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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (10.30.12)

Many directors have had boxsets of their movies being release. This week Alfred Hitchcock has earned this honor as 15 movies are re-released on the Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection. Many of his classic movies are on this collection and hours of features to please Hitchcock fans.

First Release
The Campaign (DVD and Blu-ray)
Safety Not Guaranteed (DVD and Blu-ray)
Ruby Sparks (DVD and Blu-ray)
Americano (DVD and Blu-ray)
Elena (DVD)

Re-Release
Rosemary’s Baby (DVD and Blu-ray)
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (DVD and Blu-ray)
Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (Blu-ray)

Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*

Saboteur (1942)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Peter Viertel, Joan Harrison, Dorothy Parker
Starring: Robert Cummings, Priscilla Lane, Otto Kruger, Norman Lloyd

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Thronton Wilder, Sally Benson, Alma Reville
Starring: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotton, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers

Rope (1948)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Arthur Laurents (screenplay), Hume Cronyn (adaptation), Patrick Hamilton (play)
Starring: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Joan Chandler, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Douglas Dick

Rear Window (1954)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Cornell Woolrich (story)
Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr

The Trouble With Harry (1955)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Jack Trevor Story (story)
Starring: Edmund Gwenn, John Forsythe, Shirley MacLaine, Mildred Natwick, Mildred Dunnock, Jerry Mathers, Royal Dano

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by John Michael Hayes (screenplay), Charles Bennett, D.B. Wyndham-Lewis (story)
Starring: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda De Banzie, Bernard Miles, Alan Mowbray, Hillary Brooke, Christopher Olsen

Vertigo (1958)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Alec Coppel, Samuel A. Taylor (screenplay), Boileau-Narcejac (novel)
Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes

North by Northwest (1959)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Ernest Lehman
Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jesssie Royce Landis

Psycho (1960)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Joseph Stefano (screenplay), Robert Bloch (novel)
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire

The Birds (1963)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Evan Hunter (screenplay), Daphne du Maurier (novel)
Starring: Rod Taylor, Jessica Tandy, Suzanne Pleshette, Tippi Hedren

Marnie (1964)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Jay Presson Allen (screenplay), Winston Graham (novel)
Starring: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Diane Baker, Martin Gabel, Louise Latham

Torn Curtain (1966)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Brian Moore, Willis Hal, Keith Waterhouse
Starring: Paul Newman, Julie Andrews, Lila Kedrova, Hansjörg Felmy, Tamara Tourmanova, David Opatoshu, Ludwig Donath

Topaz (1969)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Samuel A. Taylor (screenplay), Leon Uris (novel)
Starring: Frederick Stafford, Dany Robin, Claude Jade, Michel Subor, John Forsythe, Karin Dor, John Vernon, Michel Piccoli, Phillppe Noiret, Roscoe Lee Browne

Frenzy (1972)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Anthony Shaffer (screenplay), Arthur La Bern (novel)
Starring: Jon Finch, Alec McCowen, Barry Foster

Family Plot (1976)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Ernest Lehman (screenplay), Victor Canning (novel)
Starring: Barbara Harris, Bruce Dern, Karen Black, William Devane

Alfred Hitchcock is regarded as one of the best directors to have ever lived, and alongside Stanley Kubrick, one of the best directors to never win an Oscar. Hitchcock was often called the Master of Suspense because he made highly entertaining thrillers like Vertigo and North by Northwest and explored themes ranging from crime and murder to espionage. Hitchcock was also experimental director, making critically acclaimed horror movies Psycho and The Birds and making Rope, which was meant to look like one long take.

Saboteur (1942)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
80% (very good)
Player Affinity Score:
7.0/10

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
100% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
8.8/10

Rope (1948)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
97% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
8.0/10

Rear Window (1954)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
100% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
9.5/10

The Trouble With Harry (1955)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
90% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
89% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
7.5/10

Vertigo (1958)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
98% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
8.3/10

North by Northwest (1959)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
100% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
9.5/10

Psycho (1960)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
97% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
9.4/10

The Birds (1963)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
95% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
8.3/10

Marnie (1964)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
79% (very good)
Player Affinity Score:
6.0/10

Torn Curtain (1966)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
65% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

Topaz (1969)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
71% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

Frenzy (1972)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
87% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

