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This week on Entertainment Fuse’s DISCussion, the Recommendation of the Week comes from the world of sci-fi in the form of the long awaited adaptation of Ender’s Game. The DVD release comes with a director commentary and deleted and extended scenes.
– Ender’s Game (DVD and Blu-ray)
– The Counselor (DVD and Blu-ray)
– All is Lost (DVD and Blu-ray)
– Wadjda (DVD and Blu-ray)
– How I Live Now (DVD and Blu-ray)
– Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon (DVD and Blu-ray)
– Haunter (DVD and Blu-ray)
– On the Job (DVD and Blu-ray)
– The Best Man’s Holiday (DVD and Blu-ray)
– Diana (DVD and Blu-ray)
– The Armstrong Lie (DVD and Blu-ray)
– Austenland (DVD and Blu-ray)
– The Jungle Book (1968) (Blu-ray)
– Chicago (2002) (Blu-ray)
– Masquerade (2012) (Blu-ray)
Ender’s Game (DVD and Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*
Directed by Gavin Hood
Written by Gavin Hood (screenplay), Orson Scott Card (novel)
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley
Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is one of the most celebrated sci-fi novel around and the film adaptation was in development for years before Tsotsi and X-Men Origins: Wolverine director Gavin Hood took on the project.
In the future Earth barely repels an alien invasion and over the subsequent 50 years Earth society becomes highly militarized. Children are taught from a young age in the art of war. Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield, Hugo), a 12-year-old boy is seen as the great hope to lead Earth to victory and is taken to battle school to learn military tactics.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 61% (good)
Metacritic Rating: 51/100 (average)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 7.0/10 (read our review)
DVD Special Features: Audio Commentary; Deleted scenes; Extended scenes; with optional Audio Commentary by Gavin Hood
Additional Blu-ray Special Features: “Inside the mind game” featurette
Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 3.5 stars, Video 5 stars, Audio 5 stars, Extras 3 stars, Replay 3.5 stars (out of 5). Recommended.
There is a wide range of movies coming out this week with the highlights being the dramas All is Lost and Wadjda and the Chinese actioneer Young Detective Dee: Rise of Sea Dragon. Disney’s The Jungle Book and the musical Chicago have earned re-releases.
The Counselor (DVD and Blu-ray)
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Cormac McCarthy
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz, Brad Pitt
On the surface The Counselor had all the ingredients to be a success, it was directed by Ridley Scott, has an all-star cast and was the first screenplay from celebrated novelist Cormac McCarthy. But it turned out to be a bust with critics and audience.
Michael Fassbender stars as “The Counselor”, a skilled lawyer who is looking to make some quick cash by getting involved with a complex drug deal. But the deal goes wrong and The Counselor has to do everything he can to protect himself and his fiancé (Penélope Cruz).
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 34% (poor)
Metacritic Rating: 48/100 (average)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 3.0/10
DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Viral Pieces: uncut – laura (never-before-seen); The counselor; Malkina and reiner
Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Disc 1:; The Counselor – theatrical version; Disc 2:; The Counselor – unrated extended cut; Truth of the situation: making the counselor – an immersive experience with feature-length commentary by director Ridley Scott
All is Lost (DVD and Blu-ray)
Written and directed by J.C. Chandor
Starring: Robert Redford
Margin Call‘s J.C. Chandor returns with his critically acclaimed follow-up movie All is Lost. Robert Redford was highly praised as the unnamed man who is forced into a battle for survival when his yacht clashes into a shipping contender after a violent storm.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 93% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating: 87/100 (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 9.0/10
DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Filmmaker Commentary; “Preparing for the storm” featurette; “Big film, small film” featurette; 3 vignettes: “The story,” “The filmmaker: J.C. Chandor” and the “The actor: Robert Redford”; “The sound of All is Lost” featurette
Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 4.5 stars, Video 5 stars, Audio 5 stars, Extras 4.5 stars, Replay 4.5 stars (out of 5). DVD Talk Collector Series.
