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DVD/Blu-ray DISCussion (New for 12.6.10)

There is something for everyone with this week’s releases. A wide range of genres are coming to DVD and Blu-ray; animation, comedy, horror, action, sci-fi, drama, a documentary and one of the biggest films of 2010.

First Release
Inception (DVD and Blu-ray)
Shrek Forever After (DVD and Blu-ray)
Barry Munday (DVD and Blu-ray)
Restrepo (DVD and Blu-ray)
Shrek: The Whole Story (DVD and Blu-ray)

Re-Release
Cronos (DVD and Blu-ray)
Lost in Translation (Blu-ray)
Videodrome (Blu-ray)
Rush Hour (Blu-ray)

Inception (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Inception was one of the most anticipated films of 2010, a bold intelligent sci-fi film from the director of The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan. Having earned the respect of Hollywood with his “Batman” films, Nolan was given free-reign to do any project he wanted (possibly partly as a deal to make him direct The Dark Knight Raises). Inception was an idea he created when he was 15-years-old. An all-star cast was assembled, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose), Tom Hardy (Bronson) and Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai). Inception was one of the biggest films of 2010 and may be a dark-horse candidate for Academy Awards glory.

Dominic Cobb (DiCaprio) is one of the best thieves in the business. He is skilled at going into people’s dreams and stealing their ideas. But when a mission goes wrong he is forced by Mr. Saito (Watanabe) to place an idea in the son of an industrialist (Cillian Murphy). Cobb is promised a way back home to America if he does it but he has to battle his personal demons, personified in the form of his wife, Mal (Cotillard).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 87% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.7/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: The Inception of Inception – Christopher Nolan shapes his unusual concepts for the movie; The Japanese castle: the dream is collapsing – creating and destroying the castle sets; Constructing paradoxical architecture – designing the staircase to nowhere; The freight train – constructing the street-faring express

Additional Blu-ray Features: Extraction mode: infiltrate the movie’s imaginative landscape to learn how Christopher Nolan, Leonardo Dicaprio and the cast and crew designed and achieved the film’s signature moments; Dreams: cinema of the subconscious can the dream world be a fully functional parallel reality? Joseph Gordon-Levitt and leading scientists take you to the cutting edge of dream research; Inception: the cobol job comic prologue in full animation and motion: see the events that led to the beginning of the movie; 5.1 Soundtrack selections from Hans Zimmer’s versatile score; Conceptual art, promotional art and trailer/tv spot galleries; Exclusively via bd live project somnacin: confidential files access highly secure files that reveal the inception of the dream-share technology

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $17.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4.5 stars, Video 4.5 stars, Audio 5 stars, Extras 4 stars, Replay 5 stars (out of 5). DVD Talk Collector Series.

Shrek Forever After (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The “Shrek” series is one of the most successful animated film series made and a film has been released every three years since 2001. The fourth film sees many people returning as voice actors: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas. New members of the cast includes Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine), Jane Lynch (Glee) and animator Walt Dohrn as the main villain Rumpelstillskin. Live-action director Mike Mitchell (Sky High) directs this time round.

Shrek (Myers) has settled down, but he longs to be a real ogre again. He makes a deal with Rumpelstillskin to let him fulfil this dream, but he is tricked and forced into a dark alternate world. Ogres are hunted, Fiona (Diaz) leads the ogre resistance and Puss-in-Boots (Banderas) has turned into a fabby red tabby.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 58% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 4.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; ; Spotlight on Shrek; Secrets of Shrek Forever After; Deleted Scenes; Filmmakers’ Commentary

Additional Blu-ray Features: Conversation With The Cast; The Tech Of Shrek Forever After; Blu-ray Exclusives; Shrek, Rattle & Roll; Previews

