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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (11.6.12)

The Blu-ray re-release of Sunset Boulevard beat a strong number of contenders to become Entertainment Fuse’s Recommendation of the Week. The Blu-ray of this classic movie comes with the usual array of extra of documentaries that you would expect.

First Release
The Amazing Spider-Man (DVD and Blu-ray) (Releases Friday, Nov. 9)
Arthur Christmas (DVD and Blu-ray)
Your Sister’s Sister (DVD and Blu-ray)
Red Dog (DVD and Blu-ray)
360 (DVD and Blu-ray)
Fire With Fire (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Pact (DVD and Blu-ray)
Kiss Me (DVD)
Trishna (DVD)
Maximum Conviction (DVD)

Re-Release
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Rashomon (1950) (Blu-ray)
Sunset Boulevard (1950) (Blu-ray)
Patton (1970) (Blu-ray)
They Live (1988) (Blu-ray)
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) (Blu-ray)
Guys and Dolls (1955) (Blu-ray)
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1992) (Blu-ray)

Sunset Boulevard (1950) (Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*

Directed by Billy Wilder
Written by Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, D.M. Marshman Jr.
Starring: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

Billy Wilder is widely regarded as a great writer and director, making movies like Double Indemnity, Stalag 17 and Sabrina. One of his best and most popular movies is the film-noir Sunset Boulevard as a B-movie screenwriter Joe Gillis (William Holden), ends up in the home of an aging silent movie star, Gloria Swanson (Norma Desmond), who is desperate to relive her glory days.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 98% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
9.1/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: “The Making of Sunset Boulevard” (includes interviews with Nancy Olson, Ed Sikov, film critic Andrew Sarris, Paramount producer A.C. Lyles, and Glenn Close); Photo galleries; Hollywood location map; Script of the original morgue prologue; “The Music of Sunset Boulevard” featurette; “Edith Head: The Paramount Years” (documentary of the famed costume designer)

Amazon Price: $18.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

There are 18 movies being released and re-released onto DVD and Blu-ray this week. The biggest release of the week is the superhero movie The Amazing Spider-Man. Other movies of interest are the Criterion Collection’s re-release of Rashomon, the war movie Patton and two Christmas movies to delight the whole family.

The Amazing Spider-Man (DVD and Blu-ray) (Releases Nov. 9)

Directed by Marc Webb
Written by James Vanderbilt, Alvin Sargent, Steve Kloves (screenplay), James Vanderbilt (story), Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (comics)
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Denis Leary, Sally Field

The production hell behind making Spider-Man 4 ended up leading Columbia Pictures to make the controversial decision to reboot the Spider-Man series and (500) Days of Summer director Marc Webb had the unenviable task of helming the new series. But against expectations, The Amazing Spider-Man proved to be popular with fans and critics.

Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) replaces Tobey Maguire as everyone’s favorite webslinger in a story that re-examines Spider-Man’s origins: Peter Parker is a social outcast who after finding his father’s briefcase finds Oscorp. As he develops his powers and becomes a superhero, a new supervillain emerges in The Lizard (Rhys Ifans).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 73% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
6.9/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted Scenes and Alternate Takes; Audio Commentaries with Cast and Crew; The Oscorp Archives – Art and Promotional Materials Gallery; Screen Tests; Stunt Rehearsals

Additional 3D Blu-ray Special Features: Interactive 3D Film School with Director Marc Webb

Additional Limited Edition Four Disc Combo Special Features: Collectible Amazing Spider-Man Figurine; Collectible Lizard Figurine

Amazon Price: $14.96 (DVD), $18.96 (Blu-ray), $27.99 (3D Blu-ray), $59.96 (Limited Edition Four Disc Combo)

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

Arthur Christmas (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Sarah Smith
Written by Peter Baynham, Sarah Smith
Starring: James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie, Bill Nighy, Jim Broadbent, Ashley Jensen

Arthur Christmas was released a year ago, but it is only now that it is being released on DVD and Blu-ray. Made by Aardman Animations, Arthur Christmas tells the story of Arthur (James McAvoy), Father Christmas’ younger son. In the North Pole, Father Christmas’ (Jim Broadbent) deliveries have turned into a high-tech military operation with the use of hundreds of elves. Father Christmas’ oldest son, Steve (Hugh Laurie) is set to inherit the title, but the worst thing imaginable has happened — a child has not received her present! It is up to Arthur, an ambitious elf, Bryony (Ashley Jensen, Extras) and Grand-Santa (Bill Nighy) to deliver the present before Christmas day.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 91% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
8.5/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features:

