TOP 5: ANT-MAN Trailer, TAKEN 3, Scarlett Johansson Leading GHOST IN THE SHELL, Ultra HD Blu-ray Announced, Most Anticipated of 2015

     January 10, 2015

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I try not to use the opening paragraph for the same topic more than once, but this week I’ll make an exception. A little over a year ago I wrote about my new found love of NBC’s Parks and Recreation and today, with the seventh and final season set to kickoff this Tuesday at 8/7c, I’m headed back to the same well. My wife and I currently have five episodes left in Season 6 which we should finish with ease ahead of Tuesday’s premiere. If you’ve yet to get into the show, I can’t recommend enough recording this final season as it airs on NBC while you marathon watch the first six seasons on the streaming platform of your choice (I believe all six seasons are available on Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime today). In addition to Nick Offerman‘s Ron Swanson being perhaps my favorite television character of all-time, the show’s cast is stellar across the board (Jon Glaser in a recurring role as Councilman/Orthodontist Jeremy Jamm comes to mind in particular). If you’re looking for a current series that’s equal parts funny, clever, and heartwarming I’m convinced you can do no better than Parks and Recreation.

My repeat recommendation in hand, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for Marvel’s Ant-Man, interviews for and Matt’s review of Taken 3, Scarlett Johansson leading DreamWorks’ live-action Ghost in the Shell adaptation, news that the next generation of Blu-ray will be named “Ultra HD Blu-ray”, and a look at our Most Anticipated of 2015. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

1. Marvel Releases First ANT-MAN Trailer

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I admitted that my excitement for Marvel’s Ant-Man took a critical hit when Edgar Wright departed the director’s chair. While I stand by the idea that I would have preferred to have seen Wright’s vision come to fruition, I have to say that Marvel knows exactly how to sell me a movie as this first trailer for Ant-Man has me once again looking forward to the film. Michael Douglas’ voice-over hit me just like Ben Kingsley’s did in the Iron Man 3 trailer and while you can criticize Marvel for following a similar format this time around, you’ll have a harder time convincing me that it’s not effective. For more on our Ant-Man coverage from this past week check out the film’s first poster, 20 images from the trailer, and more.

2. TAKEN 3 Interviews and Review

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Am I excited in the least for Taken 3? No, not really. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the original and Liam Neeson is a bonafide cinematic badass, but covering the third film in the franchise this week is really more about reminding you that Neeson’s A Walk Among the Tombstones comes out on Blu-ray/DVD this coming Tuesday and it’s most assuredly worth checking out. That reminder aside, I won’t blame you a bit for being excited for Taken 3 and checking out Matt’s review (where he calls director Olivier Megaton’s set pieces “some of the worst, most incoherent imaginable”) and Perri’s video interviews with Liam Neeson & Forest Whitaker and Famke Janssen & Maggie Grace.

3. Scarlett Johansson to Lead DreamWorks’ Live-Action GHOST IN THE SHELL

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Scarlett Johansson is one of the most talented young actresses working today. Strong, beautiful, and versatile, anytime I see her name attached to a project I become interested by default. Knowing what I know of Ghost in the Shell (i.e. knowing what Wikipedia knows), there may not be a better choice for the role of Major Motoko Kusanagi than Johansson. That said, having never read Masamune Shirow’s manga or watched director Mamoru Oshii’s anime film adaptation, I’d love to hear what fans of the property think of the news that Johansson will star in DreamWorks’ live-action adaptation.

4. Blu-ray 4k Officially Named “Ultra HD Blu-ray”

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On its own, the news that the 4k Blu-ray format will be officially known as “Ultra HD Blu-ray” going forward may not be all that exciting. However, when you take a look at the specs of the new discs, consider that a new player will be required to watch them, and a 4k television will be necessary to take full advantage of the format, you begin to uncover a more interesting question: what role will physical home media play in a marketplace where more and more consumers seem to value the relatively low cost and convenience of streaming over a premium home viewing experience that is dependent on purchasing multiple costly devices to enjoy? Only time will tell, but I can’t see myself being an early adopter barring any unforeseen hikes in my annual income.

5. Collider’s Most Anticipated of 2015

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2014 was an excellent year in film but what’s done is done and we must look ahead. In that spirit, Matt, Adam, Perri, and Haleigh took the time not only to give you their Most Anticipated Films of 2015 but to also present them to you categorized as “Originals”, “Sequels”, “Comedies”, and “Dramas”. If you haven’t already, take a look and begin compiling your own “Most Anticipated” list. It’ll come in handy later in the year when the general business of everyday life makes you forget which movies you were looking forward to seeing. Plus, making lists is just a great time.

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