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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (5.6.2014)

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window is being re-released onto Blu-ray and is our Recommendation of the Week. The Blu-ray re-release comes with behind the scenes documentaries, a commentary from Boston University’s Professor John Fawell and a digital copy.

First Release
Veronica Mars (DVD and Blu-ray)
Son of Batman (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Art of the Steal (DVD and Blu-ray)

Re-Release
Ace in the Hole (1951) (Blu-ray)
Rear Window (1954) Blu-ray)
The Birds (1963) (Blu-ray)
Vertigo (1958) (Blu-ray)
The Big Red One (1980) (Blu-ray)
The Longest Day (1962) (Blu-ray)
Blazing Saddles (1974) (Blu-ray)
Amistad (1997) (Blu-ray)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995) (Blu-ray)
Weekend at Bernie’s (1989) (Blu-ray)

rear window 2014 blu-ray
Rear Window (1954) (Blu-ray) *Recommendation of Week*

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Cornell Woolrich (short story “It Had to Be Murder”)
Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr

Rear Window is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most well known and acclaimed movie, earning a 1998 remake and a excellent parody in The Simpsons.

L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies (James Stewart) is a professional photographer who is left wheelchair bound after an accident. With nothing to do he spends his time spying on his neighbors and he soon suspects one of them murdered his wife. Needing proof Jeff turns to his girlfriend, Lisa (Grace), police detective Lt. Doyle (Corey) and nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter) for help.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 100% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 9.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Digital Copy of Rear Window (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.); Includes UltraViolet (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.); Rear Window Ethics: An Original Documentary; A Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes; Pure Cinema: Through the Eyes of the Master; Breaking Barriers: The Sound of Hitchcock; Hitchcock / Truffaut Interview Excerpts; Masters of Cinema; Feature Commentary with John Fawell, Author of Hitchcock’s Rear Window: The Well-Made Film; Production Photographs; Theatrical Trailer; Re-Release Trailer Narrated by James Stewart; My Scenes; pocket BLU App; BD-Live

Amazon Price: $16.98 (Blu-ray)

Veronica Mars and Batman have new movies coming out onto DVD and Blu-ray whilst on the re-release front are two more Hitchcock movies, two war movies and two very different movies about race-relations.

the veronica mars movie blu-ray
Veronica Mars (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Rob Thomas
Written by Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero (screenplay), Rob Thomas (story), Rob Thomas (TV show)
Starring: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Krysten Ritter, Ryan Hansen, Francis Capra, Percy Dagg III, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino, Enrico Colantoni

The adaptation of the TV Show Veronica Mars is the movie your Kickstarter dollars helped make. The movie picks up the lives of the characters nine years after the events of the third series. Veronica (Kristen Bell) is now a Law graduate in New York when she is called back to her home town for a high school reunion and help her ex-boyfriend, Logan (Jason Dohring) who is suspected of murder.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 77% (very good)
Metacritic Rating: 62/100 (good)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: By the fans: The making of the Veronica Mars movie Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell and the entire Veronica Mars cast take you from its record-breaking Kickstarter launch to the first day on set and beyond!

Amazon Price: $9.99 (DVD), $14.99 (Blu-ray)

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

son of batman blu-ray
Son of Batman (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Ethan Spaulding
Written by Joe R. Lansdale (screenplay), James Robinson (story), Grant Morrison, Andy Kubert (comic book)
Starring: Jason O’Mara, Stuart Allan, Morena Baccarin, Giancarlo Esposito, Xander Berkeley, Thomas Gibson, David McCallum

The latest DC animated adventure from Warner Premier is the adaptation of the Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert Son of Batman storyline. This story sees Talia al Ghul (Morena Baccarin) come to Gotham City to find Batman (Jason O’Mara), showing him he has a son, Damien (Stuart Allan) and ask for help after Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson) overthrew her father Ra’s al Ghul (Giancarlo Espostio) as the leader of the League of Assassins.

