Tuesday, September 03, 2013

New Releases On Blu Ray & DVD: 9/3/13

Louis Leterrier’s star studded comic thriller NOW YOU SEE ME, which was something of a surprise hit early in the summer, heads the pack of new releases on Blu ray and DVD today. Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine star in this piece of passable entertainment about a group of magicians who pull off international heists that often reward their audiences with riches while pissing off the police. Its tag line “The closer you look, the less you'll see” is a rare example of truth in advertising.

The 2-disc Blu ray set features an extended cut of the film along with the theatrical version, with Special Features including a commentary with Producer Bobby Cohen and Director Lettelier (on the theatrical version Only), a few featurettes (“Now You See Me Revealed,” “A Brief History of Magic”), deleted scenes, and two trailers (teaser and theatrical).

Ariel Vromen’s THE ICEMAN, featuring an intense performance by Michael Shannon as Mafia hitman Richard Kuklinski (read my review), releases this week in single disc Blu ray and DVD editions. There are only two short featurettes included as Special Features – “making of” and “behind the scenes” segments – but they’re better than nothing.

One of the best documentaries of the year, Sarah Polley’s STORIES WE TELL, her investigation into her complicated family ties, also drops today but only on DVD, and with no Special Features. That doesn’t make the film any less essential viewing.

Other notable feature films debuting on home video today: Rob Zombie’s THE LORDS OF SALEM, Dante Ariola’s Colin Firth/Emily Blunt comedy ARTHUR NEWMAN, Gorō Miyazaki’s 2011 animated hit FROM UP ON POPPY HILL, Craig Sisk’s THE ENGLISH TEACHER (starring Julianne Moore), Pablo Berger’s Spanish black-and-white silent fantasy film BLANCANIEVES, Matthias Hoene’s British thriller comedy COCKNEYS VS. ZOMBIES, and this last summer’s Syfy Channel sensation SHARKNADO.

On the older films new to Blu ray front, Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 psychological thriller MARNIE, starring Sean Connery and Tippi Hedren, previously available only as part of a Hitchcock box set, gets its own individual release on the popular new format. It’s joined by Mario Bava’s A BAY OF BLOOD (1971), Michael Gornick's CREEPSHOW 2, and Richard Rush's 1967 Jack Nicholson vehicle HELL’S ANGELS ON WHEELS.

TV season sets out today include Person of Interest: Season Two, Spartacus: War of the Damned - The Complete Third Season, The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fourth Season, Scandal: The Complete Second Season, Criminal Minds: The Eighth Season, The Office: Season Nine, Parks and Recreation: Season Five, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Complete Season 8.

More later…

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