Turn off the Lights

DISCussion: What’s New on DVD/Blu-ray (5.22.12)

Lethal Weapon was a very popular series action comedy series of the late ’80s—early ‘90s and is easily considered the benchmark of the buddy cop genre. Now it is coming onto Blu-ray, featuring commentaries from the legendary Richard Donner and plenty of documentaries to please fans of the series.

First Release
This Mean War (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Woman in Black (DVD and Blu-ray)
Red Tails (DVD and Blu-ray)
Perfect Sense (DVD and Blu-ray)
The First Beautiful Thing (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Secret World of Arrietty (DVD and Blu-ray)
United (DVD)

Re-Release
Certified Copy (2010) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Lethal Weapon Collection (Blu-ray)
Castle in the Sky (1986) (Blu-ray)
Whisper of the Heart (1995) (Blu-ray)
A Bullet for a General (1966) (Blu-ray)

Lethal Weapon Collection (Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*

Lethal Weapon (1987)
Directed by Richard Donner
Written by Shane Black
Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Gary Busey

Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Directed by Richard Donner
Written by Jeffrey Boam (screenplay), Shane Black, Warren Murphy (story)
Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Joss Ackland

Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
Directed by Richard Donner
Written by Jeffrey Boam, Robert Mark Kamen (screenplay), Jeffrey Boam (story), Shane Black (characters)
Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Rene Russo, Stuart Wilson, Joe Pesci

Lethal Weapon 4 (1997)
Directed by Richard Donner
Written by Channing Gibson (screenplay), Jonathan Lemkin, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar (story), Shane Black (characters)
Starring: Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Jet Li, Joe Pesci, Rene Russo, Chris Rock

What’s the Deal?
Back in the days before we found out the extent of Mel Gibson’s racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic, extreme religious views, he was one of the biggest stars in the world and could lead any movie. One of the feathers in his cap was the popular “Lethal Weapon” series. It is easily considered one of the best examples of the buddy cop because of the great chemistry between Gibson and Danny Glover as the reckless Detective Martin Riggs (Gibson) and straight laced Detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and the characters they created. Now you can watch them in the glory of Blu-ray as they cause millions of dollars in property damage in Los Angeles as they take on Vietnam vets turned criminals, the Triads, a powerful and lethal ex-cop and the South African diplomatic service in what is an entertaining series of movies.

Lethal Weapon (1987)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 90% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 7.8/10

Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 82% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 7.8/10

Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 56% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 6.3/10

Lethal Weapon 4 (1997)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 54% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 7.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Lethal Weapon features:; Commentary by Director Richard Donner; Theatrical trailer; Honeymoon Suite Lethal Weapon Music Video; Additional scenes; ; Lethal Weapon 2 features: ; Commentary by Director Richard Donner; Theatrical trailer; Stunts and action featurette; Additional scenes; ; Lethal Weapon 3 features:; Commentary by Director Richard Donner; Theatrical trailers; Sting and Eric Clapton: It’s Probably Me music video; Additional scenes; ; Lethal Weapon 4 features:; Commentary by Director Richard Donner and Key Creative Team Members; Theatrical trailer; Documentary – Pure Lethal: New Angles, New Scenes and Explosive Outtakes; ; Bonus Disc features: ; New retrospective featurettes; I’m Too Old for This S**t: Lethal Weapon and the Hollywood Monster it Created – How Lethal Weapon changed the action cinema landscape and became a family affair for cast and crew as well as a crowd-pleasing series

Amazon Price: $54.96 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

DVD and Blu-ray releases range from the action rom-com This Means War, Daniel Radcliffe’s ghost story The Woman in Black, the Criterion Collection’s re-release of Certified Copy and three Studio Ghibli movies.

This Means War (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by McG
Written by Timothy Dowling, Simon Kinberg (screenplay), Timothy Dowling, Marcus Gautesen (story)
Starring: Chris Pine, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon

What’s the Deal?
This Means War is an action rom-com that has a couple of red flags against its name. It was directed by McG (the “Charlie’s Angels” movies, Terminator Salvation) and was written Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand, xXx 2: State of the Union).

