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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (11.20.12)

It is very hard to go wrong with a Blu-ray box-set that features like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Inglourious Basterds and the Tarantino XX Collection features all of his movies and has five hours worth of features, including interviews with the man himself – Quentin Tarantino.

First Release
The Expendables 2 (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Survival Games (DVD and Blu-ray)

Re-Release
Heaven’s Gate (1980) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Tarantino XX Collection (Blu-ray)
Grave of the Fireflies (1988) (Blu-ray)
Hard Core Logo (2000) (Blu-ray)
Les Misérables: 10th Anniversary Concert (1995) (Blu-ray)
Cinderella (1950) (DVD)

Tarantino XX Collection (Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen

Pulp Fiction (1994)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Written by Quentin Tarantino (screenplay), Roger Avary, Quentin Tarantino (screenplay)
Starring: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Ving Rhames, Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel

Jackie Brown (1997)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Written by Quentin Tarantino (screenplay), Elmore Leonard (novel)
Starring: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Bridget Fonda, Michael Keaton, Robert De Niro

Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003)
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Daryl Hannah, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Julie Dreyfus

Kill Bill Volume 2 (2004)
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, Gordon Liu

Death Proof (2007)
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Vanessa Felito, Jordan Ladd, Rose McGowan, Sydney Tamila Poitier, Tracie Thomas, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Zoë Bell

Inglourious Basterds
(2009)
Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Mélanie Laurent, Michael Fassbender, Eli Roth, Diane Kruger, Daniel Brühl, Til Schweiger

True Romance (1993)
Directed by Tony Scott
Written by Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken

Quentin Tarantino is one of the most highly regarded writer-directors around, having a massive cult following and the best example of someone who did not need to go to film school or university to be a successful filmmaker. Now all his directorial efforts to date, plus one of his more memorable scripts, True Romance, which the late Tony Scott directed.

The Tarantino XX Collection includes eight classic movies. All feature Tarantino’s trademark wit and dialogue. Many of these movies have won awards, from Palme d’Or to Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor Oscars for Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown and Inglourious Basterds.

Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
96% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
10/10

Pulp Fiction (1994)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
95% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
9.8/10

Jackie Brown (1997)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
86% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
9.4/10

Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
85% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
9.4/10

Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
84% (very good)
Player Affinity Score:
8.9/10

Death Proof (2007)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
65% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
7.8/10

Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
88% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
9.8/10

True Romance (1993)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
91% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Over 5 Hours of Never-Before-Seen Special Features Include: Critics Corner; The Films of Quentin Tarantino In-depth critics’ discussion piece exploring Tarantino’s films that redefined cinema and the impact of one of the most influential writers/directors of our time; 20 Years of Filmmaking; Take a look at Tarantino’s career from the beginning, with interviews from co-workers, critics, stars and master filmmakers alike as well as a tribute to his greatest collaborator, Sally Menke; Jackie Brown Q&A: A Film Independent at LACMA Event; Quentin Tarantino, Robert Forster, and Pam Grier reunite for an intimate and enlightening discussion about Jackie Brown. Moderated by Elvis Mitchell, renowned film critic and curator for Film Independent at LACMA series; A Collection of Django Unchained Trailers

Amazon Price: $69.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

It is a small week of DVD and Blu-ray, but less does not necessarily mean worst as action fans have the release of The Expendables 2 to look forward to, whilst animation fans have got the releases of Grave of the Fireflies and Cinderella and if you want to prepare for the release of Les Miserables then there is the Blu-ray of the 10th Anniversary Concert.

The Expendables 2 (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Simon West
Written by Richard Wenk, Sylvester Stallone (screenplay), Ken Kaufman, David Agosto, Richard Wenk (story), David Callaham (characters)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Yu Nan, Liam Hemsworth, Jean-Claude Van Damme

Everyone’s favorite action heroes have returned for another installment of The Expendables series. And what makes The Expendables 2 even more remarkable is that it is a sequel that improves on the original. Simon West (Con Air) replaced Sylvester Stallone in the director’s chair, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis have expanded roles and action stars Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris join the fun.

Set after the events of The Expendables, Barney Ross (Stallone) and co. are forced into a seemingly simple mission in Eastern Europe by CIA Agent Church (Willis). But one of The Expendables is killed by a local mercenary and warlord, Jean Vilian (Van Damme) who threatens to export five tons of Soviet plutonium to highest bidder, forcing our heroes on both a mission of vengeance and to stop a global threat.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 66% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
7.0/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted Scenes; Gag Reel; GODS OF WAR: Assembling Earth’s Mightiest Antiheroes; ON THE ASSAULT: The Real-Life Weaponry of THE EXPENDABLES; BIG GUNS, BIGGER HEROES: The 1980s and the Rise of the Action Film; GUNS FOR HIRE: The Real Expendables; Audio Commentary with director Simon West

Amazon Price: $12.99 (DVD), $17.99 (Blu-ray)

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

The Survival Games (DVD)

