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DVD/Blu-ray DISCussion (New for 8.31.10)

This week’s new releases from Hollywood are not the best the American industry can offer, two criticized comedies and a direct-to-DVD release. On the international front we have 4 releases from the UK, including Red Riding Trilogy where the release date was pushed back that last minute and a box-office smash from Russia. There is only one Blu-ray re-release, a cult horror-comedy classic.

First Release
Why Did I Get Married Too? (DVD and Blu-ray)
Marmaduke (DVD and Blu-ray)
Harry Brown (DVD and Blu-ray)
Red Riding Trilogy (DVD and Blu-ray)
The 9th Company (DVD and Blu-ray)
Beatdown (DVD and Blu-ray)
Waiting Room (DVD)
Tormented (DVD)

Re-Release
The Evil Dead (Blu-ray)

Why Did I Get Married Too? (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Actor, director, playwright, screenwriter, producer and author Tyler Perry does it all and he is a big star in the world of black entertainment, but he is still mostly unknown to audiences outside the USA. Perry writes, directs and produces this sequel to his 2007 film Why Did I Get Married? Starring along side Perry are Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman) and Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight, Black Dynamite).

Why Did I Get Married Too? transfers the action from Colorado to the Bahamas where the four couples of the previous film go on an annual one-week retreat. But all the couples have a challenge to their relationships.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 36% (bad)
Player Affinity Score: 3.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features:  Closed Caption; “Girl Talk: The Women of Married” featurette; “Male Bonding: The Men of Married” featurette; Janet Jackson’s “Nothing” music video; Couples character guide

Amazon Price: $16.99 (Widescreen Edition DVD), $17.49 (Full Screen Edition DVD), $23.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Marmaduke (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Talking animals tend to be a popular idea for children’s films and director Tom Dey (Shanghai Noon) was given the job to adapt the popular comic strip of the large Great Dane. Owen Wilson voices Marmaduke and is joined by a voice cast including George Lopez, Kiefer Sutherland, Emma Stone and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. The live action actors include Lee Pace, Judy Greer and William H. Macy (why he is in this film I really don‘t know).

This highly criticized film sees Marmaduke and his whole family move from Kansas to California. The Great Dane has to make new friends at the local dog park where the dogs are split into groups including jocks, losers, pretty popular dogs etc. … Some critics have found the dancing CGI dogs very creepy.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 10% (awful)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Captioning; Cowabarka!-More Surfing Dogs; Canine Casting; Deleted Scenes

Additional Blu-ray Features:
Marmaduke Mayhem! Gag Reel; Puppy Marmaduke & Kitty Carlos: Home Videos

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), £27.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Harry Brown (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Harry Brown can easily be seen as the British version of Gran Torino. There is a similar plot of an elderly man fighting back against a teenage gang and it is believed to be Sir Michael Caine’s last major acting role. Matthew Vaughn (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) produces the film, with Daniel Barber making his feature debut as the director. Caine is joined by Emily Mortimer (Lars and the Real Girl), David Bradley (Argus Filch from the Harry Potter films), Liam Cunningham (Hunger) and a group of young actors.

Set in a run down council estate in South London ex-marine Harry Brown (Caine) tries to be indifferent to the youth violence affecting his area. But when his best friend Leonard (Bradley) is murdered Harry seeks revenge and goes on a one man mission to get rid of the young criminals. His actions, however, get the attention of the police. Some commentaries see Harry Brown as a right-wing view of everything that is wrong about the youth of Britain, as something to be feared.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 67% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted Scenes; Commentary with Michael Caine, Director Daniel Barber and Producer Kris Thykier

Amazon Price: $18.49 (DVD), $21.49 (Blu-ray)

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

Red Riding Trilogy (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Red Riding Trilogy is British television adaptation of a series of novels by David Peace; a epic series spanning from 1974 to 1983 in the county of Yorkshire. In the USA it was given a theatrical release. Tony Grison (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) adapts the novels and three acclaimed directors, Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane), James Marsh (Man on Wire) and Anand Tucker (And When Did you Last See Your Father?), directing a film each. Red Riding Trilogy also features an outstanding cast of top British actors including Sean Bean, Andrew Garfield, Rebecca Hall, David Morrissey and Paddy Considine.

