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DVD/Blu-ray DISCussion (New for 3.29.11)

It is clearly a big week for horror releases. Black Swan is certainly Player Affinity’s film of the week, receiving excellent scores from us and was a major contender during the awards season. Scream 4’s is just around the corner so if you need to catch up the original trilogy is now out on Blu-ray. Foreign cinema is represented by releases from France, Greece and two from the United Kingdom. And for the children or simply the child within, Disney’s latest animated feature is out.

First Release
Black Swan (DVD and Blu-ray)
Fair Game (DVD and Blu-ray)
Tangled (DVD and Blu-ray)
All Good Things (DVD and Blu-ray)
Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (DVD and Blu-ray)
Made in Dagenham (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Resident (DVD and Blu-ray)

Re-Releases
Topsy-Turvy (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Ten Commandments (DVD and Blu-ray)
Dogtooth (Blu-ray)
Soylent Green (Blu-ray)
Scream (Blu-ray)
Scream 2 (Blu-ray)
Scream 3 (Blu-ray)

Black Swan (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The low-budget psychological horror thriller Black Swan was one of the most eagerly anticipated films of 2010 because of cult director Darren Aronofsky. Aronofsky returns to his more surreal nature after the down-to-Earth The Wrestler and cast Natalie Portman (earning an Best Actress Oscar), Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel and Barbara Hershey (Hannah and Her Sisters).

In the world of New York’s ballet scene, Nina Sayers (Portman) is a talented ballerina and lives with her overbearing mother (Hershey). She earns the role of both the White Swan and Black Swan in an upcoming production of Black Swan. But she slowly explores her dark side, having an affair and being lead awry by a rival, Lily (Kunis). Is she slowly loosing her mind or is she really metamorphosing into some sort of creature?

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 88% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.2/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Metamorphosis : A behind-the-scenes documentary with Darren Aronofsky

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Behind the Curtain: An inside look at the ballet’s influence on the film†s costume and production design.; Ten Years in the Making: Natalie Portman and Darren Aronofsky discuss their creative journey, from “preparing for the role” to”dancing with the camera.”; Cast Profiles: Roles of a Lifetime: Presented by Fox Movie Channel, the stars reflect on the their challenging and rewarding characters

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

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

Fair Game (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Fair Game was a film aiming for Oscar glory, competing for the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and being based on a true story, political in nature with two very respected actors, Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. But it did not work out that way despite decent reviews. Fair Game is also the third spy film for director Doug Liman (the others being The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith).

Based on the real case of Valerie Plame, the Bush administration is preparing to go to war with Iraq. With the Bush administration claiming that they are Weapons of Mass Destruction in the nation, the retired ambassador of Gabon, Joe Wilson (Penn), questions the claim Saddam Hussein was making a nuclear bomb. The Bush administration take its revenge on his wife (Watts), leaking that she is a CIA officer. With her agents in Iraq in danger Plame comes out fighting whilst having to admit she had been lying to her husband.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 79% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 5.8/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Audio commentary with Valerie Plame-Wilson & Joe Wilson

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4 stars, Video 4 stars, Audio 4.5 stars, Extras 2 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). Highly Recommended.

Tangled (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Tangled is Disney’s 50th animated feature, a return to princess fairy tales but this time in CGI form. Nathan Greno (writer of Meet the Robinsons) and Byron Howard (Bolt) helmed Disney’s version of Rapunzel that was written by Dan Fogelman (Cars, Bolt). Mandy Moore plays the princess with Zachary Levi (Chuck) as the hero. Donna Murphy (Spider-Man 2) takes on the role of the villain.

Flynn is a thief hiding from the Royal Guards, criminals and a psychopathic horse. He goes to a tower that has Rapunzel, a teenager with magic hair, who has been locked up for all her life. Rapunzel makes a deal with Flynn, forcing him take her to see the floating lights as action and adventure ensues.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 90% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 7.3/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Original Storybook Openings

Additional Blu-ray Special Feature: Deleted scenes ; Untangled: the making of a Fairy Tale

Additional 3D Blu-ray Special Features: Extended Songs; 50th Animated Feature Countdown; 9 Tangled Teasers

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray), $29.99 (3D Blu-ray)

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

All Good Things (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
All Good Things is the feature debut for documentary director Andrew Jarecki (Capturing the Friedmans). Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst star in this romantic thriller, with the likes of Frank Langella and Kristen Wiig in support. This film gross is only $442,115, very disappointing for a film with a $20-million budget.

