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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (2.17.15)

"New on DVD and Blu-ray this week!"

With the 87th Academy Awards just around the corner, distributors are releasing all the major players. We have some huge releases this week, including many of the Oscar-nominated films and performances. From The Tale of Princess Kuguya, to Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones’ stellar performances in The Theory of Everything, it was a tough choice, but Birdman and Michael Keaton’s performance won out, and has been deemed our Recommendation of the Week.

New Releases:
Birdman – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
The Tale of Princess Kaguya – (Blu-ray and DVD)
The Theory of Everything – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Life Itself – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
The Homesman – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
St. Vincent – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
The Interview – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant/Netflix)
Dumb and Dumber To – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
V/H/S: Viral – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

Re-Release:
An Autumn Afternoon (1962) – (Criterion Blu-ray)

 

New on DVD

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) *Recommendation of the Week*
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Written by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo
Starring: Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone

One of the most decorated films of 2014, Birdman won countless critic’s awards and is nominated for 9 Oscars. Boasting the incredible “one-shot” cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki, and great performances from all involved, Birdman is undoubtedly one of the best films of 2014.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 92% (Excellent)
Metacritic: 88 (Excellent)
IMDB: 8.1 (Excellent)
Entertainment Fuse: 9.8/10 (Read our Review)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $19.96 (Blu-ray); $14.96 (DVD); $4.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

 

New on DVD

The Tale of Princess Kaguya – (Blu-ray and DVD)
Directed by Isao Takahata
Written by Isao Takahata (screenplay and story), Riko Sakaguchi (screenplay), Mike Jones (english version)
Starring: Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen

Garnering a surprise, but very welcome Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, The Tale of Princess Kaguya follows the life of the supernaturally-charming Kaguya – a girl found inside a bamboo stalk. Growing up quickly to be one of the most beautiful woman in Japan, Kaguya is pursued by five powerful men, eventually attracting the attention of the Emperor himself.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 100% (Perfect)
IMDB: 8.2 (Excellent)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $22.99 (Blu-ray); $17.98 (DVD)

 

New on DVD

The Theory of Everything – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by James Marsh
Written by Anthony McCarten (screenplay) and Jane Hawking (book)
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Tom Prior

The story of Steven Hawking (Redmayne) as told by his wife, Jane (Jones). Featuring stellar, and Oscar-Nominated (in keeping with our theme) performances from Redmayne and Jones, The Theory of Everything is a searing tale of love in the face of a terrible disease.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 79% (Good)
Metacritic: 72 (Very Good)
IMDB: 7.8 (Very Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 8/10 (Read our Review)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $22.99 (Blu-ray); $16.96 (DVD); $4.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

 

New on DVD

Life Itself – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Steve James
Starring: Roger Ebert, Chaz Ebert, Gene Siskel

Steve James’ incredible documentary about the life of famed movie critic, Roger Ebert. Filmed in the last days of Ebert’s storied life, Life Itself gives its audience an intimate look at the World’s most powerful critic. Building around the central core of Roger’s relationship with his wife Chaz, James sets out to show that even in the face of a harrowing illness, love will always shine through. Life Itself is one of the best documentaries of the year, and a must-see for anyone who loves movies.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 97% (Superb)
Metacritic: 87 (Excellent)
IMDB: 8.0 (Excellent)
Entertainment Fuse: 8.5/10 (Read our Review)

DISC DETAILS

Special Features: Deleted Scenes; Sundance Tribute; Interview with Steve James; AXS TV: A Look at Life Itself; Trailer

Amazon: $20.99 (Blu-ray); $21.99 (DVD); $3.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4.5 stars(out of 5); Video: 4 stars; Audio: 4 stars; Extras: 2 stars; Replay: 3 stars. Highly Recommended.

 

New on DVD

The Homesman – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Tommy Lee Jones
Written by Tommy Lee Jones (screenplay) Kieran Fitzgerald (screenplay), Wesley A. Oliver (screenplay), and Glendon Swarthout (novel)
Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer

Tommy Lee Jones’ second theatrical effort explores the journey taken by Mary Bee Cuddy (Swank), who is tasked with transporting three women, driven mad by life on the frontier, back East. Hiring a drifter (Jones) to assist in the covered-wagon transport, the unlikely band of characters must brave the vast, harsh territories, separating them from their ultimate destination.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 81% (Very Good)
Metacritic: 68 (Good)
IMDB: 6.6 (Good)

DISC DETAILS

Special Features: “Origins” featurette regarding the adaptation of Glendon Swarthout’s novel; “Shooting the Film” featurette; “Beyond the Western” featurette on the debate between cast and crew about whether The Homesman is a Western

