Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Releases On Blu Ray & DVD: 3/12/13

This week, the biggest new release on Blu ray/DVD is Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI, fresh from winning four Oscars, and it’s available in a 3 disc Blu ray 3D set (includes digital copy and DVD), and in a standard single disc DVD. It has an abundance of Special Features such as Deleted Scenes, a bunch of featurettes, Art Gallery, Storyboards, and a theatrical trailer, all of which are in 3D for those with those fancy new 3D TVs. Read my review of LIFE OF PI here.

Next up, Peter Ramsey’s RISE OF THE GUARDIANS is also out today in a 3 disc Blu ray 3D edition with a bunch of whistles and bells (commentary with director and producers, deleted scenes, multiple featurettes, some sort of interactive game). It’s also available in a 2D 2-disc Blu ray version, and a single disc DVD. I missed this one when it hit theaters last fall (not a big fan of DreamWorks' animated output), should I see it now? Anybody?

Sacha Gervasi’s bland biopic HITCHCOCK, a real disappointment last December (my review), is also out today on Blu ray/DVD (not in 3D thankfully), with a plethora of Special Features: a deleted scene, a plethora of featurettes including somehitng called “Sacha Gervasi's Behind-the-Scenes Cell Phone Footage,” a commentary with Sacha Gervasi and Stephen Rebello, the theatrical trailer, and that damn Hitchcock Cell Phone PSA that I’m getting sick to death of as it has been playing before every movie at the theater where I work part-time for 3 months now! 

Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and Jafar Panahi’s THIS IS NOT A FILM is another movie I missed in its theatrical run (actually I’m not sure if it came to my area), so I’m happy to see it out now on DVD. It comes with only a few Special Features but they look juicy: an interview with Panahi by Iranian expat film professor Jamsheed Akrami, and a feature commentary by Jamsheed Akrami.

A movie I did see when it briefly played in town and liked was James Ponsoldt’s SMASHED, starring North Carolina native Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Breakin’ Bad’s Aaron Paul, out today on both Blu ray and DVD. It’s a thoughtful, well acted drama about alcoholism that’s definitely worth a rental. Special features: commentary with director James Ponsoldt and Winstead, deleted scenes, and a couple of featurettes, one a “Making of” deal, and the other concerns the Toronto Film Festival Red Carpet and Q&A. 

Dave Grohl’s documentary about the legendary Los Angeles recording studio Sound City Studios, SOUND CITY, also drops on Blu ray and DVD today. It contains over 40 minutes of bonus material, including 3 full songs. 

A film I’m a little scarred of seeing, Paolo Sorrentino’s THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, starring Sean Penn as Robert Smith of the Cure (well, not really but he sure looks like it), comes out today. But how can I resist a movie that has the tagline: “A former rock star is hunting down a Nazi criminal...This could be his greatest hit.” It doesn’t bode well that neither the Blu ray/DVD have any Special Features, but I’ll give it a chance. 

On the remaster re-issue front we’ve got deluxe Blu ray releases of Robert Zemeckis' WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?: 25th Anniversary Edition, and Ron Howard's WILLOW (also celebrating its 25th Anniversary), a movie that I bet comes off differently now after watching Warwick Davis’s pitiful BBC/HBO series Life's Too Short.

More later…

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