Wadjda (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
Written and directed by Haifaa al-Mansour
Starring: Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdulrahman al-Guhani
Wadjda is a critically acclaimed movie that is significant because it the first movie to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and the first movie made by a female Saudi filmmaker. It was also Saudi Arabia’s first ever movie to be put forward for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) is an 11-year-old girl in Riyadh who dreams of owning a green bicycle, despite the confines of her society and plans to raise the money by competing in her school’s Koran recitation competition.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 99% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating: 81/100 (very good)
DVD Special Features: Commentary with Writer/Director Haifaa Al Mansour; The Making of Wadjda; Directors Guild of America Q&A with Haifaa Al Mansour
Amazon Price: $29.96 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
How I Live Now (DVD and Blu-ray)
Directed by Kevin Macdonald
Written by Jeremy Brock, Tony Grisoni, Penelope Skinner (screenplay), Meg Rosoff (novel)
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, Anna Chancellor
How I Live Now was an award winning young-adult novel and the film adaptation premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. Saoirse Ronan stars as Daisy, an American teenager who moves to the English countryside to live with her extended family. She soon falls for Edmund (George MacKay, Defiance). But World War III erupts, causing a state of emergency in the UK and Daisy has to battle to survive in the hostile environment.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 68% (good)
Metacritic Rating: 57/100 (average)
DVD Special Features: Interviews: (Cast, Director Producers and Author); Behind the scenes comparisons; Deleted scenes; Making of How I Live Now; Axs TV: A look at How I Live Now; Trailer
Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 2 stars, Video 4 stars, Audio 4 stars, Extras 4 stars, Replay 0.5 stars (out of 5). Skip It.
Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon (DVD and Blu-ray)
Directed by Tsui Hark
Written by Kuo-fu Chen
Starring: Mark Chao, Feng Shaofeng, Lin Gengxin, Kim Bum, Angelababy
Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon is a prequel to the 2010 movie Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame. Mark Chao takes over the role of Dee Renjie, the imperial police officer who takes on his first case and investigates reports of a sea monster terrorizing a town.
Entertainment Fuse Score: 9.0/10 (read our review)
Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 2 stars, Video 3.5 stars, Audio 3.5 stars, Extras 0.5 stars, Replay 1 stars (out of 5). Rent It.
Haunter (DVD and Blu-ray)
Directed by Vincenzo Natali
Written by Matthew Brian King
Starring: Abigail Breslin
Haunter is a ghost story from Cube and Splice director Vincenzo Natali. Lisa (Abigail Breslin) is the ghost of a teenage girl since 1985 and has been in limbo ever since. But Lisa has to find a way to break out of the void when another girl is in danger of a similar fate.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 50% (average)
Metacritic Rating: 49/100 (average)
DVD Special Features: Commentary with director Vincenzo Natali; Commentary with writer Brian King; Behind the scenes; Haunter – the complete storyboards by Vincenzo Natali; Trailer
On the Job (DVD and Blu-ray)
Directed by Erik Matti
Written by Michiko Yamamoto, Erik Matti
Starring: Piolo Pascual, Gerald Anderson, Joel Torre, Joey Marquez
From the Philippines is the crime action movie On the Job, following two Sergeant Acosta (Joey Marquez) and Federal agent Francis (Piolo Pascual) who investigate the murder of a drug dealer and ends up uncovering a conspiracy involving prison inmates who are allowed out on temporary release to commit assassinations.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 100% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating: 70/100 (average)
DVD Special Features: Making of; Deleted scenes; Trailer
The Best Man Holiday (DVD and Blu-ray)
Written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee
Starring: Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Morris Chestnut, Monica Calhourn, Harold Perrineau, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Melissa De Sousa
The Best Man Holiday is a sequel to the 1999 movie The Best Man. The Best Man Holiday is set around Christmas and about a group of friends reuniting for the first time in 15 years and their own rivalries and relationships start to flare up again.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 67% (good)
Metacritic Rating: 59/100 (average)
DVD Special Features: Gag Reel; Holiday Reunion: The Making of The Best Man Holiday; Feature Commentary with Writer/Director/Producer Malcolm D. Lee
Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Digital Copy of The Best Man Holiday (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.); Includes UltraViolet (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.); Alternate Ending with Optional Commentary by Writer/Director/Producer Malcolm D. Lee; Deleted/Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary by Writer/Director/Producer Malcolm D. Lee ; Smack Talk: Filming the Girl Fight Scene
Diana (DVD and Blu-ray)
Directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel
Written by Stephen Jeffreys (screenplay), Kate Snell (book ‘Diana: Her Last Love’)
Starring: Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews
The bio-pic Diana was a highly derided movie when it was finally released with many critics comparing the movie to a TV film or a soap opera. Diana follows Princess Diana (Naomi Watts) in the last two years of her life as she embarks into charity work and a relationship with heart surgeon Hasnat Khan (Naveen Andrews, Lost).
