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DVD/Blu-ray DISCussion (New for 12.21.10)

Firstly, Player Affinity apologies for no DISCussion last week. But being the last week prior to Christmas, the show must go on! If you are looking for a last minute stocking stuffer then you are in luck: I am happy to report that there are many options for your mum, dad, brother, sister or BFF.

First Release
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (DVD and Blu-ray)
Salt (DVD and Blu-ray)
Step Up 3D (DVD and Blu-ray)
Devil (DVD and Blu-ray)
Easy A (DVD and Blu-ray)
Family Guy: It’s a Trap (DVD and Blu-ray)
– Family Guy Trilogy (Blu-ray)
Soul Kitchen (DVD)
The Heavy (DVD)

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Wall Street was one of the major films of the 1980s, giving audiences insight into the stock market. It also gave the world one of Michael Douglas’ greatest roles, Gordon Gekko. After a 23-year hiatus, Oliver Stone and Douglas have returned to the property, taking on the 2008 banking crisis. Allan Loeb (Things We Lost in the Fire) and Stephen Schiff (True Crime) wrote the script and Stone recruited an all star cast with Shia LeBeouf, Josh Brolin, Carey Mulligan (An Education), Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon.

Jake Moore (LaBeouf) is an up-and-coming trader and in a stable relationship with Winnie Gekko (Mulligan). But when his bank collapses and his mentor Louis (Langella) commits suicide, Jake sets out to get revenge against the man who caused it, Bretton James (Brolin). He asked for help from the man who predicted the banking crisis, Gordon Gekko, the estranged father of his girlfriend.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 54% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 6.2/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; ; Audio Commentary by Director Oliver Stone; Gordon Gekko Is Back

Additional Blu-ray Features: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps in High Definition; Audio Commentary by Director Oliver Stone; A Conversation with Oliver Stone and the Cast of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; Money, Money, Money: The Rise and Fall of Wall Street; Deleted and Extended Scenes with Optional Commentary by Oliver Stone; Fox Movie Channel presents In Character With… Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Carey Mulligan, Josh Brolin and Frank Langelia

Amazon Price: $15.99 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 2.5 stars, Video 0 stars, Audio 0 stars, Extras 2 stars, Replay 2 stars (out of 5). Rent it.

Salt (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Angelina Jolie is one of the biggest stars in the world and after Tom Cruise rejected making Salt, she took the lead role (I’m guessing there was a bit of a rewrite). Jolie seems to enjoy espionage and assassin-based films, having starred in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Wanted, the Lara Croft series, The Good Shepherd and The Tourist — Salt allows her to kick-ass once again. Another expert in espionage films, Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger) directs. Kurt Wimmer (Equilibrium) and Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential) wrote the script and Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Children of Men) co-starred.

Evelyn Salt is a senior officer for the CIA when a Russian defector (Daniel Olbrychski) says a sleeper agent within the organisation is going to assassinate the Russian President who is visiting America. He assures Salt is the agent. She goes on the run and sets out to clear her name, or is she really a KGB agent?

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 61% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 6.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: The Ultimate Female Action Hero; Spy Disguise: The Looks of Evelyn Salt; Radio Interview with Director Phillip Noyce; Filmmakers’ Commentary

Additional Blu-ray Features: Salt: declassified – an undercover look at the secrets of making Salt; The real agents; The modern master of the political thriller: Phillip Noyce; False identity: creating a new reality; Spy cam: picture-in-picture track; Movie iq

Amazon Price: $15.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com):  Content: 2.5 stars, Video 4 stars, Audio 4.5 stars, Extras 3.5 stars, Replay 3 stars (out of 5). Rent it.

Step Up 3D (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The Step Up series is a popular one and has a loyal fanbase. With 3-D cinema being the latest trend, the producers of the series decided to show the new film in this format. Jon Chu directs his second Step Up film and Adam Sevani is promoted from a supporting role in the series to a more leading one. 17-year-old Alyson Stoner also returns to the series and the rest of the cast is a collection of supporting actors and dancers hoping for a big break.

Moose (Sevani) is a freshman study at New York University and he quickly returns to the world of dancing. He joins a new crew who have to compete with some of the best break dancers in the world. But plot is not important because the fans just want see some eye-popping dancing. This was the second ever dance film in 3D behind Britain’s Streetdance 3D.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 47% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 4.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Extra Moves; Making The Music Videos; 8 Music Videos Including Flo Rida Feat. David Guetta “Club Can’t Handle Me”

Additional Blu-ray Features: Born From A Boombox: A Luke Katcher Film; Deleted Scenes With Introductions By Director Jon M. Chu

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $23.99 (Blu-ray), $29.99 (Blu-ray/DVD combo)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Devil (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
M. Night Shyamalan’s reputation has being going downwards for years and it has now gone to the point that audiences groaned in disappointment when they saw his name being used to advertise Devil. In the end, the marketing people had to cut his name from promotion material. Mr. Shyamalan is setting out to make a trilogy of supernatural films, The Night Chronicles: Shyamalan comes up with the ideas and other writers and directors tackle the material. Devil is the first film in that series. Brian Nelson (Hard Candy) was given the writing duties and John Erick Dowdle (Quarantine) directs. The cast includes Chris Messina (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Bojana Novakovic (Edge of Darkness) and Geoffrey Arend ((500) Days of Summer).