Red Riding Trilogy is a complex story set in backdrop of journalism at the Yorkshire Post, police corruption and a string of murders including the murders of Yorkshire Ripper as failed Fleet Street journalist Eddie Dunford (Garfield) investigates the disappearing of a young girl. There is talk that Ridley Scott might direct a remake.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 85% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: 1974; ; TV Spot; Julian Jarrold Interview; Deleted Scenes; ; 1980; TV Spot; Making Of; Deleted Scenes; ; 1983; TV Spot; Making Of; Deleted Scenes; ; Additional Features: Making Of; TV Spot; Theatrical Trailers

Amazon Price: $21.49 (DVD), $27.49 (Blu-ray)

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

The 9th Company (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Back in 2005 The 9th Company was a massive hit in its native Russia and was that nation’s candidate for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film has been compared to Vietnam films like Platoon and Full Metal Jacket as this film looks at the Soviet War in Afghanistan.

The 9th Company is a film of two halves, the first being about a group of raw conscripts going through boot-camp with a brutal drill sergeant. The second half focus on their operations in a brutal battle against the Mujahideen. It’s a good film if you enjoy war films.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 73% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Brand new English language dub ; Deleted Scenes ; Director and crew interviews ; Historical interviews accounting the Soviet-Afghanistan conflict ; Theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $16.49 (DVD), $26.99 (Collector’s edition DVD), $18.99 (Blu-ray), $20.49 (Collector’s edition Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Beatdown (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Beatdown‘s director and co-writer Mike Gunther is best known as a stunt coordinator for many major blockbusters including The Matrix Reloaded, Live Free or Die Hard and Iron Man 2. Beatdown is his first feature film as a director. Rudy Youngblood (Apocalypto) headlines in this film featuring mostly unknown actors with Danny Trejo (From Dusk til Dawn) adding gravitas to this direct-to-DVD release.

Brandon (Youngblood) is a respected street-fighter but when his brother is murdered he is forced to flee his home city. When hiding out in a small Southern town Brandon gets involved in the underground cage-fighting circuit.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Commentary with Director Mike Gunther, Actors Rudy Youngblood and Susie; Abromeit and Editor Dave Macomber; Behind the Scenes with Interviews; Three Days on Set with Michael Bisping; Choreographing the Beatdowns; BEATDOWN Contest Winner; TapouT Promos; Trailer Gallery

Amazon Price: $20.49 (DVD), $26.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 2 stars, Video 2.5 stars, Audio 3.5 stars, Extras 2.5 stars, Replay 1.5 stars (out of 5). Skip It

Waiting Room (DVD)

What’s the Deal?
Waiting Room was originally made in 2007, with Roger Goldby, mostly known for his television work in Britain, writing and directing his feature debut. This romantic drama stars Anne-Marie Duff (Nowhere Boy) and Ralf Little (24 Hour Party People).

Duff and Little play Anna and Stephen, two people brought together by chance by an elderly man waiting for his wife at train station. They examine and challenge what is going on in their relationships because of it.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Theatrical Trailer; UK Trailer; Behind The Scenes

Amazon Price: $22.49 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Tormented (DVD)

What’s the Deal?
Slasher films have often been the preserve of American horror films, but director Jon Wright (not to be confused with the much more talented Joe Wright) and writer Stephen Prentice attempt a post-modern take of the genre set in England. Tormented stars Alex Pettyfer (Stormbreaker) and most of the cast of Skins.

After bullying a teenage boy to suicide, Bradley (Pettyfer) and his vile pals start receiving insulting text messages from someone claiming to be their victim. Has he risen from the grave or is someone pretending to be him? In the middle of it all Alexis (Dimitri Leonidas) tries to win the affections of Oxford-bound girl Justine (Tuppence Middleton).

I am personally critical of the film because the filmmakers had never met an English A-Level student when they created their characters.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 1.0/10
Player Affinity Score: 71% (good)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $22.49 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Evil Dead (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Before Sam Raimi directed the Spider-Man trilogy and Drag Mr to Hell, he made the horror comedy The Evil Dead, which became a trilogy starring B-movie legend, Bruce Campbell. The Evil Dead has earnred a Blu-ray re-release.

This cult film tells how a group of teenagers uncover the Necronomicon, the Book of the Dead and a taped translation. When they listen to the tape they are turned into the evil dead, and only Ash (Campbell) is left to fight them. The Evil Dead is known for its comedy and controversial violence and gore, which is why it is a cult classic.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 100% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 7.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $17.49 (Blu-ray)

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

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