DVD/Blu-ray Breakdown: January 3, 2012

Published 2 years ago by This is a list post.

DVD/Blu-ray Breakdown: January 3, 2012

DVD/Blu-ray Breakdown: January 3, 2012 The New Year is off to a fast start, as far as new Blu-ray releases are concerned. 32 films, documentaries and concerts all get Blu-ray releases today and on our list are a TV show, a couple of interesting films about disease worth renting, and four films not even worth watching. There were eight Triple Features released today - some good, some bad - but we selected the Western one as our main pick. Let's take a look at what the first Breakdown of 2012 has to offer.

Contagion

Contagion Blu-ray Cover A fast-moving epidemic grows exponentially as the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart. Worst case scenarios of a global viral pandemic from multiple points of view, as ordinary people become severely ill and must be cared for by their loved ones, and harried doctors struggle to contain the disease as the lethal airborne virus that kills within days progresses rapidly. Special Features:
  • No advance listing of the special features was released
Scores: Break Down: Director Stephen Soderbergh and writer Scott Burns do a great job of showing how fear and panic of the unknown can infest our society quicker than any virus. The film is worth watching, if only to remind us to cover our mouths when we sneeze.

VERDICT: Rent It

(Purchase on Amazon)

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark Blu-ray CoverWhile architect Alex Hurst (Guy Pearce) and his new girlfriend Kim (Katie Holmes) restore their Gothic mansion's period interiors, Alex's young daughter Sally (Bailee Madison) can investigate the macabre history and dark corners of the estate. Spurring Sally's investigation are the voices-rasping whispers who call out to her from the basement, who promise her understanding and friendship, who are so very hungry and would like to be set free. When Sally gives in to her curiosity, she opens a gateway into a hellish underworld from which an army of beady-eyed, sharp-clawed monsters emerge, small in size but endless in number. Confronted with the horror that now threatens to taker her life and destroy her family, Sally desperately tries to warn the whole house, but there's just one problem: no one believes her. Special Features:
  • Behind-the-scenes featurettes - The Story, Blackwood's Mansion, The Creatures
Scores: Breakdown: Horror fans were anxiously awaiting for the release of the Don't Be Afraid of the Dark remake after Guillermo del Toro announced he was co-writing and producing it - unfortunately, the movie turned out to be a major letdown. The dark and moody storytelling that helped the original induce chills has been replaced with predictable and mostly unoriginal scares.

VERDICT: Skip It

(Purchase on Amazon)

Shark Night

Shark Night Blu-ray CoverArriving by boat at her family's Louisiana lake island cabin, Sara (Sara Paxton) and her friends quickly strip down to their swimsuits for a weekend of fun in the sun. But when star football player Malik (Sinqua Walls) stumbles from the salt-water lake with his arm torn off, the party mood quickly evaporates. Assuming the injury was caused by a freak wake-boarding accident, the group realizes they have to get Malik to a hospital on the other side of the lake, and fast. But as they set out in a tiny speedboat, the college friends discover the lake has been stocked with hundreds of massive, flesh-eating sharks! As they face one grisly death after another, Sara and the others struggle desperately to fend off the sharks, get help and stay alive long enough to reach the safety of dry land. Special Features:
  • Shark Attack Kill Machine!
  • Ellis' Island featurette on director David R. Ellis
  • Shark Night's Survival Guide featurette
  • Fake Sharks, Real Scares featurette
Scores: Breakdown: Shark Night is a movie that is the epitome of "ho-hum." It should have been a direct-to-video flick, but because the studio chose to make the film in 3D, it received a theatrical release - oddly enough, the 3D version of the film isn't being released on Blu-ray.

VERDICT: Skip It

(Purchase on Amazon)

I Don't Know How She Does It

I Don't Know How She Does It Blu-ray CoverKate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker) devotes her days to her job with a Boston-based financial management firm. At night she goes home to her adoring, recently-downsized architect husband Richard (Greg Kinnear) and their two young children. It's a non-stop balancing act, the same one that Kate's acerbic best friend and fellow working mother Allison (Christina Hendricks) performs on a daily basis, and that Kate's super-brainy, child-phobic young junior associate Momo (Oliva Munn) doesn't understand. Special Features:
  • A Conversation with Best-Selling Author Allison Pearson
Scores: Breakdown: I Don't Know How She Does It tries to bring author Allison Pearson's best-selling novel of the same title to life, but the film struggles under its own weight. People who have read the book may want to check this film out, but all others are fine missing this one.

VERDICT: Skip It

(Purchase on Amazon)

Puncture

Puncture Blu-ray CoverMike Weiss (Chris Evans) is a talented young Houston lawyer and a functioning drug addict. Paul Danziger (co-director Mark Kassen), his longtime friend and partner, is the straight-laced and responsible yin to Mike's yang. Their mom-and-pop personal injury law firm is getting by, but things really get interesting when they decide to take on a case involving Vicky (Vinessa Shaw), a local ER nurse, who is pricked by a contaminated needle on the job. As Weiss and Danziger dig deeper into the case, a health care and pharmaceutical conspiracy teeters on exposure and heavyweight attorneys move in on the defense. Out of their league but invested in their own principles, the mounting pressure of the case pushes the two underdog lawyers and their business to the breaking point. Special Features:
  • No advance listing of the special features was released
Score: Breakdown: At the heart of Puncture is an important message about hypodermic needle safety in hospitals, but you will have to make it through the paint-by-numbers storytelling of co-directing brothers Adam and Mark Kassen to find it. However, Chris Evans' dramatic performance as a lawyer battling inner demons is arguably some of his best work to date.

