Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Releases On Blu Ray & DVD: 8/27/13

Technically, summer isn’t over until September 21st, but most people consider it concluded once school is back in session. But I consider summer to be over when the first run of summer blockbuster wannabes hits home video. Such as Baz Luhrmann’s big ass adaptation of the classic 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald novel THE GREAT GATSBY, out today in a Blu-ray+DVD+UltraViolet Combo Pack, and a 2-disc DVD edition.

I saw the film when it came out last May, and thought that it was so full of quick cuts of glitzy bling that it felt like the movie was doing “jazz hands” in front of my face the whole time, especially as it was in 3D. It does have a capable good looking cast including Leo DiCaprio in the title role, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire, and Joel Edgerton, who still looks like a butch Conan O’Brien to my eyes.

Special Features: A bunch of featurettes ranging from 9 to 30 minutes in length (“The Greatness of Gatsby,” “Within and Without” with Tobey Maguire, “The Swinging Sounds of Gatsby,” “Gatsby Revealed,” “The Jazz Age,” “Razzle Dazzle: The Fashion of the ‘20s,” “Fitzgerald’s Visual Poetry”), 15 minutes of Deleted Scenes (includes an alternate ending), and a vintage Trailer for the 1926 silent film version (the oldest film adaptation of the book).

Another film released at the same time releases today on Blu ray and DVD: Michael Bay’s true crime comedy PAIN & GAIN, starring Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie as boneheaded Miami-based bodybuilders who kidnap a millionaire businessman (Tony Shalhoub) in order to extort his fortune in a stupid scheme that goes way wrong. Sure, it’s a comic caper that the Coen brothers could’ve pulled off way better, but it has its share of funny moments. Oddly, neither the Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy package or the single disc DVD edition have any Special Features.

Ramon Bahrani’s AT ANY PRICE couldn’t get many moviegoers to pony up any price for it when it made its theatrical run earlier this year – seriously, it made less than a million – but it gets another chance on Blu ray and DVD (both 1-disc editions) this week. Dennis Quaid, Zac Efron, and Kim Dickens star in the Iowa-set family farm drama that comes packaged with an audio commentary by Writer/Director Bahrani and Quaid, Toronto International Film Festival Q & A, rehearsal footage, and trailer.

Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg’s 2012 Norwegian drama KON TIKI, Oscar nominated for Best Foreign Film, also drops today on Blu ray (2-disc) and DVD (1 disc). Only a few Special Features: “Kon-Tiki: The Incredible True Story,” and “Visual Effects Featurette.”

Other notable titles out today: Mira Nair’s 2012 thriller THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST, Neil Barsky’s 2012 documentary about former New York Mayor Ed Koch: KOCH (DVD only), Sang-yoon Lim’s 2012 Korean action film A COMPANY MAN, and the Criterion Collection titles: Ernst Lubitsch’s 1942 Jack Benny classic TO BE OR NOT TO BE, and Eclipse Series 39: Early Fassbinder (1969-1971).

The highlights of today’s TV series sets: The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season, Sons of Anarchy: Season Five, Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Ninth Season, and Elementary: The First Season.

More later…

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