Blu-ray Tuesday: ‘EX MACHINA’, ‘IT FOLLOWS’, ‘THE LONGEST RIDE’ & More


Preston Barta // Features Editor

EX MACHINA | 108 min | R
Director: Alex Garland
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac

There were many films this year that tackled the tired subject of artificial intelligence, like CHAPPIE and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON; however, none of them were as raw and realistic as EX MACHINA. One of the reasons why this film is so breathtaking is because of Alex Garland, who is mostly known for his script work for 28 DAYS LATER and SUNSHINE. Now, the talented filmmaker takes his talents behind the camera in his directorial debut, and what a debut it is. You’ll think you’ve experienced true art, but then you’ll see EX MACHINA— a game changing film, not only of the genre, but of film itself.
– Preston Barta

Extras Include:

  • 1080p, 2.40:1 HD Video
  • DTS:X Audio, DTS Headphone:X Audio, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, and DTS 5.1 English Sound
  • English SDH, English, and Spanish Subtitles
  • Through the Looking Glass: Creating Ex Machina 5-Part Featurette
  • SXSW Q&A with Cast and Crew
  • Eight Behind-the-Scenes Vignettes

Our video interviews with stars Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and writer-director Alex Garland.

IT FOLLOWS | 107 min | Rated R
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Cast: Maika Monroe, Jake Weary, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe and Ruby Harris

From the moment IT FOLLOWS opens to the last frame you have an eerie feeling that something isn’t right. The music hints at the inevitable, the camera pans to show what may be lurking, and the actors’ interactions with one another cause the audience to forget that at any moment it will appear.

Writer-director David Robert Mitchell (THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER) molds something together that has long since been absent from the horror genre– something that is restrained and toys with your imagination. He takes an entirely plausible occurrence, such as an STD, but instead of a few pesky bumps you get a supernatural entity calculating your every move– a simple yet effective premise, and one of the best horror movies in the past decade.
– Preston Barta

Extras include:

  • Critics’ commentary, hosted by Nerdist’s Scott Weinberg and featuring Eric D. Snider (MovieBS), Britt Hayes (Screencrush), Samuel D. Zimmerman (Shock Till You Drop), Alison Nastasi (Flavorwire) and Eric Vespe (Ain’t It Cool News).
  • A Conversation with Film Composer Disasterpeace
  • Poster Art Gallery

Our interviews with writer-director David Robert Mitchell, star Jake Weary, producers Rebecca Green and Laura D. Smith, and composer Disasterpeace.

THE LONGEST RIDE | 139 min | PG-13
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Cast: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, Alan Alda, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin, Melissa Benoist and Lolita Davidovich

Nicholas Sparks’ THE LONGEST RIDE is pretty standard run-of-the-mill comfort food for romance fans, and it’s a better roll in the hay kind of story than FIFTY SHADES OF GREY was. Director George Tillman Jr. (NOTORIOUS) gives the pretty white people a sense of pathos that gels with the tacky romance by finding a balance that pinpoints the character moments and celebrates what Sparks fans want. I truly believe that those who are outside of the film’s demographic will be pleasantly surprised at the high level of storytelling. Granted, most of Sparks’ film adaptations have caused an endless cycle of eye rolls from yours truly, but dammit, sometimes we just gotta feel the love. THE LONGEST RIDE is an anxiety free film that’s a nice departure from reality.
– Cole Clay

Extras Include:

  • No official release at this time

Our video interview with author Nicholas Sparks, and stars Britt Robertson and Scott Eastwood.

LOST SOUL | 97 min | NR
Director: David Gregory
Cast: Fairuza Balk, Hugh Dickson, Oli Dickson and Richard Stanley

Do you remember that little weird movie that came out in the 90s with Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando? Wasn’t it weird? I used to watch THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU all the time, which is why LOST SOUL is such a fun and entertaining documentary about how that movie was doomed from the start. Even if you are unfamiliar with THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, it’s still fascinating to learn about the true nature of actors, how difficult it is to make a feature and how easily it can go wrong.
– Preston Barta

Extras Include:

No official release on extras but there’s three discs, so probably a lot of cool stuff.

Director: John Madden
Cast: Every working senior actor in Hollywood

THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is completely harmless on every level. It’s the kind of film that you watch with your 4 p.m. tea and biscuits (those are cookies for all you folks who don’t watch the BBC). It’s a more lighthearted version of its predecessor, and for all intents and purposes, the movie is nothing more than an adorable chance to get reacquainted with the geriatric occupants of the “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”
– Cole Clay

Extras Include:

  • Story
  • Cast
  • Returning to the Marigold Hotel
  • Blossoming Relationships
  • The Marigold Wedding
  • Filming in India
  • Gallery

Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence and Anna Paquin

Some of you may be wondering what THE ROGUE CUT even is. Well, it’s a restructured cut of X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, which packs on additional 17 minutes to the already 132-minute long film. However, this has more of the character Rogue (Anna Paquin), who was completely cut from the theatrical release, except for one scene near the film’s end.

So is this new version of the film worth it? If you’re a hardcore fan of X-Men and enjoyed the theatrical cut, then definitely. There’s enough added footage to keep your interest. Just don’t expect to be completely blown away, because really it’s not that much different story wise. There’s just more of it.
– Preston Barta

Extras Include:

  • Commentary
  • Mutant vs Machine – 9 part making of
  • X-Men Unguarded
  • Gallery
About author

Preston Barta

I have been working as a film journalist since 2010, dividing the first four years between radio broadcasting and entertainment writing in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2014, I entered Fresh Fiction ( as the features editor. The following year, I stepped into the film critic position at the Denton Record-Chronicle, a daily North Texas print publication. My time is dedicated to writing theatrical film reviews, at-home entertainment columns, and conducting interviews with on-screen talent and filmmakers, as well as hosting a podcast devoted to genre filmmaking (called My Bloody Podcast). I've been married for seven happy years, and I have one son who is all about dinosaurs just like his dad.