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DVD/Blu-ray DISCussion (New for 3.1.11)

Did you have a busy Thanksgiving? Couldn’t make it to the theater? Well, three of our four new releases came out during Turkey time. If something classic interests you, there’s the newest version of Disney’s Bambi and the entire original “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy on Blu-ray in case you need to brush up before Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides out this May.

First Release

127 Hours (DVD and Blu-ray)
Love and Other Drugs (DVD and Blu-ray)
Burlesque (DVD and Blu-ray)
Faster (DVD and Blu-ray)

Re-Releases
Bambi (DVD and Blu-ray)
Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (DVD and Blu-ray)
Out of Sight (Blu-ray)
Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy (Blu-ray)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (Blu-ray)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Blu-ray)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

127 Hours
(DVD and Blu-ray)

Whats the Deal?
After Danny Boyle won an Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, he had the ability to do anything he wanted. He chose to make his passion project, the true story of Aron Ralston. Based on Ralston’s non-fiction book Between a Rock and a Hard Place, Boyle adapted it with Simon Beaufoy (The Full Monty, Slumdog Millionaire). James Franco was cast in the coveted role about a man who was trapped in a canyon in Utah for five days. Ralston reflects on his life and attempts to survive in a film that is dark in subject matter but also bright and colorful with wonderful music. The film was nominated for six Oscars.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 93% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.5/10

DISC DETAILS
DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Feature commentary by director/co-screenwriter Danny Boyle, producer Christian Colson and co-screenwriter Simon Beaufoy; Deleted scenes

Additional Blu-ray Special Features:
Search & rescue: Actual events that aided the search and rescue of Aron Ralston; 127 Hours: An Extraordinary View a unique collaboration between the director and actor; Live extras: Go behind the scenes with brand-new exclusive footage

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Love and Other Drugs (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Edward Zwick is director known for making action films with a conscience, such as Glory, The Last Samurai, The Siege, Blood Diamond and Defiance, so making a comedy-drama is a real change. Based on Jamie Reidy’s non-fiction book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Saleman, Love and Other Drugs stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway. Josh Gad (21) and Hank Azaria provide support.

Jamie Randall (Gyllenhaal) is a successful salesman within the pharmaceutical industry and a charming ladies man. He falls for Maggie (Hathaway), a free spirited, independent woman who cannot be won easily. As their relationship grows Maggie has her own secret that threatens everything.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 49% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 6.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; ; Deleted Scenes; Love & Other Drugs: An Actor’s Discussion; Beautifully Complex: Anne Hathaway Is Maggie; Reformed Womanizer: Jake Gyllenhaal Is Jamie; Selling Love & Other Drugs

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Live extras: Go behind the scenes with brand-new exclusive footage ; Live Lookup powered by IMDb

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Burlesque (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
At the tender age of 30, singer Christina Aguilera makes her feature film debut, starring along side pop legend Cher (whom the producers begged to star in this film). Actor Steve Antin (The Goonies) directs and co-writes his second feature. Burlesque also had the likes of Diablo Cody (Juno) and Susannah Grant (In Her Shoes) working on the script. Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones), Alan Cumming (X2: X-Men United) and Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) are some of the actors who also appear.

Ali (Aguilera) is a small-town singer looking to hit the big time in Los Angeles. She starts out at the bottom, working as a waitress at the nightclub, Burlesque. Ali tries to prove to the owner and veteran singer Tess (Cher) that she is good enough.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 37% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: 7.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: See 6 Entire Song Performances; Featuring Christina Aguilera, Kristen Bell and the Dancers!; Alternate Opening; Blooper Reel; Director’s Commentary

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: 5 featurettes on the music, dancing, cast and movie+sync featuring the Burlesque playlist

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 2 stars, Video 4.5 stars, Audio 4.5 stars, Extras 4.5 stars, Replay 0.5 stars (out of 5). Rent It.

Faster (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
After a unsuccessful turn starring in family films, Dwayne Johnson has returned to the work he does best: violent B-movies. George Tillman Jr. (Notorious) sits in the director’s chair and Billy Bob Thornton co-star. Other actors included the likes of Carla Gugino (Watchmen), Moon Bloodgood (Terminator Salvation) and Maggie Grace (Taken).

In a grim underworld, Driver (Johnson), is a man released from prison and on a personal mission of vengeance. As he persuades the gang that are responsible for the incarceration of two police officers (Jones and Gugino) who follow him and an assassin (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is on Driver’s tail.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 46% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 5.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Alternate ending and deleted scenes with director’s introductions

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: “Criminals and Cops: the Cast of Faster”; “Weapons and Wheels: The Guns, Cars and Stunts of Faster”; Animatics ; MovieIQ+sync

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

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

Bambi (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Bambi is recognised as a Disney Classic, made during a Golden period of animated films. Directed by David Hand (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), Bambi features loveable creatures like Thumper the rabbit, Flower the skunk, Faline and of course Bambi. Bambi tells the story of a young fawn’s first year of life as he forms friendships and encounters tragedy (I think even people who have not seen Bambi know that scene).

