Blu Tuesday: The Girl on the Train and More

Every Tuesday, I review the newest Blu-ray releases and let you know whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping, along with a breakdown of the included extras. If you see something you like, click on the cover art to purchase the Blu-ray from Amazon, and be sure to share each week’s column on social media with your friends.

“The Girl on the Train”

WHAT: Still reeling from her divorce from Tom (Justin Theroux), who left her for another woman (Rebecca Ferguson) and started a family, Rachel (Emily Blunt) has become a raging alcoholic prone to blackouts. Despite losing her job in the city, she still rides the train every morning, fantasizing about the relationship between Tom’s neighbors, Scott and Megan Hipwell (Luke Evans and Hayley Bennett), from the train window. But when Megan suddenly goes missing and Rachel fears that she may have been involved, she becomes entangled in the investigation to discover the truth.

WHY: It’s easy to see how the producers of “The Girl on the Train” thought they were making the next “Gone Girl”; in addition to being based on a bestselling crime thriller that features multiple narrators, it has a twist ending that you’re not supposed to see coming. The problem, however, is that you do see it coming in director Tate Taylor’s big screen adaptation, which deflates most of the tension in the story. Whereas “Gone Girl” had several layers to peel back and explore, “The Girl on the Train” is a fairly straightforward mystery made to seem more complicated by the disjointed timeline. It also has one of the worst opening acts in recent memory, boring you into submission with its one-dimensional characters and terrible pacing. Though the movie improves significantly in the second half as the storylines begin to converge, the damage has already been done. Emily Blunt delivers an extraordinary performance in the lead role (rather than simply acting drunk, she plays Rachel as an alcoholic desperately trying to look sober), but it feels like she’s in a different film – one that isn’t marred by soapy plot turns and Taylor’s messy direction.

EXTRAS: In addition to an audio commentary by director Tate Taylor, there’s a pair of behind-the-scenes featurettes and some deleted scenes.


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4 Ways to Succeed in Taking Care of Yourself in the New Year

shirtless man working out with dumbell

It’s that time of year again when you may be reflecting on life; the time to set some goals and make significant changes that will work to improve your quality of life as a male. Studies show that 45% of people make New Year’s resolutions of some type. As the new year rolls around, you can be prepared for it by taking the time to set your goals.

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Computer Running Slow? Try These Tricks


Remember when your computer was brand new? It was so bright and shiny and everything ran so fast! A few months or a year later, though, and there is a definite lag and sometimes it even crashes. What gives? You’re just doing the same stuff you’ve always done. Why is everything moving more slowly now? Your computer isn’t old enough to start wearing down!

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Lexus introduces all-new LS at NAIAS

Lexus unveiled the all-new 2018 LS at the North American International Auto Show last week, setting a new standard for its flagship sedan. I remember when the original Lexus LS 400 sedan was unveiled in 1990 and the effect it had on the luxury sedan market. That original vehicle helped establish Lexus as a dominant brand in the luxury market, so the new, fifth-generation LS is a very important launch for the company. The new LS has been design to be the brand’s global flagship and will be available around the world in roughly 90 countries.

The new LS will hit the showrooms later this year and features a wide variety of improvements along with a bold, new design.

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Drink of the Week: The Toronto Cocktail

The Toronto Cocktail.Last week’s drink might have been a bit uncertain when it came to its geographical underpinnings, but this week’s is pretty clear that it’s an homage to Canada’s most populous city, a place I have not yet had the pleasure of visiting. The Toronto Star traces its origins to a 1922 cocktail book written by a London-based bartender who claimed the drink was a favorite of Torontonians but noted that the province of Ontario had its own version of prohibition between 1916 and 1927. Moreover, there’s no other known connection between the drink and the particular city it’s named for. That being said, it’s a truly worthwhile classic cocktail that can stand proudly beside any other city-named drink you can think of.

In any case, this version of the Toronto Cocktail comes, once again, from David Embury’s 1948 “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.” Depending on how you look at it, it’s a variation of an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan. Since I prefer to make this one on the rocks, I’d say it’s more the latter than the former. Try it for yourself.

The Toronto Cocktail

1 1/2 ounces Canadian or rye whiskey
1/2 ounce Fernet Branca
1/4 ounce simple syrup or, if you don’t have that, 1 teaspoon of superfine sugar
1 dash Angostura/aromatic bitters
1 orange twist (high desirable garnish)

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