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DVD/Blu-ray DISCussion (New for 10.12.10)

It is a mixed of release this week, with a variation of action, indie films, comedy, crime thrillers and animated adventure for your viewing pleasure.

First Release
Jonah Hex (DVD and Blu-ray)
Leaves of Glass (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Oxford Murders (DVD and Blu-ray)
I Am Love (DVD and Blu-ray)
Arn: The Knight Templar (DVD and Blu-ray)
How to Train Your Dragon (DVD and Blu-ray) (Released 15th October)

Re-Release
The Magician (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Darjeeling Limited (DVD and Blu-ray)
Red Dragon (Blu-ray)
Three Kings (Blu-ray)
The Hangover (Extreme Edition) (Blu-ray)
Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (Blu-ray)

Jonah Hex (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Marvel Comics has been met with bad luck when trying to adapt their lesser known characters like Daredevil, The Punisher and Ghost Rider into films. Now it is DC’s turn with the flop adaptation of their antihero Jonah Hex. Jonah Hex was met with an ugly development history when the writers Mark Neveldine and Brain Taylor (Crank) walked away from directing the film and animation director Jimmy Haywood (Horton Hears a Who!) was brought in to direct at the last minute. But Jonah Hex has an incredible cast: Josh Brolin took on the lead role and John Malkovich, Michael Fassbender and Michael Shannon supported him. However, Megan Fox was simply brought in because of her current star power and her looks, not for her acting talents.

After his family is murdered by the sadistic Quentin Turnbull (Malkovich) Civil War veteran Jonah Hex has become a scarred bounty hunter. But when Jonah’s old nemesis becomes a threat to the United States he is the only person who can stop him.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 13% (awful)
Player Affinity Score: 4.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted Scenes

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Leaves of Grass (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Made with a budget of $9 million, Leaves of Grass has the fortune of having an all-star cast with the likes of Edward Norton, Richard Dreyfuss, Susan Sarandon and Keri Russell. Tim Blake Nelson (The Grey Zone) writes and direct this dark comedy and also has a supporting role.

Norton plays twins, philosophy professor Bill Kincaid and his cannabis-growing brother Brady. When Brady convinces Bill to return home to his small town roots in Oklahoma, Bill is forced into a number of unpleasant situations, including Brady’s dealing with a drug investor (Dreyfuss), his ex-hippie mum (Sarandon) moving to a retirement home and handle Bill and Brady’s ex flames Janet (Russell) and Colleen (Melanie Lynskey).

Leaves of Grass has only made $56,756, but it was one of Robert Ebert’s favorite films at the 2009 Toronto Film Festival.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 58% (average)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Additional Blu-ray Features: Making of featurette; Edward Norton & Tim Blake Nelson film commentary; Leaves of Grass trailer; Previews

Amazon Price: $13.49 (DVD), $13.49 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Oxford Murders (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The Oxford Murders was released in 2008 in the UK, but it took another two years before it reached the shores of America. Based on a novel by Guillermo Martinez, Spaniel Alex de la Iglesia writes and directs the adaptation. Elijah Wood and John Hurt star in this Oxford set film.

Martin (Wood) is a young graduate student at Oxford University and Professor Arthur Seldom (Hurt) is his thesis supervisor. When a series of murders occurs in Oxford, the killer leave mathematical symbols and the two men are brought in to solving the case.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 10% (awful)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: The Making of The Oxford Murders; The Mathematical Criminals of Oxford; The Oxford Murders: Interviews; The Oxford Murders at Abbey Road; The Oxford Murders: Waiting for Alex; The Oxford Murders: Professor Kalman; The Oxford Murders: Set Design; The Oxford Murders: Kalman’s Makeup; HDNet: A Look at The Oxford Murders; Behind the Scenes of The Oxford Murders; ; Closed Caption

Amazon Price: $15.99 (DVD), $23.99 (Blu-ray)

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

I Am Love (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Kirsten Scott Thomas has had success starring in English language and French films. Now Tilda Swinton is following that model, starring and producing an Italian film with director Luca Gudagnino. Italian actor Gabriele Ferzetti (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service) and American actress Marisa Berenson (Barry Lyndon) offer support.

