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DVD/Blu-ray DISCussion (New for 10.18.10)

We PAMers are proud to report a great host of DVD and Blu-ray releases this week. There are many classics being re-released from a range of genres (fantasy, war, musicals, etc…) whilst the new releases include a mix of major releases, indie films and straight-to-DVD offerings.

First Release
Predators (DVD and Blu-ray)
Please Give (DVD and Blu-ray)
Mirrors 2 (DVD and Blu-ray)
Until the Light Takes Us (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Six Wives of Henry Lefay (DVD and Blu-ray)

Re-Release
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (DVD and Blu-ray)
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (DVD and Blu-ray)
Apocalypse Now (Blu-ray)
Seven Samurai (Blu-ray)
Psycho (Blu-ray)
Moulin Rouge! (Blu-ray)
Romeo + Juliet (Blu-ray)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Blu-ray)

Predators (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Before Predators was made there were four films in the Predator series (two with their nemesis the Xenomorph). But Robert Rodriguez’s production ignores three of the films and is a sequel to the 1987 original. Based on an idea Rodriguez had when he was first approached to direct in 1994, the script was written by first-timers Alex Litvak and Michael Finch and Nimrod Antal (Kontrol) is given the directional duties. The cast boasts Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga (I Am Legend) and a cameo from Laurence Fishburne.

A group of humans, including an American mercenary (Brody), an Israeli sniper (Braga), a Spetsnaz soldier (Oleg Taktarov), a Yakuza assassin (Louis Ozawa Changchien) and a doctor (Grace), are transported to a strange planet without explanation. They have to find out why they are there and try and get back to Earth whilst they are hunted by a group of powerful predators.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 63% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 6.3/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Commentary by Robert Rodriguez and Nimrod Antal; Decloaking the Invisible: Alien Terrain; Robert Rodriguez Presents… Crucified – The film’s biggest mystery is revealed in this expanded universe motion comic.; Theatrical Trailer

Additional Blu-ray Features: Predators in high definition; Robert Rodriguez presents motion comics – exclusive prequel vignettes: moments of extraction (Isabelle, Cuchillo, Hanzo, Mombasa) and crucified

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $24.99 (BLu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Please Give (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Please Give was screened at out of competition at Berlin Film Festival and made $23,625 per cinema when it opened in five cinemas. Nicole Holocene (Friends with Money) writes and directs a critically praised film and features an impressive cast with the likes of Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich), Oliver Platt (The West Wing), the lovely Amanda Peet (Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) and Rebecca Hall (The Town).

Set in New York, Kate (Keener) and Alex (Platt) are a married couple who end up clashing with the granddaughters of an elderly neighbor.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 88% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Outtakes; Behind the scenes of Please Give; Q&a with director Nicole Holofcener

Amazon Price: $21.99 (DVD), $23.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Mirrors 2 (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The original Mirrors was a remake of a South Korean horror film. It made enough money to justify a straight-to-DVD sequel. This time special effects expert and TV director Victor Garcia helms the project with Nick Stahl (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Sin City) and Emmauelle Vaugier (30 Days of Night) starring.

This sequel focuses on Max (Stahl) who becomes a security guard after a traumatic accident but sees visions of a young mysterious woman in the store mirror.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Side a:; The other side: making mirrors 2; Keeping it real: the visual and special effects of mirrors 2; Deleted scenes; Side b:; The original Korean feature film into the mirror

Additional Blu-ray Features: Mirrors 2 unrated in high definition; Bonus view: watch Mirrors 2 with the woman in the mirror

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $20.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 1 stars, Video 0 stars, Audio 0 stars, Extras 1.5 stars, Replay 0 stars (out of 5). Skip It

Until the Light Takes Us (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?

