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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (7.8.2014)

This week we have several great additions to the lexicon of Blu-ray and DVD. Although there was a strong faction for Nymphomaniac Vol I and II, we have chosen Gareth Evans’s The Raid 2 as our Recommendation of the Week.

New Release:
The Raid 2 (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Nymphomaniac Vol I & II (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Bad Words  (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Jodorowsky’s Dune (Blu-ray and Instant)
Watermark (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Stage Fright (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Kid Cannabis (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)
Rigor Mortis (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

Re-Release:
Caught (Blu-ray) (1949)

 

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The Raid 2 (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) *Recommendation of the Week*

Director/Writer: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Alex Abbad, Arifin Putra

The Raid 2 picks up right where The Raid left off. Rama (Iko Uwais) is forced to go undercover after defeating drug-lord, Tama in order to protect his wife and son. His exploits in the first film have attracted the attention of the considerably more-powerful crime lords in Jakarta. Rama must fight his way through hoards of corrupt cops and criminals, and work his way up the crime-syndicate ladder to topple the evil regime. An electrifying, action-packed thrill ride The Raid 2 is even bigger and louder than the original.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 80% (Very Good)
Metacritic: 71 (Okay)
IMDB: 8.5 (Excellent)
Entertainment Fuse: 9.9/10 (In the Stratosphere) (Read Our Review)

Disc Details

Special Features: Commentary with Gareth Evans. The Next Chapter: Shooting a Sequel – Behind-the-scenes look at Evans’ process of making a sequel to The Raid. Ready for a Fight: On Location – A direct look at the scene setups and production ideas in many of the film’s action sequences. Violent Ballet – a detailed look of planning and choreography of the fight sequences. CineFamily Q&A with Gareth Evans, Iko Uwais, and Joe Trapanese. Gang War Deleted Scene. Theatrical Trailer.

Amazon: $19.99 (Blu-ray); $17.99 (DVD); $3.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/Buy)

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

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Nymphomaniac Volume I and II (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

Director/ Writer: Lars von Trier (both volumes)
Starring: Stacy Martin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman

Nymphomaniac is Lars von Trier’s beautifully unapologetic look at nymphomaniac, Joe’s (Charlotte Gainsbourg), decent into debauchery. As fans of von Trier may expect, he does not shy away from the controversial material, and shows an incredibly honest portrayal of her life. In Nymphomaniac, do-gooder, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), finds an unconscious Joe in the street. He takes her into his home, after which she recounts her life as a nymphomaniac. Completely unflinching and brutal, Nymphomaniac is a welcome addition to the Lars von Trier collection.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 75% [Volume I (Very Good)]/ 60% [Volume II (Good)]
Metacritic: 64 [Volume I (Good)] / 60 [Volume II (Good)]
IMDB: 7.2 Volume I (Very Good) / 6.9 [Volume II (Good)]
Entertainment Fuse: 8/10 (Read Our Review) (Or Listen to Our Podcast)

Disc Details

Amazon: $35.98 Vol. I&II (Blu-ray); $31.48 Vol. I&II (DVD); $4.99/ $19.99 Each (Instant Rent/ Buy)

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Bad Words (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

Director: Jason Bateman
Writer: Andrew Dodge
Starring: Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Rohan Chand, Philip Baker Hall

Bad Words stars Jason Bateman as a school-dropout turned proof-reader, Guy Trilby, who exploits a loophole in order to enter the nation’s largest spelling bee. Trilby is sponsored by Jenny Widgeon (Kathryn Hahn), a reporter for an online newspaper. In their mutual agreement, Trilby must divulge one answer to Widgeon’s questions for every round he advances. Surrounded by a hilarious and competent supporting cast of over-intelligent children, Bateman’s directorial debut is charmingly funny.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 64% (Good)
Metacritic: 57 (Okay)
IMDB: 6.8 (Good)
Entertainment Fuse: 8/10

Disc Details

Special Features: Commentary track with director and star, Jason Bateman. “Making of” Featurette entitled “Minds and Mouths Behind Bad Words”. Deleted and extended scenes.

Amazon: $22.99 (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD+UltraViolet); $16.99 (DVD); $4.99/ $14.99 (Instant Buy)

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

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Jodorowsky’s Dune (Blu-ray and Instant)

Director: Frank Pavich
Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, H.R. Giger, Nicholas Winding Refn

In 1975 surrealist director Alejandro Jodorowsky had a chance to change cinema history. His adaptation to Frank Herbert’s Dune, starred David Carradine, Mick Jagger, Orson Wells, Salvador Dali and Jodorowsky’s twelve year old son. Featuring artwork from H.R. Geiger and Jean Giraud, as well as a soundtrack from Pink Floyd, Jodorowsky’s vision was poised to be a cinematic masterpiece. Jodorowsky’s Dune features interviews with Jodorowsky himself as well as with others connected with this defunct project. An extremely compelling piece, it certainly makes the audience wonder what could (and should) have been.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 99% (Excellent)
Metacritic: 79 (Very Good)
IMDB: 8.3 (Excellent)

Disc Details

Special Features: Deleted Scenes. Theatrical Trailer

Amazon: $24.96 (Blu-ray)$3.99/ $14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4.5 stars(out of 5); Video: 4.5 stars; Audio: 4 stars; Extras: 2 stars; Replay: 3.5 stars. Highly Recommended.

