Some very intriguing titles hit DVD and Blu-ray this week, but so do some not-so-enticing ones. We focus on the five most popular movies making their way to home video this week.
The energetic Limitless goes up against the nostalgic Take Me Home Tonight as Doctor Who takes care of the TV side in our new releases. Meanwhile, two beloved classics hit Blu-ray as Amelie and Boyz n the Hood make their way to the format.
In addition to these titles, Chocolat and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas bring the drama to Blu-ray. House of the Rising Sun, which stars Dave Bautista, comes to DVD and Blu-ray with a small selection of bonus features and a sleek transfer of the action film.
The following titles can now be found on DVD and Blu-ray.
Limitless – Bradley Cooper’s latest hit, the Hangover 2, may have outgrossed Limitless, but this action thriller earned $155 million on a $27 million budget. The success may also be attributed to positive reviews like our 3.5-star review, which called it “a satisfying ride.”
The color scheme of Limitless changes frequently, but the outstanding video quality maintains the changes well. It is a fast-paced film that utilizes some unique visual aesthetics, but the sound design is just as integral to the movie – and both shine on this home video.
The Unrated Extended Cut of the film isn’t very different from the theatrical one, and the bonus features are relatively standard run-of-the-mill featurettes that don’t get into the production much. Fortunately, Director Neil Burger provides a great commentary track.
- A Man Without Limits
- Taking it to the Limit: The Making of Limitless
- Alternate Ending
- Audio Commentary by Director Neil Burger
Take Me Home Tonight – The huge bust from Relativity Media only made $6.9 million at the box office. Of course, it was a niche film with a specific fan base that loves ’80s movies. While it may not have done well at the box office, it deserves a larger audience and initial assumptions will likely be squashed by many who give the film the time of day.
Topher Grace co-wrote and starred in this homage to ’80s movies that would have fit into the era, had John Hughes made it. But, he didn’t, and it misses plenty of marks that prevent it from catching on. Those who saw it in theaters will enjoy this home video release and should be pleased with the colorful video transfer.
Aside from the funny deleted scenes, the bonus features on this DVD and Blu-ray release are far too ordinary. It has an extended look at the music of the 80s, but otherwise doesn’t provide much at all.
- Deleted Scenes
- Cast Get Together
- Music Boombox
- Take Me Home Tonight Music Video
Doctor Who, Series Six, Part One – The first seven episodes of season six did well and have created a lot of buzz for the September continuation of the series. On Blu-ray, this first part arrives with all 315 minutes of episodic material and only one extra featurette that runs just under 30 minutes. It’s a lightweight release, but perhaps a more detailed home video release will hit shelves once the entire sixth series is complete.
VERDICT: Wait for the full Series Six. Rent if you must.
Amelie – The most appealing feature on this Blu-ray release is the lack of an English dub track. It comes only with the original French audio in DTS 5.1 surround. The French film that earned 5 Academy Award nominations finally reaches the Blu-ray format where its wondrous visual composition can shine. If you haven’t seen this movie, now is the perfect time to give it a watch.
The cinematography of Amelie is some of the best in recent memory. It’s unrivaled in unique style and composition. Every frame is filled to the edge of the screen with detail and story. The character even finds way to explore this space, revealing background on the fascinating characters within the film itself.
For those who want an insider’s look at the production of a movie in their special features, this Blu-ray has that. A collection of Q&A sessions and an audio commentary with Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet provide extensive explanation of the movie’s genesis and creation.
- Audio Commentary with Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
- The Look of Amélie
- Fantasies of Audrey Tatou
- Screen Tests
- Q&A with Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet
- Q&A With Director and Cast
- Storyboard Comparison
- An Intimate Chat with Jean-Pierre Jeunet
- “Home Movies” Inside the Making of Amélie
- The Amélie Scrapbook
Boyz n the Hood – The dramatic and tear-inducing classic has reached audiences whose own experiences may be far removed from the trauma of the characters within the film. It is a testament to the movie’s powerful performances and story that it can move just about any viewer.
The video quality of this Blu-ray release reminds us that even movies that may not be designed for this platform’s benefits can still look great. It doesn’t even look like a 20-year-old movie on Blu-ray, and it sure doesn’t sound like one with a clean surround sound mix.
The bonus features shine a fascinating light on the making of Boyz n the Hood. John Singleton’s audio commentary is accompanied by over an hour of behind-the-scenes materials. The Blu-ray also includes one of my favorite items – audition videos.
- Audio Commentary with Writer/Director John Singleton
- The Enduring Significance of Boyz n the Hood
- Friendly Fire: Making an Urban Legend
- Deleted Scenes
- Music Videos
- Audition Videos
Next week is a must-watch for home video fans. Both Animal House and Blues Brothers finally reach Blu-ray and Source Code should lead the charge in DVD and Blu-ray sales.
Stay tuned every Tuesday for more details on the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases.