UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: February 20th 2012 0 108

Thoughts On Film - DVD Blu-ray releases Feb 20th

Pick of the Week

Warrior

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Writers: Gavin O’Connor, Anthony Tambakis, Cliff Dorman

Starring: Tom Hardy, Joel Edgerton, Nick Nolte.

Synopsis: Warrior centres around Tommy (Hardy) – an ex marine haunted by a tragic past, who enlists the help of his estranged father (Nick Nolte) to train up for the fight of his life. A former wrestling prodigy, Tommy blazes a path towards SPARTA – the biggest ‘winner takes all’ Mixed Martial Arts event in history. His brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), an ex-fighter-turned teacher, also returns to the ring in a desperate bid to save his family from financial ruin. So when Brendan’s unlikely, underdog rise sets him on a collision course with the unstoppable Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront each other – and the forces that pulled them apart – in the ultimate face off.

This sports movie meets family drama was unfairly compared to The Fighter upon its release but it mixes both ends of the spectrum better than that film in my eyes. It’s not exactly original but it just proves that if it’s well made then that lack of uniqueness doesn’t really matter. The actual fight scenes are genuinely exhilarating, each one better than the last. An involving and compelling film with some added dramatic weight.

Extras include:

  • Redemption: Bringing Warrior to Life Documentary (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Brother Versus Brother: Anatomy of the Fight
  • Philosophy In Combat: Mixed Martial Arts Strategy
  • Simply Believe – A Tribute to Charles ‘Mask’ Lewis, Jr.
  • Audio commentar with filmmakers and actor Joel Edgerton.
  • The Diner: Deleted Scene (with optional commentary)
  • ‘Cheap Shots’ Gag Reel
Warrior DVD cover

Other Releases

Real Steel – This surprisingly enjoyable blockbuster from director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) is set in the near-future when robot boxing is the number one sport. Hugh Jackman stars as a struggling trainer who one day finds out he has an 11-year-old son who wants to spend time with him. It’s not reinventing the wheel but it does what it aims to do very well, making for a great family action film. Take note Michael Bay: this is what a movie about giant robots hitting each other should be!

Extras include:

  • Countdown to the fight – The Charlie Kenton Story (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Making of Metal Valley
  • Building the Bots
  • Sugar Ray Leonard: Cornermans Champ (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes with introductions by director Shawn Levy (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Extended ‘Meet Ambush’ (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Deleted Butterfly Storyline (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Bloopers
Real Steel DVD cover

 

Fright Night – The original 1985 film isn’t exactly a masterpiece but it has a sense of campy fun to it. Unfortunately same can’t be said for this lacklustre remake in which Colin Farrell’s admittedly effective vampire is about the only thing worth watching it for. A lot of the attempts at self-poking humour come off as forced and some dodgy special effects doesn’t help the film overall. Not a complete waste of time but this should have been much better.

(Extras info unavailable)

Fright Night DVD cover

 

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark – A clear case of a film not really knowing which audience it’s supposed to be aimed at. It appears to be aimed at kids with its, at times, Gremlins-like scary-but-not-too-much style but then it will turn violent and nasty, making it completely unsuitable for the younger viewers. Some nice moments in there, and you can feel the great Guillermo Del Toro’s presence around the film, but it builds towards a disappointingly ridiculous ending making for an overall unsatisfying experience.

Extras include:

  • A Look Behind the Horror – The Story, The Build, The Creatures
  • Character Profiles – Interviews with Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison
  • Teaser & theatrical trailers.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark DVD cover

 

Miss Bala – This Mexican film received pretty much universal acclaim. Tells the story of a beauty queen chasing her dreams amidst a society dominated by organized crime. I haven’t seen this one yet myself but am very much looking forward to it.

(Extras info unavailable)

Miss Bala DVD cover

 

Repo Man – The cult 1984 noir/sci-fi film finally hits Blu-ray via the Masters of Cinema series. It stars Emilio Estevez as a young punk rocker who is hired to repossess cars but before long strange things start to happen. A flick beloved by many, this Blu-ray release should more than satisfy fans.