Black Metal is a genre of music I personally do not understand, but there is enough of a crowd that enjoy it. Until the Light Takes Us is a Norwegian documentary which tells the story of the rise of music and cultural scene to the grow of the dark side of suicides, murders and church burning and the moral panic that followed. A number of a Scandinavian bands were interviewed for the film.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 48% (average)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: 36 minute black metal short film of deleted scenes; Alternate ending; Outtakes; The cutting room with musicians not in the film including:; Enslaved; Ted “Nocturno” Cutlo, Skjellum from Darkthrone, and Jørn “Necrobutcher” from Mayhem, plus more with Ulver, Immortal, Jan Axel “Hellhammer” Blomberg, Gylve “Fenriz” Nagell and Kjetil “Frost” Haraldstad; 46 more minutes of Varg Vikernes and a 45 minute class on the history of black metal with Fenriz

Amazon Price: $17.99 (DVD), $27.99 (Blu-ray), $29.49 (Limited 2 Disc Set)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Six Wives of Henry Lefay (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The Six Wives of Henry Lefay is the directional debut from writer Howard Michael Gould (Mr 3000). Tim Allen as the title character with Elisha Cuthbert (24), Paz Vega (Spanglish) and Andie MacDowell (Groundhound Day) just to name a few.

This comedy tells how a grieving daughter Barbara (Cuthbert) has to arrange her father’s funnel (Allen) while dealing with his ex-wives.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $15.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 1.5 stars, Video 4 stars, Audio 3.5 stars, Extras 0 stars, Replay 0 stars (out of 5). Skip It.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The producers of the Harry Potter series really know squeeze every cent out of the fans (but that’s capitalism for you) and this time they are releasing ultimate editions to two of the six current films. Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron took over the directional duties: he was a controversial choice because his previous film was the sex drama, Y tu mama tambien. David Thewlis (Seven Years in Tibet), Emma Thompson, Michael Gambon and Gary Oldman join the cast of the popular film series.

As Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is about to go to Hogwarts for his third year a crazed murder and follower of Lord Voldermort Sirius Black (Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban prison. Yet when our hero returns to Hogwarts he meets something worse; the soul sucking dementors. The new Defence against Dark Arts teacher Remus Lupin (Thewlis) teaches Harry how to defend himself and gives Harry a chance to know more about his family history.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 90% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.7/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 3: Magical Creatures; Tour Nick Dudman’s Creature Shop; An Interview in Spanish with Alfonso Cuarón; 3 Vintage TV Specials: The Magic Touch of Harry Potter; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Something Wicked This Way Comes; The Making of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Additional Scenes; Creating the Vision: Interview with J.K. Rowling and the Filmmakers; Conjuring a Scene: Creating Buckbeak and the Dementors for the Screen; Johnny Vaughan and the Shrunken Head Lead Raucous Interviews with the Cast; Self-Guided Tours of Honeydukes and Professor Lupin’s Classroom; Meet the Animal Trainers in Care of Magical Creatures; 3 Challenges: Test Your Memory with Magic You May Have Missed, Help Crookshanks Catch Scabbers, and Go on an Unxepected Quest with Sir Cadogan; 48-Page Creatures Photo Book with rare images from years 1-7; Year 3 lenticular card; Two in a series of character cards: Hermione Granger & Sirius Black

Amazon Price: $27.99 (DVD), $33.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
As the very British film series was getting darker Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire hired the first Englishman to direct, Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco). The Goblet of Fire is one of the longest of the Harry Potter books and many new characters were involved, with many new actors joining the series. This included Brendan Gleeson (Green Zone), Robert Pattinson, David Tennant (Doctor Who), Clemence Posey (In Bruges), Ralph Fiennes and the beautiful Katie Leung.

Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts sees the rise of some dark times in the Wizard world with the Voldermort’s old follows the Death Eaters are showing their strength. Harry is also somehow selected to compete in the deadly Tri-Wizard tournament. But worst of all, he needs to gain the courage to ask out Cho Chang (Leung).

The Goblet of Fire is my favourite book of the series.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 88% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 7.6/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 4: Sound and Music; 5 Vintage TV Specials: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Behind the Magic; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Dark Matters, New Masters; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Some Animal Magic; Inside Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Preparing for the Yule Ball; Conversations with the Cast; Reflections on the Fourth Film; Triwizard Tournament: Dragon Arena – Harry vs. the Horntail: The First Task; Meet the Champions; Triwizard Tournament: Lake – In Too Deep: The Second Task; Triwizard Tournament: Maze – Maze Challenge; To the Graveyard and Back Challenge; The Maze: The Third Task; He Who Must Not Be Named; 44-Page Sound & Music Photo Book with rare images from years 1-7; Year 4 lenticular card; Two in a series of character cards: Ronald Weasley & Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody

Amazon Price: $27.99 (DVD), $33.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Apocalypse Now (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Apocalypse Now went through a notorious production, with the main star Harvey Keitel being replaced with Martin Sheen who ended up having a heart attack and Marlon Brando ending up ballooning in weight. Yet director Francis Ford Coppola was able to put it out of the bag and made what is considered one of the greatest war films ever made.

