Turn off the Lights

DISCussion: What’s New on DVD/Blu-ray (6.12.12)

Charlie Chaplin is a renowned comedy legend, of the silent movie era and many of his movies are recognized as classics. One of them is the 1925 movie The Gold Rush, which gets a rerelease today thanks to the Criterion Collection.

First Release
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (DVD and Blu-ray)
In Darkness (DVD and Blu-ray)
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (DVD and Blu-ray)
Superman vs. The Elite (DVD and Blu-ray)
Thin Ice (DVD and Blu-ray)
A Little Bit of Heaven (DVD and Blu-ray)
Too Big to Fail (DVD and Blu-ray)
Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Assault (DVD)

Re-Release
Shallow Grave (1994) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Harold and Maude (1971) (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Gold Rush (1925) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Spider-Man (2002) (Blu-ray)
Spider-Man 2 (2004) (Blu-ray)
Spider-Man 3 (2007) (Blu-ray)

The Gold Rush (1925) (DVD and Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*

Written and directed by Charlie Chaplin
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray

What’s the Deal?
A trio of movies gets rereleased by Criterion Collection this week, including Charlie Chaplin’s silent comedy The Gold Rush, in which the silent film star reprises his role of the Tramp as he goes gold prospecting in Alaska and ends up crossing two unpleasant gentleman while trying to win over the beautiful Georgia (Georgia Hale).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 100% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New high-definition digital restoration; New 2K digital transfer of the reconstructed original 1925 silent film; New audio commentary for the 1925 version by Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance; Presenting “The Gold Rush,” which traces the film’s history; Music by Charles Chaplin, featuring Timothy Brock; Visual Effects in “The Gold Rush,” featuring Craig Barron and Roland Totheroh; Chaplin Today: “The Gold Rush” (2002), a short documentary; Four theatrical trailers; English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired; A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Luc Sante and more!

Amazon Price: $26.96 (DVD), $27.99 (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.

It is heroes galore in this week’s releases with the likes of Sherlock Holmes, Ghost Rider, Superman and Spider-Man coming onto DVD and Blu-ray in some form or another. We also have a movie about a real-life hero, Leopold Socha, as In Darkness also comes out on DVD and Blu-ray.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Guy Ritchie
Written by Kieran Mulroney, Michele Mulroney (screenplay), Arthur Conan Doyle (characters)
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Jared Harris

What’s the Deal?
Sherlock is back and this time with more homo-eroticism. After Sherlock Holmes made $524 million worldwide, Warner Bros. saw the makings of a lucrative franchise and fast-tracked a sequel. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law return as Holmes and Dr. John Watson as they face their greatest threat, Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris, Mad Men) as he manipulates Europe toward war.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 61% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 5.8/10 (Read Our Review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.96 (DVD), $12.99 (Blu-ray), $22.99 (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)

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

In Darkness (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Agnieszka Holland, Kasia Adamik
Written by David F. Shamoon (screenplay), Robert Marshall (book)
Starring: Robert Więckiewicz, Benno Fürmann, Maria Schrader, Herbert Knaup

What’s the Deal?
Based on the true story of Leopold Socha (Robert Więckiewicz), a Polish man risks his life as he uses his knowledge of the Lvov sewage system to hide Jewish refugees for 14 months from the Nazi occupiers. In Darkness was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 90% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $28.31 (DVD), $22.86 (Blu-ray)

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

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Written by Scott Gimple, Seth Hoffman, David S. Goyer (screenplay), David S. Goyer (story)
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Fergus Riordan, Ciarán Hinds, Idris Elba

What’s the Deal?
Despite the 2007 movie Ghost Rider alienating fans of comic book series, Columbia Pictures moved ahead with a sequel, which keeps Nicolas Cage in the lead role. Neveldine/Taylor (Crank) took over the directing duties and David S. Goyer of “Blade” and “Batman” fame wrote the screenplay of one of 2012’s poorer films thus far.

