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DISCussion: What’s New on DVD/Blu-ray (4.10.12)

The world can be a dark, bleak and disturbing place and this week’s Recommendation of the Week, Tyrannosaur, explores this theme. Based on a short story, actor Paddy Considine wrote and directed this award-winning UK film.

First Release
- The Iron Lady (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Into the Abyss (DVD and Blu-ray)
- The Darkest Hour (DVD and Blu-ray)
- The Witches of Oz (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Tyrannosaur (DVD)
- Sleeping Beauty (2011) (DVD)

- A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) (Blu-ray)
- A Trip to the Moon (1902) (Blu-ray)

Tyrannosaur (DVD) *Recommendation of the Week*

Written and directed by Paddy Considine
Starring: Peter Mullan, Olivia Colman, Eddie Marsan

What’s the Deal?
Serving as the feature debut for Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum), Tyrannosaur won three British Independent Film Awards, three awards at Sundance, Best Directorial Debut at the BAFTAs and Best Actress Award at the Jameson Empire Awards for Olivia Colman (Peep Show).

This grim drama tells the story of Joseph (Peter Mullan, War Horse), a widower and a drinker with a violent temper, and Hannah (Colman), a Christian charity shop worker. Hannah is able to dampen Joseph’s temper and offers him a chance of redemption. But Hannah has her own dark secret, one which could ruin both their lives.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 82% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 8.5/10


DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Audio Commentary by Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor; Deleted Scenes; Dog Altogether (Award-winning Short Film by Paddy Considine that inspired the Feature); Original Theatrical Trailer

Amazon Price: $24.99 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 3.5 stars, Video 0 stars, Audio 0 stars, Extras 0 stars, Replay 3.5 stars (out of 5). Recommended.

Dramatic movies and heavy subject material is the theme of this week’s releases, from the Oscar winning The Iron Lady, the art house erotic movie Sleeping Beauty, Werner Herzog’s documentary Into the Abyss and the re-release of A Streetcar Named Desire. If those movies do not tickle your fancy then there is latest alien invasion movie The Darkest Hour and the re-release of A Trip to the Moon.

The Iron Lady (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Phyllida Lloyd
Written by Abi Morgan
Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E. Grant, Anthony Head, Olivia Colman, Alexandra Roach, Harry Lloyd

What’s the Deal?
The world was surprised when Meryl Streep won the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance as Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, beating her friend Viola Davis. Still, Streep was highly praised for her performance in thi biopic centered around Thatcher's relationship with her husband, Dennis (Jim Broadbent) as she rises to become leader of the British Conservative Party and ultimately Britain's first female Prime Minister.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 53% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 5.3/10


DVD Special Features: N/A

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Into the Abyss (DVD and Blu-ray)
Written and directed by Werner Herzog
Starring: Werner Herzog, Michael Perry, Jason Burkett

What’s the Deal?
Werner Herzog has shown himself to be a talented and prolific filmmaker of many genres, including documentaries. His latest movie, Into the Abyss, is an examination of why people and the state kill. He interviews death row inmate Michael Perry and the families of his victims.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 90% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 7.0/10


DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $11.99 (DVD), $20.99 (Blu-ray)

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

The Darkest Hour (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Chris Gorak
Written by Jon Spaihts, Leslie Bohem, M.T. Abern
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Rachael Taylor, Max Minghella, Joel Kinnaman

What’s the Deal?
There have been many movies about alien invasions in recent years, from Monsters to Attack the Block to Battle: Los Angeles ... and the trend is going to continue for the foreseeable future. Sadly for producer Timur Bekmambetov, his Russian-set production was a critical and commercial flop as five friends in Moscow find themselves in the middle of an invasion of electricity-absorbing aliens.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 11% (awful)
Player Affinity Score: 2.8/10 (read our review)


DVD Special Features: "The Darkest Hour: Survivors"; Deleted & Extended Scenes; The Darkest Hour: Visualizing an Invasion; Audio Commentary with the Director

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $17.99 (Blu-ray), $19.99 (3D Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Witches of Oz (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Leigh Scott
Written by Chris Campbell, Leigh Scott, Eliza Swenson (screenplay), L. Frank Baum (novel)
Starring: Paulie Rojas, Sean Astin, Jeffrey Combs, Christopher Lloyd, Mia Sara, Lance Henriksen, Sasha Jackson, Ethan Embry, Billy Boyd, Eliza Swenson

What’s the Deal?
The “Oz” series has had a long and success history, providing us with 14 novels by L. Frank Baum, two movies and a hit Broadway musical, Wicked. We now have The Witches of Oz, which started life as a TV mini-series but edited together to make a feature film from Asylum veteran Leigh Scott.

Dorothy Gale (Paulie Rojas) is a successful adult woman who has written a series of children’s books about Oz based on her grandfather’s creation and now lives in New York instead of rural Kansas. But it turns out her grandfather’s stories were true and the Wicked Witch of the West shows up in Times Square.

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


DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $15.99 (DVD), $15.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Sleeping Beauty (2011) (DVD)

Written and directed by Julia Leigh
Starring: Emily Browning, Rachael Blake, Emen Leslie

What’s the Deal?
Nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, the Australian movie Sleeping Beauty is a dark sexual tale about Lucy (Emily Browning, Sucker Punch), a university student who works as a "sleeping beauty," someone who allows herself to be drugged as men fulfil their desires with her.

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


DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $19.49 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Elia Kazan
Written by Tennessee Williams, Oscar Saul (screenplay), Tennesse Williams (play)
Starring: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden

What’s the Deal?
Based on Tennessee Williams’ acclaimed play, A Streetcar Named Desire is a highly regarded movie, winning Academy Awards for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. It also has the esteem of bringing Marlon Brando to the world’s attention.

Stanley Kowalski (Brando) is a brutish man without refinement living in the French Quarter of New Orleans with his wife Stella (Kim Hunter) who is expecting their first child. Their lives are thrown into turmoil when Stella’s older sister, the Southern Belle Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) visits and the two enter a battle of wits and wills.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 98% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: N/A


DVD Special Features: The Original Director's Version is the Elia Kazan/Tennessee Williams film moviegoers would have seen had not Legion of Decency censorship occurred at the last minute; Three minutes of previously unseen footage underscoring, among other things, the sexual tension between Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) and Stanley Kowalski (Marlon Brando), and Stella Kowalski's (Kim Hunter) passion for husband Stanley.

Amazon Price: $23.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

A Trip to the Moon (1902) (DVD)

Written and directed by Georges Méliès
Starring: Georges Méliès

What’s the Deal?
The career and work of pioneering French director Georges Méliès was one of the major focuses of Martin Scorsese’s 3D hit Hugo and brought the French director back to the public's attention. A Trip to the Moon is one of Méliès' most famous movies and this classic showcase of early cinema has be painstaking restored for steelbook Blu-ray re-release.

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


DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $35.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 5 stars, Video 4.5 stars, Audio 4 stars, Extras 4 stars, Replay 5 stars (out of 5). DVD Talk Collector Series


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