Apocalypse Now is a loose retelling of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, updating the story from 19th Century Belgian Congo to the Vietnam War. Captain Benjamin L. Willard (Sheen) is a trouble special operations veteran who is ordered to assassin Colonel Walter Kurtz (Brando) who has believed to have gone insane. He has to go through an epic journey, seeing many aspects of war on the war.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 98% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.6/10

DISC DETAILS

Blu-ray Special Features: Disc 1; Apocalypse Now -; Audio Commentary with Director Francis Ford Coppola; ; Disc Two – New Video Interview with Francis Ford Coppola and Actor Martin Sheen; ; New Video Interview with Francis Ford Coppola and Screenwriter John Milius; New “Fred Roos: Casting Apocalypse” featuring never-before-seen original screen tests; Original 1938 Radio Reading of “Heart of Darkness” by Orson Welles; ; 2001 Video Interview of Francis Ford Coppola with Critic Roger Ebert – Presented in its entirety; ; Archival DVD Special Features;

Additional 3-Disc Blu-ray Features: Hearts of Darkness – The Ultimate Feature-length Documentary on the making of Apocalypse Now; ; Audio Commentary With Eleanor and Francis Ford Coppola; ; John Milius Script Excerpts with Francis Ford Coppola; Storyboard Gallery; Marketing Archive

Amazon Price: $26.99 (2-Disc Blu-ray), $41.99 (3-Disc Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Seven Samurai (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Akira Kurosawa is one of the world’s most highly regarded directors, making films like Rashomon and Ran. Seven Samurai is considered on of his greatest films.

Set in Feudal Japan a gang of bandits harass a small mountain village to the point of poverty and starvation. The villagers resort to hiring seven ronins (masterless samurais) to help them defend their village for the next time the bandits attack.

This powerful and entertaining film was remade in America as The Magnificent Seven, which is also a highly regarded film.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 100% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Disc one:; Two audio commentaries, one featuring film scholars David Desser, Joan Mellen, Stephen Prince, Tony Rayns, and Donald Richie, and the other Japanese film expert Michael Jeck; Disc two:; Fifty-minute documentary on the making of Seven Samurai, created as part of the toho masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: it is wonderful to create; My life cinema, a two-hour video conversation from 1993 between directors Akira Kurosawa and Nagisa Oshima; “Seven Samurai”; origins and influences, a documentary looking at the Samurai traditions and films that helped shape Kurosawa’s masterpiece; Theatrical trailers and teaser; Gallery of rare posters, behind-the-scenes photos, and production stills

Amazon Price: $36.49 (Blu-ray), $39.49 (3 Disc Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 5 stars, Video 5 stars, Audio 4 stars, Extras 5 stars, Replay 5 stars (out of 5). DVD Talk Collector Series.

Psycho (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Where would horror be without Alfred Hitchcock raising the bar for the genre? Psycho is one of Hitchcock’s most iconic films and even people who have not seen it still know some of its most famous aspects. The cast of this classic includes Anthony Perkins (Friendly Persuasion), Vera Miles (The Wrong Man), John Gavin (Spartacus) and Janet Leigh (The Third Man).

This slasher and character study focuses on the events in the Bates motel as a private detective (Martin Balsam) and the sister of a murder victim (Miles) investigate the murder of Marion Crane (Leigh). All this under the watchful eye of the strange motel owner Norman Bates (Perkins).

