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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (10.15.2013)

A movie about giant robots battling great monsters is Entertainment Fuse's Recommendation of the Week. Pacific Rim is now out on DVD, Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray, ready to please its new fanbase with 14 featurettes and a commentary.

  First Release
- Pacific Rim (DVD and Blu-ray)
- The Heat (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Maniac (2013) (DVD and Blu-ray)
- A Hijacking (DVD and Blu-ray)

- Eyes Without a Face (1960) (Blu-ray)
- The Haunting (1963) (Blu-ray)
- High Plains Drifter (1973) (Blu-ray)
- Slap Shot (1980)(Blu-ray)
- Love Actually (2003) (Blu-ray)
- Notting Hill (1999) (Blu-ray)
- The Stranger (1946) (Blu-ray)

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

Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Written by Travis Beacham, Guillermo del Toro (screenplay), Travis Beacham (story)
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, Ron Perlman

Pacific Rim was a movie that fanboys were waiting for months for it be released and when it came out it did not disappoint its target demographic.

In the near future a inter-dimensional portal under the Pacific Ocean has lead to giant monsters called Kaijus attacking cities across the Pacific Rim, from Sydney to Anchorage, San Francisco to Hong Kong. Desperate humanity makes the Jaeger project, a project of giant robots designed to fight the Kaijus. But by 2025 there are only four Jaeger robots left and one retired pilot, Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam, Sons of Anarchy) is brought back into the fold and he has to work with a new partner, Mako (Rinko Kikuchi, Babel) so they can fight the monsters at our door.

Pacific Rim has disappointed at the US box-office but its strong worldwide number has lead to the door to a sequel being left open. Apocalypse cancelled.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
72% (good)
Metacritic Rating:
64/100 (good)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 8.3/10 (read our review)

DVD Special Features: Hours of bonus content take you inside the mind of acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro; 14 featurettes provide in-depth looks at Kaijus, Jaegers, sets, stunts, sounds, effects, and the mythology and making of the film; Also includes the digital artistry of Pacific Rim; Audio Commentary

Amazon Price:
$17.99 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray), $27.99 (3D Blu-ray), $44.96 (Collector's Edition)

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

There are plenty first releases and re-releases that should please film fans this week. Highlights this week include the action-comedy The Heat, ghost movie The Haunting, Clint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter and the hockey comedy Slap Shot.

The Heat
(DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Paul Feig
Written by Katie Dippold
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy

Sandra Bullock is a box-office draw and Melissa McCarthy was the breakout star in Bridesmaids, so the pair ended up working together in the action-comedy The Heat. Bullock stars as FBI Special Agent Sarah Ashburn, a by-the-book officer who rubs people up the wrong way ends up having to be partnered with Detective Shannon Mullins (McCarthy), a no nonsense Boston cop as they have to work together to bring down a drugs baron.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
65% (good)
Metacritic Rating:
60/100 (good)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 7.5/10


Amazon Price:
$17.99 (DVD), $21.99 (Blu-ray)

(2013) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Franck Khalfoun
Written by Alexandre Aja, Grégory Levasseur, C.A. Rosenberg (screenplay), Joe Spinell (original movie)
Starring: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder

Maniac is a remake of the 1980 movie of the same name. Elijah Wood stars as Frank Zito, a mentally disturbed young man who enjoys scalping women as we see the movie from his point-of-view.

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


DVD Special Features: Making Of, Poster Gallery, Trailer

Amazon Price: $11.93 (DVD), $10.96 (Blu-ray)

A Hijacking (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Tobias Lindholm
Starring: Søren Malling

Captain Phillips has just hit theaters and to coincide with the release of the Paul Greengrass, Tom Hanks movie is the DVD and Blu-ray release of the critically praised Danish movie, A Hijacking, written and directed by the writer of The Hunt and Borgen, Tobias Lindholm.

A Hijacking is thriller that tells the story of the MV Rozen, a cargo ship that gets taken over by Somali pirates and the CEO of the company, Peter C. Ludvigsen (Søren Malling, Borgen) has the handle the tense negotiations. 

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 97% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating: 82/100 (very good)


DVD Special Features: Behind the scenes featurettes; Behind the movie; The Director; Research; The chief engineer; The actors; Trailer

Amazon Price:
$14.96 (DVD), $21.93 (Blu-ray)

Eyes Without a Face (1960) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Georges Franju
Written by Georges Franju, Jean Redon, Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac, Claude Sautet (screenplay), Jean Redon (novel)
Starring: Pierre Brasseur, Edith Scob, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel

From the Criterion Collection this week is the influential French horror Eyes Without a Face. Based on a novel by Jean Redon Eyes Without a Face follows, Dr. Génessier (Pierre Brasseur), a brilliant surgeon who tries to rebuild his daughter's face after a car accident and he is willing to do anything to make his experiments a success.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes:
98% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating:
88/100 (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 7.0/10

DVD Special Features: New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack;  Audio interview with director Rene Clair; Trailer; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by filmmaker Guy Maddin

Amazon Price: $27.59 (Blu-ray)

The Haunting (1963) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Robert Wise
Written by Nelson Gidding (screenplay), Shirley Jackson (novel 'The Haunting of Hill House')
Starring: Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn.