Johnny Blaze (Cage) and his cursed alter ego have been hiding out in Eastern Europe. A French monk, Moreau (Idris Elba) offers to free Blaze from The Rider, but he has to save a boy (Fergus Riordan) from the devil (Ciarán Hinds, Rome) to earn his peace.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 18% (awful)
Player Affinity Score: 2.8/10 (Read Our Review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $16.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray), $24.99 (3D Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 1.5 stars, Video 4 stars, Audio 3.5 stars, Extras 4 stars, Replay 1.5 stars (out of 5). Skip It.

Superman vs. The Elite (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Michael Chang
Written by Joe Kelly
Starring: George Newbern, Pauley Perrette, Robin Atkin Downes, David Kaufman

What’s the Deal?
Based on the “What’s So Funny About Truth, Justice and the American Way?” Superman Arc, Superman vs. The Elite is the latest animated adventure from Warner Premier as Superman takes on a dangerous team of super-powered anti-heroes whose methods he finds too extreme.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.95 (DVD), $19.29 (2-Disc DVD), $17.96 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Thin Ice (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Jill Spreacher
Written by Jill Spreacher, Karen Spreacher
Starring: Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup

What’s the Deal?
Premiering at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, the comedy-drama Thin Ice was met with controversy when the distributor, ATO Pictures, and production company Werc Werk Works pictures re-edited the movie against director Jill Spreacher’s wishes.

Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear) is an insurance agent looking for one big score to get out of Wisconsin. But events get out of control when Mickey is blackmailed by an unstable locksmith, Randy Kinny (Billy Crudup, Watchmen), to steal a rare violin and the raise the stakes.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 71% (good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

A Little Bit of Heaven (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Nicole Kassell
Written by Gren Wells
Starring: Kate Hudson, Gael García Bernal

What’s the Deal?
A Little Bit of Heaven is another rom-com starring Kate Hudson and this time she drags Mexican star Gael García Bernal with her. Marley Corbett (Hudson) is a fun loving young woman who uses humor to prevent things from getting too serious. But she has her eyes opened when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer and she starts to get close with her doctor (Bernal).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 4 % (awful)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Interviews with Cast and Crew; Previews

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Too Big to Fail (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Curtis Hanson
Written by Peter Gould (screenplay), Andrew Ross Sorkin (book)
Starring: Paul Giamatti, James Wood, William Hurt

What’s the Deal?
Based on Andrew Ross Sorkin’s non-fiction book, Too Big to Fail is an HBO TV movie featuring an all-star cast with the likes of William Hurt, Billy Crudup, Paul Giamatti, Topher Grace, Bill Pullman and James Woods and directed by Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential).

Too Big to Fail chronicles the banking crisis of 2008 from March to October as Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson (William Hurt) tries to keep the American Economy afloat when Lehman Brothers collapses.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Timeline of a Crisis: An in-depth look at pivotal events that impacted the economic crisis

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: The Making of Too Big To Fail; The cast and crew share their thoughts on the events that inspired the film; Opening the Vault on the Financial Crisis; The cast, crew and financial experts discuss the origins of the economic crisis

Amazon Price: $11.99 (DVD), $19.19 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Tyler Perry
Starring: Terry Perry, Thandie Newton, Gabrielle Union

What’s the Deal?
Tyler Perry has made a real name for himself after the success of the Madea character and series, but his greatest success is also his greatest hindrance because that’s all he’s known for among mainstream audiences. With Good Deeds he attempts to make a more straight comedy-drama as he plays businessman Wesley Deeds, who ends up befriending a single mother, Lindsey Wakefield (Thandie Newton) who works as a cleaner in his builder.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 32% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $16.96 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Assault (DVD)

Directed by Julien Leclercq
Written by Simon Moutariou, Julien Leclercq (screenplay), Roland Môntins, Gilles Cauture (book)
Starring: Vincent Elbaz, Grégori Derangère, Mélanie Bernier

