Tuesday, October 08, 2013

New Releases On Blu Ray & DVD: 10/8/13

The two big releases on home video today are two of last summer’s biggest critical duds: M. Night Shyamalan’s AFTER EARTH, and Todd Phillips’ THE HANGOVER PART III. AFTER EARTH, which features Will Smith and his son Jaden in a sci-fi adventure I can barely remember the plot of (read my review from when it hit theaters last May), is available in a Two Disc Combo (Blu-ray / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy), and a single disc DVD edition. Special Features: an Alternate Opening, and a bunch of featurettes (mostly behind-the-scenes mini-documentaries) adding up to almost an hour.

The third and final entry in THE HANGOVER series, in which Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zack Galifianakis reprise their roles for even less laughter than before (read my review), is also out in a Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet Combo Pack, but its DVD edition is 2 discs. Special Features include such supposed wackiness as “Replacing Zack: The Secret Auditions,” “The Wolfpack’s Wildest Stunts,” “Pushing the Limits,” “Zach Galifianakis in His Own Words,” “Action Mash-Up,” “Inside Focus: The Real Chow,” Extended Scenes, and Outtakes.

For those looking for something of actual quality, Joss Whedon’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING is out today in single disc Blu ray and DVD editions. The charming black and white production, was filmed at Whedon’s swanky house in Los Angeles over 12 days, with veterans of the directors’ TV shows such as Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Nathan Fillion, Reed Diamond, and Clark Gregg spouting out the original text of Shakespeare’s 16th century play. Bonus material consists of two commentary tracks (one with Whedon; one with Whedon and almost the entire cast), a 22 minute featurette “Much Ado About Making Nothing,” a 6 minute featurette “Bus Ado About Nothing,” and the “Sigh No More” Music Video. 

Jacob Hatley’s AIN’T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH: A FILM ABOUT LEVON HELM is another quality release out this week. Fans of The Band, the Americana genre, or just good music in general should enjoy this 2010 documentary, which has Hatley hanging with Helm, who sadly passed away last year, in his Woodstock home recalling his history as he works on a new solo album. There are many highlights here, both musical and anecdotal, but my favorite is Helm killing it on a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” Over 50 minutes of deleted scenes are included, but folks who just want to see the film alone should note that it’s also available on Netflix Instant. 

Other notable feature films debuting on home video today: James DeMonaco’s surprise horror hit THE PURGE (starring Ethan Hawke!), Sebastián Cordero’s straight-to-Blu ray/DVD/VOD sci-fi thriller EUROPA REPORT, Josh Boone’s ensemble rom com STUCK IN LOVE, and Liz W. Garcia’s Kristen Bell comedy THE LIFEGUARD.

On the older films front there’s the 40th Anniversary Edition of William Friedkin’s THE EXORCIST (just in time for Halloween!), the 30th Anniversary Edition of MONTY PYTHON’S THE MEANING OF LIFE (has a new hour long documentary but otherwise the bonus material comes from previous editions), Blu ray box sets of the individual STAR WARS trilogies, and the Criterion Collection edition of René Clair’s 1947 fantasy comedy I MARRIED A WITCH, starring Veronica Lake. 

TV season sets out today include: American Horror Story: Asylum, Bones: The Complete Eighth Season, Psych: The Complete Seventh Season, White Collar: Season Four, The Six Million Dollar Man: Season 4, and Robot Chicken: Season Six.

More later...

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