Family Plot (1976)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
95% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
7.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Saboteur (1942): Saboteur: A Closer Look; Storyboards: The Statue of Liberty Sequence; Alfred Hitchcock’s Sketches; Production Photographs; Theatrical Trailer; Shadow of a Doubt (1943): Beyond Doubt: The Making of Hitchcock’s Favorite Film; Production Drawings by Art Director Robert Boyle; Production Photographs; Theatrical Trailer; Rope (1948): Rope Unleashed; Production Photographs; Theatrical Trailer; Rear Window (1954): 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; Blu-ray Exclusives: BD Live, pocket BLU app; The Trouble with Harry (1955): The Trouble with Harry Isn’t Over; Production Photographs; Theatrical Trailer; The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956): The Making of The Man Who Knew Too Much; Production Photographs; Trailers; Vertigo (1958): Obsessed with Vertigo: New Life for Hitchcock’s Masterpiece; Partners in Crime: Hitchcock’s Collaborators; Hitchcock / Truffaut Interview Excerpts; Foreign Censorship Ending; The Vertigo Archives; Feature Commentary with Associate Producer Herbert Coleman, Restoration Team Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz, and Other Vertigo Participants; Feature Commentary with Director William Friedkin; 100 Years of Universal: The Lew Wasserman Era; Theatrical Trailer; Restoration Theatrical Trailer; Blu-ray Exclusives: BD Live, pocket BLU app; North by Northwest (1959): Feature Commentary by screenwriter Ernest Lehman; The Master’s Touch: Hitchcock’s Signature Style; Cary Grant: A Class Apart; North by Northwest: One for the Ages; Destination Hitchcock: The Making of North by Northwest; Stills gallery; Theatrical Trailers and TV Spot; Psycho (1960): The Making of Psycho; Psycho Sound; In The Master’s Shadow: Hitchcock’s Legacy; Hitchcock-Truffaut Interview Excerpts; Newsreel Footage: The Release of Psycho; The Shower Scene: With and Without Music; The Shower Scene: Storyboards by Saul Bass; The Psycho Archives; Posters and Psycho Ads; Lobby Cards; Behind-the-Scenes Photographs; Production Photographs; Theatrical Trailer; Re-release Trailers; Feature Commentary with Stephen Rebello (author of Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho); Blu-ray Exclusive: BD Live; The Birds (1963): Deleted Scene; Original Ending; The Birds: Hitchcock’s Monster Movie — New! (Blu-ray Exclusive); All About The Birds; Storyboards; 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; 100 Years of Universal: Restoring the Classics; 100 Years of Universal: The Lot; Theatrical Trailer; Blu-ray Exclusives: BD Live, pocket BLU app; Marnie (1964): The Trouble with Marnie; The Marnie Archives; Theatrical Trailer; Torn Curtain (1966): Torn Curtain Rising; Scenes Scored by Bernard Herrmann; Production Photographs; Theatrical Trailer; Topaz (1969): Alternate Endings; Topaz: An Appreciation by Film Historian and Critic Leonard Maltin; Storyboards: The Mendozas; Production Photographs; Theatrical Trailer; Frenzy (1972): The Story of Frenzy; Production Photographs; Theatrical Trailer; Family Plot (1976): Plotting Family Plot; Storyboards: The Chase Scene; Production Photographs; Theatrical Trailer

Amazon Price:
$224.86 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

It is a thin week of DVD and Blu-ray releases, the highlights being the indie movie Safety Not Guaranteed and the re-release of Rosemary’s Baby. Also out this week are the political comedy The Campaign, the Russian movie Elena and the re-release of kitsch movie Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

The Campaign (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Jay Roach
Written by Chris Henchy, Shawn Harwell (screenplay), Adam McKay, Chris Henchy, Shawn Harwell (story)
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zach Galifianakis

In these political times in the USA, what better way to celebrate then with a comedy aiming to make fun of the American political process. Cam Brady (Will Ferrell) is a Democratic Congressman in North Carolina running unopposed for his fifth term. But after leaving a sexually explicit message on a Christian family’s answering machine, Brady’s wealthy backers ditch him and recruit the nice but naïve Marty Huggins (Zach Galifianakis) to run against Brady and a bitter election campaign ensues.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 66% (good)
Player Affinity Score:
6.0/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.96 (DVD), $18.99 (Blu-ray), $18.96 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

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

Safety Not Guaranteed (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Colin Trevorrow
Written by Derek Connolly
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni

Premiering at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Safety Not Guaranteed was a critically praised movie that won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award. Three magazine employees investiage a man who placed a classified ad looking for a time travel companion.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 94% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
8.5/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: A Movie Making Mission; The Ad Behind the Movie; Time Capsule-Easter Egg

Amazon Price: $18.99 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 4.5 stars, Video 3 stars, Audio 4 stars, Extras 1.5 stars, Replay 4 stars (out of 5). Highly Recommended.