This horror film has a simple plot, five people get trapped in an elevator and one of them is Satan! (Insert dramatic music of your choice).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 53% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 5.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted Scenes; The Story; The Devil’s Meeting; The Night Chronicles

Additional Blu-ray Features: D-Box Motion Enable

Amazon Price: $17.99 (DVD), $23.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 3.5 stars, Video 3.5 stars, Audio 5 stars, Extras 1 stars, Replay 2.5 stars (out of 5). Recommended.

Easy A (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Emma Stone is an emerging star having starred in Zombieland and The House Bunny with Gwen Stacy in the “Spider-man” reboot currently on her to-do list. The comedy Easy A helped cemented her reputation and she even earned herself a Golden Globe nomination. Easy A was directed by Will Gluck, atoning for his sins when he made Fired Up!. Easy A also features a wide ranging cast, including Amanda Bynes, Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl), Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Patricia Clarkson (Pieces of April), Thomas Haden Church (Spider-man 3) and Lisa Kudrow.

Easy A is a modern, comic retelling of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. Stone plays Olive Penderghast, a smart girl who avoids cliques. But when her gay best friend Brandon (Dan Byrd) begs her to pretend to have sex with him she decides to help the lad out. She slowly starts to offer a service to pretend to have sex with boys so they are not tagged as virgin, but she ends up getting a nasty tag of her own. It’s never nice when that happens.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 87% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 7.7/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Gag Reel; Emma Stone’s Audition Footage; Commentary with Director Will Gluck and Emma Stone

Additional Blu-ray Features: The school of Pop culture: movies of the eighties; Vocabulary of Hilarity; The making of Easy A; Pop-up trivia track; Movieiq

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com):  Content: 4 stars, Video 4.5 stars, Audio 3.5 stars, Extras 2.5 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). Highly Recommended.

Family Guy: It’s a Trap (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
It’s a Trap! is the third and final Family Guy “Star Wars” parody (assuming they are not going to remake the prequels) to come out onto DVD and Blu-ray. The previous two Family Guy films were popular on DVD and TV and George Lucas likes the show. All the Family Guy favorites return, Peter, Chris, Lois, Stewie, Quagmire and Herbert the Paedophile as they play out the plot of Return of the Jedi with a plenty of pop-culture references. Patrick Stewart is also joining the antics this time round.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; A very special message from Darth Stewie; Star wars trivia pursuit: the ultimate championship; Drawing with Peter Shin; Sock puppet outtakes; It’s a trap! animatic; Making the scene; Audio commentary

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $17.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Family Guy Trilogy (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Since It’s a Trap is being released onto DVD and Blu-ray, the whole Family Guy trilogy of “Star Wars” is also being released as a Blu-ray boxset. Seth McFarlane and the whole Family Guy team are big fans of the original “Star Wars” series and other classic films from the ’80s. Family Guy characters replace the actors in the series, with Chris Griffin as Luke Skywalker, Peter as Hans Solo, Brian as Chewie, Lois as Princess Leia, Stewie as Darth Vader and Meg in a all the worst roles. 

Family Guy: Blue Harvest
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score: 5.7/10

Family Guy: Something, Something, Something Dark Side
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score: 6.0/10

Family Guy: It’s a Trap
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted scenes; “Trivial Pursuit”; “Dinner and a Movie”; “Family Guy at Comic-con 2010”; “Peter Shin Draws”; “Making the Scene”, an animatic, and an original voice over skit.

Amazon Price: $27.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Soul Kitchen (DVD)

What’s the Deal?
German cinema and comedy are a very rare combination, yet German cinema is one of the best in the world. Soul Kitchen was directed and co-written by Turkish-German Fatih Akin (The Edge of Heaven) and stars a German television actor, Adam Bousdoukos. Set in the historical port city of Hamburg, Bousdoukos plays a German-Greek chef, Zinos Kazantsakis, who disturbs the peaces in his local-only restaurant by hiring a more talented chef.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 75% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Trailer; Making-Of

Amazon Price: $20.49 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Heavy (DVD)

What’s the Deal?
The Heavy was released to the American Film Market in 2008, but it has only just now been released onto DVD. Made by Marcus Warren, The Heavy features a cast of British actors including ex-boxer Gary Stretch, former football (soccer) player/thug Vinnie Jones, Stephen Rea (V for Vendetta) and Christopher Lee. And as a bonus, Paul Oakenfold provides the music.

Set in the London underworld, Mitchell “Boots” Mason (Stretch) is an enforcer for a businessman (also known as a “heavy”). But he learns that someone has placed a hit on him after a crooked cop, Dunn (Jones) tries to kill to him.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: “Lifting The Heavy” – A Behind-the-Scenes Look;; “One Last Job” – The Making of The Heavy; Music Video featuring music by Paul Oakenfold; TV Spots; Trailer Gallery

Amazon Price: $20.99 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com):  Content: 2 stars, Video 3 stars, Audio 4 stars, Extras 2 stars, Replay 0 stars (out of 5). Rent it.

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