Inspired by the story of Robert Durst and series of disappearances in New York, All Good Things tells the story of David Marks (Gosling), the son of a tycoon who starts a relationship with a working student, Katie (Dunst) against his father’s wish. But David has his own dark secret.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 33% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Deleted scenes; All Good Things: Truth in fiction; Back in time: Researching the original story ; Beneath the surface of All Good Things: Interview with Andrew Jarecki; Wrinkles in time: Ryan Ages ; Commentary with Andrew Jarecki (director/producer) and Robert Durst ; Commentary with Andrew Jarecki (director/producer), Marcus Hinchey (co-writer/co-producer) and Marc Smerling (co-writer/producer)

Amazon Price: $12.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The French gangster film Mesrine: Public Enemy #1 is the second film that features Vincent Cassel this week. Mesrine: Public Enemy Number One is the second part to Mesrine: Killer Instinct, directed by Jean-Francois Richet. The second film pick up when the notorious gangster Jacques Mesrine returns to France and with his crew robs banks and escapes trial and prison as he becomes a Robin Hood figure and creates an imagine of being a political radical.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 84% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $26.99 (DVD), $29.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4 stars, Video 3.5 stars, Audio 3.5 stars, Extras 1 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). Highly Recommended.

Made in Dagenham (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Based on the true story of the 1968 Ford sewing machinists strike, Made in Dagenham tells how one reluctant woman, Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins, Happy Go-Lucky) leads the strike that brings about the Equal Pay Act of 1970 in the UK. Directed by Nigel Cole (Calendar Girls), this comedy mixes a serious and political story effectively and assembles a top British cast: Bob Hoskins, Rosamund Pike (An Education), Jamie Winstone (Kidulthood) and Miranda Richardson (The Crying Game, Blackadder II). American Richard Schiff (Toby Zieger from The West Wing) joins the action in a film that will please fans of British cinema.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 81% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Commentary with Director Nigel Cole; The Making of Made in Dagenham; Outtakes

Amazon Price: $19.99 (DVD), $23.99 (Blu-ray)

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

The Resident (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Hilary Swank has won two Oscars and is a highly respected actress, but for some reason she wants to make horror films. Her first, The Reaping,was a critical bomb and The Resident is a straight-to-DVD (though it earned a theatrical release in the UK). Directed by Finnish music video director Antti Jokinen, The Resident also stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen) and Christopher Lee, who stars in another Hammer Horror film.

Juliet is a doctor who has just left her husband and moves to a seemingly perfect apartment in New York. But there is a strange force within the apartment and Juliet believes she is being watched.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Trailer

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Topsy-Turvy (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Mike Leigh is known as one of the great British directors who tackled many different genres, from Kitchen Sink Realism (Vera Drake), comedy (Happy-Go-Lucky) to drama (Another Year). Topsy-Turvy is a musical based on the works of Gilbert and Sullivan and stars Jim Broadbent (Hot Fuzz), Allan Corduner (Defiance), Timothy Spall (The Damned United) and Leigh regular Lesley Manville.

Set in London 1884, Arthur Sullivan (Corduner) and W.S. Gilbert (Broadbent) latest musical Princess Ida was a critical flop and their friendship starts to break. Their friends and associates attempts to get them working together again and get them to make their greatest work The Mikado.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Director-approved digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Dick Pope; Audio commentary featuring director Mike Leigh; New video conversation between Leigh and the film’s musical director, Gary Yershon; A Sense of History, Leigh’s 1992 short film written by and starring actor Jim Broadbent; Deleted scenes; Featurette from 1999 including interviews with Leigh, stars Broadbent and Allan Corduner, and other cast members; Theatrical trailer and TV spots; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Amy Taubin

Amazon Price: $19.99 (DVD), $25.99 (Blu-ray)

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

The Ten Commandments (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The Ten Commandments is the second film collaboration between Charlton Heston and director Cecil B. DeMille (the other being The Greatest Show On Earth). Made at a time when epics  were very popular, The Ten Commandments is a biblical epic about the story of Moses, from being raised by the Pharaoh of ancient Egypt to exile by his half-brother and leading the Hebrew people out of slavery to the Promised Land.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 90% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Commentary by Katherine Orrison, author of Written in Stone: Making Cecil B. DeMille’s Epic, The Ten Commandments; Newsreel: The Ten Commandments – Premiere in New York HD; Theatrical Trailers HD