Set in the Italian capital of culture, Milan, I Am Love is a tale about the wealthy Recchi family as Edoardo Sr. (Ferzetti) decides his successor.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; ; Commentary with Luca Guadagnino (Director) and Tilda Swinton (Actor); Moments on the Set of I Am Love; Interviews with Cast and Crew

Amazon Price: $20.99 (DVD), $23.49 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Arn: The Knight Templar (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Arn: The Knight Templar is the first adaptation of Jan Goillou trilogy of novels about Knight Templar Arn Magnusson. Peter Flinth directs the most expensive Swedish film made with Joakim Natterqvist as the hero.

In the middle of the 12th Century Arn is a knight and nobleman educated in a monastery. He is sent to fight in the Middle East to atone for a forbidden love.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Over 40 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes

Amazon Prices: $13.99 (DVD), $12.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

How to Train Your Dragon (DVD and Blu-ray) (Released 15th October)

What’s the Deal?
After Chris Sanders moved from Disney to DreamWorks, he landed the plumb job of adapting Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon novels with his Lilo and Stitch writing and directing partner Dean DeBlois. The voice cast includes Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder), Gerald Butcher, Craig Ferguson and America Ferrera (Ugly Betty). How to Train Your Dragon is one of DreamWorks’ most successful film.

Hiccup (Baruchel) is the teenage son of Viking chief Stoick the Vast (Butcher). Hiccup is unable to fight and kill dragons which is the way of his village: but when he friendly grounds a dragon he forms an unlikely friendship with Toothless.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 98% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Caption

Additional Blu-ray Features: Legend of the BoneKnapper Dragon: Hiccup and the Gang return to search for a mysterious Dragon in this all-new, full-“scale” adventure; ; Enhance the Movie Viewing Experience with The Animators’ Corner featuring Picture-In-Picture Storyboards, Behind-the-Scenes Footage and Insightful Interviews; ; Watch BD-Live Extras*; ; Uncover More Dragon Fun Facts through Pop-Up Trivia; Race for the Gold in the Viking Winter Games; Hear More About Author Cressida Cowell; Discover Deleted Scenes; Learn to Draw Toothless; Take the Viking Personality Test; ; Disc 2 – DVD Movie ; Filmmaker’s Commentary; Viking-Sized Cast; The Technical Artistry of Dragons

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $22.99 (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo), $24.99 (Double DVD Pack)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Magician (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Ingmar Bergman is Sweden’s most respected director, making films like The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries. His 1958 film The Magician has earned are re-release. Max von Sydow and Ingrid Thulin star in.

In the middle of the 19th Century Dr. Vogler (von Sydow) is a travelling mesmerist who puts magic in to the test by a small town’s cruel minister of health Dr. Vergerus (Gunnar Bjornstrand).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 100% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New, restored high-definition digital transfer, New visual essay by Bergman scholar Peter Cowie, Brief 1967 video interview with director Ingmar Bergman about the film, Rare English-language audio interview with Bergman, New and improved English subtitle translation, PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoff Andre

Amazon Price: $29.95 (DVD), $34.99 (Blu-ray)

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

The Darjeeling Limited (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Wes Anderson is one of the darlings of American quirky indie filmmaking with a filmography including Bottle Rocket and Rushmore. Set in India, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman play three brothers, with Anjelica Huston, Natalie Portman, Bill Murray and Waris Ahlumalia offering support.

