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DISCussion: What’s New on DVD/Blu-ray (6.26.12)

Recommendation of the Week has a cleaner winner this time in the Christopher Nolan Director’s Collection boxset. It features five top movies from one of the most celebrated directors around. What more do you need?

First Releases
The Artist (DVD and Blu-ray)
21 Jump Street (DVD and Blu-ray)
Wrath of the Titans (DVD and Blu-ray)
Mirror Mirror (DVD and Blu-ray)
Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (DVD and Blu-ray)
A Thousand Words (DVD and Blu-ray)
Bullhead (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Decoy Bride (DVD and Blu-ray)
Oranges and Sunshine (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Perfect Family (DVD)

Re-Releases
The Samurai Trilogy (DVD and Blu-ray)
The 39 Steps (1935) (DVD and Blu-ray)
Christopher Nolan Director’s Collection (Blu-ray)
Deliverance (1972) (Blu-ray)

Christopher Nolan Director’s Collection (Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*

Memento (2000)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Written by Christopher Nolan (screenplay), Jonathan Nolan (short story)
Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Insomnia (2002)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Written by Hilary Seitz (screenplay), Erik Skjoldbjærg, Nikolaj Frobenius (original movie)
Starring: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank

Batman Begins (2005)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Written by David S. Goyer (screenplay), David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan (story), Bob Kane (comic books)
Starring: Christian Bale, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson

The Dark Knight (2008)
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Written by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan (screenplay), Christopher Nolan, David S. Goyer (story), Bob Kane (comic books)
Starring: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Gary Oldman, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman

Inception (2010)
Written and directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanbe

What’s the Deal?
The release of the highly anticipated The Dark Knight Rises is just around the corner and with fanboys melting down because of the wait, a boxset featuring five of Christopher Nolan movies could hold you. Since the release of Memento in 2000, Nolan has built up a deserved repetition as on of the best directors in the world. His movies are renowned for their complex character development, themes and psychology, whether they are his thrillers, the sci-fi movie Inception or his big-budget “Batman” franchise. If you do not own any of this movies already, then this boxset is a must have.

Memento (2000)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 92% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 10/10

Insomnia (2002)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 93% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.2/10

Batman Begins (2005)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 85% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.0/10

The Dark Knight (2008)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 94% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.8/10

Inception (2010)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 86% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 9.6/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $29.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

In an ordinary week, any of the following three films would be a top recommendation. The Artist, 21 Jump Street and The 39 Steps all arrive on DVD and Blu-ray. Other highlights this week include two foreign arthouse entries, the releases of late-March fantasy movies Wrath of the Titans and Mirror Mirror and the rerelease of Deliverance.

The Artist (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo

What’s the Deal?
Riding on five Oscar wins, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor and many other awards, The Artist is easily considered one of the best movies of 2011. This 1927-set movie tells the story of silent movie star George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) who falls for a young dancer, Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo). But when talking cinema becomes more popular, one star begins to fade as the other starts to rise.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 98% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Blooper Reel; The Artist: The Making of a Hollywood Love Story; Q&A with Filmmakers and Cast; Hollywood as a Character: The Locations of The Artist; The Artisans Behind The Artist featurettes

Amazon Price: $16.96 (DVD), $19.96 (Blu-ray)

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

21 Jump Street (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Phil Lord, Chris Miller
Written by Michael Bacall (screenplay), Jonah Hill, Michael Bacall (story), Patrick Hasburgh, Stephen J. Cannell (TV series)
Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum

What’s the Deal?
Based on the TV show that made Johnny Depp a teen heartthrob, the action comedy 21 Jump Street has been considered one of the most pleasant surprises of 2012 so far.

In high school, Schmidt (Jonah Hill) was a dork and Jenko (Channing Tatum) a jock who happened to go to the police academy together. When they graduate they are partnered together, but because of their incompetence, the pair are sent to 21 Jump Street to go undercover in a high school to infiltrate a drug ring. At school, Schmidt and Jenko’s roles become reversed in what what we feel is a smart, self-aware comedy.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 85% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.2/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $16.96 (DVD), $19.96 (Blu-ray)

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

Wrath of the Titans (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
Written by Dan Mazeau, David Leslie Johnson (screenplay), Greg Berlanti, David Leslie Johnson, Dan Mazeau (story)
Starring: Sam Worthington, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Édgar Ramírez, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson

What’s the Deal?
The remake of Clash of the Titans was heavily criticized for being the poster child for rushed, bad 3D post conversion. But it was successful enough for the accountants at Warner Bros. to commission a sequel. Battle: Los Angeles’ Jonathan Liebesman replaced Louis Leterrier for this Greek mythology movie and Sam Worthington returns as Perseus, now sporting a lovely perm.

