Blu-ray Review: COWBOYS & ALIENS has exceptional picture and sound quality!

One of the most disappointing box office turnouts of the summer has arrived on Blu-ray and DVD. Despite a solid ensemble cast, intense action sequences and cool visual effects Cowobys & Aliens failed to find it’s footing. Hopefully home audiences will enjoy the disc versions more and help increase the overall box office take.

Cowboys & Aliens would be better, if it had focused more heavily on the western elements in my opinion. I love sci-fi, but the science fiction elements seemed to miss the mark. I found myself just thinking of the aliens as more of group of outlaws than the aliens that they were. The best part of the story is the relationship shown between Harrison Ford’s character and his son played by Paul Dano. I especially loved how Adam Beach’s character seems acts like more of a son in the movie. This dyanmic and relationship is one of the best parts aside from the action sequences.

Sam Rockwell is also great in this movie. I like to think that second chances are an underlying theme in Cowboys & Aliens. Rockwells character was given a second chance in life as not being weak and scared. The same can be said for every characcter in the film. Daniel Craig was great in his role, but then again he is a great actor.

Here are my thoughts on the special features:

Conversations with Jon Favreau is one of my favorite aspects of the special features. The discussions are so intimate and informative. The best one for me is seeing the discussion with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. It is so great to hear Craig talking about the upcoming James Bond movie Skyfall, which Sam Mendes is directing. They also talk about the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which was cool to hear.

If you like going behind the scenes, then you will love the visual effects portion off the extras on the disc. One noteworthy bit that this portion exposed was that the sequence where the cowboy posse is hunting the wounded alien and they stay the night in an overturned riverboat was an homage to the original Alien movie. I had never thought of it that way, but it makes complete sense. That section goes into great depth on the creation of the aliens and what went into destroying them.

I personally always like seeing the action sequence choreography. It was cool to see the parts where the stars get yanked into the air by the aliens. Olivia Wilde is one dedicated actress. Not only was she moving at a nice pace on a horse, but she gets yanked off the horse and pulled into the air. It was cool to see the stars really getting into the scenes, making it look like a lot of fun. This is a great way to see how big the action scenes truly are.

In Conclusion:
If you skipped seeing this movie in theaters, I recommmend you consider watching it on Blu-ray. Yes it has a number of flaws, but I was not as disappointed with the story and action and many people were when it was released in theaters. The Blu-ray has amazing sound and picture quality and the special features are my favorite part. 
Here is a list of the special features for the Blu-ray:

·      IGNITING THE SKY: THE MAKING OF COWBOYS & ALIENS —A comprehensive, behind-the-scenes look at the production that invites viewers on set to meet the filmmakers and cast as they create this one-of-a-kind action film. In revealing conversations, Jon Favreau, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, as well as stars Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde, share their insights about the movie. Also featured are visual-effects powerhouses Legacy Effects and ILM, which join forces once again to push the technological envelope beyond anything ever seen before on screen.  It includes:     

o   FINDING THE STORY — Cowboys & Aliens, based on the graphic novel by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg, has been in development for over a decade.  Filmmakers, writers and cast explain why this particular team of Hollywood heavyweights hit the right note to bring this to the big screen.  

o   THE SCOPE OF THE SPECTACLE —A look at the team behind the camera for the film’s massive New Mexico shoot, as the stars ride horses, shoot guns, jump from explosions,and get yanked 80 feet in the air!  Director Jon Favreau stages unforgettable action set-pieces as cameras capture every moment, while legendary stuntman and Cowboys & Aliens’ second unit director Terry Leonard brings a lifetime of experience to the big-screen stunts, from legendary moments in John Wayne classics to doubling for Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

o   OUTER-SPACE ICON — Take a closer look at the creation of a new, terrifying alien design from Legacy Effects and Industrial Light and Magic.

And exclusive to Blu-ray™ these additional segments:

o   A CALL TO ACTION — A profile of prolific actor, writer and director Jon Favreau featuring on-set video diaries shot throughout the production.

o   ABSOLUTION — A look at the practical re-creation of a dusty Old West mining town, the town’s inhabitants and the amazing ensemble of actors who portray them, as well as an exclusive look at the film’s meticulous production and costume designs.

·     CONVERSATIONS WITH JON FAVREAU – Jon Favreau hosts candid interviews with cast and crew, including:

o  Daniel Craig

o  Harrison Ford

o  Olivia Wilde

o  Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer

o  Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci

o  Damon Lindelof



·     U-CONTROL: Universal’s exclusive feature that lets the viewer access bonus materials without leaving the movie!

·     BD-LIVE™: Access the BD-Live™ Center through your Internet-connected player to access the latest trailers, exclusive content, and more!

·      pocket BLU™ App:  The popular free pocket BLU™ app for smartphones is now even better with newly updated versions for iPad®, Android™ tablets, PC, and Macintosh computers, with features made especially to take advantage of the devices' larger screens andhigh resolution displays.  

o  Advanced Remote Control:  A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease.

o  Video Timeline:  Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.

o  Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray™ discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.

o  Browse Titles:  Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU™-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray™.  They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.

o  Keyboard: Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.

o   And with UNIVERSAL'S SECOND SCREEN, viewers can enjoy an innovative andinteractive viewing experience, that allows them to control, interact and explore Cowboys &Aliens with groundbreaking new features right on a networked tablet or computer, in synchronization with the movie on the television screen! While the movie plays, experience features such as:

§  Flick View: Interact with the movie, move content from the Tablet to the TV screen, andcompare storyboards, animatics, and other executing content by “Flicking” them from on their tablet to their TV screen, simply by gesturing their fingers upwards on their tablets.  

§  Scene Explorer: Viewers select various progressions of the same scene including storyboards, pre-visualizations and behind-the-scenes.

§  Behind the Scenes: Viewers get an all access look at the making of the film featuring interviews with cast and crew.

§  Storyboards: Viewers will be able to take a closer look at the storyboards created for some of the amazing sequences in the film.  

§  3D Models: Viewers can take a look at the aliens and otherworldly gadgets in Cowboys& Aliens by the touch or swipe of their fingers.  You can move the models in a 360 degree view, get tech specs and more.  

It’s 1873 when gunslinger Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) awakens in the Arizona desert with no memory of his past and a mysterious metal shackle encircling his wrist.  Stumbling into the nearby town of Absolution, Lonergan discovers a tightly closed community that takes its orders from the iron-fisted Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford) — and Dolarhyde has a bone to pick with Lonergan. But the colonel’s influence wanes when the desolate city is attacked by monsters that drop from the sky with blinding force and abduct the helpless townsfolk one by one. As Lonergan’s memory slowly returns, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of mysterious beauty Ella (Olivia Wilde), he assembles a posse comprised of former opponents: townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors. United against a common enemy, they prepare for an epic showdown for survival.

COWBOYS & ALIENS Extended Edition is available NOW on Blu-ray Combo Pack.


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