By this point, the vast majority if not all of you have seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many of you more than once I imagine. I saw the movie eight times in the cinema and personally couldn't wait to get my hands on the Blu Ray which released in the UK yesterday and in the US a couple of weeks ago.
This isn't going to be a review of the film, all I'll say is that I absolutely adore it. It's not perfect, there are a couple of scenes I felt could have been done better but on a whole I love it, I gave it a 9.4/10 in my original review. I think what J.J Abrams and Lucasfilm have done for the franchise is something rather spectacular. But lets talk about the actual Blu Ray.
The Blu Ray transfer looks and sounds incredible, the cinematography looks beautiful and the excellent sound design and editing comes through perfectly, I imagine this would be the perfect home viewing experience on a large screen with a surround sound system.
Most of you are probably more interested in the bonus features on the second disc of the Blu Ray which is really a mixed bag.
The deleted scenes are nothing special and really add nothing to the overall film. Sometimes there are deleted scenes in movies that could have fit perfectly into the theatrical cut, but it's obvious to see why these scenes were cut out. Even the most interesting deleted scenes; Kylo Ren boarding the Millennium Falcon and Finn holding fire on a Jakku villager don't add anything and instead just retread moments we've seen in the actual cut. There's only 4 minutes of additional footage and none of it is very interesting.
The big main feature on the bonus disc is a 65 minute documentary that details most of the behind the scenes goings on from the film. From when Walt Disney pictures purchased Lucasfilm from George Lucas for $4 Billion right up until the movie finished principal photography. The documentary was a great watch and was a great look at the past three years as this movie was coming together. We get interviews with director J.J Abrams, writer Lawrence Kasdan, producer Kathleen Kennedy and the entire cast including Harrison Ford who yet again re-iterates than he never imagined he'd come back to play the character of Han Solo.We also get a short edit together of the casts first table read, personally I would have liked this to be longer, to see how the cast initially read their roles and how they changed from then to the final film.
There are a couple more featurettes on the disc; Building BB-8, which shows us how they brought the lovable droid to life using puppetry and visual effects. Crafting Creatures shows us how the filmmakers created all of the wonderful aliens we see in Maz Kanata's castle as well as characters such as Nein Numb and Admiral Ackbar. Blueprint Of A Battle takes us behind the scenes of the confrontation between Finn & Rey against Kylo Ren. We see the set being built, the cast training for the fight and of course, the fight being shot. John Williams: The Seventh Symphony shows us how legendary composer John Williams came up with the new music for the film which of course was nominated for an Oscar. He talks about how difficult it was to create Rey's theme specifically. The last featurette on the disc is ILM: The Visual Magic of the Force, whilst a big aspect of The Force Awakens is the usage of practical effects, a lot of the film is CGI. We see how the visual effects artists over at ILM fit their CGI effects into the world and blended them with the practical effects.
The biggest disappointment about the Blu Ray is the lack of a commentary. I would have loved to have seen the film with a commentary by Abrams, Kasdan and Kathleen Kennedy but sadly not even one of these minds behind the film sat down to record one.
If you're only interested in viewing the film again and could care less for the bonus features, then The Force Awakens is a must buy as it's pretty much perfect in the visual and sound department. There are some good bonus features but nothing to scream about due to the lack of a commentary and the lackluster deleted scenes. You can now buy Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Blu Ray, DVD and digital.