Psycho ended up having three sequels and a shot-for-shot remake by Gus Van Saat.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 99% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: The making of Psycho; Psycho sound; In the master’s shadow: Hitchcock’s legacy; Hitchcock/truffaut interview excerpts; Newsreel footage: the release of Psycho; The shower scene; The shower scene: storyboards by Saul Bass; The Psycho archives; Posters and Psycho ads; Lobby cards; Behind-the-scenes and production photographs; Feature commentary with Stephen Rebello

Amazon Price: $17.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4.5 stars, Video 4.5 stars, Audio 4.5 stars, Extras 4.5 stars, Replay 4.5 stars (out of 5). DVD Talk Collector Series.

Moulin Rouge! (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Moulin Rouge! was a dream project for Baz Luhrmann (Australia), who has always been an independently minded director. With his writing partner Craig Pearce, the two men made a modern musical, using songs like Smells Like Teen Spirit and Like a Virgin in the storytelling. Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor play the lovers of the film, with support from actors like Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), Richard Roxburgh (Mission Impossible II) and John Leguizamo (Land of the Dead).

Set in Paris in 1899, “Rouge” tells the story of an English poet and the courtesan and star act of Moulin Rouge, Satine (Kidman), who fall in love. But both are cause up in a world of double cross, love rivals and the need of funds to keep Moulin Rogue open.

Moulin Rouge! opened the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, nominated for a number of Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Actress) and the song “Come What May” was a minor hit.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 77% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Spectacular, Spectacular Picture-in-Picture Mode with Audio Commentary by Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Donald M. McAlpine and Craig Pearce and featuring Behind-the-Scenes Footage and Stills; All-New Featurette A Creative Adventure and Introduction by Baz Luhrmann A Word from Baz; Uncut Footage from the Bazmark Vault including:; Father & Son – A Look at an Alternate Opening; Nicole Kidman’s First Vocal Test; Production Featurettes and Interviews: The Stars, The Writers, The Design, The Dance, The Music and The Cutting Room; The Making of Moulin Rouge and More!; BD-LIVE: Live Lookup powered by IMDb®

Amazon Price: $18.49 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Romeo + Juliet (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
This week’s second Luhrmann release of the week is his updated take on William Shakespeare’s classic play Romeo and Juliet, this time with guns and pop music. Romeo + Juliet has been dubbed Shakespeare for the MTV generation and is a popular viewing in English classes (my English lecturer loved this film). Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes play the classic characters with Harold Perrineau (Lost), John Leguizamo and Pete Postlehwaite (The Usual Suspects) playing major roles. This version of Romeo and Juliet is very loyal to the original play, except for the end. 

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 70% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 8.3/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Shaking Up Shakespeare Picture-in-Picture Mode with Audio Commentary by Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Donald M. McAlpine and Craig Pearce and featuring Behind-the-Scenes Footage and Stills; Uncut Footage from the Bazmark Vault; Romeo + Juliet: The Music; Filmmaker and Interview Galleries; BD-LIVE: Live Lookup powered by IMDb®

Amazon Price: $18.49 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a cult classic, having fans the world over. Australian Jim Sharman directs and co-directs this film featuring Tim Curry (Legend), Susan Sarandon, Richard O’Brien (Flash Gordon), Barry Bostwick (Spin City) and Meat Loaf.

Made as a satire of sci-fi films, Sarandon and Bostwick play a newly engaged couple who stumble upon an Annual Transylvanian Convention and a host of colourful characters, including Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Curry), the “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania.”

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 77% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 8.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Includes Both the U.S. and U.K. Versions of the Film; ; The Midnight Experiencel: The Late Night, Double Feature, Picture-in-Picture Show*, Vintage Callback Track (Unrated), Prop Box, Trivia Track; ; BD-Live**: Live Lookup Powered by IMDb; Rocky-oke: Sing It!; The Search for the 35th Anniversary Shadowcast: Don’t Dream It, Be It (Part 1) An-tic-i-pation (Part 1); Mick Rock (A Photographer); Mick Rock’s Picture Show (A Gallery); Pressbook and Poster Gallery; ; Plus! A Few From The Vault!; ; Audio Commentary by Richard O’Brien and Patricia Quinn; Deleted Musical Scenes and Outlaws; Alternate B&W Opening; Alternate Credit Ending and Misprint Ending; Rocky Horror Double Feature Video Show; Beacon Theater, New York City; “Time Warp” Music Video

Amazon Price: $18.49 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

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