Additional Blu-ray/DVD Combo: Disc 1 – The Animators’ Corner; Watch BD-Live Extras; Shrek’s Interactive Journey: IV; ; Special Features; Spotlight On Shrek (HD); Secrets of Shrek Forever After (HD); Deleted Scenes (HD); Filmmaker’s Commentary ; Conversation With The Cast (HD); The Tech Of Shrek Forever After (HD); Shrek, Rattle & Roll Music ; Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular (HD); Shrek’s Yule Log (HD); ; ; Disc 2 – DVD Movie ; Spotlight on Shrek; Secrets Of Shrek Forever After;

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $24.99 (Blu-ray), $17.99 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Barry Munday (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Based on a novel by Frank Turner Hollon, Barry Munday is the directorial debut of Chris D’Arienzo. His comedy film was able to attract a fine cast: Patrick Wilson (Watchmen) leads along with Judy Greer (27 Dresses), Chloe Sevigny (Zodiac) and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange).

Barry Munday (Wilson) is a wannabe ladies man, but after he gets attacked he wakes up in hospital without his manly parts. To make matters worse, a paternity lawsuit is filed against him by a woman he can not remember sleeping with.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 38% (bad)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted Scenes; Gag Reel; Outtakes; Your “Manhood” and You; HDNet: A Look at Barry Munday; Commentary with Director Chris D’Arianzo, Patrick Wilson and Judy Greer; ; Closed Caption

Amazon Price: $15.99 (DVD), $21.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Restrepo (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Restrepo is one of the most well received films of 2010. It won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, received near universal critical praise and has a high rating on IMDB. This documentary was filmed by American journalist Sebastian Junger and British photographer Tim Hetherington, who are attached with a platoon in the Korangal valley in Afghanistan for a year.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 97% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted Scenes; Extended Interviews; Updates on the Soldiers from Second Platoon, Battle Company; “Sleeping Soldiers” Photo Gallery; Public Service Announcements from IAVA, Operation Homefront and TAPS; Coming Attractions

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4 stars, Video 2 stars, Audio 2.5 stars, Extras 2.5 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). Recommended.

Shrek: The Whole Story (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
A few weeks ago when Toy Story 3 was released, the whole trilogy was released in a boxset. The “Shrek” series is also getting the same treatment and all four films are ready for you to buy together. The series has been famous for twisting famous fairy tales, bringing in pop-culture references and attempting to appeal to adults as well as children. Many actors have offered their voices to the series: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Julie Andrews, Jennifer Saunders … the list is long. Three directors have handled the saga of Shrek and Fiona: Andrew Adamson (of “Narnia” fame), Chris Miller and Mike Mitchell.

Shrek
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 89% (exellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.5/10

Shrek 2
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 89% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10

Shrek the Third
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 41% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: 4.7/10

Shrek Forver After
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 58% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 4.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Donkey’s Christmas Shrektacular; Donkey’s Caroling Christmas-tacular; Shrek’s Yule Log; 12 Days of Christmas Pop-up Book; Donkey’s Decoration Scramble; Cookin’ With Cookie; Merry Music Fest; Gingy’s Games & Activities; Secrets of Shrek; Shrek, Rattle & Roll Music & More; Deleted Scenes; Filmmakers’ Commentary

Additional Blu-ray  Features: Character Spotlights; Secrets Of All 4 Shrek Movies; Shrek, Rattle & Roll Music ; Donkey’s Christmas Shrektacular

Amazon Price: $31.99 (DVD), $40.49 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Cronos (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The Mexican vampire film Cronos was the directing debut of Guillermo del Toro, the start to an obviously successful career. His original film stars Federico Luppi, Ron Perlman (a collaborator of Del Toro’s most notably on the “Hellboy” films), Claudio Brook (Licence to Kill) and Margarita Isabel (Lucia, Lucia).