Amazon Price:
$16.99 (DVD), $21.96 (Blu-ray), $27.99 (3D Blu-ray)

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

Your Sister’s Sister (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Lynn Shelton
Starring: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark Duplass

Your Sister’s Sister is an indie drama-comedy about Iris (Emily Blunt), who suggests to her friend Jack (Mark Duplass) that they spend a weekend at her father’s remote cabin. But Iris’ sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married) has the same idea and the two end up sharing their secrets.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 84% (very good)
Player Affinity Score:
5.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $12.99 (DVD), $14.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Red Dog (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Kriv Stenders
Written by Daniel Taplitz (screenplay), Louis de Bernières (novel)
Starring: Josh Lucas, Rachael Taylor, John Batchelor, Koko

Red Dog was a very popular family movie in its native Australia and earned good reviews the world over as a red dog ends up uniting a disparate community as he searches for his master in the Australian Outback.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 81% (very good)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $19.99 (DVD), $22.49 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

360 (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Fernando Meirelles
Written by Peter Morgan
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Ben Foster

On the surface, 360 should have been cinematic gold: it was directed by Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardner), written by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and has an ensemble cast. But sadly, it was a critical bomb as it explores various relationships in cities ranging from Paris to Denver.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
19% (awful)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Fire With Fire (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by David Barrett
Written by Tom O’Conner
Starring: Josh Duhamel, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio

For a straight-to-DVD movie Fire With Fire has a very impressive cast featuring Josh Duhamel (Transformers), Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket), Vinnie Jones and Richard Schiff (The West Wing).

Jeremy Coleman (Duhamel) is a firefighter who ends up being forced to testify against a major crime lord, Neil Hagan (D’Onofrio), and ends up in the Witness Protection Program.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $12.86 (DVD), $16.86 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Pact (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Nicholas McCarthy
Starring: Caity Lotz, Casper Van Dien

Premiering at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, The Pact was a critically well-received horror movie about a young woman, Annie (Caity Lotz) struggling with the death of her mother, who discovers a sinister presence in her childhood home.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $9.99 (DVD), $26.98 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Maximum Conviction (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Keoni Waxman
Written by Richard Beattie
Starring: Steven Seagal, Steve Austin, Michael Paré, Bren Foster

Steven Seagal, Steve Austin and Michael Paré. Yes, Maximum Conviction is the poor man’s Expendables as a pair of former ops are assigned the mission to decommission an old prison over the arrival of two female prisoners. But of course the pair end up caught in a wider conspiracy.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $17.96 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Kiss Me (DVD)

Written and directed by Alexandra Therese Keining
Starring: Ruth Vega Fernandez, Liv Mjönes

Kiss Me is a Swedish romantic drama about two women in their thirties Mia (Ruth Vega Fernandez) and Frida (Liv Mjönes) who meet for the first time at their parents’ engagement party.

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

Trishna (DVD)

Directed by Michael Winterbottom
Written by Michael Winterbottom (screenplay), Thomas Hardy (novel)
Starring: Freida Pinto, Riz Ahmed

Trishna is an adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of d’Urbervilles, modernizing the story from Victorian England to modern day India as a poor young woman, Trishna (Freida Pinto), embarks on a turbulent relationship with the wealthy son of a hotel owner, Jay (Riz Ahmed, Four Lions).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 67% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
5.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $19.99 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Brain Henson
Written by Jerry Juhl (screenplay), Charles (novel)
Starring: Michael Caine, Steven Mackintosh, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, David Rudman, Steve Whitmire

There have been many adaptations of Charles Dickens’ classic story A Christmas Carol and one of the most famous and loved is The Muppets’ version as the cold-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine) is haunted by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 68% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
7.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Audio Commentary — With Director Brian Henson

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Frogs, Pigs & Humbug: Unwrapping a New Holiday Classic; Christmas Around the World; On the Set

Additional Three Disc Blu-ray Edition Special Features: Collector’s Edition cover; Disney Intermission: Press “pause” and see what happens when the Muppets show up at your door to sing you Christmas carols – Muppet style!; Muppet Audio Commentary: All new audio commentary from your favorite Muppets (Kermit, Gonzo, Rizzo and more); Muppet Holiday Sing-Along; Blooper Reel; Pepe’s Profiles Presents: Gonzo, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Weirdo

