- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Here are reviews of some of the latest titles in Blu-ray home entertainment.

Still Alice (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Rated PG-13, $34.99) — Julianne Moore’s Oscar-winning performance as a 50-year-old college professor suffering from the early onset of hereditary Alzheimer’s disease arrives on Blu-ray as a potent and heartbreaking reminder of effect of the yet incurable illness.

Directors and writers Richard Glatzer (who actually passed away early this year from Lou Gehrig’s disease) and partner Wash Westmoreland brilliantly brought Lisa Genova’s novel to cinematic life, pulling no punches on how a family must cope with a wife and mother too quickly mentally slipping away from them.

Although a spectacular digital transfer is not required for a drama of this variety, I was a bit disappointed by the sometimes murky and less-than-rich color palette (even outdoors) seen onscreen.

Extras are short and to the point. They include a 9-minute discussion with the directors, and how Mr. Glatzer’s coped with his disease during filming, and a 9-minute look at Miss Moore preparing for the role with help from Alzheimer’s patient Sandy Oltz.

However, the extras do not include enough information for me on the current state of research and what’s being done to stall or cure Alzheimer’s disease. The Blu-ray release seemed like the perfect opportunity to add a PBS-style documentary on the subject to the disk.

The Pyramid (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Rated R, $29.99) — A horror film that tapped into Egyptian mythology bombed at the box office and with critics, but it gets a shot with home theater viewers with mixed results.

Highlighting the now exhaustively overused shaky-camera-footage-found genre of horror movies, this time out a faux group of filmmakers chronicle the discovery of a three-sided pyramid outside of Cairo.

A trio of feisty archeologists, the lead played by Denis O’Hare (“American Horror Story”) and the documentarians enter the pyramid to retrieve a valuable piece of technology, and the creature feature shenanigans begin.

The potential for scares is obvious except for one small problem. Many have complained that key scenes in the bowels of the pyramid are too dark to appreciate the group’s frightening predicament.

My audience nor I really did not have that problem watching the digital transfer, but we did think about how cool of a dark ride this would be in a theme-park setting.

I will give the film props for having the guts to actually give a pretty cool enemy and his minions a satisfactory amount of screen time.

Extras include an extended ending which will have many wonder “A potential sequel? Really?” and some promotional featurettes that do little to salvage the purchase of the Blu-ray. Rent at your own risk, lovers of the cursed.

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