Additional Limited Edition Special Features: An all-new, never-before-seen, hour-long documentary on the making of The Ten Commandments, “Making Miracles.”; An extensive photo gallery packed with never-before-seen photos from the Cecil B. DeMille’s BYU Archives.; A “Making of” Trailer from 1956 as well as Theatrical Trailers for subsequent re-releases of the film; Hand-tinted footage of the Exodus and Parting of the Red Sea Sequence from the 1923 Silent Film; Commemorative 50-page book with rare facts and photos; Beautiful tablet keepsake to hold all six discs; Specially designed “parting of the sea” box to hold all collectibles; Original 1956 Souvenir Program; Meticulous reproductions of rarities from the Paramount and BYU vaults

Amazon Price: $13.99 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray), $54.99 (Limited Edition Gift Set)

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

Dogtooth (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The Greek film Dogtooth won the Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival in 2009 and was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Dogtooth is a surreal film about three teenagers who have never ventured out into the real world and formed their own language, slang and culture.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 93% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 7.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $20.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Soylent Green (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Sci fi in the ’70s was renowned for being dark, bleak and more realistic like THX-1138 and Silent Running. Soylent Green was a part of this trend. Starring Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young and Edward G. Robinson (Double Indemnity), Soylent Green was directed by the ever-versatile Richard Fleischer (The Vikings, The Boston Stranglers and Superman II).

Adapted from the novel Make Room by Harry Harrison, Soylent Green is set in a dystopic future where the world is overpopulated and New York City has a population of 40 million starving people. Thorn (Heston) is a New York Police Detective assigned to investigate the murder of the president of the Soylent company but slowly starts to uncovers a massive conspiracy.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 72% (good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.49 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 3.5 stars, Video 3.5 stars, Audio 3 stars, Extras 3 stars, Replay 3.5 stars (out of 5). Recommended.

Scream (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Wes Craven is known for being one of the masters of horror, making groundbreaking films like Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes and A Nightmare On Elm Street. So he was the perfect director to parody the genre he loves with this post-modern take of the slasher film. The stars of the Scream series included Neve Campbell (Wild Things), Courteney Cox, David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks) and Matthew Lillard.

In California, a serial killer starts to target the teens of a small town of Woodsboro. Luckily, the teens are media savvy and study horror films to avoid falling into the clichés that make people into easy targets.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 82% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 8.7/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Audio Commentary by Director Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson; Production Featurette; Behind the scenes: “On the Scream Set” and “Drew Barrymore”; Q&A with the cast and crew; Theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $14.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4.5 stars, Video 3.5 stars, Audio 4 stars, Extras 1.5 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). Recommended.

Scream 2 (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Continuing where Scream left off, Scream 2 is a self-aware sequel that parodies the familiarity of horror sequels. Set two years after Scream, the survivors of the first film re-unite in small college town in Ohio where there is a new series of killings and they start to investigate. This time round Sarah Michelle Gellar, Timothy Olyphant and Liev Schreiber join in the fun.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 80% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 7.6/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Audio commentary with director Wes Craven, producer Marianne Maddalena and editor Patrick Lussier; Deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by Wes Craven, producer Marianne Maddalena and editor Patrick Lussier; Producer Marianna Maddalena, and Editor Patrick Lussier; Outtakes, Featurette; Theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $17.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Scream 3 (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The third Scream film was seen as a bit of a disappointment for fans, which was blamed mostly on writer Kevin Williamson stepping back away. Wes Craven continued to direct the series and Ehren Kruger (The Ring) replaced Williamson as the writer. This time around, people working on the film set for Stab 3 (a film within a film based on the events of Scream) forces the survivors from the previous films, particularly Sidney (Campbell), to face the killer and their own demons.

Luckily for Scream fans, Williamson has returned to write the Scream 4 in theaters Apr. 15.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 37% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: 6.3/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Audio commentary with director Wes Craven, producer Marianne Maddalena and editor Patrick Lussier; Deleted scenes and alternate ending with optional audio commentary by Wes Craven, producer Marianne Maddalena and editor Patrick Lussier; Outtakes; Behind the Scenes montage; Theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $17.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

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