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Watermark (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

Directors: Jenifer Baichwal Edward Bertynsky
Writer: Jenifer Baichwal

Watermark is an impeccably shot documentary, which tells a variety of stories regarding Humanity’s connection to water. From leather tanneries in Dhaka, India, to the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California, Watermark explores how water has shaped our lives. Filmed in gorgeous 4K, with plenty of aerial and landscape shots, Watermark promises to be one of the most beautiful movies of the year.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 79% (Excellent)
Metacritic: 70 (Very Good)
IMDB: 7.0 (Excellent)

Disc Details

Amazon: $22.48 (DVD); $27.98 (Blu-ray)$3.99/ $14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

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Stage Fright (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

Director: Jerome Sable
Writer: Jerome Sable (Screenplay and Music & Lyrics) and Eli Batalion (Music & Lyrics)
Starring: Minnie Driver, Meatloaf, Allie MacDonald

Stage Fright made its debut at South by Southwest film festival this year to mixed reviews. Some critics panned the film’s hokey mixture of the horror and musical genres, while others praised its originality. All that you need to know is that Allie MacDonald plays the part of a disheartened staffer at a pretentious musical theatre camp that gets terrorized by a musical-theatre-hating serial slasher (Did I mention Meatloaf is also in it?).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 33% (Very Rotten)
Metacritic: 39 (Very Bad)
IMDB: 5.2 (Quite Bad)

Disc Details

Amazon: $26.98 (Blu-ray); $22.93 (DVD); $6.99 (Instant Rent)

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Kid Cannabis (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

Director: John Stockwell
Writers: John Stockwell (Screenplay), Mark Binelli (Based on article by) and Kevin Taylor (Article)
Starring: Jonathan Daniel Brown, Kenny Wormald, Aaron Yoo, Ron Perlman

Based on the real-life story of an American high school dropout-turned drug smuggler, this poorly-named crime drama does not play anything like the title (or cover) suggests. Nate Norman (Jonathan Daniel Brown) is an ex-pizza delivery driver who decides to enlist the help of his friend, Topher (Kenny Wormald) to start growing marijuana, and distributing it across the Canadian border. It turns out to be easy money at first, but things take a turn for the worse, when the inexperienced Nate and Topher start arousing the destain of rival drug lords.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 83% (Very Good)
Metacritic: 54 (Okay)
IMDB: 6.3 (Good)

Disc Details

Amazon: $9.96 (Blu-ray); $9.96 (DVD); $9.99/3.99 (Instant Buy/Rent)

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Rigor Mortis (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant)

Director: Juno Mak
Writers: Lai-yin Leung (script) and Philip Yung (script)
Starring: Anthony Chan, Siu-Ho Chin, Kara Hui

Rigor Mortis is director, Juno Mak and producer, Takashi Shimizu’s (The Grudge) tribute to 80’s Chinese vampire flicks. In this action-packed horror/drama, the residents find that their neighbors are not what they seem. New tenant, and washed-up actor, Chin (Siu-Hou Chin) quickly discovers that his neighbors rank among the undead, the living dead and ghosts. In this is a wonderfully fitting tribute to the Mr. Vampire series, Mak’s competent direction and Man-Ching Ng’s wonderful cinematography, make Rigor Mortis worth the watch.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 58% (Okay)
Metacritic: 53 (Bad)
IMDB: 6.4 (Okay)

Disc Details

Amazon: $19.15 (Blu-ray); $18.38 (DVD); $6.99/ $9.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4 stars(out of 5); Video: 4 stars; Audio: 4.5 stars; Extras: 0.5 stars; Replay: 3.5 stars. Recommended.

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Caught (1949) (Blu-ray)

Director: Max Ophüls
Writers: Arthur Laurents (screenplay) and Libbie Block (novel)
Starring: James Mason, Barbara Bel Geddes and Robert Ryan

Caught is the story of Leonora Eames’ (Barbara Bel Geddes) dream come true: she married wealthy, and never has to worry again. Until she discovers that her multi-millionaire husband, Smith Ohlrig (Robert Ryan), is certifiably insane. In spite of her dreams, she leaves it all behind and moves away to escape Ohlrig’s grasp. Unfortunately, he is able to pull her back into his arms, after which she becomes pregnant. It is in Max Ophüls’ expert direction that this gripping, noir-inspired melodrama really shines. Highly-stylized and very well-paced, Caught is a welcome addition on Blu-ray.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 100% (Perfect @ 6 reviews)
IMDB: 7.1 (Very Good)

Disc Details

Amazon: $27.98 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4 stars(out of 5); Video: 3.5 stars; Audio: 3 stars; Extras: 0 stars; Replay: 4 stars. Highly Recommended.

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