Turn off the Lights

DVD/Blu-ray DISCussion (New for 12.20.11)

Here's you're last chance to get in your DVD and Blu-ray shopping before Christmas! Our Recommendation of the Week is the Mixed Martial Arts sports movie Warrior. This critical hit comes with the usual set of commentaries, documentaries and deleted scenes for your viewing pleasure.

First Releases
- Midnight in Paris (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Warrior (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Straw Dogs (2011) (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Colombiana (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Glee: The Concert Movie (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Toast (DVD)

Warrior (DVD and Blu-ray) *Recommendation of the Week*

What’s the Deal?
Many sports have movies made about them: American football, boxing, basketball, ice hockey, rugby union and soccer (or real football). Now it's Mixed Martial Arts' (or MMA for short) turn for the cinematic treatment. Gavin O’Connor of Miracle fame tackles his second sports movie and up-and-comers Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom) and the future Bane, Tom Hardy (Bronson), star with Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison (House) and Frank Grillo (Prison Break).

Warrior is the story of two brothers. Tommy Riordan (Hardy) is an Iraq War veteran who returns to his working-class home in Pittsburgh to his father’s (Nolte) home, a recovering alcoholic and re-born Christian. Tommy shows that he has a knack for MMA and gets his father to train him. Brendan Conlon (Edgerton) is a physics teacher and a former MMA fighter living in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He is struggling financial and returns to the fighting game to make to save his home and family. Both brothers set out to fight in the Sparta fighting tournament, the Superbowl of MMA, in a movie that is similar to Rocky, The Fighter and The Wrestler.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 83% (very good)
Player Affinity Score: 7.1/10


DVD Special Features: Closed Caption; Feature audio commentary with filmmakers and actor Joel Edgerton; -Redemption: Bringing Warrior to Life documetary; -Philosophy in Combat: Mixed martial arts strategy ; -Simple believe: A tribute to Charles "Mask" Lewis, Jr. ; -Cheap shots: Gag reel ; -Brother vs. Brother: Anatomy of the fight ; -The Diner: Deleted scenes with Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte (with optional commentary); Selected scene on-camera commentary with filmmakers and Nick Nolte

Amazon Price: $12.99 (DVD), $17.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

This week is a rarity; there are no re-releases so all the movies out this week’s are new. The other major highlight of the week is Woody Allen’s comeback movie Midnight in Paris, one of his most successful movies and on of Player Affinity's top films of the year. The Gleeks out there have Glee: The Concert Movie coming onto DVD, Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray as well, so you can embarrass yourself at home singing along instead of in theaters.

Midnight in Paris (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Woody Allen is one of the most famous comic directors, making classics such as Manhattan, Annie Hall and Hannah and Her Sisters. But over the years he has declined, with many false dawns of comeback. But it seems that Allen has finally returned to form with his romantic comedy Midnight in Paris, which was a critical and commercial hit. We loved it. Allen drew in a top cast including Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Tom Hiddleston (Thor), Kathy Bates, Adrien Brody, Marion Cotillard and France’s first lady Carla Bruni.

Gil (Owen Wilson) is a successful screenwriter but is struggling to write his first novel. He is engaged to Inez (Rachel McAdams) and the two go on vacation to Paris whiles Inez’s parents (Kurt Fuller and Mimi Kennedy) are on a business trip. Gil thinks the French capital is the perfect inspiration, but Inez does not share his romantic vision as Gil goes out every night to explore the city.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 93% (excellent)
Player Affinity Score: 8.8/10


DVD Special Features: Midnight in Cannes

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Photo Gallery

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Straw Dogs (2011) (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Sam Peckinpah’s 1971 version of Gordon Williams’ novel The Siege of Trencher’s Farm is one of the most controversial movies from the 1970s for its levels of violence, especially sexual violence. Israeli director Rod Lurie (The Contender) took on the writing and directing duties for the remake. James Marsden (X-Men) and Kate Bosworth (Superman Returns) star in Dustin Hoffman and Susan George’s roles and Alexander Skarsgard (Generation Kill) and Dominic Purcell (Prison Break) provide support.