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: A sneak peek at DC Universe’s next animated movie: Batman: Assault on Arkham

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Exclusively on Blu-ray:; Strange blood ties: Damian Wayne featurette; Designing the characters with Phil Bourassa featurette; ; Plus:; The Fang and the Demon Head: the League of Assassins featurette; From the DC comics vault – 4 bonus cartoons

Amazon Price: $12.99 (DVD), $19.99 (2-Disc Special Edition DVD) $16.99 (Blu-ray)

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

the art of the steal blu-ray
The Art of the Steal (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Jonathan Sobol
Starring: Kurt Russell, Jay Baruchel, Katheryn Winnick, Chris Diamantopoulos, Kenneth Welsh, Jason Jones, Terence Stamp, Matt Dillon

The Art of the Steal is a comedy heist movie about Crunch Calhoun (Kurt Russell), a third rate motorcycle daredevil and a reformed art thief who decides to reunite his old crew for one last heist.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 47% (average)
Metacritic Rating: 53/100 (average)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Doing the crime: Making The Art of The Steal; The making of “The Theft of The Mona Lisa”; Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Jonathan Sobol & Producer Nicholas Tabarrok

Amazon Price: $11.99 (DVD), $14.99 (Blu-ray)

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

ace in the hole blu-ray
Ace in the Hole (1951) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Billy Wilder
Written by Walter Newman, Lesser Samuels, Billy Wilder (screenplay), Victor Desny (story)
Starring: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Porter Hall

The Criterion Collection this week are re-releasing the film noir drama Ace in the Hole, directed by the great Billy Wilder. Chuck Tatum (Kirk Douglas) is a former big city journalist who ends up who ends up in the dead-end town of Albuquerque, but happens to come across the scoop of a lifetime to help him kickstart his career and does everything he can to milk the story.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 86% (excellent)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray; Audio commentary by film scholar Neil Sinyard; Portrait of a “60% Perfect Man”: Billy Wilder, a 1980 documentary featuring interviews with Wilder by film critic Michel Ciment; Interview with actors Kirk Douglas from 1984; Excerpts from a 1986 appearance by Wilder at the American Film Institute; Audio excerpts from an interview with Wilder’s coscreenwriter Walter Newman; Video afterword by filmmaker Spike Lee; Stills gallery; Trailer; One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats; PLUS: essays by critic Molly Haskell and filmmaker Guy Maddin

Amazon Price: $24.99 (Blu-ray)

the birds 2014 blu-ray
The Birds (1963) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Evan Hunter (screenplay), Daphne du Maurier (novella)
Starring: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jesssica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette, Veronica Cartwright

Loosely based on a novella by Daphne du Maurier The Birds is a classic horror movie from the master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock. Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hendren) is San Francisco socialite who goes to the North California town of Bodega Bay to pursue a potential boyfriend. But the town is mysteriously attacked by birds and for the residents it becomes a battle for survival.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 96% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 8.3/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Digital Copy of The Birds (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.); Includes UltraViolet (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.); Deleted Scene; The Original Ending; The Birds: Hitchcock’s Monster Movie; All About The Birds; Storyboard Sequence; Tippi Hedren’s Screen Test; Hitchcock / Truffaut Interview Excerpts; The Birds Is Coming (Universal International Newsreel); Suspense Story: National Press Club Hears Hitchcock (Universal International Newsreel); Production Photographs; Theatrical Trailer; 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics; 100 Years of Universal: The Lot; My Scenes; pocket BLU App; BD-Live

Amazon Price: $14.99 (Blu-ray)

vertigo 2014 blu-ray
Vertigo (1958) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Alec Coppel, Samuel A. Taylor (screenplay), Boileau-Narcejac (novel “D’entre les morts”)
Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

Vertigo is a highly regarded movie from Alfred Hitchcock, boasting a 8.5/10 rating on IMDB and a healthy 8.3/10 on Entertainment Fuse. This thriller sees a private detective with acrophobia, John “Scottie” Ferguson (James Stewart) who is asked by an old friend, Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore) to follow his wife who he fears is suicidal.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 98% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 8.3/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Digital Copy of Vertigo (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.); Includes UltraViolet (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.); Obsessed with Vertigo: New Life for Hitchcock’s Masterpiece; Partners in Crime: Hitchcock’s Collaborators; Hitchcock / Truffaut; Foreign Censorship Ending; The Vertigo Archives; Restoration Theatrical Trailer; Feature Commentary with Film Director William Friedkin; Theatrical Trailer; 100 Years of Universal: The Lew Wasserman Era; My Scenes; pocket BLU App; BD-Live