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 8% (awful)
Metacritic Rating: 35/100 (poor)
DVD Special Features: Interviews with cast and crew; Also includes Diana fashion photo booklet
The Armstrong Lie (DVD and Blu-ray)
Written and directed by Alex Gibney
Starring: Lance Armstrong
Alex Gibney is a celebrated documentary filmmaker, making movies like Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and Taxi to the Dark Side. He originally was making The Armstrong Lie as a documentary about Lance Armstrong’s comeback to cyclist after four years of retirement, but changed when the extent of his doping was finally exposed.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 84% (very good)
Metacritic Rating: 67/100 (good)
DVD Special Features: Commentary with Alex Gibney; Q&A with Alex Gibney, Frank Marshall, Bill Strickland, Jonathan Vaughters & Betsy Andreu; Deleted scenes
Austenland (DVD and Blu-ray)
Directed by Jerusha Hess
Written by Jerusha Hess, Shannon Hale (screenplay), Shannon Hale (novel)
Starring: Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge, James Callis, Jane Seymour
Austenland is a romantic comedy starring Keri Russell as Jane Hayes, a Jane Austin obsessed single woman who idealizes Colin Firth’s version of Mr Darcy and goes to a Jane Austen resort in England where she could meet her perfect man.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 31% (poor)
Metacritic Rating: 42/100 (poor)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 1.0/10
DVD Special Features: Commentary with Jerusha Hess and Stephenie Meyer; Q&A with Keri Russell, Jennifer Coolidge, Jane Seymour and more!
Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 2 stars, Video 4 stars, Audio 4 stars, Extras 2 stars, Replay 2 stars (out of 5). Rent It.
Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Written by Larry Clemmons, Ralph Wright, Ken Anderson, Vance Gerry (screenplay), Rudyard Kipling (novel)
Starring: Bruce Reitherman, Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima, George Sanders, Sterling Holloway
From the stables of Disney is the re-release of their adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. This movie follows Mowgli (Bruce Reitherman), an orphan boy who is raised by wolves. But when the jungle hears that a notorious Shere Khan, a man eating tiger, is coming Mowgli’s mother sends him off to be with his fellow man.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 86% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 8.0/10
DVD Special Features: Over 2 hours of swingin’ bonus:; @DisneyAnimation: sparking creativity- go behind the scenes with today’s top Disney animators; Bear-E-Oke – sing-along; Recently discovered alternate ending; Music, memories & Mowgli; I Wan’na be like you – hangin’ out at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Special introductions – by Diane Disney Miller and Richard M. Sherman; DisneyPedia: Junglemania!; PLUS more!
Amazon Price: $22.99 (Blu-ray)
Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 4.5 stars, Video 4.5 stars, Audio 4.5 stars, Extras 4.5 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). Highly Recommended.
Directed by Ron Marshall
Written by Bill Condon (screenplay), John Kander, Fred Ebb (musical)
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly, Christine Baranski, Taye Diggs
Based on the popular musical Chicago was an award-winning movie, winning six Oscars including for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Set in the roaring 1920s, Roxie Hart (Renée Zellweger) and Velma Kelly (Zeta-Jones) are two women who end up in prison for committing crimes of passion. With death row being a real possibility they only hope is lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) who can turn the pair into celebrities.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 87% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating: 82/100 (very good)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 6.0/10
DVD Special Features: NEW! “Chicago in the Spotlight”; A feature-length retrospective documentary; Feature commentary with Director Rob Marshall and screenwriter Bill Condon; Deleted scene: “Class” with optional commentary; From stage to screen: the history of Chicago
Amazon Price: $9.29 (Blu-ray)
Directed by Choo Chang-min
Written by Hwang Jo-yoon
Starring: Lee Byung-hun, Ryn Seung-ryong, Han Hyo-joo
Last but not least is the South Korean costume drama Masquerade. Set during the reign of King Gwanghae (Lee Byung-hun, I Saw the Devil) who orders his advisors to find a double. They find one in the form of a pleasant, Ha-sun (also Lee) and when the king is struck by a mysterious prison Ha-sun has to become the king and save the nation.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 100% (excellent)
DVD Special Features: Lighting and Cinematography; Production Design; Deleted Scenes
Amazon Price: $11.98 (Blu-ray)