Amazon Price: $9.99 (DVD), $17.86 (Blu-ray), $22.05 (Three Disc Blu-ray Edition)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Rashomon (1950) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto (screenplay), Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (short stories)
Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyō, Takashi Shimura, Minoru Chiaki

Rashomon is one of Akira Kurosawa’s most celebrated movies, an ambitious movie telling the story of a horrible crime from the different perspectives of the witness, victims and the alleged perpetrator.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 100% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
9.6/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition; Audio commentary by Japanese-film historian Donald Richie; Video introduction by director Robert Altman; Excerpts from The World of Kazuo Miyagawa, a documentary on Rashomon’s cinematographer; A Testimony as an Image, a sixty-eight-minute documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew; Archival audio interview with actor Takashi Shimura; Original and rerelease trailers; New English subtitle translation; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film historian Stephen Prince; an excerpt from director Akira Kurosawa’s Something Like an Autobiography; and reprints of Rashomon’s two source stories by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, “Rashomon” and “In a Grove”

Amazon Price: $24.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Patton (1970) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner
Written by Francis Ford Coppola, Edmund H. North (screenplay), Ladislas Farago (book), Omar Bradley (book)
Starring: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates, Karl Michael Vogler

George S. Patton is one of the most famous and controversial American generals in World War II and the bio-pic based around his war career is a critical daring. This popular movie won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor (which star George C. Scott refused to accept).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 97% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
8.6/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Audio essay on the life of George Patton; Theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $21.24 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

They Live (1988) (Blu-ray)

Directed by John Carpenter
Written by John Carpenter (screenplay), Ray Nelson (novel)
Starring: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster, Raymond St. Jacques, Peter Jason, Sy Richardson, George ‘Buck’ Flower

John Carpenter was the king of the B-movie back in the ’70s and ’80s and They Live is one of them as a down-on-his-luck construction worker, Nada (Roddy Piper), discovers that evil capitalist aliens are secretly running the world. They Live is a Marxist thesis put to film.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 89% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
7.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Audio Commentary By Director John Carpenter And Actor Roddy Piper; New Interview With Director John Carpenter And Roddy Piper; Vintage Featurette: The Making Of They Live; Original Theatrical Trailer; TV Spots

Amazon Price: $19.86 (Blu-ray)

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

Planes Trains and Automobiles (1987) (Blu-ray)

Written and directed by John Hughes
Starring: Steve Martin, John Candy

John Hughes made some of the best comedies in the ’80s, writing and directing movies like The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Planes Trains and Automobiles is a popular Hughes movie as Neal Page (Steve Martin) struggles to get back home for Thanksgiving and ends up having to travel with obnoxious slob, Del (John Candy).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 94% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
7.6/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Getting There is Half the Fun: The Story of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; John Hughes for Adults; A Tribute to John Candy; Deleted Scene; “Airplane Food”

Amazon Price: $11.86 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Guys and Dolls (1955) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Ben Hecht (screenplay), Abe Burrows, Jo Swerling, Frank Loesser, Damon Runyon (musical)
Starring: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine, Stubby Kaye, Regis Toomey

Based on the popular musical, Guys and Dolls tells how a New York gambler, Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) needs $1000 to set up a high-stakes crap game in the Prohibition Era and challenges master gambler Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando) that he cannot get a woman from Salvation Army, Sarah Brown (Jean Simmons), to dine with him in Havana.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 86% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Guys & Dolls: From Stage to Screen” documentary; “Guys & Dolls: The Goldwyn Touch” documentary; Interviews: More Guys & Dolls Stories; Photo Gallery; 72-Page Collectible Scrapbook

Amazon Price: $23.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (1992) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Masami Hata, William Hurtz
Written by Chris Columbus, Richard Outten (screenplay), Yutaka Fujioka, Jean “Moebius” Giraud (story), Winsor McCay (comic strip)
Starring: Gabriel Damon, Mickey Rooney, René Auberjonois, Danny Mann, Bernard Erhard

Based on Winsor McCay’s newspaper comic strip, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland is a American/Japanese co-production as a young boy, Nemo (Gabriel Damon) goes to the fantastic fantasy Slumberland in his dreams. But it is up to Nemo to save Slumberland when an ancient threat re-emerges.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Player Affinity Score:
7.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $26.96 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

 

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