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DISCussion: What’s New on DVD/Blu-ray (4.24.12)

Do you hear things go bump in the night or simply enjoy a horror flick? Our Recommendation of the Week is the ghost movie The Innkeepers, one of the latest in the ever-growing trend of haunted house movies.

First Release
- Contraband (DVD and Blu-ray)
- The Innkeepers (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Cinema Verite (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Pariah (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Dark Tide (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Let the Bullets Fly (DVD and Blu-ray)
- The Wicker Tree (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Titanic (2012) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Re-Release
- The Organizer (1963) (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Shogun Assassin - 5 Film Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) (Blu-ray)


The Innkeepers (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Ti West
Starring: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis

What’s the Deal?
In recent years there has been a rise in haunted house/ghost movies with The Orphanage, The Awakening and The Woman in Black, among many others. Another entry in this sub-genre of horror is Ti West's The Innkeepers, which pleased critics.

After over a hundred years of service, the Yankee Pedlar Inn is closing its doors to customers. Only two employees remain, Claire (Sara Paxton, Shark Night 3D) and Luke (Pat Healy, Rescue Dawn) who decide to investigate the hotel’s haunted past and become ‘ghost hunters‘.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 76% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 7.5/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Commentary with Writer/Director/Editor Ti West, Producers Peter Phok & Larry Fessenden, and 2nd Unit Director/Sound Designer Graham Reznick; Commentary with Writer/Director/Editor Ti West and Stars Sara Paxton & Pat Healy; The Innkeepers: Behind the Scenes - Trailer

Amazon Price: $12.99 (DVD), $13.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A



It is sadly another week of poor DVD and Blu-ray releases and rereleases. Highlights this week include the Mark Walhberg action-thriller Contraband, indie flick Pariah and the Chinese movie Let the Bullets Fly. The 1979 BBC miniseries Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy gets a rerelease in the wake of the 2011 motion picture.


Contraband (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Baltasar Kormákur
Written by Aaron Guzikowski (screenplay), Arnaldur Indriðason, Óskar Jónasson (Original Movie)
Starring: Mark Walhberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi

What’s the Deal?
January is often considered a dumping ground for movies that studios want to bury, but this year offered us some surprisingly decent fare, including the remake of Reykjavik-Rotterdam, called Contraband for simplistic English purposes. Directed by the star of the original, Baltasar Kormákur (Jar City), Contraband sees Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg), an ex-smuggler and family man who is forced into one last job when his brother-in-law Andy (Caleb Landry Jones, Friday Night Lights) crosses a major crime lord, Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi). But Briggs threatens Chris’ family if he does not deliver.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 51% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 7.0/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Deleted Scenes; Under The Radar: The Making of Contraband; Reality Factor: The Stunts and Action of Contraband; Feature Commentary with Director/Producer Baltasar Kormákur and Producer Evan Hayes

Amazon Price: $15.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 2.5 stars, Video 4.5 stars, Audio 4.5 stars, Extras 2.5 stars, Replay 2.5 stars (out of 5). Rent It.



Cinema Verite (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini
Written by David Seltzer
Starring: Diane Lane, Tim Robbins, James Gandolfini, Kathleen Quinlan, Thomas Dekker

What’s the Deal?
From the stable that is HBO comes the television movie Cinema Verite, which offers us a fictionalized behind-the-scenes look at one of the first examples of reality TV, the 1973 show An American Family. Like most HBO projects, the company has hired an ensemble team, from the directors of American Splendor to a cast the features Diane Lane, Tim Robbins, James Gandolfini and Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles).

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: The Making of Cinema Verite; Audio commentaries with Diane Lane, Robert Pulcini, and Shari Springer Berman

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $18.99 (Blu-ray)

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



Pariah (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Dee Rees
Starring: Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, Aasha Davis

What’s the Deal?
Premiering at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Pariah is a critically praised drama that won four awards at the Black Film Critics Circle, and its star, Adepero Oduye, was nominated for Best Female Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards.

Alike (Oduye) is a 17-year-old African-American high school student in Brooklyn. She is also a lesbian who is looking for a form of sexual expression despite the risks to her friendships and family life.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 96% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Dee Rees: A Director's Style; A Walk in Brooklyn; Trying Out Identity: Pariah's Wardrobe

Amazon Price: $17.99 (DVD), $23.99 (Blu-ray)

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



Dark Tide (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by John Stockwell
Written by Ronnie Christensen, Amy Sorlie
Starring: Halle Berry, Olivier Martinez, Ralph Brown

What’s the Deal?
Halle Berry used to be able to do no wrong and won an Oscar for Monster's Ball. But in recent years, Berry has starred in movies ranging from sub-par to downright awful. Her latest shark-based actioner seems to falling into the category of downright awful.

Kate (Berry) is a shark expert whose business is failing after the death of one of her divers. She is haunted by the memories of the attack and unable to get back into the water. But her ex-boyfriend, Jeff (Olivier Martinez), gives her an offer she can not refuse — to take a thrill-seeking millionaire businessman on a dangerous shark dive.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 0% (awful)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Trailer gallery

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A



Let the Bullets Fly (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Jiang Wen
Written by Jiang Wen (screenplay), Shitu Ma (story)
Starring: Yun-Fat Chow, Jiang Wen, Ge You

What’s the Deal?
The action comedy Let the Bullets Fly is one of the most successful Chinese movies ever made, becoming the highest-grossing domestic film in the country with $111.1 million. It has also been nominated for a large number of awards in Asia.