Cronos twists the ideas of vampirism when antiques dealer Jesus Gris (Luppi) discovers a ancient golden scarab. He soon becomes addicted to the device and becomes a victim of it as well as being hunted by a cruel American, Angel (Perlman).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 89% (excellent)
Player Affinity Scores: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Optional original spanish-language voice-over introduction; Two audio commentaries, one featuring Del Toro, the other producers Arthur H. Gorson and Bertha Navarro and coproducer Alejandro Springall; Geometria, an unreleased 1987 short horror film by Del Toro, finished in 2010, with a new video interview with the director; Welcome to bleak house, a video tour by Del Toro of his home office, featuring his personal collections; New video interviews with Del Toro, Navarro, and actor Ron Perlman; Video interview with actor Federico Luppi; Stills gallery captioned by Del Toro; Trailer; New and improved english translation, approved by the director; Plus: a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Maitland McDonagh and excerpts from Del Toro’s notes for the film

Amazon Price: $21.99 (DVD), $29.49 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Lost in Translation (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Sofia Coppola’s debut in film was met with ridicule when she played Mary Corleone in The Godfather Part III. Luckily she has proven herself to be a much better director then an actress. She earned a lot of respect for her debut film The Virgin Suicides, but it was Lost in Translation that made her name. This comedy-drama stars permanent funny-man Bill Murray and sexy starlet Scarlett Johansson in the backdrop of Tokyo.

Murray plays Bob Harris, a burned-out American movie star who signs up to film a whiskey ad. Lost in a city and culture he does not understand, Bob ends up meeting an unlikely kindred spirit, Charlotte (Johansson). Charlotte has her own problems, a lovelorn married woman at the age of 25.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Featues: N/A

Amazon Price: $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Videodrome (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Canadian director David Cronenberg is recognized as one of the masters of horror. His filmography includes the likes of The Brood, Scanners and The Fly. Videodrome stars James Woods, Debbie Harry (the lead singer of Blondie), Sonja Smits and Lesile Carlson (Black Christmas).

Videodrome is a surreal film (and Croneberg is no stranger to surrealism). Max Renn (Woods) is a cable TV programmer who is trapped in a strange program, the Videodrome. Max’s fantasies come to come to life and he perception of reality is changed.

Critics Ratings (Rotten Tomatoes): 80% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Two audio commentaries, one featuring Cronenberg and Irwin, the other actors James Woods and Deborah Harry; Camera (2000), a short film by Cronenberg; Forging the new flesh, a half-hour documentary by filmmaker Michael Lennick about videodrome’s video and prosthetic makeup effects; Effects men, an audio interview with makeup effects creator Rick Baker and video effects supervisor Lennick; Bootleg video, the complete footage of Samurai Dreams and seven minutes of other transmissions from videodrone, presented in their original, unedited form, with filmmaker commentary; Fear on film, a roundtable discussion from 1982 with Cronenberg and filmmakers John Carpenter, John Landis, and Mick Garris; Original theatrical trailers and promotional featurette; Stills gallery featuring rare behind-the-scenes production photos and posters; Plus: a booklet featuring essays by writers Carrie Rickey, Tim Lucas, and Gary Indiana

Amazon Price: $29.99 (Blu-ray)

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

Rush Hour (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Jackie Chan is a megastar in Asia and has a massive following in the West. But he struggled to find a successful Hollywood project. Rush Hour was his first major American film to be a box-office success. Motormouth comedian Chris Tucker, who had supporting roles in Jackie Brown and The Fifth Element, earned his first major role. Brett Ratner (Red Dragon, X-Men: The Last Stand) directed and became an in-demand name when he turned a $33 million budget into a $255 million box-office smash. Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins), Chris Penn (Reservoir Dogs) and Tzi Ma (The Quiet American) have supporting roles in a film scribed by Jim Kouf (National Treasure) and Ross LaManna.

Rush Hour is a typical buddy comedy with martial arts. The daughter of the Hong Kong counsel in Los Angeles has been kidnapped. Detective James Carter (Tucker) is assigned the cast of keeping the Hong Kong police officer Detective Inspector Lee (Chan) from interrupting the case. But the two end up investigating the kidnapping themselves.was successful enough to launch two sequels.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 60% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 6.6/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $18.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Rush Hour

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