Amazon: $14.98 (Blu-ray); $12.98 (DVD); $4.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

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

 

New on DVD

St. Vincent – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed and written by Theodore Melfi (screenplay)
Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Jaeden Lieberher

Theodore Melfi’s directorial debut features an aging and grumpy Bill Murray as the dead-beat neighbor of newly-divorced Maggie (McCarthy) and her young son, Oliver (Lieberher). Going broke, Murray’s Vincent cons Maggie into babysitting Oliver while she is at work. Teaching each other some valuable life lessons along the way, a lasting friendship begins to develop between the odd pair.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 77% (Good)
Metacritic: 64 (Good)
IMDB: 7.3 (Very Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 7.5/10 (Read our Review)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $19.99 (Blu-ray); $15.99 (DVD); $4.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

 

New on DVD

The Interview – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant/Netflix)
Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan
Written by Dan Sterling (screenplay and story), Seth Rogan (story), and Evan Goldberg (story)
Starring: Seth Rogan, James Franco, Randall Park

This movie “almost” caused a war. Given the debacle surrounding The Interview, there is no doubt that you know what this movie is about. Released by hackers, and quickly shuffled to VOD, Sony lost a TON of money on The Interview, so they sold it to Netflix, and are releasing the Blu-ray as quickly as possible.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 53% (Rotten)
Metacritic: 52 (Okay)
IMDB: 6.9 (Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 6.5/10 (Read our Review)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $13.59 (Blu-ray); $9.99 (DVD); $2.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy); Netflix Instant

 

New on DVD

Dumb and Dumber To – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by The Farrelly Brothers
Written by Sean Anders, John Morris, Peter Farrelly, Bobby Farrelly, Bennett Yellin, and Mike Cerrone
Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle

The disappointing sequel to the cult-classic, Dumb and Dumber. After a nearly 20-year hiatus, Lloyd and Harry reunite in a quest to find Harry’s long-lost daughter.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 29% (Very Bad)
Metacritic: 36 (Very Bad)
IMDB: 6.0 (Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 2/10 (Read our Review)

DISC DETAILS

Amazon: $22.99 (Blu-ray); $16.99 (DVD); $4.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

 

New on DVD

V/H/S: Viral – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Directed by Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, Todd Lincoln, Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento, and Nacho Vigalondo,
Written by Justin Benson, Gregg Bishop, T.J. Cimfel, Ed Dougherty, Todd Lincoln, Aaron Moorhead, Marcel Sarmiento, Nacho Vigalondo, and David White
Starring: Emmy Argo, Emilia Ares Zoryan, Justin Welborn

The third in the V/H/S series focuses on a set of videos that, presumably, have gone viral. I am still a bit salty that I had to watch this one…

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 38% (Very Bad)
Metacritic: 31 (Very Bad)
IMDB: 4.3 (Very Bad)
Entertainment Fuse: 1/10 (Read our Review)

DISC DETAILS

Special Features: Audio Commentary; Deleted segment, “Gorgeous Vortex”; Bonestorm and Dante the Great behind-the-scenes featurettes; interviews; AXS TV: A Look at V/H/S: Viral

Amazon: $13.97 (Blu-ray); $9.99 (DVD); $3.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 2.5 stars(out of 5); Video: 4 stars; Audio: 4 stars; Extras: 2.5 stars; Replay: 2.5 stars. Rent It.

New on DVD

An Autumn Afternoon (1962) – (Criterion Blu-ray)
Directed by Yasujirô Ozu
Written by Kôgo Noda (screenplay) and Yasujirô Ozu (screenplay)
Starring: Chishû Ryû, Shima Iwashita, Keiji Sada

Much along the same lines as a great deal of Ozu’s prior work, An Autumn Afternoon is the story of an aging widower (Ryû) who grapples with arranging a marriage for his daughter. Ozu’s final masterpiece, An Autumn Afternoon is some of the Japanese master’s best work.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 95% (Excellent at 18 reviews)
IMDB: 8.2 (Excellent)
Entertainment Fuse: 9.5/10

DISC DETAILS

Special Features: 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray; Audio commentary featuring film scholar David Bordwell, author of Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema; Excerpts from “Yasujiro Ozu and The Taste of Sake,” a 1978 episode of the French television program Ciné regards, featuring critics Michel Ciment and Georges Perec, that looks back on Ozu’s career; Trailers; New English subtitle translation; PLUS: Essays by critic Geoff Andrew and scholar Donald Richie

Amazon: $27.59 (Criterion Blu-ray)

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