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DVD/Blu-ray DISCussion (New for 8.9.11)

We love superhero movies at Player Affinity Movies and our Recommendation of the Week is the independent movie Super. James Gunn gives us the tale of a everyday man becoming a superhero, mixing comedy and extreme violence in a movie that reminds us of Kick-Ass, yet is entirely different in many ways.

First Release
Paul (DVD and Blu-ray)
Super (DVD and Blu-ray)
Your Highness (DVD and Blu-ray)
– Mars Needs Moms (DVD and Blu-ray)
Tactical Force (DVD and Blu-ray)

Re-Releases
The Battle of Algiers (Blu-ray)
Dazed and Confused (Blu-ray)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Blu-ray)
Dead Man (Blu-ray)
The Fox and the Hound/The Fox and the Hound II (Blu-ray)

Super (DVD and Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*

What’s the Deal?
Super was a passion project, not just for director James Gunn (Slither) but also the actors who were willing to take pay cuts to be in this $2-million budget superhero movie. The Office’s Rainn Wilson stars with Liv Tyler, Ellen Page, Nathan Fillon and Kevin Bacon in his first of two movies as a villain in a superhero movie in 2011.

Super shares some similarities to Kick-Ass plot-wise. Frank (Wilson) is a bit of loser who marries an ex-addict, Sarah (Tyler). But she runs off with drug dealer Jacques (Bacon). With the cops unwilling to help, Frank takes matters into his own hands. Armed with a wrench and his catchphrase “Shut up crime!”, Frank becomes the Crimson Bolt and sets up to fight crime with the aid of comic book nerd Libby (Page).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 45% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 6.3/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Trailer; TV spot; Deleted scene; Behind the scenes; Making of the main titles; “How to Fight Crime” featurette; Commentary with James Gunn and Rainn Wilson

Amazon Price: $10.49 (DVD), $13.49 (Blu-ray)

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

Comedy is the theme of the week: Paul and Your Highness are this week’s new releases  and Dazed and Confused and Fast Times at Ridgemont High are re-released on to Blu-ray. Also available is the essential classic The Battle of Algiers and offerings from Disney and Jim Jarmusch.

Paul (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have done great work together, making Spaced, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Now they have written a script together and got Greg Mottola (Superbad) to direct them instead of their usual director Edgar Wright. Co-starring is the voice of Seth Rogen along with Kristen Wiig, Jason Bateman and Sigourney Weaver in this sci-fi comedy.

Graeme (Pegg) and Clive (Frost) are two English sci-fi nerds who after visiting Comic-Con go on a tour to visit all the supposed alien sites out west. But on the way, they run into a foul-mouthed alien, Paul (Rogen), who just escaped from the American government. The two Brits agree to help the alien but are followed by the Men in Black lead by Special Agent Zoil (Bateman) and accidentally kidnap a Christian zealot (Wiig).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 71% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 7.5/10 (Read the review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Hilarious bloopers; The Evolution of Paul; Simon’s silly faces; Who the hell is Adam Shadowchild?; Feature commentary; Galleries

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Between the lightning strikes: The making of Paul ; Behind-the-scenes featurette

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $25.99 (Blu-ray)

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

Your Highness (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Your Highness was a strange mash-up of stoner comedy, crude comedy and fantasy filmmaking, and it failed with critics and audiences. Directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), this was a pet project for Danny McBride, who wrote and stars in it. James Franco and Natalie Portman co-star on the back of Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning roles and the lovely Zooey Deschanel (500 Days of Summer) and Justin Theroux (John Adams) also appear.

Set in a fantasy kingdom, King Tallious (Charles Dance) has two sons, Fabious (Franco), a brave knight and chivalrous hero and Thadeous (McBride), a complete lay about. But when Fabious’ fiancé Belladonna (Deschanel) is kidnapped by an evil wizard (Theroux), the two princes are forced to go on a quest together.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 26% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: 5.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Alternate scenes; Deleted scenes; Gag reel; Damn You Gods: The making of Your Highness; Feature commentary with video intro by director David Gordon Green, executive producer/co-writer/star Danny McBride and stars James Franco & Justin Theroux

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: 15 minutes of extended scenes; Line-o-Rama: An outrageous montage of alternate jokes from different scenes; Perverted visions: More of Thadeous and Fabious’s raunchy visit to the Great Wise Wizard ; A Vision of Leezar: Hysterically inappropriate moments with the Evil Wizard

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

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

Mars Needs Moms (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Mars Needs Moms is one of the biggest box-office bombs of 2011, making only a third of its budget back and ending producer Robert Zemeckis’ chance to re-make Yellow Submarine. Made with a budget of $150 million, this motion-capture movie was directed by Simon Wells (The Time Machine) and the cast includes Joan Cusack, Dan Fogler (Balls of Fury) and Tom Everett Scott (Southland), all lead by Seth Green (Family Guy) with Seth Dusky’s voice.

