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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (1.20.15)

"New on DVD and Blu-ray this Week!"
There are some big hits from 2014 new on DVD this week, including the high-grossing Lucy, and the critically-acclaimed gangster film, The Drop. We have decided to take a more animated route, and choose Laika's, The Boxtrolls, as our recommendation of the Week. New Release: The Boxtrolls – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) Lucy – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) The Drop – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) The Zero Theorem – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) White Bird in a Blizzard – (Blu-ray and DVD) Annabelle – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) Rudderless – (DVD and Instant) The Internet’s Own Boy – (DVD and Instant) Re-Release: My Winnipeg (2007) – (Criterion Blu-ray) The Palm Beach Story (1942) – (Criterion Blu-ray)   New on DVD The Boxtrolls – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) *Recommendation of the Week* Directed by Graham Annable and Anthony Stacchi Written by Irena Brignull (screenplay), Adam Pava (screenplay), Alan Snow (novel “Here Be Monsters!”) Starring: Ben Kingsley, Jared Harris, Nick Frost In a beautifully-crafted world by stop-motion animation specialists, Laika, a small hoard of “Boxtrolls” have their very existence threatened. Taking human trash and re-purposing it into useful objects, the Boxtrolls have unwittingly earned a fearsome reputation. Charged with exterminating the Boxtroll threat, Archibald Snatcher (Kingsley) must go against the Boxtroll-raised human, Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright), in order to carry out his dubious mission. Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 74% (Good) Metacritic: 61 (Good) IMDB: 6.9 (Good) Entertainment Fuse: 7/10 (Read our Review) DISC DETAILS Amazon: $22.96 (Blu-ray); $16.99 (DVD); $4.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)   New on DVD Lucy – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) Directed and written by Luc Besson Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Min-sik Choi When a woman is unwillingly turned into a drug mule for an untested synthetic drug, her body begins to change. Causing her mind to rapidly evolve beyond human limits, Lucy (Johansson) unlocks 100% of her brain's capacity, and is hell-bent on revenge. Assisted by expert on the human mind, Professor Norman (Freeman), Lucy quickly becomes a vengeance-focused madwoman. Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 66% (Fresh) Metacritic: 61 (Good) IMDB: 6.4 (Good) Entertainment Fuse: 6/10 DISC DETAILS Amazon: $19.99 (Blu-ray); $14.99 (DVD); $4.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)   New on DVD The Drop – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) Directed by Michaël R. Roskam Written by Dennis Lehane (screenplay and short story “Animal Rescue”) Starring: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, Matthias Schoenaerts The Drop presents an interesting take on the traditional gangster film. Focusing on bartender Bob Saginowski (Hardy), The Drop follows his day-to-day routine as a orchestrator of money “drops” for the Mafia. When a robbery occurs, Bob must watch while an investigation into his beloved neighborhood threatens to tear it apart. Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 89% (Very Good) Metacritic: 69 (Good) IMDB: 7.2 (Very Good) Entertainment Fuse: 7.2/10 (Read our Review) DISC DETAILS Amazon: $19.96 (Blu-ray); $14.96 (DVD); $4.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)   New on DVD The Zero Theorem – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) Directed by Terry Gilliam Written by Pat Rushin (screenplay) Starring: Christoph Waltz, Lucas Hedges, Mélanie Thierry A brilliant, but mentally-unstable computer programer is granted his request to work from home, but only to work on his boss's pet project, The Zero Theorem. An elegantly simple formula to sum up the universe, “ZT” brings the already maladjusted programmer to the brink of sanity. Featuring Gilliam's trademark direction and themes, The Zero Theorem is as strange as it is captivatingly colorful. Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 52% (Rotten) Metacritic: 50 (Okay) IMDB: 6.0 (Good) Entertainment Fuse: 7.5/10 (Read our Review) DISC DETAILS Amazon: $11.99 (Blu-ray); $9.99 (DVD); $3.99/$8.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)   New on DVD White Bird in a Blizzard – (Blu-ray and DVD) Directed by Gregg Araki Written by Gregg Araki (screenplay), Laura Kasischke (novel) Starring: Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni When 17-year old Kat's (Woodley) seemingly-perfect mother leaves, her life changes forever; forcing Kat to adjust by surrounding the event with denial and repressed emotion. On a visit home from college, Kat's memories of her mother come flooding back, along with newly-formed understanding of the events surrounding her departure. Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 49% (Bad) Metacritic: 49 (Bad) IMDB: 6.5 (Good) DISC DETAILS Special Features: Deleted Scenes; Interview With Shailene Woodley; Interview With Gregg Araki; “AXS TV, A Look at White Bird in a Blizzard” featurette; Commentary With Gregg Araki and Shailene Woodley; Trailer Amazon: $22.99 (Blu-ray); $12.99 (DVD) Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 2.5 stars(out of 5); Video: 4 stars; Audio: 3.5 stars; Extras: 3.5 stars; Replay: 1.5 stars. Rent It.   New on DVD Annabelle – (Blu-ray, DVD and Instant) Directed by John R. Leonetti Written by Gary Dauberman Starring: Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis, Alfre Woodard Before The Conjuring there was Annabelle... A prequel to the horror hit, Annabelle explores the backstory of one of the most talked-about segments of The Conjuring. Not nearly as spooky or well-planned as its forerunner, Annabelle falls way short of its mark. Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 29% (Rough) Metacritic: 37 (Very Rough) IMDB: 5.5 (Okay) Entertainment Fuse: 5/10 (Read our Review) DISC DETAILS Special Features: Deleted Scenes; “The Curse of Annabelle,” “Bloody Tears of Possession,” “Dolls of the Demon,” and “A Demonic Process” featurettes Amazon: $22.99 (Blu-ray); $14.99 (DVD); $3.99/$14.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy) Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 2.5 stars(out of 5); Video: 3.5 stars; Audio: 4.5 stars; Extras: 3 stars; Replay: 1.5 stars. Rent It.   New on DVD Rudderless – (DVD and Instant) Directed by William H. Macy Written by Casey Twenter, Jeff Robinson, and William H. Macy Starring: Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Hoffman Swerving dangerously close to made-for-TV territory, Macy is able to reign in his film and produce a solid picture. Featuring Billy Crudup as a bereaved father who starts a band in order to posthumously connect with his deceased son, and get some closure, Rudderless is solemn trip through the stages of grief. Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 63% (Fresh) Metacritic: 52 (Okay) IMDB: 7.5 (Very Good) DISC DETAILS Amazon: $14.99 (DVD); $3.99/$12.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy)   New on DVD The Internet’s Own Boy – (DVD and Instant) Directed and written by Brian Knappenberger Starring: Aaron Swartz, Tim Burners-Lee, Cindy Cohn The documentary of Aaron Swartz; a maverick Internet “hactivist” partially responsible for the development of RSS web feed format, Markdown publishing format, and Reddit. Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 93% (Excellent) Metacritic: 72 (Very Good) IMDB: 8.2 (Excellent) DISC DETAILS Amazon: $14.99 (DVD); $3.99/$7.99 (Instant Rent/ Buy) New on DVD My Winnipeg (2007) – (Criterion Blu-ray) Directed by Guy Maddin Written by Guy Maddin and George Toles (dialogue) Starring: Darcy Fehr, Ann Savage, Louis Negin Guy Maddin's fantasy-laden reimagining of his hometown, and geographical dead-center of North America, Winnipeg. Events, characters, and landmarks are recanted; the legitimacy of each left up to the viewers, and truly impossible separate the fact from fiction in this delightful and imaginative adventure. Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 94% (Excellent) Metacritic: 84 (Excellent) IMDB: 7.7 (Very Good) DISC DETAILS Special Features: High-definition digital film transfer, supervised by director Guy Maddin and director of photography Jody Shapiro, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray; Conversation between Maddin and art critic Robert Enright; “My Winnipeg” Live in Toronto, a 2008 featurette; Four 2014 cine-essays by filmmaker Evan Johnson and Maddin on various Winnipegiana; Five Maddin shorts, the first three with new introductions by the director: Spanky: To the Pier and Back (2008), Sinclair (2010), Only Dream Things (2012), The Hall Runner (2014), and Louis Riel for Dinner (2014); Trailer; PLUS: An essay by critic Wayne Koestenbaum Amazon: $29.99 (Criterion Blu-ray)   New on DVD The Palm Beach Story (1942) – (Criterion Blu-ray) Directed and written by Preston Sturges Starring: Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, Mary Astor When a brilliant inventor needs money for his latest creation, his loving wife decides to raise the funds by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire. A madcap comedy for the ages, The Palm Beach Story features stellar performance from its talented cast, and hilarious slap-stick high jinx. Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 100% (Superb) IMDB: 7.9 (Very Good) DISC DETAILS Special Features: New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray; Interview with writer and film historian James Harvey about director Preston Sturges; Interview with actor and comedian Bill Hader about Sturges; Safeguarding Military Information, a 1941 World War II propaganda short written by Sturges; Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation of the film from March 1943; PLUS: An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek Amazon: $29.99 (Criterion Blu-ray)


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