This week in the DVD/Blu-ray Breakdown brings new releases from the first quarter of the year. While they all struggled to find a niche in theaters, there is hope for a better life on home video.
Denzel Washington and Michael Cera will duke it out for the top spot in this week’s home video sales, but the newly transferred Blu-rays are more intriguing.
The following titles can now be found on DVD and Blu-ray.
The Book of Eli – The reactions to Denzel Washington’s latest film were mixed, and our own review was just as torn. But the film has enough great scenes to make room on a DVD shelf. The Book of Eli is a visual treat, depicting a post-apocalyptic world as moody as Terminator: Salvation and as serene as I Am Legend.
Warner Bros. is becoming known for its home video Maximum Movie Mode, which gives an extended approach to the commentary track with extra features mixed in with the actual film. There are also 30 minutes of behind the scenes video split between two featurettes.
The film may have doubled its production budget in theaters, but if The Book of Eli doesn’t pick up a solid second life on home video, it may be as forgotten as the world in the film itself.
Youth in Revolt – Michael Cera’s dual identity film left plenty of people confused, including Screen Rant‘s Kofi Outlaw in his 2.5 out of 5 star review. Some hate Cera’s style, while others love it, but this film shows an actor in the middle of a career transition. Kofi said it best by explaining the film as what would happen “if Wes Anderson made a teen rebellion flick.”
The bright and colorful film transfers nicely to home video, but there is nothing overwhelmingly captivating. The special features give a few interesting looks – best of all is a commentary track with Michael Cera and director Miguel Arteta. Everybody’s casting auditions are available for viewing, as are a handful of deleted scenes.
When in Rome – If this is your cup of tea, it should pass off well on home video. There are seven short special features and a few music videos to round out the entertaining side of the film’s menu. Fortunately, there is a sneak peek at Lost: The Final Season amongst others.
Darkman – A must-see film for all you Screen Ranters out there. Sam Raimi’s 1990 thriller exhibits some of his best past work. It still bothers me that he didn’t go in the same direction for the allegedly dark Spider-Man 3.
Unfortunately for fans of special features, this Blu-ray transfer has absolutely nothing but the film itself.
Showgirls - I know what you are thinking: “It’s 2010! I hope they release a Showgirls Anniversary Edition Blu-ray!” Whether you wanted it or not, MGM has put some of its dwindling funds into a Blu-ray release of the NC-17 cult-classic.
Elizabeth Berkley’s sultry turn away from the high school days of Saved by the Bell is the bearer of much ridicule, but remains a guilty pleasure of many movie fans. The special features should interest certain viewers, with how-to videos on pole dancing and lap dancing.
INTRIGUING PICK OF THE WEEK:
Mystery Train – The Criterion Collection strikes again with another fantastic home video release. This 1989 film won awards at Cannes in its time and Jim Jarmusch deserved all the praise. The movie explores the corners of Memphis, Tennessee in a way few films have the audacity to tackle.
Just this year, Jarmusch answered questions from fans of the film and the 70-minute session can be found in the special features.
There are definitely releases worth making the trip for, but not enough to ask for a raise at the office. Come back next Tuesday for another Breakdown, when Matt Damon will headline a few new releases that tap into multiple genres.