the end. Looper
Rian Johnsons topsy-turvy time travel film was one of the smartest, most entertaining films of 2012. Its the sort of film that Philip K. Dick would be proud of. Marvels The Avengers
Its rather refreshing when the years biggest blockbuster was actually a film that I loved nearly as much as its most devoted fan base (which, as weve learned, is massive). A thrill from start to finish with equal parts comedy, action, heart and envelope-pushing special effects.
Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol
Ghost Protocol was a breakout success for Pixars Brad Bird, a revival of a franchise that wasnt quite sure if it had a future and a much needed hit for Tom Cruise. The Muppets
The Muppets returned much of the magic that had slowly slipped away from Kermit and his band of friends. It was nostalgic without being caught in the past. The future always looks better when there is the possibility of a good Muppet film appearing on the horizion. Prometheus 3D
Even if you found Ridley Scotts quasi-prequel to Alien disappointing the bonus features and epic behind-the-scenes feature included in the Collectors Edition Blu-ray rivals the comprehensive package Scott offered with the Kingdom of Heaven: Directors Cut box set.
Up is one of the most universally appealing films ever made. It is Pixars grand jewel and considering the studios output thats really saying something. In December Disney finally released the film in 3D and the results are fantastic.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)