Tuck the Brit (Tom Hardy) and ladies’ man FDR (Chris Pine) are two of the CIA’s best agents forced into desk jobs after a mission goes wrong. While on their sabbatical, both men start to date product designer Lauren (Reese Witherspoon) and they both use the CIA’s resources to get the edge over the other.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 25% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: 3.0/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Deleted scenes; Alternate endings; Audio commentary with director

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: This Means War (extended and theatrical version) in high definition; 3 alternate endings; Exclusive Bachelorette Party; Gag reel

Amazon Price: $14.96 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Woman in Black (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by James Watkins
Written by Jane Goldman (screenplay), Susan Hill (novel)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciarán Hinds, Sophie Stuckey, Liz White

What’s the Deal?
Now that the “Harry Potter” series is over, Daniel Radcliffe is setting a path for the rest of his career and he is first start is with the adaptation of gothic ghost story The Woman in Black.

Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) is a young lawyer struggling with grief who travels to a remote village sort out the affairs of the estate of a recently deceased woman. But the villagers want Arthur to leave to conceal a terrible secret, and he finds that the house is haunted by a woman in black.

The Woman in Black was the highest-grossing movie in the UK in the last 20 years — a sequel is in the works.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 65% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 7.5/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Inside The Perfect Thriller: Making The Woman In Black; No Fear: Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Commentary with Director James Watkins and Screenwriter Jane Goldman

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Red Tails (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Anthony Hemingway
Written by John Ridley, Aaron McGruder (screenplay), John Ridley (story)
Starring: Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard

What’s the Deal?
Red Tails was a movie that George Lucas spent 20 years trying to develop, which resulted with him criticizing the major studios for not backing a movie with an all-black cast. Red Tails is also the first original movie LucasFilm has made since 1994.

Red Tails is about the Tuskegee Airmen, the only African-American fighter pilot group in the U.S. Army Air Corp during World War II, a group who not only had to battle the Germans, but also racism and segregation within their own ranks.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 36% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: 4.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Double victory highlights featurette; Inspiring interviews & stories from the real Tuskegee Airmen!

Amazon Price: $14.96 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Secret World of Arrietty (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Written by Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa (screenplay), Mary Norton (novel)
Starring: Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett

What’s the Deal?
Japan’s Studio Ghibli is known for making some of the best animated movies ever with a back catalogue of Hayo Miyazaki’s movies. The Secret World of Arrietty is set to continue this success, boasting a 94% Rotten Tomatoes rating, a 7.7/10 rating on IMDB, an Animation of the Year Award by the Japanese Academy and becoming the highest grossing movie in Japan for a movie by a first-time director.

The Secret World of Arrietty is adaptation of the classic children’s novel The Borrowers. Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler, Good Luck Charlie) is a 14-year-old who’s just four inches tall who lives under the floorboards with her family. There is one rule: never be seen by humans. But Arrietty befriends a sick and lonely 12-year-old human, Shawn (David Henrie, Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie). This friendship could end up spelling to doom of Arrietty and her family as they might be discovered by the evils of man.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 94% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 5.0/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: “Summertime” Bridgit Mendler music video; The making of “Summertime”; The making of “Summertime”

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

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

Perfect Sense (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by David Mackenzie
Written by Kim Fupz Aakeson
Starring: Eva Green, Ewan McGregor

What’s the Deal?
A strange virus is spending and people the world are loosing their senses. Amidst this gaining apocalypse two people find each other, chef Michael (Ewan McGregor) who’s loss of smell and taste affects his profession and Susan (Eva Green), a scientist researching the virus for a cure in what is a powerfully acted movie.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 51% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 7.3/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Featurette; Trailer

Amazon Price: $12.99 (DVD), $24.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The First Beautiful Thing (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Paola Virzi
Written by Paola Virzi, Francesco Bruni, Francesco Piccolo
Starring: Valerio Manstandrea

What’s the Deal?
The First Beautiful Thing was an award-winning movie in Italy,  nominated for 18 David di Donatello awards, winning three of them. It was Italy’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film for the 83rd Academy Awards.

Bruno Michelucci (Valerio Mastandrea) receives a call that his mother is dying and he has to face up to his bittersweet memories.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 82% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.93 (DVD), $16.93 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Beyond (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Josef Rusnak
Written by Gregory Rusnak
Starring: Jon Voight, Teri Polo, Julian Morris

What’s the Deal?
Jon Voight is a great actor but he has made some really stupid decisions, starring in the likes of SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2, The Karate Dog, Bratz, An American Carol and Four Christmases. The straight-to-DVD thriller Beyond seems to be on course to join those movies as a detective (Voight) resorts to desperate measures to find a missing child and recruits a radio psychic (Julian Morris, Cry_Wolf) to help him on his investigation.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $13.95 (DVD), $17.95 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

United (DVD)