VERDICT: Rent It

(Purchase on Amazon)

Marley and Me: The Puppy Years

Marley and Me: The Puppy Years Blu-ray CoverThis side story to Marley & Me chronicles puppy years of Marley, affectionately nicknamed "the world's worst dog". Along with his pal Bodie Grogan (Travis Turner), Marley (voiced by Grayson Russell) brings chaos to a neighborhood dog contest, and outwits several of his canine companions. Special Features:
  • Marley & Me: The Puppy Years Goes to Training Camp
  • Part of the Family
  • My Favorite Moments
Scores: Breakdown: The original true story of Marley the yellow Labrador by author John Grogan has been left far, FAR behind in this prequel to the 2008 hit Marley and Me: the animals have all started talking. The story is a standard direct-to-video kid friendly tale with more animals dressed up and cracking wise than we care to count.

VERDICT: Rent It if you have little kids, else Skip It

(Purchase on Amazon)

Justified: Season Two

Justified: Season Two Blu-ray Cover U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) is a modern day 19th century-style lawman, enforcing his brand of justice in a way that puts a target on his back and places him at odds with his bosses in the Marshal service. Season Two finds Givens in the aftermath of the deadly showdown that freed Harlan County from the Crowder family crime reign, but he must now take on even greater criminal forces looking to seize power - including hellbent nemesis Boyd Crowder and the arrival of brutal, new adversary Mags Bennett (Emmy® Winner Margo Martindale). Filled with treacherous twists at every turn, the second season of "Justified" proves "spectacularly entertaining" (TV Guide) and has established itself as a show for the ages. Episodes List:
  1. The Moonshine War
  2. The Life Inside
  3. The I of the Storm
  4. For Blood or Money
  5. Cottonmouth
  6. Blaze of Glory
  7. Save My Love
  8. The Spoil
  9. Brother's Keeper
  10. Debts and Accounts
  11. Full Commitment
  12. Reckoning
  13. Bloody Harlan
Special Features:
  • Deleted Scenes - The Moonshine War, We Need to Talk to Him and Raylan and Dickie's History, The Life Inside, The Proposition, For Blood or Money, Just Trying to Clip You, Blaze of Glory, Boyd's Side of the Story, Brother's Keeper, It's a Whoop Dee Doo, Debts and Accounts, Helen's Advice, Bloody Harlan, Keep This Car Between the Ditches
  • On the Set of Justified
  • Clans, Feuds & Apple Pie
  • Outtakes
  • Talking Shop: Roundtable Discussion
Breakdown: Justified has become one of our favorite original programs on FX, joining Sons of Anarchy and Archer  - both season one and season two are worth owning.

VERDICT: Own It

(Purchase on Amazon)

The Searchers/The Wild Bunch/How the West was Won Triple Feature

The Searchers, The Wild Bunch, How the West was Won Triple Feature Blu-ray Cover The Searchers Special Features:
  • Introduction to the film with John Wayne's son, Patrick Wayne
  • The Searchers: An Appreciation
  • A Turning of the Earth: John Ford, John Wayne, and 'The Searchers'
  • Behind the Cameras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Trailer for The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
The Wild Bunch Special Features:
  • Commentary by Biographers/Documentarians Nick Redman, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle
  • Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade
  • The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage
  • Excerpt from A Simple Adventure Story: Sam Peckinpah, Mexico and the Wild Bunch
  • Peckinpah Trailer Gallery for - The Wild Bunch, Ride The High Country, The Ballad of Cable Hogue, The Getaway, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
  • Outtakes
How the West was Won Special Features:
  • "SmileBox" - Original Cinerama Version
  • Documentary Cinerama Adventure with Fred Waller
  • Audio commentary with filmmmaker David Strohmaier, Cinerama's John Sittig, music expert Jon Burlingame, stuntman Loren James and movie expert Rudy Behlmer
Breakdown: The Searchers is a great film that deserves to be in the collection of every movie fan of 1960s and 1970s Westerns, while The Wild Bunch starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine is fantastic in its own right. The real gem of this triple feature is How the West was Won starring the "Duke" John Wayne and we recommend everyone see this film at least once.

VERDICT: Own It

(Purchase on Amazon)
TAGS: contagion, don't be afraid of the dark, justified, shark night 3d

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  1. I don’t know why The Guard wasn’t mentioned here, but that’s the best new movie to watch on DVD this week.

  2. I tried watching The Guard but I could not tolerate the constant cursing! So I stopped it about 10 mintues in. Oh well.

    • To each his own, I understand that a lot of people don’t like cursing, but the main character curses and acts boorishly and rude for a big reason.

  3. I have a question about the format of the article/reviews. (more so for Justified)

    The ‘special features’ is that only on the BR? DVD? Both? Some?

    Thanks!

    • @Aknot – Unfortunately not every release has its Special Features listed in advance. If I can’t find them then I leave that part blank.

      Paul

      • Thanks for the response I guess what I am asking is (for example) Justified has:

        Deleted Scenes – The Moonshine War, We Need to Talk to Him and Raylan and Dickie’s History, The Life Inside, The Proposition, For Blood or Money, Just Trying to Clip You, Blaze of Glory, Boyd’s Side of the Story, Brother’s Keeper, It’s a Whoop Dee Doo, Debts and Accounts, Helen’s Advice, Bloody Harlan, Keep This Car Between the Ditches
        On the Set of Justified
        Clans, Feuds & Apple Pie
        Outtakes
        Talking Shop: Roundtable Discussion

        Listed as special features. I see at times the DVD version may not have as many special features. I was asking if the special features are listed are they on all formats?

  4. puncture was awesome!

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