Ruby Sparks (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris
Written by Zoe Kazan
Starring: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Chris Messina

Ruby Sparks was directing pair Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ follow-up to the successful Little Miss Sunshine. Written and starring Zoe Kazan.

Calvin Weir-Fields (Paul Dano is a writer who wrote a successful novel 10 years ago when he was 19 but is struggling to write a follow-up. His therapist (Elliott Gould) challenges Calvin to write a page and he writes about a girl from his dreams, but she ends up becoming real in the form of Ruby Sparks (Kazan).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
79% (very good)
Player Affinity Score:
5.6/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $19.99 (DVD), $28.85 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Americano (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Mathieu Demy
Starring: Mathieu Demy, Salma Hayek, Geraldine Chaplin, Chiara Mastroianni, Carlos Bardem, Jean-Pierre Mocky

French Actor Mathieu Demy (Tomboy) not only stars but also makes his writing and directing debut with Americano. Martin (Demy) is a young man who breaks up with his girlfriend and leaves Paris for Los Angeles so he can sort out his mother’s estate, but he finds a mysterious woman named in her will.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 50% (average)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $12.99 (DVD), $14.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 3.5 stars, Video 4 stars, Audio 4.5 stars, Extras 0.5 stars, Replay 3.5 stars (out of 5). Recommended.

Elena (DVD)

Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev
Written by Oleg Negin
Starring: Nadezhda Markina

The Russian movie Elena won the Special Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival as it follows the storyline of a housewife, Elena (Nadezhda Markina), as she is forced to take desperate measures to protect her inheritance.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 92% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
7.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Gorgeous HD master, enhanced for widescreen viewing;
Optional English subtitles; 30-minute interview with director Andrey Zvyagintsev;
Making-of video on the poster screen-printing; U.S. theatrical trailer 

Amazon Price: $24.99 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Roman Polanski
Written by Roman Polanski (screenplay), Ira Levin (novel)
Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer

Rosemary’s Baby is a classic horror movie from Roman Polanski that earned two Oscar nominations. Based on a novel by Ira Levin, Mia Farrow stars as Rosemary Woodhouse, a young woman who is married to a struggling actor Guy (John Cassavetes). The couple move to a new apartment in New York and befriend the neighbors, but as Guy’s career starts to take off, Rosemary experiences one of the most unusual and scary pregnancies ever.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 98% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score:
8.6/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES; New high-definition digital restoration, approved by director Roman Polanski, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition; New interviews with Polanski, actor Mia Farrow, and producer Robert Evans; Komeda, Komeda, a feature-length documentary on the life and work of jazz musician and composer Krzysztof Komeda, who wrote the score for Rosemary’s Baby; 1997 radio interview with author Ira Levin from Leonard Lopate’s WNYC program New York and Company on the 1967 novel, the sequel, and the film; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Ed Park and Levin’s afterword for the 2003 New American Library edition of his novel, in which he discusses its and the film’s origins

Amazon Price: $24.99 (DVD), $24.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Nicholas Webster
Written by Paul L. Jacobson, Glenville Mareth
Starring: John Call, Victor Stiles, Donna Conforti, Chris Month, Pia Zadora

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians is classic piece of kitsch cinema and like The Room, Birdemic and the bulk of Ed Wood’s filmography, is considered so bad it’s good. The plot is simple: Martians abduct Santa Claus and there is no one to give presents to the children of Mars.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 25% (very bad)
Player Affinity Score:
N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: “The Retro Holiday Film Festival” that includes Vintage Max Fleischer Holiday Cartoons; Seasons Greetings from Classic TV Stars; Howdy Doody’s Christmas Story; Rare, Remastered Holiday Commercials

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 3 stars, Video 2.5 stars, Audio 2.5 stars, Extras 3.5 stars, Replay 3 stars (out of 5). Highly Recommended.

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