This remake moves the action from Cornwall, England to the Deep South of America as screenwriter David Sumner (Marsden) and his wife Amy (Bosworth) move to the town she grew up in. But David refuses to integrate with the community and the two become the target of Amy’s ex-boyfriend (Skarsgard) and his redneck buddies. Perhaps they should not have left Metropolis.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 42% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: 7.0/10 (read our review)


DVD Special Features: Commentary with Writer/Director Rod Lurie; Courting Controversy: Remaking a Classic; The Dynamics of Power: The Ensemble; Inside the Siege: The Ultimate Showdown; Creating the Sumner House: The Production Design

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 2 stars, Video 3.5 stars, Audio 3.5 stars, Extras 2 stars, Replay 1.5 stars (out of 5). Rent It.

Colombiana (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Zoe Saldana has shown she has acting and action chops in movies like Star Trek and Avatar, but has yet to turn her supporting roles into starring ones. She tried to change that with this B-movie actioner produced by Luc Besson and directed by Olivier Megaton (Transporter 3).

Cataleya (Saldana) is an assassin who witnessed her parents being murdered in front of her when she was nine. Training and homing her skills she sets out to get revenge against the mobsters who killed them.
Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 28% (poor)
Player Affinity Score: 3.5/10 (read our review)


DVD Special Features: Colombiana: The Making Of; Cataleya's Journey

Additional Blu-ray Special Features: Colombiana PS3 Wallpaper/Theme; Assassins; Training A Killer; Take The Ride

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

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Glee: The Concert Movie (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Glee is a massively successful TV show and the cast recordings have outsold even The Beatles and Elvis. But that was not enough to save the box-office returns for this 3D concert movie. Glee: The Concert Movie was unable to match the success of other 3D concert movies such as Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds.

The Glee cast concert in East Rutherford, New Jersey was filmed and it was directed by Kevin Tancharoen (Fame, Mortal Kombat: Legacy). Many of your favorite songs were performed, including “Don’t Stop Believing”, “Empire State of Mind” and original hit “Loser Like Me.” However, Jane Lynch did not reprise her role as Sue Sylvester.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 60% (good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A


DVD Special Features: Unseen Performances; Extended Performances; On Stage with the Cast; Backstage with the Cast

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $19.99 (Blu-ray), $24.99 (3D Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A

Catch .44 (DVD and Blu-ray)

What’s the Deal?
Three months ago I reported that Bruce Willis starred in a straight-to-DVD heist movie, Set-Up, despite the fact he is still a big star. Now he has starred in another straight-to-DVD movie with even bigger stars: Malin Akerman (Watchmen), Nikki Reed (Thirteen), Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) and the Academy-Award winner Forest Whittaker. Writer/director Aaron Harvey must have excellent powers of persuasion.

Three hit-women, Tes (Akerman), Kara (Reed) and Dawn (Woll) are assigned a simple job to intercept a big-money drug deal from crime lord Mel (Willis). But when they reach the isolated diner in Louisiana, the bullets start flying and this job becomes a lot more complex.

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


DVD Special Features: Filmmakers' commentary

Amazon Price: $14.99 (DVD), $24.99 (Blu-ray)

Score (DVDTalk.com): Content 2.5 stars, Video 3.5 stars, Audio 3.5 stars, Extras 2 stars, Replay 2 stars (out of 5). Skip It.

Toast (DVD)

What’s the Deal?
Last but not least is the DVD release of the British TV movie Toast. Toast has an impressive cast with the likes of Freddie Highmore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Ken Scott (Messiah), Victoria Hamilton (Lark Rise to Candleford) and the always great Helena Bonham Carter. Helmed by TV veteran S.J. Clarkson (Life on Mars), Toast is based on the memoirs of British food writer and journalist Nigel Slater, focusing on his childhood.

The young Nigel (Highmore) is a boy who loves his mother (Hamilton) despite her inability to cook. They bound over the one thing she can cook, toast. But when she dies from her chronic asthma, Nigel is left with his distant father (Scott) and cleaner Joan Potter (Bonham Carter), who aims to be the next Mrs. Slater.

Critics Rating (Rotten Tomatoes): 60% (good)
Player Affinity Score: N/A


DVD Special Features: Trailer

Amazon Price: $24.99 (DVD)

Score (DVDTalk.com): N/A


Meet the Author

User not found.

Follow Us