Amazon Price: $16.98 (Blu-ray)

big red one blu-ray
The Big Red One
(1980) (Blu-ray)


Written and directed by Samuel Fuller
Starring: Lee Marvin, Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Bobby Di Cicco, Kelly, Siegfried Rauch, Stéphane Audran

In 2004 the war movie The Big Red One was resorted to full running time of 162 minutes, seven years after the death of writer/director Samuel Fuller. The Big Red One follows Sgt. Possum (Lee Marvin) and four long-servicing men who fight in many theaters of war, from North Africa, to Sicily, to Western Europe.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 91% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating: 77/100 (very good)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Commentary on Reconstruction version by Richard Schickel; Documentary The Men Who Made the Movies: Samuel Fuller; Featurette The Real Glory: Reconstructing The Big Red One; Featurette The Fighting First: A War Department Film; Before-and-after-restoration scene comparisons; Alternate scenes

Amazon Price: $14.99 (Blu-ray)

the longest day blu-ray
The Longest Day (1962) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton, Bernhard Wicki, Gerd Oswald
Written by Romain Gary, James Jones, David, Cornelius Ryan, Jack Seddon (screenplay), Cornelius Ryan (book)
Starring: John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery, Ediie Albert, Curd Jürgens, Richard Todd, Richard Burton, Peter Lawford, Rod Steiger, Irina Demick, Gert Fröbe, Edmond O’Brien, Kenneth More

It has been 70 years since the D-Day landings and one of the most famous film portrayals of the event is 1962 movie The Longest Day. The Longest Day is an epic of a movie as it tells the events from the perspective of the Allies, Germans and French Resistance.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 92% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

Amazon Price: $22.49 (Blu-ray)

blazing saddles blu-ray
Blazing Saddles (1974) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Mel Brooks
Written by Andrew Bergman, Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Norman Steinberg, Al Uger (screenplay), Andrew Bergman (story)
Starring: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, Slim Pickens, Madeline Kahn, Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise

The satirical western Blazing Saddles is one of Mel Brooks’ most popular movies, as a man called Bart (Cleavon Little) becomes the first black sheriff in the Old West and has to both win over the townspeople and battle corrupt political forces.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 90% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: All-New Featurette starring Mel Brooks:; blaze of glory: Mel Brooks’ wild, wild west; Additional scenes; Commentary by Mel Brooks; Back in the saddle vintage featurette; Black Bart: the 1975 pilot episode of the proposed TV series spinoff; Theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $19.99 (Blu-ray)

amistad blu-ray
Amistad (1997) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by David Franzoni
Starring: Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Nigel Hawthorne, Stellan Skarsgård, Harry Blackman, Anna Paquin

The historical drama Amistad tells the story of 1839 slave rebellion on the Amistad slave ship and the legal case that happened after it.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 76% (very good)
Metacritic Rating: 63/100 (good)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 7.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: The making of Amistad; Theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $14.39 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 4 stars, Video 4.5 stars, Audio 4.5 stars, Extras 1.5 stars, Replay 2.5 stars (out of 5). Recommended.

the bridges of madison county blu-ray
The Bridges of Madison County (1995) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Clint Eastwood
Written by Richard LaGravenese (screenplay), Robert James Waller (novel)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Meryl Streep

Based on a novel by Robert James Waller Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this romantic drama with Meryl Streep. Eastwood stars as Robert Kincaid, a photographer for National Geographic on an assessment in Iowa where he meets Francesca Johnson (Steep), a bored housewife and a romance blooms when her family is away.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 89% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating: 66/100 (good)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features:Commentary by editor Joel Cox and director of photography Jack N. Green; An old-fashioned love story: making The Bridges of Madison County; “Doe Eyes” music video; Theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $14.96 (Blu-ray)

weekend at bernies blu-ray

Weekend at Bernie’s
(1989) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Ted Kotcheff
Written by Robert Klane
Starring: Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman, Catherine Mary Stewart, Terry Kiser

The stoner comedy Weekend at Bernie’s is a cult classic as it tells the story of two insurance clerks who find out their boss is embezzling and orders a hit on them. But when their boss, Bernie (Terry Kiser) dies, the clerks pretend he is alive to keep their lives.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 50% (average)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 6.0/10

DISC DETAILS

Amazon Price: $16.99 (Blu-ray)

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