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DISCussion: New on DVD and Blu-ray (4.23.13)

2013 started with a heartbreaker of movie, the disaster drama The Impossible. The features on offer with this Oscar nominated movie are a commentary from the director, writer, producer and the woman whom this movie is based on, deleted scenes and a couple of making of featurettes.

First Release

- The Impossible (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Gangster Squad (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Promised Land (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Wuthering Heights (2011) (DVD)

- Jurassic Park 3D (1993) (Blu-ray)
- Richard III (1955) (DVD and Blu-ray)
- The Great Gatsby (1974) (Blu-ray)

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

Directed by J.A. Bayona
Written by Sergio G. Sánchez
Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland

The 2004 Tsunami was one of the biggest natural disasters in recent memory and The Orphanage creative team, J.A. Bayona and Sergio G. Sánchez reunited to loosely adapt the true story of Belón family.

Maria and Henry Bennett (Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor) and their children go to Thailand for a Christmas vacation, but end up getting caught in the tsunami, separating Maria and their oldest son, Lucas (Tom Holland) from Henry and the younger children. Amidst the confusion and chaos Lucas has to fight to get his mother the medical attention she needs in a Thai hospital and Henry goes on the search to find them.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes:
81% (very good)
Metacritic Rating:
73/100 (good)
Entertainment Fuse Score:


DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Audio Commentary with Director J.A. Bayona, Writer Sergio G. Sánchez, Producer Belén Atienza, and María Belón; ; "Casting The Impossible" featurette; "Realizing The Impossible" featurette; Deleted Scenes

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

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

The theme of the week is literary adaptations as with versions of Wuthering Heights, Richard III and The Great Gatsby are all being released or re-released. Also out is the crime-actioneer Gangster Squad and the 3D re-release of Jurassic Park.

Gangster Squad
(DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Ruben Fleischer
Written by Will Beall (screenplay), Paul Lieberman (book ‘Tales from the Gangster Squad’)
Starring: Josh Brolin, Sean Penn, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone

The release of Gangster Squad was delayed after the Aurora shooting, forcing reshoots. This movie sees Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer makes his first serious movie, making a stylist period action movie.

The year is 1949 and an East Coast Jewish gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) has brought a reign of terror to the streets of Los Angeles and has the police and judiciary in his pocket. But one homicide detective, Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin, No Country for Old Men) is not afraid and Police Chief Bill Parker (Nick Nolte) gets him to run a clandestine operation to bring Cohen down.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes:
32% (poor)
Metacritic Rating:
40/100 (poor)
Entertainment Fuse Score:
7.0/10 (read our review)


DVD Special Features: Commentary with Director Ruben Fleischer; The Gangland Files; The Set-Up (Focus Points); Rogues' Gallery: Mickey Cohen; Tough Guys With Style; Deleted Scenes

Amazon Price:
$14.99 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray)

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

Promised Land
(DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Gus Van Sant
Written by John Krasinski, Matt Damon (screenplay), Dave Eggers (story)
Starring: Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Frances McDormand

Matt Damon won an Oscar for his screenplay for Good Will Hunting. He returns to writing and gets his Good Will Hunting director Gus Van Sant to helm to his drama about the controversial process of fracking.

Steve Butler (Damon) is a corporate salesman who is sent to a small rural town to buy drilling rights to start fracking. But what seemed to be an easy sale turns out to be much more complex when a local man, Dustin Noble (John Krasinski, The Office) starts a grassroots campaign against the drilling.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 51% (average)
Metacritic Rating:
55/100 (average)


DVD Special Features:
Extended scene; The making of Promised Land

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

Wuthering Heights (2011) (DVD)

Directed by Andrea Arnold
Written by Andrea Arnold, Olivia Hetreed (screenplay), Emily Brontë (novel)
Starring: Kaya Scodelario, James Howson, Oliver Milburn

Director Andrea Arnold is best known for her grim and gritty approach with previous movies Red Road and Fish Tank. She took that style to her third movie, an adaptation of Wuthering Heights. This version casts Heathcliff as a freed slave, played by newcomer James Howson.

Set in the Yorkshire Moors, the Earnshaw family adopt a strange young boy (Soloman Glave) and he starts to form a relationship with his foster sister Catherine (Shannon Beer). But prejudice tears them apart. Years later Heathcliff returns as an adult, making his fortune and he wants his revenge against the Earnshaws and restart his relationship with Catherine (Kaya Scodelario, Skins).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
68% (good)
Metacritic Rating: 70/100 (good)


Amazon Price:
$26.99 (DVD)

Jurassic Park 3D
(1993) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Michael Crichton, David Koepp (screenplay), Michael Crichton (novel)
Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

It has been 20 years since the original release of Jurassic Park and it recently had a 3D re-release in theaters. Now the 3D version of the movie is coming out on a 3D Blu-ray as we see a wealthy man, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) brings dinosaurs back to live through revolutionary genetic technology. But as his new theme park is being inspected by a team of experts a greedy employee steals dinosaur embryos, leading to a power cut and allowing the pre-historic creatures to cause havoc.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes:
91% (excellent)
Metacritic Rating:
Entertainment Fuse Score:
8.0/10 (read our review)


DVD Special Features: Making Of; Trailers for "Jurassic Park," "The Lost World" and "Jurassic Park 3"; Storyboards; Footage of pre-production meetings; Special Effects supervisor Phil Tippett's animatics; Foley artists; Dinosaur encyclopedia

Amazon Price: $29.99 (Blu-ray)

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

Richard III (1955) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Laurence Olivier
Written by Colley Cibber, David Garrick (textual alterations), Laurence Olivier (screenplay, uncredited), William Shakespeare (play)
Starring: Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Claire Bloom, Cedric Hardwicke, John Gielgud, Laurence Naismith, Norman Wooland

Laurence Olivier’s adaptation of Richard III is his third and final adaptation of William Shakespeare play which he directed. Olivier plays the title character, in this piece of Tudor propaganda as one of England’s greatest villains (though ordering the death of his own nephews does not help his case), as the Duke of Gloucester murders and manipulates his way to seizing the English throne and how his downfall is as spectacular as his rise.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
79% (very good)


DVD Special Features: New high-definition digital master of the Film Foundation's 2012 restoration; Audio commentary by playwright and stage director Russell Lees and John Wilders; Interview with actor Laurence Olivier from a 1966 episode of Great Acting; Gallery of behind-the-scenes and production stills and posters; Twelve-minute television trailer featuring footage of Olivier and other cast;   Trailer; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Amy Taubin

Amazon Price: $19.99 (DVD), $27.99 (Blu-ray)

The Great Gatsby (1974) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Jack Clayton
Written by Francis Ford Coppola (screenplay), F. Scott Fitzgerald (novel)
Starring: Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern, Sam Waterston, Karen Black

Baz Luhrmann’s long awaited adaptation of The Great Gatsby is set to open this year’s Cannes Film Festival. But in the meantime the 1974 version is being re-released on Blu-ray.

Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston, Law & Order) is a young Midwestern man who lives in 1920s Long Island who becomes fascinated by his wealthy neighbor, Jay Gatsby (Robert Redford) and his social circle. Carraway soon becomes witness to Gatsby’s troubled relationship with Daisy Buchanan (Mia Farrow).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes):
34% (poor)


Amazon Price: $14.99 (Blu-ray)


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