Today is Tuesday June 16th, 2015 and this is the first text companion to the all new GameShell segment What’s New in Blu. (Okay today is actually Wednesday the 17th, but E3 is going on and I was too busy watching press conferences. I’m sorry, ALRIGHT?!)
If you haven’t watched the first episode of What’s New in Blu you should go do that now so you have an excuse to look at my face. Go watch it right above this text. I’ll wait, just click through below to read my article.
Back? Alright, then you know we’re here to talk about Chappie. Chappie is a science fiction action movie and the 3rd feature film of director Neill Blomkamp. In the film we follow the life of a defunct police drone given Artificial Intelligence by the program's creator, Deon (Dev Patel). When the AI experiments prove successful Chappie is born, played by Blomkamp alum Sharlto Copley. He is eventually taken in by Ninja and Yolandi of Die Antwoord playing criminal versions of themselves. The cast is joined by Hugh Jackman as the advanced tech hating baddie Vincent Moore and Sigourney Weaver as the executive Michelle Bradley.
I have a weird love for Chappie. The film started out a little slow and I left the theater somewhat unimpressed. I enjoyed the film, but with the opinion that this wasn’t Blomkamp’s best work. However, I found as the film settled in my head it grew on me more and more. Once I picked my copy up of the film and gave it another watch my opinion flipped, I now think Chappie is pretty damn close to Blomkamp's other work. Copley’s performance as the title character was wonderfully done and while Die Antwoord weren’t the most talented actors on set that was overshadowed by the fact that they themselves are already such odd characters. The chemistry between the three was great and watching Chappie get raised in this morally questionable manner was very entertaining. Jackman and Patel both played their parts well while Sigourney Weaver had nothing more than what I consider a bit part.
Any fan of either of Blomkamp’s films should consider picking this up. It was a nice take on the somewhat overdone AI theme in sci-fi. Though I did feel that Blomkamp recycled some ideas from his other movies which felt like kind of a cheap move, but doesn’t take away from the quality of the film much. If it’s something you’re not sure you want to drop the $25-$35 on I would definitely recommend red-boxing or renting digitally.
Chappie is available in a number of different releases. There is the standard blu-ray release available at any retailer. Target get’s an exclusive steelbook featuring some nice looking artwork you won’t see anywhere else (No longer available online it seems). Best Buy gets a bonus disc with some additional features packaged in a different slipcover than the standard release. In addition to these three releases we also get Blomkamp3 (read: cubed). This set features District 9, Elysium, and Chappie on Blu-Ray along with a 64 page digibook that will include pictures from the film with some plot details and behind the scenes information. All packaged in a book style case along with a digital copy of each film.
Some other new releases this week include:
Along with the new releases we also saw a few additions to the Criterion Collection. My Dinner With Andre and A Master Builder are added to the Criterion lineup and will join Vanya on 42nd Street in the Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn Collection.
This week we see two more additions to the growing Studio Ghibli releases provided by Disney; Spirited Away and The Cat Returns.
That’s it for this week’s (and our first) edition of What’s New in Blu. I’ll see you guys next week. Don’t forget to head over to our YouTube channel and subscribe. You can find me on Twitter @iareBRENDEN where I talk about the mountains of media and pop culture I stuff into my brain.