Extras (specially approved by the director) include:

  • New high-definition master in the original aspect ratio 1.85:1
  • Original mono soundtrack and 5.1 remix, both in DTS-HD Master Audio
  • English SDH subtitles on the main feature
  • Isolated music and effects track
  • Audio commentary with Cox and executive producer Michael Nesmith, casting director Victoria Thomas, and actors Sy Richardson, Zander Schloss, and Del Zamora
  • All-new 2012 video piece by Cox offering further thoughts on the film
  • Repo Man (entire TV version) this legendary variant, prepared by Cox for network television, incorporates deleted material and surreal overdubs in place of profanity
  • Repossessed a retrospective video piece on the making of the film, featuring Cox, producers Peter McCarthy and Jonathan Wacks, and actors Del Zamora, Sy Richardson, and Dick Rude
  • The Missing Scenes a roundtable viewing of deleted scenes from the film with Cox, executive producer Michael Nesmith, real-life neutron bomb inventor Sam Cohen, and character “J. Frank Parnell”
  • Harry Zen Stanton an extended interview with the legendary actor
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • A 44-page full colour booklet specially created by Cox, entitled The Repo Code and incorporating all manner of Repo ephemera

Repo Man Blu-ray cover

Which of these releases will you be spending your money on (if any)?

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I’m a freelance film reviewer and blogger with over 10 years of experience writing for various different reputable online and print publications. In addition to my running, editing and writing for Thoughts On Film, I am also the film critic for The National, the newspaper that supports an independent Scotland, covering the weekly film releases, film festivals and film-related features.

I have a passion for all types of cinema, and have a particular love for foreign language film, especially South Korean and Japanese cinema. Favourite films include The Big Lebowski, Pulp Fiction and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: February 27th 2012 0 53

Thoughts On Film - DVD Blu-ray releases Feb 27th

Pick of the Week

We Need To Talk About Kevin

Director: Lynne Ramsay

Writers: Lynne Ramsay, Rory Kinnear, Lion Shriver (novel)

Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller, John C. Reilly, Jasper Newell, Rock Duer, Ashley Gerasimovich

Based on the million-selling Orange Prize winning novel by Lionel Shriver and directed by acclaimed film-maker Lynne Ramsay, We Need to Talk About Kevin is an emotional thriller starring Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton, Academy Award nominee John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller. Eva (Tilda Swinton) puts her ambitions and career aside to give birth to Kevin. The relationship between mother and son is difficult from the very first years. When Kevin is 15, he does something irrational and unforgivable in the eyes of the community. Eva grapples with her own feelings of grief and responsibility. Did she ever love her son? And how much of what Kevin did was her fault?

This is Lynne Ramsay’s first film since Morvern Callar in 2002, a long time for such a great talent to be away (part of the reason for her absence was her failed attempt to adapt The Lovely Bones novel). However, the wait was well worth it as We Need To Talk About Kevin is an utter masterpiece of a film, masterfully directed with amazing performances, particularly from lead Tilda Swinton (both her and the film as a whole was disgracefully snubbed by the Oscars). A unique and powerful exploration of the nature vs. nurture debate, and an absolute must-own.

Extras include:

  • Interview with cast and crew
  • Trailer

We Need To Talk About Kevin DVD

Other Releases

In Time – A classic case of a film having an amazing concept that doesn’t really follow through with it, this is perfectly passable entertainment. However, when it comes from director Andrew Niccol, who made things like Gattaca, Lord of War and The Truman Show (the latter as a writer), this can’t help but be a disappointment. Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried have very little chemistry together, which kind of makes it hard to care for their growing relationship amidst all the running around. You won’t really regret watching it but will probably be left wanting more.

Extras include:

  • ‘The Minutes’ Featurette (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Deleted and extended scenes (10x)

In Time DVD

The Three Musketeers – Where to even begin with this one… This blockbuster take on Alexandre Dumas’ classic adventure tale bastardizes the whole thing, adding in airships, headache-inducing one-liners and terrible acting (to name just a few wrong-doings).  Both ridiculous and boring (a feat in and of itself to accomplish both simultaneously), this is a shining example of what’s wrong with Hollywood blockbusters these days. There are certainly worse films out – there are a couple of enjoyable touches to be found here and there – but this certainly one you should avoid.

(Extras info unavailable)

The Three Musketeers DVD

Paranormal Activity 3 – The first film in this franchise is still the best simply because the idea was still fresh then but this third installment offers a lot of fun scares, bringing it back from the lacklustre (to say the least) second film. However,it does lose its way in the last 20-30 mins when it tries to explain the back-story and just ends up confusing things for the worse. If you’ve seen any of the previous films you pretty much know what you’re in for with the third one, but it does have some of the best scares of the series so far.

Extras include:

  • Scare Montage
  • ‘Dennis’ commercial

Paranormal Activity 3 DVD

Sleeping Beauty – I haven’t had a chance to see this one yet but the film split audiences upon its release, some praising its boldness and the performance of Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), while others thought it exploitative and pretentious. A divisive film that inspires discussion is far better than a safe one which you immediately forget though, right?

(Extras info unavailable)

 

Sleeping Beauty DVD

Which of these releases will you be spending your money on (if any)?