Ten years after the events of Clash of the Titans, Perseus is living a peaceful life in a fishing village with his young son. But his father calls Perseus back into action after Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Ares (Édgar Ramírez) plan to unleash Chronos and the Titans upon the world.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 25% (bad)
Player Affinity Score: 5.0/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $14.96 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray), $27.99 (3D Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content: 3.5 stars, Video 5 stars, Audio 5 stars, Extras 3 stars, Replay 4.5 stars (out of 5). Highly Recommended.

Mirror Mirror (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Tarsem Singh
Written by Marc Klein, Jason Keller (screenplay), Melissa Wallack (story), Brothers Grimm (fairy tale)
Starring: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts, Armie Hammer

What’s the Deal?
2012 saw the release of two “Snow White” movies. Mirror, Mirror was the first to be released, a comic take on the story directed by the bold visual filmmaker Tarsem Singh (The Fall, Immortals).

In a far-off kingdom, the wicked Queen Gertrude (Julia Roberts) has been running the nation into the ground and has had her stepdaughter, Snow White (Lily Collins, The Blind Side) locked in the palace. But when the wealthy Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer, The Social Network) becomes attracted to the princess, the queen banishes Snow White so she can have the prince all to herself. Snow White finds allies in the form of seven dwarfs and they unite to save the prince and the kingdom.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 50% (average)
Player Affinity Score: 6.5/10 (read our review)

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $16.96 (DVD), $22.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Written by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ercan Kesal, Ebru Ceylan
Starring: Muhammet Uzuner, Yılmaz Erdoğan, Taner Birsel

What’s the Deal?
As one of the co-winners of the Grand Prix at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival ,the Turkish drama Once Upon A Time in Anatolia is highly regarded drama as police and prosecutors try to find a buried body in the middle of the Anatolian steppes.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Interview with the Director (24 minutes); Anatolia in Cannes (48 minutes): Photocall, TVCannes Videos, Press Conference, Red Carpet Gala, Award Ceremony; Lost in Thought (2012, HD, 24 minutes), a visual essay by Haden Guest, Director of the Harvard Film Archive; Theatrical Trailer; Booklet featuring introduction to Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: The Making of Once Upon A Time in Anatolia

Amazon Price: $26.96 (DVD), $29.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

A Thousand Words (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Brian Robbins
Written by Steve Koren
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Kerry Washington, Cliff Curtis

What’s the Deal?
Brian Robbins and Eddie Murphy have made plenty of crap movies as individuals and together, but A Thousand Words takes the biscuit, earning a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes after sitting on the shelf since 2008.

Murphy plays a fast-talking a literary agent, Jack McCall, who ends up crossing the wrong person, a new-age self help guru (Cliff Curtis, Whale Rider) who curses Jack. Now Jack is linked to a tree that loses a leaf for every word he says, and when the tree is bare he will die. He is left with only a thousand words to say.

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

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $17.99 (DVD) $22.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Bullhead (DVD and Blu-ray)

Written and directed by Michaël R. Roskam
Starring: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Barbara Sarafian

What’s the Deal?
The Belgian drama Bullhead was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award this year. Cattle farmer Jacky Vanmarsenille (Matthias Schoenaerts) is approached by an unscrupulous veterinarian to make shady deals in with a West-Flemish beef trader. But when a federal police officer is murdered, Jacky’s life quickly spirals out of control.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 83% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: The Making of BULLHEAD; Interview with star Matthias Schoenaerts; Theatrical Trailer; Commentary with Director Michaël R. Roskam; Interview with Michaël R. Roskam; THE ONE THING TO DO: Roskam’s 2005 Short Film starring Matthias Schoenaerts

Amazon Price: $14.97 (DVD), $15.00 (Blu-ray)

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

The Decoy Bride (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Sheree Folkson
Written by Neil Jaworski, Sally Phillips
Starring: Kelly MacDonald, David Tennant, Alice Eve

What’s the Deal?
The Decoy Bride is the first of three British movies being released on DVD and Blu-ray this week. This romantic-comedy stars Kelly Macdonald as Katie, a woman who returns home to a remote Scottish island after being jilted on the altar. But the island is flooded by the world’s media when a major Hollywood actress (Alice Eve) plans to have her wedding there. Her management team recruits Katie as a decoy bride, hoping the paparazzi will leave the island.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 20% (bad)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: Interviews; Behind the scenes; Deleted scene; FX shots; Trailer