Milo is a 9-year-old boy who does not realize how much he needs his mother (Cusack) until it’s too late as she is abducted by aliens. Milo has to go to Mars to rescue her and discovers that Martians are not great parents.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 35% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Martian 101 – Speaking Martian with lessons from an expert; ; Fun With Seth – Featurette showcasting the on-set antics of Seth Green and Dan Fogler

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Extended Opening; Deleted Scenes; Life On Mars – Full Motion – capture experience with Audio Commentary

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray), $27.99 (3D Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Tactical Force (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Hot off the back of his WWE career and his “indispensable” role in The Expendables, Steve Austin is now leading a Direct-to-DVD actioner. At least his co-star is Michael Jai White (The Dark Knight, Black Dynamite). This little action movie tells the story of an LAPD SWAT team that gets trapped in a hanger against two rival gangs, armed only with blanks.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Inside Tactical Force (Featuring Steve Austin,Micahel Jai White and Keith Jardine); Fight Sequence; Trailer

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $18.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Battle of Algiers (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
The Battle of Algiers is a classic, having a 8.3/10 rating on IMDB, a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with countless top scores from critics and voted 120th on Empire Magazine’s 500 greatest movies of all time list in 2008. Directed by Italian filmmaking Gillo Pontecorvo The Battle of Algiers is set during the Algeria War of Independence, the war between the French and the FLN. FLN resorts to terrorism and attacks on police officers and the French use roadblocks, quick raids and torture to dismantle the FLN’s leadership in what was a brutal war. Entertaining, hopefully and important, certainly.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 99% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: High-definition digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Marcello Gatti, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack; Gillo Pontecorvo: The Dictatorship of Truth, a documentary narrated by literary critic Edward Said; Marxist Poetry: The Making of “The Battle of Algiers,” a documentary featuring interviews with Pontecorvo, Gatti, composer Ennio Morricone, and others; Interviews with Spike Lee, Mira Nair, Julian Schnabel, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone on the film’s influence, style, and importance; Remembering History, a documentary reconstructing the Algerian experience of the battle for independence; “États d’armes,” a documentary excerpt featuring senior French military officers recalling the use of torture and execution to combat the Algerian rebellion; “The Battle of Algiers”: A Case Study, a video piece featuring U.S. counterterrorism experts; Gillo Pontecorvo’s Return to Algiers, a documentary in which the filmmaker revisits the country after three decades of independence; Production gallery; Theatrical and rerelease trailers; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Peter Matthews, excerpts from Algeria’s National Liberation Front leader Saadi Yacef’s original account of his arrest, excerpts from the film’s screenplay, a reprinted interview with cowriter Franco Solinas, and biographical sketches of key figures in the French-Algerian War

Amazon Price: $44.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Dazed and Confused (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Directed by independent filmmaker Richard Linklater (School of Rock, A Scanner Darkly), Dazed and Confused has become a cult hit, making Quentin Tarantino’s 12 greatest films of all time list in Sight and Sound in 2002 and Entertainment Weekly ranked it 17th in its Top 50 Cult Films list. The cast includes Matthew McConaughey, Jason London (The Man in the Moon), Rory Cochrane (Public Enemies) and Wiley Wiggans and is about a group of high school and junior high students on their last day of school in 1976.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 98% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 7.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted scenes ; The Blunt Truth side-splitting filmstrip on the dangers of partying; Retro public service announcements

Amazon Price: $19.99 (Blu-ray)

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

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Fast Times at Ridgemont High has a lot of talent behind it: Amy Heckerling of Clueless fame directed, Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) wrote the script and Sean Penn stars with actors such as Jennifer Jason Leigh (eXistenZ), Judge Reinhold (Beverly Hills Cop), Forest Whitaker and Nicholas Cage.

Fast Times At Ridgemont High is set over the course of an academic year at a Southern California high school as it looks at the various students and cliques and all the misadventures of being a teenager.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 80% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 6.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Reliving our Fast Times at Ridgemont High a hilarious documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew; Feature commentary with director Amy Heckerling and screenwriter Cameron Crowe ; Treatrical trailer ; Blu-ray exclusives:; Scene companion watch behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, bios and more during key scenes with this picture-in-picture companion; The music of Fast Times at Ridgemont High instantly identity the songs heard while watching the film, create a custom playlist of your favorites and even purchase them from iTunes!

Amazon Price: $19.99 (Blu-ray)

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

Dead Man (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Jim Jarmusch is one of the darlings of American independent cinema, making movies such as Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai and Mystery Train. His 1995 movie Dead Man stars Johnny Depp as William Blake, a 19th Century accountant who goes to the Old West. He is taken in by a Native American, Nobody (Gary Farmer) who prepares Blake for the journey to the spiritual world.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 71% (good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted scenes; Music video

Amazon Price: $7.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Fox and the Hound/The Fox and the Hound II (Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Last but not least is a Blu-ray double feature from Disney, The Fox and the Hound and the Direct-to-DVD midquel The Fox and the Hound II. The 1981 original movie was lucky enough to have Mickey Rooney and Kurt Russell offering voice roles as a fox cub named Tod becomes friends with a fox hound puppy Copper, but both are forced to turn on each other as adults as they mature into their roles of hunter and prey.

The less then stellar 2006 midquel has Patrick Swayze in a voice role as the teenage version Copper joins a band of stray dogs and hits the music scene. A far cry from the original story for sure.

The Fox and the Hound
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 68% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 7.2/10

The Fox and the Hound II
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DVD Special Features: “Unlikely Friends” ; Passing the Baton: The making of the Fox and the Hound featurette; “The Best of Friends” -sing-along song; The making of music – behind-the-scenes featurette; “You KNow I Will” music video performed by Lucas Grabeel

Amazon Price: $22.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

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