What’s the Deal?
The French actioner The Assault is based on a true story of the hijacking of Air French Flight 8969 in 1994 by Algerian Islamic fundamentalist terrorists who threatened to fly the plane into the Eiffel Tower. An elite unit of the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) has to perform the hostage rescue operation.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 57% (average)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $16.93 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Shallow Grave (1994) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by John Hodge
Starring: Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor

What’s the Deal?
Danny Boyle is one of the best British directors around and his career in feature films started with the low-budget thriller Shallow Grave. In a flat in Edinburgh, three flatmates, Juliet (Kerry Fox, Bright Star), David (Christopher Eccleston, Doctor Who) and Alex (Ewan McGregor) have not seen the fourth member of their home for days. When they break into his room they find he has died of a drug overdose and has a suitcase of money. The trio keeps the money and buries the body, but of course things are not that straightforward.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 72% (good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography; Two audio commentaries: one by Danny Boyle and the other by John Hodge; New interviews with stars Christopher Eccleston, Kerry Fox, and Ewan McGregor; Digging Your Own Grave, a 1993 documentary by Kevin Macdonald; Andrew Macdonald and Kevin Macdonald’s video diary; Shallow Grave trailer and Trainspotting teaser trailer; English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired; A booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Kemp

Amazon Price: $21.93 (DVD), $27.99 (Blu-ray)

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

Harold and Maude (1971) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Hal Ashby
Written by Colin Higgins
Starring: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort

What’s the Deal?
Harold and Maude is a movie with a cult following and considered one of the best examples of black comedy. The 19-year-old Harold (Bud Cort) has an obsession with death and starts a relationship with a 79-year-old woman, Maude (Ruth Gordon).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 85% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New high-definition digital restoration; Optional remastered stereo soundtrack; Audio commentary by Hal Ashby, Nick Dawson and Charles B. Mulvehill; Illustrated audio excerpts of seminars by Ashby and Colin Higgins; New interview with songwriter Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens); A booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Wood and more!

Amazon Price: $21.93 (DVD), $27.96 (Blu-ray)

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

Spider-Man (2002) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Sam Raimi
Written by David Koepp (screenplay), Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (comic book)
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco

What’s the Deal?
The release of The Amazing Spider-Man — the reboot of the “Spider-Man” series — is only three weeks away and Columbia plans to cash in by re-releasing the original movies on basic Blu-rays.

After over a decade of development hell, Sam Raimi of The Evil Dead fame took on the challenge of bringing Spider-Man to big screen, making an origin story about Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) losing his Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), fighting crime and trying to win over Mary-Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). Later he must confront his best friend’s (James Franco) father, who happens to be The Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 89% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 7.8/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $11.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Spider-man 2 (2004) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Sam Raimi
Written by Alvin Sargent (screenplay), Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Michael Chabon (story), Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (comics)
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina

What’s the Deal?
After the success of Spider-Man, Sam Raimi and his team made an even bigger and better sequel continuing the story as Peter Parker struggles with balancing his personal life and his time as his alter-ego, starts to lose his powers and tries to win over Mary Jane and fights a new villain, the mad scientist Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina).

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 93% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.5/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $11.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Spider-man 3 (2007) (Blu-ray)

Directed by Sam Raimi
Written by Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Alvin Sargent (screenplay), Sam Raimi, Ivan (story), Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (comics)
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace

What’s the Deal?
Sony/Columbia tried to top itself again with the release of Spider-Man 3 being a major movie event. It upped the ante by making Spider-Man face four villains, The Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), the new Green Goblin (James Franco), Eddie Brock/Venom (Topher Grace, That 70s Show) and his symbiote-controlled self, all as his relationship with Mary-Jane hits the rocks. But this was a movie met with a hostile reception by Spider-Man fans because of the lack of development of Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) and a radical altering of fan favorite Venom, a character the studio forced Sam Raimi to include despite his dislike for him. Because of the negative reception of the movie, Sony and Raimi ultimately parted ways.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 63% (good)
Player Affinity Score: 5.9/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $11.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Liked this article? Try These!

Comments

Meet the Author

Follow Us