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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (1.7.2014)

Entertainment Fuse’s Recommendation of the Week for DISCussion, comes from the land of the Rising Sun in the form of the Criterion Collection’s re-release of Throne of Blood. As well as a HD remastering the Blu-ray re-release comes with a commentary, documentaries and a booklet.

First Release
Runner Runner (DVD and Blu-ray)
Closed Circuit (DVD and Blu-ray)
Thanks for Sharing (DVD and Blu-ray)
We Are What We Are (2013) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Inequality for All (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Act of Killing (DVD and Blu-ray)

– Throne of Blood (1957) (Blu-ray)
The Wicker Man (1973) (Blu-ray)
The Killing Fields (1984) (Blu-ray)
The Hurricane (1999) (Blu-ray)
Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) (Blu-ray)
Gorillas in the Mist (1988) (Blu-ray)

throne of blood blu-ray

Throne of Blood (1957) (Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written by Shinobu Hashimoto, Ryuzo Kikushima, Hideo Oguni (screenplay), William Shakespeare (play ‘Macbeth’)
Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Takashi Shimura

Akira Kurosawa was one of the best directors in the film world and made many great movies. Throne of Blood is Kurosawa’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, translating the action from medieval Scotland to Feudal Japan.

In a warring region of Japan two generals, Washizu (Toshiro Mifune) and Miki (Minoru Chiaki) achieve an amazing victory and are rewarded with new lands. But a witch (Chieko Naniwa) in Spiderweb Forest prophesies that Washizu would seize the lordship of the region, leading to a tale of destiny, betrayal and rise and fall of one man.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 97% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 10/10


DVD Special Features: New, restored 2K digital film transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray Audio commentary featuring Japanese-film expert Michael Jeck; Documentary on the making of the film, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create; Two alternate subtitle translations, by Japanese-film translator Linda Hoaglund and Kurosawa expert Donald Richie; Trailer; One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film historian Stephen Prince and notes on the subtitling by Hoaglund and Richie.

Amazon Price: $35.96 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 4.5 stars, Video 4.5 stars, Audio 4.5 stars, Extras 3.5 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). Highly Recommended.

The new releases this week are smaller movies with the biggest release being the thriller Runner Runner whilst the biggest critical hits are the documentaries The Act of Killing and Inequality for All. They are many major re-releases this week with the likes of The Killing Fields, The Wicker Man and The Hurricane.

runner runner blu-ray

Runner Runner (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Brad Furman
Written by Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton, Anthony Mackie, Ben Affleck

The movie Runner Runner should have been a slam-dunk of a movie, it was directed Brad Furman of The Lincoln Lawyer fame and written by the writers of Rounders. Justin Timberlake stars as Richie Furst, a poor college who is cheated out of his money when playing online poker. He goes to Costa Rica to confront the owner of the website, Ivan Block (Ben Affleck), but is soon seduced by the life of crime.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 9% (awful)
Metacritic Rating: 36/100 (poor)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 7.0/10


DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Deleted scenes

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: House of Cards – the inside story of online poker; Deleted scenes

Amazon Price: $14.96 (DVD), $19.96 (Blu-ray)

closed circuit blu-ray

Closed Circuit (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by John Crowley
Written by Steven Knight
Starring: Eric Bana, Rebecca Halls, Ciarán Hinds, Jim Broadbent, Riz Ahmed

Closed Circuit is a thriller with a talented cast but was met with mixed reviews as a high-profile terrorism case brings together two ex-lovers on the defense team.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 40% (poor)
Metacritic Rating: 51/100 (average)


DVD Special Features:  Secrets behind the camera: Closed Circuit

Amazon Price: $19.96 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray)

thanks for sharing blu-ray

Thanks for Sharing (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Stuart Blumberg
Written by Stuart Blumberg, Matt Winston
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson, Aleica Moore

The indie rom-com Thanks for Sharing premised at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, uniting Marvel stars Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow with other actors such as Josh Gad (Frozen) and singer Pink as the movie follows people struggling with their relationships and their sex addiction.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 50% (average)
Metacritic Rating: 54/100 (average)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 2.0/10


DVD Special Features: Deleted/extended scenes “One step at a time: making Thanks for Sharing” featurette Gag reel Commentary with writer/director Stuart Blumberg and writer Matt Winston

Amazon Price: $12.99 (DVD), $12.99 (Blu-ray)

we are what we are 2013 blu-ray

We Are What We Are (2013) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Jim Mickle
Written by Nick Damici, Jim Mickle
Starring: Bill Sage, Julia Garner, Ambyr Childers, Kelly McGillis

We Are What We Are is a remake of the Mexican horror movie of the same name. Directed by Jim Mickle (Stake Land) We Are What We Are follows the Parker family where daughters Rose (Julia Garner) and Iris (Ambyr Childers) are forced to help their father protect a secret he has held for years.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 87% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating: 69/100 (good)


Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $14.39 (Blu-ray)

inequality for all blu-ray

Inequality for All (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Jacob Kornbluth
Starring: Robert Reich

The documentary Inequality for All is presented by economist and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich as it explores the widening income gap in America. Inequality for All won the won the Documentary Special Jury Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 92% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating: 68/100 (good)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 7.0/10


Amazon Price: $19.99 (DVD), $25.49 (Blu-ray)

the act of killing blu-ray

The Act of Killing (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer

The Act of Killing is an award winning documentary and a Danish-British-Norwegian co-production. The Act of Killing follows the story of Anwar Congo and his friends who after the Indonesian government was overthrown by the military are promoted from gangster to death squad leaders and reenact their killings as classic crime movie scenes and musical numbers.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 96% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating: 89/100 (excellent)


DVD Special Features: Two versions of the film: 45 min interview with Oppenheimer on democracy now! Audio commentary with executive producer Werner Herzog and director Joshua Oppenheimer Vice presents: Werner Herzog and Errol Morris on The Act Of Killing Deleted scenes Trailers Digital download

Amazon Price: $23.76 (DVD), $25.46 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 4.5 stars, Video 3 stars, Audio 3.5 stars, Extras 5 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). DVD Talk Collector Series.

the wicker man 1973 blu-ray

The Wicker Man (1973 (Blu-ray)

Directed by Robin Hardy
Written by Anthony Shaffer (screenplay), David Pinner (novel ‘Ritual’)
Starring: Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, Christopher Lee

The Wicker Man is a classic horror movie from Britain about Sergeant Neil Howie (Edward Woodward), a Scottish police officer and a devout Christian who goes to the remote Summerisle when he received a letter that a young girl has disappeared. But on the island Howie confronts a strange culture of Paganism and the possibility that the people are planning a human sacrifice.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 90% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 10/10


DVD Special Features: “Worshipping “The Wicker Man” featurette; “The Music of The Wicker Man” featurette; Interview with Robin Hardy; Restoration comparison; Trailer

Amazon Price: $16.99 (Blu-ray)

the killing fields blu-ray

The Killing Fields (1984) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Roland Joffé
Written by Bruce Robinson
Starring: Sam Waterston, John Malkovich, Haing S. Ngor, Julian Sands

The Awards winning movie The Killing Fields is now 30 years old and this anniversary is being celebrated with a Blu-ray re-release.

The Killing Fields is a based on the true story of Sydney Schanberg (Sam Waterston), a American journalist who was reporting on the brutal Khmer Rouge regime with his interpreter Dith Pran (Haing S. Ngor). But when foreigners are evacuated from nation Pran is forced to stay behind and suffer the worst of Pol Pot’s Year Zero policy.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 91% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 9.0/10


DVD Special Features: Commentary by director Roland Joffé Theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $22.98 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 4.5 stars, Video 4 stars, Audio 3.5 stars, Extras 3 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). Highly Recommended.

the hurricane blu-ray

The Hurricane (1999) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Norman Jewison
Written by Armyan Bernstein, Dan Gordon (screenplay), Sam Chailton, Terry Swinton (book ‘Lazarus and the Hurricane’), Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (autobiography ‘The Sixteen Round’)
Starring: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Reon Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger, Liev Schreiber

Denzel Washington stars in biographical movie about boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a boxer who was wrongfully convicted of murder and the people who helped him prove his innocence. Washington was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 83% (very good)
Metacritic Rating: 74/100 (good)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 8.5/10


Amazon Price: $17.98 (Blu-ray)

coal miners daughter blu-ray

Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Michael Apted
Written by Tom Rickman (screenplay), Loretta Lynn, George Vecsey (autobiography)
Starring: Sissy Speacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Beverly D’Angelo, Levon Helm

The biographical movie Coal Miner’s Daughter was Oscar winning movie, with star Sissy Speacek (Carrie, Badlands) winning the Academy Award for Best Actress. Speacek stars as Loretta Lynn, a woman from the poverty stricken Appalachian Mountains and becomes a country music star.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 100% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 7.0/10


DVD Special Features: Feature commentary with Sissy Spacek and director Michael Apted; Tommy Lee Jones remembers Coal Miner’s Daughter; Interview with Loretta Lynn and director Michael Apted; President George Bush Sr. salutes AFI and Coal Miner’s Daughter

Amazon Price: $16.98 (Blu-ray)

gorillas in the mist blu-ray

Gorillas in the Mist (1988) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Michael Apted
Written by Anne Hamilton Phelan (screenplay), Anna Hamilton Phelan, Tab Murphy (story), Dian Fossey (book), Harold T. P. Hayes (articles)
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Bryan Brown

The other movie based on a true story is Gorillas in the Mist, the story about Dian Fossey (Sigourney Weaver), an American woman who goes to central Africa to make a remarkable study of the vanishing mountain gorilla.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 82% (very good)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 6.3/10


Amazon Price: $16.98 (Blu-ray)

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