Directed Robert Wise has shown his skills in a number of genres with movies like The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Sound of Music and The Sand Pebbles next to his name. The Haunting is one of his horror movies.

Based on Shirley Jackson's novel The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting follows Dr. Markway (Richard Johnson), a doctor who plans to study the experiment to prove the paranormal.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 86% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 8.0/10


DVD Special Features: Commentary By Julie Harris, Claire Bloom, Richard Johnson, Russ Tamblyn, director Robert Wise and screenwriter Nelson Gidding; Theatrical trailer

Amazon Price: $14.49 (Blu-ray)

High Plains Drifter (1973) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Clint Eastwood
Written by Ernest Tidyman
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Verna Bloom, Marianna Hill

High Plains Drifter is the first Western that Clint Eastwood and is one of his most highly regarded films. Eastwood stars a nameless man only known as 'The Stranger' who is hired by the town of Lago to them fend off three outlaws and teach them how to defend themselves.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
96% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 9.0/10

Amazon Price:
$13.99 (Blu-ray)

Slap Shot
(1980) (Blu-ray)

Directed by George Roy Hill
Written by Nancy Dowd
Starring: Paul Newman, Strother Martin, Michael Ontkean, Lindsay Crouse

Slap Shot is popular sports comedy and considered one of the best sports movies ever made. Paul Newman stars as Reggie Dunlop, an aging player-coach who ends up managing the terrible Charlestown Chiefs. But the team soon start winning when they play dirty hockey.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 88% (excellent)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 8.5/10


Amazon Price: $13.99 (Blu-ray)

Love Actually (2003) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Richard Curtis
Starring: Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley, Martine McCutcheon, Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson

Richard Curtis has had great success as a writer on television and film with credits that include Blackadder and Four Weddings and a Funeral. Love Actually was his directional debut and follows a number of storylines, including Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant, think a precursor to real life Prime Minister David Cameron) who falls for his new household staff member Natalie (Martine McCutcheon), Mark (Andrew Lincoln, The Walking Dead) who struggles with his unrequited love for his best friend's wife, Juliet (Keira Knightley), youngster Sam (Thomas Sangster, Nowhere Boy) trying to woo his classmate Joanna (Olivia Olson) and aging rock star Billy Mack (Bill Nighy) trying to secure a Christmas Number One single.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 63% (good)
Metacritic Rating: 55/100 (average)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 6.0/10


DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Over 30 munutes of deleted scenes; The music of Love Actually; The Storytellers; Kelly Clarkson The Trouble With Love Is music video; Billy Mack Christmas Is All Around music video; Feature commentary with director Richard Curtis and actors Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy and Thomas Sangster

Amazon Price:
$9.99 (Blu-ray)

Notting Hill (1999) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Roger Michell
Written by Richard Curtis
Starring: Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant

The other Richard Curtis movie being re-released is his 1999 written effort Notting Hill, following Will Thacker (Hugh Grant) who starts a relationship with  American superstar, Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), after she comes into his bookshop.

Notting Hill is controversial in some quarters in the UK for trying a highly multicultural area of London into a mostly white suburb.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes: 83% (very good)
Metacritic Rating:
66/100 (good)
Entertainment Fuse Score: 5.0/10

DVD Special Features: Deleted scenes; Spotlight on location; Hugh Grant's movie tips; Seasonal walk on Portobello Road; Photograph montage; Feature Commentary with Director Roger Michell, Producer Duncan Kenworthy and Writer Richard Curtis; Music videos; Theatrical trailers

Amazon Price: $16.98 (Blu-ray)

The Stranger (1946) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Orson Welles
Written by Anthony Veiller, Victor Trivas, Decla Dunning
Starring: Orson Welles, Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young,

The Stranger is an Orson Welles directed film noir about Franz Kindler (Orson Welles), a Nazi war criminal who has erased his identity and works as university professor in a small Connecticut and Mr Wilson (Edward G. Robinson, Little Caeser), a UN War Crimes investigator who is on the mission to prove who Kindler really is.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 95% (excellent)


DVD Special Features: Audio Commentary by film historian Bret Wood; Original theatrical trailer; Image gallery; "Death Mills" (1945, 21 min.), an informational film on the Nazi death camps (Produced by Billy Wilder), footage of which appears in The Stranger; Orson Welle's Wartime Radio Broadcasts; Four complete programs exemplify Welle's blending of propaganda and entertainment: "Alameda" (Nazi Eyes on Canada, 1942), "War Workers" (Ceiling Unlimited, 1942), "Brazil" (Hello Americans, 1942), and "Bikini Atomic Test" (Orson Welles Commentaries, 1946)

Amazon Price: $29.99 (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). Highly Recommended 


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