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DISCussion: What’s New on DVD/Blu-ray (5.29.12)

In other eclectic week of DVD and Blu-ray releases, the winner of the Recommendation of the Week goes to the controversial critical hit We Need to Talk About Kevin. The DVD and Blu-ray features include interviews with the stars, the original novel’s author and behind-the-scenes extras.

First Release
We Need to Talk About Kevin (DVD and Blu-ray)
Coriolanus (DVD and Blu-ray)
Goon (DVD and Blu-ray)
Man on a Ledge (DVD and Blu-ray)
Gone (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Aggression Scale (DVD and Blu-ray)
Memorial Day (DVD and Blu-ray)

Re-Release
Summer With Monika (1953) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Summer Interlude (1951) (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) (Blu-ray)

We Need to Talk About Kevin (DVD and Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*

Directed by Lynne Ramsay
Written by Lynne Ramsay, Rory Stewart Kinnear (screenplay), Lionel Shriver (novel)
Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Erza Miller

What’s the Deal?
After somewhat unsuccessfully adapting The Lovely Bones, Lynne Ramsay (Ratcatcher) moved on to adapting the Orange Prize-winning novel We Need to Talk About Kevin. Premiering at Cannes 2011 and nominated for the Palme d’Or, We Need to Talk About Kevin was highly praised, particularly for Tilda Swinton’s Golden Globe-nominated performance.

We Need to Talk About Kevin tells a duel narrative about Eva Khatchadourian (Swinton), a woman who struggles to raise her troubled son, Kevin (Ezra Miller, City Island), and the aftermath of his crime when he commits a high school massacre.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 76% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 8.3/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Behind the Scenes of Kevin – Including On-Set Interviews with the Cast and Crew; Extra Footage from the famous “La Tomatina” Tomato Festival in Spain; In Conversation – Telluride Film Festival Honors Tilda Swinton; Interview with Lionel Shriver, Author of the Novel; Original Theatrical Trailer

Amazon Price: $26.99 (DVD), $31.49 (Blu-ray)

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

From Shakespeare to a Western to two thrillers and a violent sports comedy, there is a little something for everybody with this week’s releases.

Coriolanus (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Ralph Fiennes
Written by John Logan (screenplay), William Shakespeare (play)
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Jessica Chastain

What’s the Deal?
Coriolanus is one of William Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays and the film adaptation by Ralph Fiennes is the first. This adaptation received near universal critical praise, winning the Golden Bear at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival and The BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Fiennes.

Updating the play to the modern conflict in the Balkans, Coriolanus is the tragedy of Gaius Marcius Coriolanus (Fiennes), one of Rome’s top generals and a war hero. But despite a mutual hostility between Coriolanus and the people, Coriolanus is convinced to run for Consul of Rome. He is betrayed and exiled and unites with his mortal enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) to gain his revenge.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 93% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 7.3/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: The Making of Coriolanus; Feature Commentary by Director/Actor Ralph Fiennes

Amazon Price: $13.99 (DVD), $16.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 4 stars, Video 4 stars, Audio 4 stars, Extras 2 stars, Replay 3 stars (out of 5). Highly Recommended.

Goon (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Michael Dowse
Written by Jay Baruchel, Evan Goldberg
Starring: Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, Jay Baruchel

What’s the Deal?
The Canadian sports comedy Goon was critical hit, including among us, and should be a hit on DVD and Blu-ray because of it. Doug Glatt (Seann William Scott) is a nice but dim guy who is not content with job as a bouncer. But one day when defending his friend Ryan (Jay Baruchel)  he discovers his talent for beating people up and is recruited by a minor league hockey team to become their enforcer.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 82% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 7.5/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Power Play – Behind the Scenes Interactive Feature; Deleted Scenes; Gag Reel; Skating Bloopers Wipeout Reel; Skating with Live Schreiber; Commentary with Director Michael Dowse and Jay Baruchel; Fighting 101; Goalie Audition; The Original Goon; Hockey Player Cards; Theatrical Trailer

Amazon Price: $11.99 (DVD), $14.99 (Blu-ray), $18.99 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

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

Man on a Ledge (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Asger Leth
Written by Pablo F. Fenjvs
Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Anthony Mackie, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Génesis Rodríguez

What’s the Deal?
When Sam Worthington first burst onto the mainstream scene in Terminator Salvation, critics praised him for being the best thing in that movie and with Avatar included he was seen as part of the future of action cinema. But critics quickly turned on him and he is now seen as a bland, one-note actor. Heist-thriller Man on a Ledge, was a critical and box-office disappointment.