Estranged brothers Francis (Wilson), Peter (Brody) and Jack (Schwartzman) are reunited in India and take a long train journey through that nation. They set out to make amends and find themselves.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 68% (good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New high-definition digital transfer approved by director Wes Anderson, Anderson’s short film Hotel Chevalier (part one of The Darjeeling Limited), Audio commentary featuring Anderson and cowriters, Behind-the-scenes documentary by Barry Braverman Anderson and filmmaker James Ivory discussing the film’s music, Anderson’s American Express commercial, On-set footage shot by Coppola and actor Waris Ahluwalia, Audition footage, deleted and alternate scenes, and stills galleries; Original theatrical trailer; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Richard Brody

Amazon Price: $35.99 (DVD), $24.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Red Dragon (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Red Dragon is the second adaptation of Thomas Harris’ novel of the same name (the first being Michael Mann’s Manhunter). This is the fourth Hannibal Lecter film, with Anthony Hopkins respiring his role instead of Brian Cox and he is joined by the likes of Edward Norton, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Harvey Keitel, Mary-Louise Parker and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Brett Ratner (Rush Hour Trilogy, X-Men: The Last Stand) is in the director’s chair after Michael Bay refused to do it (that tells you something).

Set before the events of The Silence of the Lambs Will Graham (Norton) is a former FBI profiler who Hannibal had attacked. He is called back into action when a serial killer known as the Tooth Fairy (Fiennes) has murdered two families in the deep South. Graham goes to Hannibal believing you need to know a killer to get into the mind of a killer.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 68% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 6.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Three Kings (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Three Kings is a film famous for controversy when it was rumored that writer/director David O. Russell (I Heart Huckabees) stole the idea from novelist John Ridley and that Russell had a falling out George Clooney during filming. But Three Kings was a popular film with Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube and Spike Jonze in a Gulf War set film.

Clooney and co play a four man team in the Gulf War who steal $23 million from Saddam Hussein’s army. But they are forced into helping the Kuwaiti rebels after seeing the horrors Hussein has ordered.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 94% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Additional scenes; 2 commentaries: One by writer/director David O. Russell, the other by producers Charles Roven and Edward L. McDonnell; Feature Under the Bunker: on the set of Three Kings; David O. Russell’s Three Kings video journal; An intimate look inside the acting process with Ice Cube; Tour of the Iraqi village set with production designer Catherine Hardwicke; Interview with director of photography Newton Thomas Sigel

Amazon Price: $18.99 (Blu-ray)

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

The Hangover (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The Hangover was a surprise hit in 2009 and a nice little earner for Legendary Pictures, making over $467 Million from a $35 million budget. Comedy director Todd Phillips (Old School) takes on Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past) script, with Bradley Cooper (The A-Team), Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis (Dinner for Schmucks) starring in the main roles.

Phil (Cooper), Stu (Helms) and Alan (Galifianakis) are the groomsman for Doug (Justin Bartha) and they go to Las Vegas for the bachelor party of a lifetime. But they wake up with one hell of a hangover and strange things in their hotel room including a baby and tiger. But worst of all they have lost the groom. The men have to put the pieces together, find Doug and get him to his wedding.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 78% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 7.0/10

DISC DETAILS

Unrated Edition DVD Special Features: Picture-in-picture commentary featuring Bradley Cooper, Zach Galiafinakis, Ed Helms, and Todd Phillips, ”Map of Destruction”, “The Madness of Ken Jeong”, “Action Mash-Up”, “Three Best Friends Song”, “The Dan Band”, Gag Reel, More Pictures from the Missing Camera, BD-LIVE Exclusive Content: “Iron Mike Online Teaser”, EXCLUSIVE CONTENT: “Cursing Mash-Up”, Spanish audio on theatrical version only

Extreme Edition Blu-ray Special Features: Picture-in-picture commentary with the stars and director, Deluxe full-color 28-page wedding photo album, CD Soundtrack sampler with 5 songs from the movie, More pictures from the missing camera, Map of destruction, The madness of Ken Jeong action mash-up, Three Best Friends song, The Dan Band perfoms Fame

Amazon Price: $12.99 (Unrated Edition Blu-ray), $24.99 (Extreme Edition Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The Rolling Stones are one of the greatest bands to ever have graced the Earth. Two of their concerts of their 1972 North American Tour were filmed by Rollin Binzer and Marshall Chess and this concert film features many classic Stones like Brown Sugar and Jumping Jack Flash.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Tour rehearsal (Shake Your Hips/Tumbling Dice/Bluesberry Jam); Old Grey Whistle Test interview; Mick Jagger interview 2010

Amazon Price: $15.49 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

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