Zhang (Jiang Wen) is a bandit who ends up in a small provincial town in 1920s China and pretends to be its new mayor. He plans to swindle the town but Zhang meets his match in the form of the local nobleman, Huang (Yun-Fat Chow), and a deadly game of wits ensues.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 84% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Trailers

Additional DVD Collector’s Edition Features: Making Of; Interviews With Screenwriters

Amazon Price: $22.49 (DVD), $21.99 (DVD Collector’s Edition), $19.99 (Blu-ray), $26.99 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A



The Wicker Tree (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and Directed by Robin Hardy
Starring: Brittania Nicol, Henry Garrett, Jacqueline Leonardas, Graham McTavish

What’s the Deal?
From the director of the original The Wicker Man is another Scottish and Wicker-based horror, The Wicker Tree. Based on his own novel, Robin Hardy writes and directs a movie that is set to be the second part of The Wicker Man Trilogy.

Beth (Brittania Nicol) and her boyfriend Steven (Henry Garrett) are two Texas missionaries sent to the dark godless void known as Scotland. In Glasgow they meet Sir Lachlan Morrison (Graham McTavish, Rambo) who invites them to his remote border home to participate in the local festival. But it turns out Morrison is not as interested in God as much as the young couple thought he was.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 30% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $13.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A



Titanic (2012) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Jon Jones
Written by Julian Fellowes
Starring: Peter McDonald, Steven Waddington, Glen Blackhall, Toby Jones

What’s the Deal?
It has been 100 years since the Titanic disaster which saw the loss of 1,514 people. The story of one of the biggest shipping disasters has been turned into cinematic stories numerous times. Julian Fellowes of Downton Abbey and Gosford Park fame wrote a miniseries which looks at a large variety of characters who set sail on the fated voyage.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Six making-of featurettes; Titanic: Behind-the-production; Episode one audio commentary; "The Curse of the Titanic Sisters" documentary

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $18.99 (Blu-ray), $22.99 (Blu-ray/Combo)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A



The Organizer (1963) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Mario Monicelli
Written by Mario Monicelli, Age & Scarpelli
Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Renato Salvatori, Annie Girardot, Folco Lulli, Gabriella Giorgelli, Raffaella Carrà

What’s the Deal?
From the Criterion Collection this week is the Italian movie, The Organizer. Set in turn-of-the-20th-Century Turin, an accident at a textiles factory leads to a walk out and a strike by the workers. The workers gain support from a travelling professor (Marcello Mastroianni) who helps them organize and unite.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New high-definition digital restoration; Introduction by director Mario Monicelli from 2006; Trailer; New English subtitle translation; Plus: An essay by film critic J. Hoberman

Amazon Price: $17.99 (DVD), $20.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A



Shogun Assassin - 5 Film Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray)

Shogun Assassin
Directed by Robert Houston
Written by Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima
Starring: Tomisabuo Wakayama

Shogun Assassin 2: Lightning Swords of Death
Directed by Kenji Misumi
Written by Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima
Starring: Tomisabuo Wakayama

Shogun Assassin 3: Slashing Blades of Carnage
Directed by Buichi Saito
Written by Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima
Starring: Tomisabuo Wakayama

Shogun Assassin 4: Five Fistfuls Of Gold
Directed by Kenji Misumi
Written by Tsutomu Nakamura, Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima
Starring: Tomisabuo Wakayama

Shogun Assassin 5: Cold Road to Hell
Directed by Yoshiyuki Kuroda
Written by Tsutomu Nakamura (screenplay), Kazuo Koike, Goseki Kojima (comic)
Starring: Tomisabuo Wakayama

What’s the Deal?
Back in 1980, the redubbed and edited version of the first two of the "Lone Wolf and Cub" series hit the Western world in the form of Shogun Assassin. This Japanese movie became a cult hit and it became a five-movie series in the West. Now fans can enjoy the adventures of Ogami Itto (Tomisabuo Wakayama) as he battles evil and corrupt forces in feudal Japan.

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

Shogun Assassin 2: Lightning Swords of Death
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score: N/A

Shogun Assassin 3: Slashing Blades of Carnage
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score: N/A

Shogun Assassin 4: Five Fistfuls Of Gold
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score: N/A

Shogun Assassin 5: Cold Road to Hell
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Video Interview with Samuel L. Jackson; Audio Commentary with Film Scholar Ric Meyers & Martial Arts Expert Steve Watson; Audio Commentary by Producer David Weisman, Graphic Designer Jim Evans, and Gibran Evans (Voice Actor of Daigoro)

Amazon Price: $89.98

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A



Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (1979) (Blu-ray)

Directed by John Irvin
Written by Arthur Hopcraft (dramatisation), John le Carré (novel)
Starring: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, George Sewell, Ian Richardson, Anthony Bate

What’s the Deal?
Before the 2011 movie starring Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was a adapted into a seven-episode mini-series by the BBC. Based on a very complex spy thriller by John le Carré, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy tells the story of George Smiley (Alec Guinness), a former MI6 officer who is brought in from the cold after reports that one of the top men in the organization is an Soviet Mole and he is tasked to uncover him.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Exclusive interview with director John Irvin (29 min.); Deleted scenes (11 min.); John le Carré interview (27 min.); Production notes; Glossary of main characters and terms; Le Carré biography and booklist; SDH subtitles

Amazon Price: $49.99 (Blu-ray)

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

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