Father’s Day is on Sunday, and Warner Bros has debuted three of their guy-centric films of the ’90s and ’00s to Blu-ray just in time. U.S. Marshals, A Perfect World, and Blood Work all arrived in stores last week, each unveiling a high definition transfer for the first time.
As the followup to the 1993 Harrison Ford hit The Fugitive, U.S. Marshals had some big shoes to fill when it released five years later in 1998. With Ford’s Richard Kimble out of the story, the focus shifts to his pursuer from the previous movie, U.S. Deputy Marshal Sam Gerard. Tommy Lee Jones reprises his Oscar-winning role in this spinoff that puts him on the trail of yet another errant fugitive. This time the quarry is Mark Roberts (Wesley Snipes), a truck driver who is apprehended after a car crash near Chicago for murdering two federal agents in New York. While Gerard is accompanying Roberts on the prison transfer flight, their plane comes under attack and crashes. In the mayhem of the wreckage, Gerard is distracted by trying to save the other prisoners on the flight, and Roberts slips away. Soon Gerard is on his tail and begins unraveling a surprising truth about the murders for which Roberts is accused. Robert Downey, Jr, and Joe Pantoliano join the cast in this satisfying quasi-sequel.
The Blu-ray released includes an audio commentary from the director, Stuart Baird. There’s also a featurette called Anatomy of a Plane Crash that presents a behind the scenes look at one of the key setpieces and sequences in the film. The featurette runs around twelve minutes in length and has its own chapter stops throughout. Justice Under the Star is another bonus featurette, this time running just shy of twenty minutes. It is a history of the U.S. Marshal service and punctuates the factual history with significant fictional references in movies. Rounding out the special features is the original trailer for the film.
A Perfect World
Following the manhunt theme, A Perfect World is another movie about a desperate man on the lam and the law enforcement officers who pursue him. Clint Eastwood directs Kevin Costner as Butch Haynes, a prison escapee who abducts a young boy named Phillip (T.J. Lowther) as protection as Butch and his fellow escapee Terry (Keith Szarabajka) flee the police. Red Garnett, played by Eastwood himself, is the Ranger on their trail, and he is accompanied by federal agents played by Laura Dern and Bradley Whitford. Set in 1963 Texas, the pursuit transcends the usual cat and mouse games of the genre by presenting Butch as a multidimensional fugitive. He develops a fatherly relationship with his young hostage, and even Garnett grows to understand the man he is chasing. A Perfect World is Eastwood’s first directorial outing after Unforgiven and often falls into the shadow of the bigger and better known film. It’s a great addition to your Blu-ray collection if you’re a fan of either Costner or Eastwood, and it looks great on Blu-ray without having been subjected to lots of digital enhancement. There are not bonus features aside from the inclusion of the film’s original trailer.
Completing the trio of Father’s Day releases is Blood Work, another Clint Eastwood film, this one hailing from 2002. Clint Eastwood directs and stars in the movie as Terry McCaleb, an investigator and profiler for the FBI. McCaleb suffers a heart attack while pursuing a suspect who has been taunting him with a string of crimes, and he requires a heart transplant to save his life. Now retired and living on a houseboat, McCaleb has befriended his new neighbor, Butch (Jeff Daniels), and lives quietly, per his doctor’s (Anjelica Huston) orders. That changes when a woman named Graceilla Rivers (Wanda De Jesus) finds him and tells him his new heart once belonged to her sister, a murder victim. McCaleb goes back on the case in pursuit of answers and justice for the woman whose heart he inherited.
In addition to two trailers, the Blood Work Blu-ray also comes with a couple of featurettes, each running around fifteen minutes or so in length. The first is Making Blood Work, a standard behind the scenes piece about the movie. It’s important that you not watch this one before you see the movie itself, as it explores the whole story, including the ending. The second featurette is A Conversation in Spanish with Clint Eastwood, Wanda De Jesus, and Paul Rodriguez. This has the three discussing the film in both English and Spanish (with English subtitles), intercut with footage from the movie.
If you’re looking for some last minute gifts for a movie-loving dad this weekend, one of these three just might fit the bill. U.S. Marshals, A Perfect World, and Blood Work all released on Blu-ray on June 5, 2012, and are in stores now.