Directed by Mike Corkle
Written by Mark Micucci (screenplay), Mike Corkle, Mark Micucci (story)
Starring: Konrad Case, Robin Zamora, Mischa McCortney

The Hunger Games was a massive hit earlier this year, so it is clear with a name like The Survival Games this is a straight-to-DVD movie aiming to cash in as a group of friends’ camping trip turns into a deadly struggle for survival.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $19.99 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Heaven’s Gate (1980) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Michael Cimino
Starring: Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Walken, Isabelle Huppert, Jeff Bridges, John Hurt

After the success of The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino was given carte blanche to do any project he wanted and he choose to make his dream project, the Western Heaven’s Gate. But at the time it was a critical disaster, one of biggest cinematic bombs in history, and it helped lead to United Artists’ bankruptcy and pretty much ruined Cimino’s career. But revisionist reviews have been much more positive to the movie, particularly towards Cimino’s director’s cut.

In the 1890s, Jim Averill (Kris Kristofferson) is a sheriff on a mission to protect poor European immigrants from the interests of a wealthy cattle owner (Christopher Walken), leading to the Johnson County War.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 43% (poor)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New, restored transfer of director Michael Cimino’s cut of the film, supervised by Cimino; New restoration of the 5.1 surround soundtrack, supervised by Cimino; New illustrated audio interview with Cimino and producer Joann Carelli; New interviews with actor Kris Kristofferson, soundtrack arranger and performer David Mansfield, and second assistant director Michael Stevenson; The Johnson County War, a video interview with historian Bill O’Neal about the real-life conflict that inspired the film, and its resonance in popular culture; Trailer and TV spots; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic and programmer Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan

Amazon Price: $34.99 (DVD), $34.86 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Grave of the Fireflies (1988) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Isao Takahata
Written by Isao Takahata (screenplay), Akiyuki Nosaka (novel)
Starring: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Yoshiko Shinohara, Akemi Yamaguchi

From Studio Ghibli is Grave of the Fireflies, a critically acclaimed anti-war tragedy that is considered one of the best anime movies ever made. Based on Akiyuki Nosaka’s semi-autobiographical novel, Grave of the Fireflies tells the story of a 14-year-old Seita (Tsutomu Tatsumi) and his 4-year-old sister, Setsuko (Ayano Shirasihi) who are forced to fend for themselves during the dying days of World War II as Japan suffers from continuing aerial bombardment by the allies.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
96% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
10/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New English dub; Storyboards for Grave of the Fireflies; Deleted scenes storyboards; Japanese theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $16.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Hard Core Logo (1996) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Bruce McDonald
Written by Noel S. Baker (screenplay), Michael Turner (novel)
Starring: Hugh Dillon, Callum Keith Rennie, John Pyper-Ferguson, Bernie Coulson

The music mockumentary Hard Core Logo is considered one of the best modern Canadian movies as filmmaker Bruce McDonald follows the punk band Hard Core Logo on their reunion tour in Western Canada. The Blu-ray re-release also features the sequel.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 67% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Audio Commentary with director Bruce McDonald, star Hugh Dillon and writer Noel Baker Music Video Theatrical Trailer Excerpt from the book Bruce McDonald’s ‘Hard Core Logo’ by Paul McEwan. Genuine Steel Book Case Suit of Lights: Animated Short. Directed by Nick Fairhead. Audio Commentary on Hard Core Logo 2: Featuring Director Bruce McDonald and Simon Less. Blu-ray bonus interviews Hard Core Logo 2 Theatrical Trailer

Amazon Price: $21.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Les Misérables: 10th Anniversary Concert (1995) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Gavin Taylor
Written by Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer, Claude-Michel Schönberg
Starring: Colm Wilkinson, Phillip Quast, Alun Armstrong, Jenny Galloway, Judy Kuhn. Michael Ball, Lea Salonga, Ruthie Henshall, Anthony Crivello

The cinematic version of Les Misérables is about to be released in theaters on Christmas Day, so why not prepare yourself with this concert DVD that was performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. It features cast members from Broadway and the West End and has cameos from cast members from around the world. Lea Salonga’s rendition of “On My Own” is considered the definitive version by Les Misérables fans.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $31.70 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Cinderella (1950) (DVD)

Directed by Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wilfred Jackson
Written by Ken Anderson Perce Pearce, Homer Brightman, Winston Hibler, Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Harry Reeves, Joe Rinaldi, Ted Sears (screenplay), Charles Perrault (fairy tale)
Starring: Ilene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Rhoda Willian, James MacDonald, Luis Van Rooten

In October, Disney re-released Cinderella onto Blu-ray. Now a DVD version is available, chronicling how Cinderella (Ilene Woods) is used as slave labor for her wicked step-mother and step-sisters. But Cinderella has a fairy godmother (Verna Felton) who gives her the chance to go to the prince’s ball and make her dreams come true.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 97% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
7.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: “Tangled Ever After Animated Short; Behind the Magic: A New Disney Princess Fantasyland; Diane Disney Miller Intro

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

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