Disc of the Week: October 26th

In this weekly feature, I will be taking a look at the new home video releases and telling you which ones you should take a look at and which ones you shouldn’t waste your hard-earned cash on. I’m going to make it easy for you by choosing one (yes, one) movie that’s worthy of being added to your collection as well as one TV series that’s great for all of you television junkies out there and a documentary to get your facts straight. The next section will be filled with a few second choices which also will be worth checking out if you missed them in theaters. At the end will be a list of everything else that either I haven’t seen, or isn’t worth your time. Alright, here we go!

Disc of the Week

Back to the Future (25th Anniversary Trilogy)

Once again, choosing a winner is simple. How could you go wrong with Back to the Future? The movie is a classic, and I’m sure we’ve all seen it, and for good reason. It’s funny, fantastically entertaining, and features such a fun story. I don’t even feel the need to explain this one. It is a great movie, and this 25th anniversary blu-ray is packed with special features. Just buy it!
Blu-Ray? Yes Special Features? New Restorations, Retrospective Documentary, A Treasure-Trove of Featurettes, 16 Deleted Scenes, Michael J. Fox Q&A, Several Making-Of’s, Behind-the-Scenes, Outtakes, Photo Galleries, Commentaries, Setups & Payoffs, Storyboard Comparison, Trivia Track, Pocket BLU

TV Set of the Week

Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Season 2)

Ok, I know I’m going to get some complaints for this one, and frankly I don’t care. Yes, the prequels were not on par with the original Star Wars films. Part of that is because the original trilogy contained two of the best movies of all time, and part of that is because some of the magic was lost. Now we have a Star Wars cartoon aimed primarily at children on TV. What has happened to the franchise? Although Star Wars has seen better days, I still enjoy this show, despite the fact that it is definitely not aimed at my demographic. It is still Star Wars, and they are enjoyable, action-filled adventures through the universe we know and love.
Blu-Ray? Yes Special Features? Featurettes, Commentaries, Behind-the-Scenes

Doc of the Week

South of the Border

No, this isn’t the roadside attraction is South Carolina. This South of the Border is a documentary that focuses on the governments of South America, what they are, and how the media misrepresents them. And it was directed by Oliver Stone, no less. The film features interviews with seven South American presidents, Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Evo Morales (Bolivia), Lula da Silva (Brazil), Cristina Kirchner  (Argentina), Fernando Lugo  (Paraguay), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), and Raúl Castro  (Cuba). This is the first I have heard of this movies, which is odd considering the star-power behind the camera. I am really interested at seeing the other side of the story with regards to the “dictators” to our south, as for the truthfulness of the message I have no idea.
Blu-Ray? Yes Special Features?

Also Worth a Look

Winter’s Bone

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Winter’s Bone had a lot of hype surrounding it when I saw it last last month. Let me just tell you it lived up to it. It is a bleak portrait of a family pushed to the brink of survival as the oldest daughter, Ree (Jennifer Lawrence), hunts for her father, who signed away their property to get out on bail. Lawrence is great as the struggling young woman forced to take incredible responsibility and venture into a cold, unforgiving world. While the movie is defnitely a downer, it also is a fantastic meditation on the darker side of life that is well-acted and looks beautifully stark. Definitely check out this independent gem.
Blu-Ray? Yes Special Features? Director Commentary, Making-Of, Deleted Scenes, Trailer

Alien Anthology

First there was Ridley Scott’s terrifying Alien, a classic horror film. Then James Cameron made the sequel into an awesome action movie, Aliens. There were two more but they aren’t important. This beautiful Blu-ray set comes with all four Alien films in stunning HD. This huge, six-disc set also comes with tons of special features for all you Alien fans out there.
Blu-Ray? Yes Special Features? Way too much to list here. Basically there’s a whole lot.

Elf (Ultimate Collector’s Edition)

Elf is the quintessential family-oriented modern Christmas comedy, and for good reason. Jon Favreau directs Will Ferrell in an hilarious tale of a human raised by elves. The movie is sweet and really funny. And although it contains the obligatory, ‘we all love each other’ happy ending, if there’s one time of year we can put up with it, it’s the holidays. So go ahead and get rid of that depressed mood you got yourself in with Winter’s Bone and have some fun with Elf. Oh, and listen to Bret Fetzer of Amazon.com: “Elf is genuinely good. Not just Saturday Night Live-movie good, when the movie has some funny bits but is basically an insult to humanity.” Ok then…
Blu-Ray? Yes Special Features? Original Blu-ray Special Features, Magnetic Picture Frame, Elf Gift Tags, Soundtrack Sampler, Plush Stocking, all in a Collectible Tin

Paths of Glory

Kubrick from the Criterion Collection. Could it get any more beautiful than that? Paths of Glory is Stanley Kubrick’s powerful statement against the irrationality of war. The film stars Kirk Douglas as Colonel Dax, whose French regiment is ordered on a suicide mission to take an enemy stronghold. The movie contains not only intense World War I battle scenes, but also focuses on the insanity of war.
Blu-Ray? Yes Special Features? New HD Restoration, Commentary, Interviews

Chaplin at Keystone

Charlie Chaplin, called by George Bernard Shaw the only genius to come out of filmmaking, was a genius of comedy and story-telling. Here is a huge collection of his films with Keystone, which were made during his early, formative years. After an 8-year project, these films are being released for the first time on home video, all with beautiful restorations. If you have any interest in the history of film, take a look at how Chaplin got his start, and you’ll definitely learn something while also having a great time.
Blu-Ray? Yes Special Features? 35 Restored Films, Restoration Behind-the-Scenes, Booklet

Everything Else

Movie Blu-Ray?
Alien Anthology Yes
Altitude Yes
Attack on Darfur No
Backyard No
Back to the Future (25th Anniversary Trilogy) Yes
Canaan (Complete Collection) No
Cannibal Girls No
Chaplin at Keystone No
CSI: NY (Season 6) No
Dawn of the Ocean No
The Deputy (Complete Series) No
Earth and Space Yes
Elf (Ultimate Collector’s Edition) Yes
The Girl Who Played With Fire Yes
House Yes
How the Earth Was Made (Season 1) Yes
Lake Placid 3 No
Last Day of Summer No
Legend of the Black Scorpion Yes
Mafu Cage No
Man vs. Food (Season 2) No
Maniac Yes
NFL: Ultimate NFL Yes
The Other Side of Immigration No
Paths of Glory Yes
Poirot: Murder on the Orient Express Yes
R.E.M. – Live from Austin TX No
Santa Claus: The Movie (25th Anniversary Edition) Yes
Sex and the City 2 Yes
Sex and the City (Complete Collection: Deluxe Edition) No
Slings & Arrows (The Complete Collection) Yes
South of the Border No
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Season 2) Yes
Tonight: 4 Decades of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson No
Treasury of 100 Storybook Classics 2 No
Trigun (Complete Series Box Set) No
The Twilight Zone Fan Favorites No
The Venture Bros (Season 4, Volume 1) No
Vomit Gore Trilogy No
War of the Worlds (The Final Season) No
Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? No
Wild Grass No
Winter’s Bone Yes
World War II: 360 Yes
You Don’t Know Jack No

Because this is a new feature, I am always ready to change to meet the demands of you, the readers. If you disagree with any of my choices or have a suggestion for the future of this article series, please leave a comment below.

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