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Features Disney Enhanced High Definition Picture and Sound; Disney’s Second Screen – Content comes alive on your laptop, or iPad as you watch the movie; Disney View – 16×9 Full frame viewing experience; Intro by Diane Disney Miller; Inside Walt’s Story Meetings – Enhanced interactive edition; Two never-before-seen deleted scenes; Deleted song; Blu-ray interactive galleries; Game: Disney Big Book of Knowledge; Classic DVD bonus features

Amazon Price: $24.99 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray)

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

Out of Sight (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Many of Elmore Leonard’s novels and stories have been adapted into films: Get Shorty, 3:10 to Yuma and Rum Punch (which was turned into Jackie Brown) are a few examples. The adaptation of his novel Out of Sight attracted some major talent, Steven Soderbergh in the director’s chair and Scott Frank (Minority Report) on writing duties. George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez lead a cast with Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Albert Brooks and Catherine Keener in support.

Jack Foley (Clooney) is a bank robber who uses a inmate’s escape as a cover for his own jailbreak. But on the outside Jack is not just met by partner Buddy (Rhames) but also an FBI agent, Karen Sisco (Lopez). Jack has to neutralize her before going on one last heist.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 93% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 7.6/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $20.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Who would have guessed that a film based on a theme park ride would end up being one of the most successful film franchises in the world. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Gore Verbinski (Mouse Hunt, The Ring) were able to do that for Disney with a series that combines historical swashbucking and fantasy adventure. Johnny Depp took on the iconic role of Jack Sparrow in the series which is a surprise because he often avoided starring in blockbusters. With the fourth film of the series about to enter cinemas, what a great time for the whole trilogy to come to Blu-ray and allow families to enjoy the sea-faring adventures.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 78% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 7.6/10

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 54% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 7.6/10

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 45% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 5.9/10

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $49.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
If you do not want to buy the whole trilogy, the individual films of the series are available separately. The Curse of the Black Pearl is considered the best of the series, but it was a bit risk at the time because pirate films were often massive flops, like Pirates and the notorious failure Cutthroat Island. Gore Verbinski was also untested as an action director but he pulled it off with his cast of stars: Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Pryce, Jack Davenport and Mackenzie Crook.

In the British territories in the Caribbean, Jack Sparrow is a pirate who has been mutinied against by the dastardly Captain Barbossa (Rush). Barbossa’s crew of cursed pirates assault the city of Port Royal and kidnap the Governor’s daughter Elizabeth Swann (Knightley), it forces an uneasy alliance between Jack and blacksmith Will Turner (Bloom) in an adventure film filled with twists and turns.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 78% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 7.6/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: 3 hours of original standard def bonus material plus high def bonus; Scoundrels of the Sea: Piecing Together the Treasure Past of Pirates – an interactive in-movie feature that presents facts on-screen about the legends and lore of pirates; Movie Showcase; All bonus content from previous DVD releases, including the Lost disc

Amazon Prices: $20.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
When Curse of the Black Pearl was a success, a pair of sequels were commissioned and were filmed back to back. The majority of the cast from the first film return and are joined by Bill Nighy, Stellan Skarsgard (Ronin, Angels and Demons), Naomie Harris (28 Days Later) and Tom Hollander (In the Loop) joins the adventure.

Many plotlines are explored in this sequel and two new villains become a powerful threat to Jack and co. First there is the evils of the East India Company headed by Lord Becket (Hollander). The other is Davy Jones (Nighy), the captain of the Flying Dutchman, a creature who wants to reclaim a debt from Jack and uses the Kraken to cause fear on the high seas. And all this goes on with sub-plots involving Will trying to free his dad, Bootstrap Bill (Skarsgard), Becket taking control of Port Royal and Elizabeth wanting to find Jack.

There were accusations of racism labelled against Dead Man’s Chest because of its depiction of indigenous people. But is it also the most successful film of the series.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 54% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 7.6/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $20.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The third part of the series picks off where Dead Man’s Chest left off and Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun-fat joins the cast. The series itself expands from the Caribbean as Beckett has seized control Port Royal and hunting down pirates all over the world. As the evil corporation of Disney, sorry, the East India Company looks like it about achieve world domination. Elizabeth and Barbossa try to unite the world’s pirates to save Jack and hold off for one last stand. And Will is still trying to free his father.

Like Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End was criticised for being racist, using Yellow Peril stereotypes to depict Chinese people. The film was even cut by 10 minutes in China.

Critcs Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 45% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 5.9/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Disc 1: ; Bloopers of the Caribbean; Disc 2: ; Exclusive to Disney blu-ray enter the Maelstrom – Take an immersive, eye-poping tour in a new interactive way like never before: ; Keith & The Captain: on set with Johnny Depp and the rock legend; Anatomy of a scene: The Maelstrom; The tale of many Jacks; Hoist the colours; Master of design; Inside the Brethren court; The world of Chow Yun-Fat; The pirate maestro: the music of Hans Zimmer; Deleted scenes ; Disc 3: ; Bloopers of the Caribbean

Amazon Price: $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

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