Amazon Price: $12.03 (DVD), $24.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Oranges and Sunshine (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Jim Loach
Written by Rona Murno
Starring: Emily Watson, Hugo Weaving, David Wenham

What’s the Deal?
Serving as the directing debut of Jim Loach, the son of Ken Loach, Oranges and Sunshine is a true story about a social worker named Margaret Humphreys (Emily Watson) who uncovers a massive scandal in which thousands of British children were sent to Australia without their parents’ knowledge. Despite all odds, Humphreys sets out to make the British government accountable and reunite as many people with their parents as possible.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 70% (good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $24.99 (DVD), $29.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Perfect Family (DVD)

Directed by Anne Renton
Written by Paula Goldberg, Claire V. Riley
Starring: Kathleen Turner, Emily Deschanel, Jason Ritter

What’s the Deal?
Kathleen Turner leads the comedy-drama The Perfect Family as Eileen Cleary, a devout Catholic woman who has been nominated for Catholic Woman of the Year Award. But she has to show the award committee her unorthodox family, and she’s willing to break them just to win the award.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 48% (average)
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $19.99 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The Samurai Trilogy (DVD and Blu-ray)

Musashi Miyamoto (1954)
Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki
Written by Hiroshi Inagaki, Tokuhei Wakao (screenplay), Hideji Hojo (play), Eiji Yoshikawa (novel)
Starring: Toshirō Mifune, Rentaro Mikuni

Duel at Ichijoji Temple (1955)
Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki
Written by Hiroshi Inagaki, Tokuhei Wakao (screenplay), Hideji Hojo (play), Eiji Yoshikawa (novel)
Starring: Toshirō Mifune, Koji Tsuruta

Duel at Ganryu Island (1956)
Directed by Hiroshi Inagaki
Written by Hiroshi Inagaki, Tokuhei Wakao (screenplay), Hideji Hojo (play), Eiji Yoshikawa (novel)
Starring: Toshirō Mifune, Koji Tsuruta

What’s the Deal?
From the Criterion Collection this week is the rerelease of The Samurai Trilogy, a successful import from Japan from the 1950s. These movies follow the legendary 17th Century figure Miyamoto Musashi (Toshirō Mifune) who was a swordsman, a writer and artist as he journeys from being an unruly youth to an enlightened warrior.

Musashi Miyamoto (1954)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score: N/A

Duel at Ichijoji Temple (1955)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score: N/A

Duel at Ganryu Island (1956)
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): N/A
Player Affinity Score: N/A

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New high-definition digital restorations of all three films; New interviews with translator and historian William Scott Wilson; Trailers; New English subtitle translations; PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by film historian Stephen Prince and Wilson

Amazon Price: $41.93 (DVD), $47.96 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

The 39 Steps (1935) (DVD and Blu-ray)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Written by Charles Bennett (screenplay), John Buchan (novel)
Starring: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle

What’s the Deal?
The 39 Steps is often considered one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best early movies and one of the best British movies generally. The Criterion Collection is rereleasing the story of Richard Hannay (Robert Donat), a Canadian tourist in London who ends up caught up in a massive mystery after a woman he spends the night with is murdered. He ends up being caught by the both the police and a secret spy ring who suspects he has a secret code.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 97% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 10/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: New high-definition digital restoration; Audio commentary by Alfred Hitchcock scholar Marian Keane; Hitchcock: The Early Years (2000), a British documentary; Original footage from broadcaster Mike Scott’s 1966 TV interview with Hitchcock; Complete broadcast of the 1937 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation; Visual essay by Hitchcock scholar Leonard Leff; Excerpts from Francois Truffaut’s 1962 audio interview with Hitchcock; Original production design drawings; English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired; PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic David Cairns

Amazon Price: $21.93 (DVD), $27.59 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Deliverance (1972) (Blu-ray)

Directed by John Boorman
Written by James Dickey (screenplay and novel)
Starring: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, James Dickey

What’s the Deal?
The John Boorman (Excalibur) movie Deliverance is the final rerelease of the week. Nominated for three Academy Awards, Deliverance sees four friends inexperienced with the outdoors going to the Appalachian backwoods for the weekend. But their adventure turns to disaster when they have to battle both the elements and a couple of hillbilly moonshiners.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 94% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.0/10

DISC DETAILS

DVD Special Features: N/A

Amazon Price: $24.32 (Blu-ray)

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

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