Directed by James Strong
Written by Chris Chibnall
Starring: David Tennant, Jack O’Connell, Sam Claflin, Dougray Scott

What’s the Deal?
The 1958 Munich Air Crash is one of the greatest tragedies in British sporting history, resulting in 23 fatalities, including eight Manchester United players and three other staff members of the club. The BBC tackled this subjects, focusing on assistant manager Jimmy Murphy (David Tennant, Doctor Who) and England legend Bobby Charlton (Jack O’Connell, Eden Lake) as a rebuilt Man Utd became the youngest team to win the English League in the aftermath of the crash.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $18.93 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Certified Copy (2010) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Starring: Juliette Binoche, William Shimell

What’s the Deal?
From the Criterion Collection this week is Abbas Kiarostami’s (Taste of Cherry) Certified Copy, which won the Best Actress Award for its star Juliette Binoche (Chocolat).

James Miller (opera singer William Shimell) is an English author promoting his new book in Tuscany about the value of copy versus the original work of art. During a book reading, a woman (Binoche) gives him her address and the two spend the day exploring the local art and asking questions about themselves.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 88% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 10/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New high-definition digital restoration; New interview with director Abbas Kiarostami; Let’s See “Copia conforme,” an Italian documentary on the making of Certified Copy, featuring interviews with Kiarostami and actors Juliette Binoche and William Shimell; Trailer; New English subtitle translation; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Godfrey Cheshire

Amazon Price: $28.83 (DVD), $29.99 (Blu-ray

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Castle in the Sky (1986) (Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill

What’s the Deal?
Because of the release of The Secret World of Arrietty, we are delighted by the Blu-ray rereleases of a Hayao Miyazaki classic. Castle in the Sky is a bold steam-punk adventure about a mysterious boy and girl. Sheeta (Anna Paquin) is an orphan child being chased by sky pirates and the government when she is found by engineering apprentice Pazu (James Van Der Beek). The two are forced onto a high flying adventures to find a floating castle of a lost civilization.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 94% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Disc 1; Introduction by John Lasseter; Original Japanese Storyboards; Behind the Studio – Explore the movie’s fantastic world; The World of Laputa; Creating Castle In The Sky; Character Sketches; Producer’s Perspective: Meeting Miyazaki; Scoring Miyazaki; Original Japanese Trailers; Behind The Microphone; ; Disc 2; Introduction by John Lasseter

Amazon Price: $22.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4.5 stars, Video 4.5 stars, Audio 3.5 stars, Extras 2.5 stars, Replay 3.5 stars (out of 5). Recommended.

Whisper of the Heart (1995) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Yoshifumi Kondō
Written by Hayao Miyazaki (screenplay), Aoi Hiiragi (manga)
Starring: Brittany Snow, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Cary Elwes, David Gallagher

What’s the Deal?
The final Blu-ray release from Studio Ghibli is their adaptation of Aoi Hiiragi’s manga series Whisper of the Heart. Shizuku (Brittany Snow, Hairspray) is a shy schoolgirl from Tokyo challenged by a boy, Seiji (David Gallagher, 7th Heaven) to embark on an adventure beyond their imaginations.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 95% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Disc 1; Four Masterpieces Of Naophisa Inoue – Watch four different scenes by master artist Naohisa Inoue evolve before your eyes; ; Original Japanese Storyboards ; Behind The Microphone – With voice talent from the film, including Brittany Snow, Courtney Thorne-Smith, David Gallager and Cary Ewes; ; Trailers & TV Spots; ; Disc 2 ; Behind The Microphone; Trailers & TV Spots

Amazon Price: $22.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

A Bullet for the General (1966) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Damiano Damiani
Written by Franco Solinas (screenplay), Salvatore Laurani (story)
Starring: Gian Maria Volonté, Klaus Kinski, Lou Castel

What’s the Deal?
Last but not least is the Italian Spaghetti Western A Bullet for the General. El Chuncho (Gian Maria Volonté) and his group of bandits rob a train with the intention of selling the weapons on board to the revolutionaries. They are assisted by a passenger, Bill Tate (Lou Castel) and they allow him to join them, but unknown to them, Bill is an assassin working for the Mexican government.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: A Bullet of the Director – Interview with director Damiano Damiani; Theatrical trailers; Poster & still gallery; Bonus disc: Gian Maria Volonte: Un Attore Contro

Amazon Price: $24.99 (Blu-ray)

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

Comments

Meet the Author

Follow Us