Tuesday, October 15, 2013

New Releases On Blu Ray & DVD: 10/15/13

A couple of hit films released last summer that I almost forgot about lead the pack of new releases on home video today: Guillermo del Toro’s PACIFIC RIM, and Paul Feig’s THE HEAT. PACIFIC RIM, a big ass sci-fi action film dealing with giant robots battling giant monsters starring Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, and Charlie Day, is available in a 3 disc Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Combo Pack and a 2 disc Special Edition DVD + UltraViolet package.

Special Features: Audio commentary by director Del Toro, thirteen Focus Point featurettes equaling over an hour, an interactive feature “The Director’s Notebook,” an archive of the film's key design art: “The Shatterdome,” something called “Drift Space,” bloopers, and deleted scenes.

THE HEAT, the so-so Sandra Bollock and Melissa McCarthy buddy cop comedy, is out this week in a 2 disc Blu-ray / DVD + Digital HD edition, and a single disc DVD release. There are way too many Special Features to list here so let’s just say it includes the theatrical and unrated versions of the film, more than one gag reel, deleted scenes, extended scenes, bloopers, and multiple commentaries including one by the original lineup from Mystery Science Theater 3000 (!). Looks like if you happen to be a big fan of THE HEAT, you’re in for quite a feast of extras.

Franck Khalfoun’s remake of William Lustig’s 1980 slasher film MANIAC also hits home video today in both 1 disc Blu ray and DVD editions. The brutal gore-filled horror film is hard to watch at times, but effectively constructed as it’s almost completely seen through the eyes of its sicko protagonist portrayed by Elijah Wood. Director Khalfoun, Wood, and executive producer Alix Taylor provide a commentary, among other bonus material such as an almost feature length “Making of” doc, poster gallery, deleted scenes, and the theatrical trailer.

Tobias Lindholm’s A HIJACKING, that has a premise similar to the currently playing Tom Hanks hit CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, i.e. a cargo ship is hijacked by Somali pirates, releases today also on 1 disc Blu ray and DVD editions. The basic plot may be the same as CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, but Lindholm’s film, which he also wrote the screenplay for, deals more with the long negotiations over the high-seas hostage situation that go on for several months. Special Features consist of five behind-the-scenes featurettes and the theatrical trailer.

Comic Kevin Hart’s stand-up comedy performance film LET ME EXPLAIN, directed by Leslie Small, drops today in a 2-disc Blu ray package and a single disc DVD. The film, which has drawn comparisons to Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy’s classic stand-up movies, is made up mostly of highlights from Hart’s 2 sold out Madison Square Garden shows in 2012. Special Features: a few featurettes (“No, No, No, Let Us Explain,” “Backstage Pass”), and three music videos (“Let Me Explain” title song featuring Erick Sermon, Snoop Dogg, Method Man & RL, “Let Me Explain” theme song “The Narcissist” featuring American Antagon 1st, and “Pop Off” by Doeshun featuring Ray Ray & Ruck).

Other notable new releases today include: Richard Rowley’s documentary DIRTY WARS, Jeff Renfroe’s sci-fi horror flick THE COLONY, Chad Crawford Kinkle’s low budget horror production JUG FACE, Catherine Hardwicke’s erotic thriller PLUSH, and Johnnie To’s Chinese-Hong Kong action film DRUG WAR.

On the older films out today front we’ve got the Blu ray debut of George Roy Hill’s 1977 classic hockey comedy SLAP SHOT, the 40th Anniversary Edition of Clint Eastwood’s HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER, the 10th Anniversary Edition of LOVE ACTUALLY, Robert Wise’s 1963 horror classic THE HAUNTING, John Carpenter’s 1994 horror film IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, John Sturges’ 1976 war epic THE EAGLE HAS LANDED, Curtis Harrington’s 1961 thriller NIGHT TIDE (starring a young Dennis Hopper), and the Kino Classics Remastered Edition of Orson Welles’ unjustly overlooked 1946 film noir thriller THE STRANGER.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Complete Fifth Season from Executive Producer George Lucas and Lucasfilm Animation is out today in a 3-disc Blu ray set, and a 4-disc DVD set. Extras on what is considered by fans to be the best season of the series includes director’s cuts of two episodes, a bunch of behind the scenes featurettes, cast and crew interviews, deleted scenes, and alternate scenes.

Other TV series sets releasing today include Vikings: Season One, The Fall: Series 1, Defiance: Season One, Maverick: The Complete Third Season, Bewitched: The Complete Series, I Dream of Jeannie: The Complete Series, The Partridge Family: The Complete Series, and for all you Charlie Sheen fans, Anger Management Season 2.

More later…

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