On the rooftop of a New York hotel, criminal Nick Cassidy (Worthington) threatens to jump and NYPD psychologist Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) is sent to try and talk him down. But there is more going on when a crew of thefts trying to rob a corrupt businessman (Ed Harris).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 31% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: 6.0/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Trailer with commentary by Elizabeth Banks

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $16.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Gone (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Heitor Dhalia
Written by Allison Burnett
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Sunjata, Jennifer Carpenter, Wes Bentley

What’s the Deal?
It has been a tough couple of years for Amanda Seyfried, having starred in flops such as Red Riding Hood and In Time. The thriller Gone did not change that, making only $16 million worldwide and has a poor 11% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

When Jill Parrish (Seyfried) arrives home she discovers sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) is kidnapped. She believes Molly was taken by the same serial killer that kidnapped her. But when Jill goes to the police they do not believe her and Jill only has 12 hours to save her sister.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 11% (awful)
Player Affinity Score: 3.0/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $16.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 1.5 stars, Video 4 stars, Audio 2.5 stars, Extras 0 stars, Replay 1 stars (out of 5). Skip It.

The Aggression Scale (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Steven C. Miller
Written by Ben Powell
Starring: Ray Wise, Dana Ashbrook, Derek Mears

What’s the Deal?
It is another DISCussion and other straight-to-DVD thriller has been released. This time it is The Aggression Scale. When released on bail mob boss Bellavance (Ray Wise, RoboCop) discovers $500,000 is missing. He sends four heavily armed hitmen to send a message to the suspected theives, but it turns out that they have met their match in the form of two unusual teenagers.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: The Making of The Aggression Scale

Amazon Price: $19.99 (DVD), $17.95 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Memorial Day (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Samuel Fischer
Written by Mac Conklin
Starring: Jonathan Bennett, James Cromwell, John Cromwell

What’s the Deal?
Memorial Day is the duel story of two very different veterans, Bud Vogel (James Cromwell) who served in World War II and is reluctant to talk about his experiences. His 13-year-old grandson Kyle (Jonathan Bennett, Mean Girls) wants to know more of his grandfather’s time in war and ends up serving in Iraq as an adult.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Behind the Scenes; Commentary with Cast, Director and Writer

Amazon Price: $16.95 (DVD), $13.96 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Summer With Monika (1953) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Written by Ingmar Bergman (screenplay) Per Anders Fogelström (novel)
Starring: Harriet Andersson, Lars Ekborg

What’s the Deal?
The Criterion Collection offers two of Ingmar Bergman movies this week. The first is an adaptation of a Per Anders Fogelström novel and it was the first of many movies that Bergman and Harriet Andersson worked on.

Harry (Lars Ekborg) is a 19-year-old man who falls for the romantic, reckless and rebellious 17-year-old Monika (Andersson). They run off together and spend a summer on a remote island, but when Monika ends up pregnant, Harry marries her, gets a job and returns to his studies so he provide his daughter with the best possible future. But Monika just wants to have fun.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New high-definition digital restoration; Introduction by director Ingmar Bergman; New interview with actress Harriet Andersson, conducted by film critic Peter Cowie; New interview with film scholar Eric Schaefer about Kroger Babb and Babb’s distribution of Monika: Story of a Bad Girl as an exploitation film; Images from the Playground, a half-hour documentary by Stig Björkman with behind-the-scenes footage shot by Bergman, archival audio interviews with Bergman, and new interviews with actresses Bibi Andersson and Harriet Andersson; Trailer; New English subtitle translation; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Laura Hubner, a 1958 review by filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, and a publicity piece from 1953 in which Bergman interviews himself

Amazon Price: $21.99 (DVD), $27.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Summer Interlude (1951) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Ingmar Bergman
Written by Ingmar Bergman, Herbert Grevenius
Starring: Maj-Britt Nilsson, Birger Malmsten

What’s the Deal?
The other Ingmar Bergman movie of the week is Summer Interlude, the story of ballerina Marie (Maj-Britt Nilsson), a woman suffering from the memories of what happened to her first love, Henrik (Birger Malmsten), and the effect it has had on her emotional life ever since.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New high-definition digital restoration; New English subtitle translation; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Peter Cowie

Amazon Price: $17.48 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Clint Eastwood
Written by Philip Kaufman, Sonia Cherus (screenplay), Forrest Carter (novel)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Bill McKinney, John Vernon

What’s the Deal?
The Western genre was good to Clint Eastwood, making him a star with the “Dollars Trilogy.” He in return was good back to the genre as a director and The Outlaw Josey Wales is considered one of the best examples of a revisionist Western.

Based on Forrest Carter’s novel Gone to Texas, Josey Wales (Eastwood) is a man whose family is murdered by a sadistic Unionist commander, Terrill (Bill McKinney), so he joins the Confederates during the Civil War. But after the war, Wales refuses to surrender to the Union and is hunted by Terrill, his former commander Fletcher (John Vernon) and every bounty hunter and rebel on the way.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 94% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $10.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

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